Want some adventure while in Tuguegarao City? If you are the adventurous type, consider visiting Penablanca in Cagayan Valley for a day trip that includes spelunking in Callao Cave and Kayaking in the Pinacanauan River. You can tour around the nearby towns first just like we did.
After a short visit to Our Lady of Piat Church, our group headed to Penablanca for a spelunking activity in Callao Cave. This cave is the most popular tourist attraction of the Cagayan Province and probably one the most popular cave in the Philippines. It is located about a 30-minute drive from Tuguegarao in the town of Penablanca. The Callao Cave is fairly easy to explore but you will want to be in fairly decent shape because at one point you will be ascending about 200 steps that lead to the massive rock formations and limestone inside.
Though its not my first time visiting the Cave, I was impressed with the improvement they made in the registration booth and the addition of local tour guides that doesn’t only generate jobs but they also help educate and entertain the tourists.
Inside Callao Cave
The cave is comprised of seven chambers called: The Column, Chapel, Skeleton, Elephant’s Head, Praying Angel, Rocket, Lion’s Head and Dog’s Head. You have probably seen The Chapel as it is quite famous image utilized in many tourism ads for the area and is the main attraction of the cave. It is a chamber that the local people converted into a cathedral and is quite stunning as the light from the sky illuminates the hall through the small round opening.
Trekking in Callao
Since its not yet rainy season, exploring the different chambers was surprisingly easy and its not slippery at all compare to my last visit. After our caving adventure, we crossed the river and had lunch before heading further upstream for our kayaking adventure courtesy of Adventures and Expeditions Philippines, Inc.
Everyone enjoyed kayaking the clear waters of the Pinacanauan river but unfortunately while waiting for the circadian bat flights, the weather becomes uncooperative which made us decide to go back to the put in area. We were not able to witness the circadian bat flights but everyone was completely happy with the spelunking and kayaking experience.
From Tuguegarao, the trip is only about an hour to the area and if you are on your own and you want to stay overnight, I recommend the Callao Cave Resort but there are many more hotels in Tuguegarao for you to choose from that are both clean and safe.