Amidst the hills and forests of Aglipay, Quirino lies a network of caves that seem to transport you to a foreign land.
It’s a must-visit for anyone headed to Quirino. Here, you’ll find an underground spring, well-preserved stalagmites and stalactites, a miniature version of the Banaue Rice Terraces, and more otherworldly rock formations.
The caves and campsite cover 101 hectares and have been open since 1983. It is the ideal place for spelunking since there are 37 interlinked chambers in eight limestone caves, six of which are open to tourists and run to a depth of 20 meters.
A big cathedral-like chamber opens up as soon as you enter the caves, revealing its collection of stalagmite, stalactite, and other limestone formations.
Some of the interesting formations are a calcite structure that looks like the Banaue Rice Terraces, and a three-stalagmite tableau that resembles a wedding with a bride, a groom, and an officiating priest.
As you continue your journey within the caves, you’ll see more curious patterns, including rock formations that look like giant snakes and rollercoasters. Another noteworthy sight is the underground spring.
Exploring becomes even more difficult as you enter the heart of the caves. Because of this, all guests need a tour guide when spelunking. The caves get smaller the further you go in, forcing you to duck walk, crawl, and climb through muddy paths, gaps, and other tight spaces.
After exploring the caves, you will soon reach the exit. Aglipay will surely make its mark on you, as even leaving is challenging. You will have to climb up a slippery 26-rung ladder in dim light.
The Aglipay Caves and Campsite may be a tough adventure filled with challenges at almost every turn, but those who have the stamina will find this experience rewarding.
If you want to skip the challenging caves, you may opt to relax in the garden. The area is filled with lush greenery, and the tour guides added more flowers, such as African tulips, during the pandemic.
A campsite is also available for those who want the full experience and stay the night over.
If you want to do an overnight stay, you must bring your own provisions, including your tent and cooking set. Nothing beats having breakfast and a freshly-brewed cup of coffee surrounded by trees and caves.
Aglipay Caves and Campsite
Villa Ventura, Aglipay, Quirino
- Opening hours: Morning – 5PM
- Facebook: facebook.com/aglipaycaves
- Entrance fee: PHP 25 (USD 0.50) / PHP 200 (USD 3.92) for an overnight stay
How to get there: From Santiago, take a van to Maddela and alight at the road leading to the caves. Travel time should be one hour.
Tourist destinations in Quirino are ready for local travelers! Guests are required to wear a face mask and shield, practice social distancing, and regularly wash hands before dining in. These places have sanitary and contact tracing procedures such as registration and temperature check at the reception and using alcohol to sanitize hands before entering the premises. To know more about Quirino, visit https://quirinoprovince.online/.
To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel or the Google Playstore.