Callao Cave in Peñablanca, Cagayan

I didn't research much about this trip because I knew that I will be with Chyng and the rest of the gang (tamad much?). Or maybe I really wanted to be surprised. All I knew was that we are going to Callao cave and Palaui Island for our Cagayan North stint, that's it. 

So right after our pancit batil-patong experience, the group headed to Callao cave in Penablanca, Cagayan. It was a 40-minute van ride (we rented because it's cheaper) and the occasional drizzling didn't help much. Our moods and our bodies were tired and right after eating pansit, we just wanted to nap. 

Arriving at the site, we were welcomed by some teeners who will be guiding us later on. There were 2 of them and both are in their 2nd year in high school. We paid 20 pesos each (10 pesos for students and senior citizens) for the entrance fee and any donation for the guide is encouraged afterwards. We saw some muddy visitors coming out of the cave and wondered why. It was still drizzling at that time so we went on with utmost care - for our cameras :)

our guides
Our guides briefed us on what to expect while inside the cave. We knew that it would be tougher because of the not-so-good weather at that time. We needed to climb up a few flights (180+) to reach the 1st chamber of the cave. It was 4:15 p.m. to be exact and we hurried to catch some good lighting inside the cave. 

so you think you're ready huh?
1st chamber
It was an easy way up because of the sturdy (but slippery) stairs. We noticed that the exterior of the cave looked like a big coral. The guide then said that they believed that everything was submerged in water before. We entered the 1st chamber and we were in awe of what we saw. A chapel inside the cave with the sunlight beaming towards it and the drama of the spotlights installed was just fantastic. We were ecstatic as we pointed our cameras on every angle of the chapel. It was just crazily beautiful. 

First thing I asked was if weddings can be held in this chapel, the guide said yes. There was a couple who got married inside this cave. Whew. Imagine this cave for a wedding? Hmm... 

Special mass is usually held inside the Callao cave. I'm assuming feasts of some saints and other special mass requests (?). I'm not a Catholic by the way hence the not-so-right terminologies.

source of natural light
look closer
We spent so much time on this area that we totally forgot the other chambers of the cave. It was muddy inside because of the rain and the low amount of sunlight didn't help either. We reached the 2nd and the 3rd chamber with our heads down 'coz we don't wanna slip with the thick mud inside. It was that slippery.

At that point, I removed my slippers and continued barefooted. I thought that it would be much easier so I left my slippers somewhere and the guide took note of this. We were the only ones inside the cave and it was more noticeable how important the natural light was. It was really getting darker and sad to say, the guides didn't have a light or a torch with them. But we continued with our guides telling us where to land are feet on. It's literally slippery when wet.

4th chamber

I don't like trekking or spelunking but having my group with me made it fun and enjoyable. In spite of the thick mud, we went on and continued with exploring this wonderful cave. Going back the 1st chamber was really pain in the feet (?) but we were happy that no one slipped or fell into those sharp, slippery and muddy rocks. 

an expensive treatment in salons - me? free.
Pinacanauan river
Our feet suffered but we were happy with what we saw inside. The cave's dramatic feel and with our heart's beating so fast with every step we made is just the perfect juxtaposition. We went to Pinacanauan river to wash the accumulated mud on our feet. There were some boats for hire if you intend to cruise along this river. It was 5:50 p.m. at that time and the coolness of water was just so soothing. Bottom line here - Never skip Callao cave when you're in Cagayan Valley region. And please, check out the weather forecast online beforehand. 

rock and roll (well rock only, we didn't roll thank goodness!)


  1. noted! :D Dapat maganda ang panahon. :)

  2. hindi ba mas nakakapagod kung may numero ang baytang ng hagdanan? o kanya-kanyang persepsyon lang yan? ;-)

    the shots of the cave are awesome!

  3. hindi ba mas nakakapagod kung may numero ang baytang ng hagdanan? o kanya-kanyang persepsyon lang yan? ;-)

    the shots of the cave are awesome!

  4. Unbelievable! Photos like these that capture the beauty of our country makes me really wanna say "It's definitely more fun in the Philippines!" :) Amazing photos, amazing scenery!

  5. inggit much naman ako dito. i love this kind of place :)

  6. hi nicole - tamaaaa... dahil isang malaking hassle ang putik na madulas!

    hi doc! thanks po ulit... actually, di mo na rin mapapansin ang numbered steps kasi maganda ang view ng cagayan river/pinacanauan river...

    hi jhengpot - you should visit it soon:) pero dapat di maulan...

  7. pag magandang place daw dapat pinaghihirapan, hehe! so para sa ating mga gala, sabak parin sa trekking... ganda tlga...

  8. salamat sa pagpapahiram ng mga shots. abangan ko ang palaui post!

  9. ganda talaga gladys... go kayo ni jowa dito :)

    oi chyng! no worries, anytime noh! nape preysyur na naman ako niyan.. link ko na lang siguro sa blog mo ang palaui post ko... hahaha...

  10. inggit! matagal ko na gusto pumunta ng callao cave at dahil sa post mo maslalo tuloy gusto ko na pumunta dun.

  11. .. parang toxic naman pag dyan ang venue ng wedding! mga bata pala ang guides nila. :)

  12. now I'm also planning a Tuguegarao-Palaui adventure.. nainggit ako sa trip nyong ito. I might just follow your IT :)

  13. hi josiah. thanks and kwento ka pagbalik mo from cagayan ha! try not to go there pag maulan..

    hi rob. toxic nga talaga. pag secret wedding siguro pwede..

    hi bata. surely! lalo na kay ate chyng mo. maganda write-ups niya :)

  14. i heard so many things about Callao cave from my uncle from Penablanca, Cagayan. he even said once that there is a chapel inside. he sometimes tell us to go there. maybe i'll make a visit there on my next vacation with my family. through you photos i can picture what's in store for me in Callao Cave. nice blog btw. :D

  15. wow! thanks MD... super nice talaga ang Callao, lalo na taga dun pala si uncle, just go there pag di umuulan para mas ma-explore ang cave :)

  16. Nice photos:) do you still have your van contact?

    1. Thanks Isabelle... Sorry po. I don't have the contact number of our van driver :(


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