Spelunking in Callao Cave and Kayaking in Pinacanauan River

Travel Guide to Callao Cave in Penablanca

Callao Cave photo by Mkirader via Wikipedia CC
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Callao Cave Travel Guide With DIY Itinerary, How To Get There, Budget And More

Want some exhilarating 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 Tuguegarao City and the nearby towns first just like we did.

Mouth of Callao Cave
Mouth of Callao Cave

After exploring Magat Dam and having a boodle fight lunch in Ramon Isabela, our group headed to Penablanca in Cagayan for a spelunking activity in Callao Cave. This cave is the most popular tourist attraction of Cagayan Province and probably one of the most famous caves in the Philippines. It is located about a 30-minute drive from Tuguegarao in the town of Penablanca.

Callao Cave Entrance
Callao Cave Entrance
Cathedral inside Callao Cave
Cathedral inside Callao Cave

Callao Cave is relatively easy to explore, but you will want to be in reasonably decent shape because at one point you will be ascending about 200 steps that lead to the massive cave entrance showcasing various rock and limestone formations.

Travel Guide Callao Cave
Travel Guide Callao Cave

Though it’s 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 don’t only generate jobs but also help educate and entertain the tourists visiting the area. They also have new restrooms and new stalls that sell pasalubong and snacks.

Inside Callao Cave in Penablanca Cagayan
Inside Callao Cave in Penablanca Cagayan

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 a 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 absolutely stunning as the light from the sky illuminates the hall through the small round opening.

In 2007, A newly-described species of human living between 50,000 and 67,000 years ago, Homo luzonensis was discovered in the mouth of the cave.

Group Photo at the entrance of Callao Cave
Group Photo at the entrance of Callao Cave

Since its not yet rainy season, exploring the different chambers was surprisingly easy, and it’s not slippery at all compare to my last visit. After our caving adventure, we crossed the river and had a boating activity. Since its already late when we arrived, we were not able to witness the thousands of bats fly out from one of the caves along the Pinacanauan river.

River Cruise at Pinacanauan River
River Cruise at Pinacanauan River

We were not able to witness the circadian bat flights, but everyone was pleased with the spelunking and boating experience.

Callao Cave photo by Mkirader via Wikipedia CC
Callao Cave photo By mkirader – Callao Cave, CC BY 2.0,CC

How to get there

From Tuguegarao, the trip is only about an hour to the area. If you are on your own and you want to stay overnight, I recommend the Callao Cave Resort, but there are many hotels in Tuguegarao for you to choose from if you’re going to stay in the City center.

Entrance Fee and other Rental Fees

  • Entrance Fee per person is Php25
  • Boat / Kayak Rental is Php300

This tour is part of the 2020 Grand North Luzon Fun Caravan, organized by the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) in Partnership with Tourism Promotions Board, the Department of Tourism and various LGU’s of Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Quirino, Isabela, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Abra, and Apayao.

For inquiries on how to join the upcoming caravans, call PHILTOA at +632 8812 4513 or +63 932 847 4735 or visit Facebook.com/PhilippineTourOperatorsAssociation/.

Searching for the best hotels and affordable flights? Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new tourist attractions in Cagayan Valley, Philippines? Please follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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