Hidden beneath the mystical island of Siquijor in the Philippines lies a natural wonder that remains relatively unexplored by the masses. Sambulawan Underground River, a mesmerizing subterranean river system, offers an enchanting adventure for those who dare to delve into its mysterious depths.
I had visited Siquijor before and even wrote an article about the places you could visit, but I hadn’t heard of the Sambulawan Underground River yet. That’s why, on this recent trip, I told our guide that I couldn’t wait to visit that place and see it for myself. It sounds like fun, and I think we are going to have a great experience.
Where is the Sambulawan Underground River located?
Sambulawan Underground River is located in Tagmanocan, Lazi, Siquijor. It’s also not far from the famous Cambugahay Waterfalls. After breakfast at Apo Divers Resort, we called our multi-cab driver to take us around, and our first stop was this one. It took us around 45 minutes to an hour to get there from San Juan.
Luckily, we arrived early, and we were among the first to reach this subterranean river. The registration fee isn’t really that much, and the guide doesn’t have a fixed amount, but tipping is required. There will be a short orientation while you’re wearing your life vest and headlamp.
Exploring Sambulawan Underground River
Now that we were all set with the preparation, it was time to explore the cave. We started our walk toward the mouth of the cave, and as we got closer, the scenery changed dramatically. It was as if we were entering an untouched lush forest.
As we descended into the cave, it became more and more exciting. Thankfully, there were ladders fixed up, making it easier to navigate. As we ventured further inside, that’s when our main adventure began – swimming or paddling through the caves.
I had never experienced anything like it before, where you need to swim through the cave passages. It was so much fun, but you need to stay calm and avoid panicking. We had kids with us at the time, and even they enjoyed the experience. I had no idea how deep the river was, but all I could see was that it was deep.
Inside the cave, we stopped at various places to take photos and examine some of the rock formations found within the cave. When we reached the end, we took a moment to relax, snapped some photos, and headed back the way we came.
We were fortunate that we were the only ones there because, during peak times or seasons, I can imagine there might be traffic inside the cave. However, this adventure is a must-add to your Siquijor Island itinerary. The staff were very friendly, and our guide knew what they were doing. Expect to get wet, and make sure to use a waterproof case for your phone since you’ll be wet and floating most of the time inside.
I hope that the LGU (Local Government Unit) and the people responsible for preserving the Sambulawan Underground River can maintain its pristine charm because it has a lot of potential. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank them for letting us experience this one-of-a-kind adventure!