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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Isabela-Cagayan: CALLAO CAVE

Travel Date: April 15-17, 2011

I love getting down and dirty. Outdoor adventure is my thing, so visiting the famous Callao Cave in Peñablanca, Cagayan is a must.

Caves are natural wonders that create scenes of eerie wilderness for the creative imagination, or an exotic adventure for the active explorer. There are over 300 caves in Cagayan, but only a handful are open to public. Callao Cave, with its majestic size, dramatic skylight and unique rock formations, feed the interest of both the experienced spelunker and casual cave visitor. What's good about Callao Cave is that it can be explored with no difficulty. You trek from one chamber to another, completing all of the seven chambers with ease.

Pinacanauan River as seen from the view deck, halfway to Callao Cave
Callao Cave opening
chapel inside the cave, used for weddings -- only four have been married here so far
one of the skylights that give natural illumination to the cave

The natural beam of light makes for a dramatic photo!

Although the cave can be explored by yourself, it would be good to get a guide on your first visit. The guide is adept with trivia and historical information about the cave, and can even inject some humor into the unique rock formations. There is no fixed service fee for the guide, as they only ask for donation. Actually, I prefer that they only allow visitors to enter with a guide to protect and preserve the cave. I've seen graffiti on the cave walls! It was heartbreaking to see this natural beauty being vandalized by heartless humans.

We were told not to touch this rock because it is biologically alive, and the dirt/oil on our hands may contaminate its composition. But if you look closer... see graffiti! :(

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