Discover Cagayan Valley’s hidden treasures!

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Cagayan Valley is more than just Palaui Island hopping and beach bumming. These are the awesome but lesser known locations in Cagayan that will help satisfy your adventurous soul:

Duba Cave: I think a more appropriate name for this cave is The Bat Cave. This is a submerged cave that has an enchanting appeal. We had to use ring floaters led by our guide to enter this cave. Since the water is high at this time of the year, our guides deemed it unsafe to take us to the end of the cave which has a waterfalls. We waited until 5pm to witness the circadian flight of the bats which was really amazing! We had the best seat in the house for a really close encounter with their flight as we waited for our guide to retrieve my gopro which fell in the 5-meter deep water inside the cave. All is good. 🙂

Blue Water falls and cave: I lost count of the numerous cascading waterfalls that we passed as we headed to the Blue Water cave. As soon as we reach a picture-perfect spot we would overlook a falls one after the other and we reacted with increasing awe and excitement each time.

The cascading falls ends at Blue Water cave. Well, actually it extends inside the cave. Most parts of the cave, if not all, is submerged in flowing water with some areas having strong current and and some have still water that only god knows how deep. We managed to reach the area of what they call “Olympic Pool” (water basin literally as big as an olympic pool) which took us about an hour out and back.

There’s this small waterfalls hole on the at the Olympic Pool wall which has to be climbed/entered that leads to the cave’s 1st pitch. You’d have to do a seemingly endless swim and a 13.5m vertical climb before reaching this area (appx. 2hrs) — this is what we’ll go back for on a summer because currents are too strong during non-summer months!

Lipit Canyon: I have a theory that this was a former cave that was literally cracked open from the ceiling! The narrow stream is walled with formations just like what you see inside caves! This is a 5km stretch that has to be swam (flowing water, some parts has strong currents) to reach the caves at the end. They have around 5 caves in the area. Again, it is best to do this during summer.

Sierra Cave: this lesser known cave just sits beside Callao Cave. This is not really open to public though… The cave’s entrance and exit has locked gates which is only accessible to SMOC (Sierra Madre Outdoor Club) members. Thanks to the hospitality and generosity of the SMOC president and senior member, we were privileged to enter this cave. (Without us even asking for it! Yey! It seemed like having bonus level in a computer game. Hehe).

They have closed this cave to avoid having the same fate of the dead (but still wonderful) Callao Cave. They plan to open this in the future, but with closer monitoring and control of tourists.

It does seem that summer is the best time to visit Baggao, but during non-summer months the cascading water falls is in full glory! They might not be as appealing as they are during the rainy season. So might as well got there now and go back for the summer! 🙂

Itinerary Cagayan Valley (Baggao, Peñablanca, Sta. Ana) travel adventure during the APEC Holiday, November 17 to 21 (5D4N)

Day 0: Duba Cave | Laglagto River

0800 – ETA Tug (coordinate with SMOC for guides and transpo; rented van going to San Jose, Baggao)
0900 – Breakfast – Fefang’s panciteria (60-90php / Pancil Batil)
1000 – off to San Jose, Baggao
1130 – check in @ Country Inn
1230 – off to Laglagto River & Duba Cave
1800 – circadian flight of the bats @ Duba Cave
1830 – go back to hotel | dinner

Expenses:

guide: 500php
salbabida: 320php for 4pcs
entrance fee: 20php/pax (10php laglagto, 10php duba)
gears: (helmet & life vest) 40php/pax
transpo: rented van from TUG to San Jose – 1,500php
transpo: rented pick-up from country inn – 600php RT
Country Inn – 1,200php/night for 2
Day 1: Blue waterfalls & cave | Lipit Canyon

0530 – breakfast @ Country Inn
0630 – off to Blue Water falls & cave via rented van
0745 – eta jump off
1030 – lunch @ blue water cave entrance
1130 – explored cave until “Olympic Pool”
1230 – off to Lipit canyon
1300 – ETA Lipit canyon
1500 – back to Country Inn via rented van

Expenses

rented van RT – 2,000php
Blue Water entrance fee – 20php/pax
Country Inn – 1,200php/night for 2
Tip: bring packed lunch from hotel (for yourself, the guides and driver)

Day 2: Sierra Cave & Callao Cave

0630 – breakfast
0730 – ETD to Tug-Callao via rented van
1000 – ETA Sierra Cave
1100 – exit Sierra Cave / wash up @ river side of Callao Cave
1115 – enter Callao Cave
1230 – exit Callao Cave / change clothes
1330 – Lunch @ RGT Bulalohan
1445 – ETD to Sta. Ana
1815 – ETA @ Sta. Ana – Eden’s Lodge
2000 – Dinner

Expenses

guide – 600php
rented van – 2,500php (Baggao-Peñablanca-Tuguegarao)
parking fee – 30php
Callao Cave entrance – 20php/pax
public van from Tuguegarao to Sta. Ana – 180php/pax
Eden’s Lodge – 1,200php/night for 2 (with AC and hot shower)
Day 3: Island Hopping

0530 – breakfast
0700 – start of island hopping

Cape Engaño
Punta Verde – Batatubot Falls
Anguib beach
Puzo Robo – via van (less than 10mins from Anguib Beach)
Crocodile Island
1630 – ETA an departure from Port San Vicente (picture @ last KM marker
1700 – ETA Jotay for merienda
2000 – Dinner

Expenses

3500 boat + 50/pax day pass + 20/pax environmental fee
cape engaño – 600php for 2 guides
punta verde – 100php for 2 guides
punta verde – 100php for 2 guides
anguib to pozo rubo RT – van 800php (Sir Arnold’s brother own the van) – you can opt not to go here
Pozo Rubo entrance fee – 50php/pax
tricycle to eden’s – 120php
Eden’s Lodge – 1,200php/night for 2
Day 4:

Flight to Manila

van to Tug – 200php/pax
terminal fee – 150php/pax
Net expense per pax for a group of 6 = appx 5,325php
Exclusions: food, tip for guides and drivers, manila-tuguegarao-manila fare

TIPS:

There are different tour packages offered by CV Traventures for a hassle-free Baggao tour. Please coordinate with SMOC – Ma’am Karen, who will tirelessly help you out and respond to all your queries. 🙂
we’ve been renting transpo since it is more convenient. They don’t have a standard rate for this, but they offer the best price they could so be generous. (Wag na tumawad. Support local. Nahihiya pa sila magsabi ng price sa amin. Don’t forget to include their meals (and the guides’ as well) because they pick you up really early in the morning and wait for you the whole afternoon.
during your dinner at Country Inn, ask to have your breakfast served at your desired time in the morning and order already for your packed lunch. (Look for Chris – sobrang maalaga. Hehe)
it is best to do caving in Baggao during the summer, but if you also want to enjoy the waterfalls go there during non-summer months. (Pwede naman balikan depending on the activity that you want to do)
when you contact the referred persons please mention my name and that we’re the group who went there during the APEC Holiday. 🙂
Notes:

Sobrang ganda po ng Baggao. I hope when you go there you keep it as it is. LEAVE NO TRACE.
This is an adventure so be ready to go hiking, river crossings, swimming, spelunking, rappelling, drenching in bat poo and pee, encounter wild animals inside the cave (don’t harm them, mas takot pa sila sayo kesa ikaw sakanila) and many more. Enjoy lang and keep safe smile emoticon
Salamat sa group na biglaan ang pagsama sa amin at sobrang game lang sa pagpapaubaya ng itinerary sakin (kahit kailangan nila gumising at bumangon ng maaga. Haha) more adventures to come Edmon, Mark, Dex, Joel.

Sobrang salamat din sa SMOC (Ma’am Nida, Sir Francis, Ma’am Karen, Ma’am Joan and DJ) na hindi kami pinabayaan at nag assist all throughout out stay in Baggao and even in Sta. Ana. God bless these people. 🙂

Contact number/s:

Van: Kuya Renz – (0935) 497 9750
Kuya Victor – (0915) 948 0469
Boat operator/owner: Sir Arnold Peralta – (0915) 467 0964
Country Inn, San Jose: (0917) 685 2837
Eden’s Lodge – (0917) 881 5129

More photos here!

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