Cagayan Valley

April 1912, Tuguegarao, Philippines: Highest temperature ever recorded in Oceania, 42.2 °C (108°F), this is the only thing I know about Cagayan learned from a game show in TV, I think it is “game ka na ba” if I’m not mistaken. It was Smart telecommunication ad who gave me the idea about Callao cave, internet blogs feed the information but major part of knowledge was aquired during my touchdown encounter in the city.

Welcome to the sunny city of smiles--Cagayan

Cagayan Valley occupies the north eastern tip of the Philippines, splended with surprising spots and sceneries, not only a home of genuinely hospitable people but ancient Filipino as well.

How to get there; Tuguegarao City is 50 minutes plane ride via Cebu Pacific or Air Philippines and 10-12 bus ride from Manila. For independent motorists, take the North Diversion Road and exit at Sta. Rita or if you are into Northern Philippines major backpacking you may reached Cagayan via Ilocos Norte, passing by the picturesque Patapat bridge. Where to stay;

What to do;

  • Go spelunking over the caves of Cagayan and see remarkable limestone formation in Penablanca. Being the cave capital of the Philippines in Penablanca alone has more than 200 caves and the most renowned is the seven chambered Callao cave.

A 67,00 year old human bone was extracted from this cave making it the oldest human remains in Philippines.

There are 184 cemented steps provided to reach the Cave. There is a chapel inside the cave with cemented chairs, experienced the beam of light coming from the outside when you visit it at the height of the sun. 20 pesos in the entrance it is actually a boat ride away via Pinacanauan River, tour guide fee is very minimal and will drift you in so much “aw” as you go along. Penablanca is one tricycle ride away from Don Domingo Market, I recommend you to bargain. Seek for much thrill excavate in other caves like the the second deepest cave in the Philippines–Jackpot Cave, Sierra Cave (but you need to ask permission first at DENR) or slides in the muds of San Carlos Cave.

inside San Carlos Cave

  • After spelunking clean you self in the Blue Lagoon where you can swim and dive also or just relax.

blue lagoon

then watch the Circadian flight of bats at 6:00 pm while sailing in the calm Pinacanauan River, boat fee is 600 php.

Pinacanauan River

  • Go kayaking in the I-II rapids of Pinacanuan River or go white water rafting in the class II-III plus high waters of Chico River (August-March)
  • Snorkel or scuba dive in Sta. Ana and Calayan. (March-May)
  • Island hopping and camping on Palaui Island (Sta. Ana), Fuga Island (Aparri), Camiguin, Calayan Proper, Dalupiri and Babuyan Islands of Calayan (February-May).
  • Wade in the refreshing cascades of Portabaga Falls in Sta. Praxedes, one of the tallest falls in the province of Cagayan. Sicul and Macatel Falls are the other falls in Sta. Praxedes.
  • If you are a Catholic do your own Visita Iglesia in the 7 historical churches that can be found.
Travel Tips; Being a sunny city of smiles light casual clothes are recommended especially during summer but avoid shorts and scanty clothing when visiting churches for propriety sake. Warmer garments are needed during the months of November to January.
Must try food delicacies; Alcala Milk candy, garlic longganisa, chocolate balls, carabao tapa, banana chips, chichacorn, patupat, royal bibingka, sinabalu, inatata, paua, pitchi-pitchie, and the pansit batil- potun.
Must buy souvenir items; handmade pottery and terra cotta, bamboo crafts, handade paper products, intricate baskets, fossilized flowers, scented candles, harp and cogon crafts, wooden furnitures and souvenir t-shirts.

One thought on “Cagayan Valley

  1. Hello! I love your adventure in the North.. I wanna ask how long was the trekking from san carlos cave before you reach the blue lagoon? 🙂 I’m interested to visit it soon!

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