Quirino province may not be a usual tourist destination, but it certainly has a lot to offer especially for adventure seekers. One of the major tourist drawers of the province are the Aglipay Caves. Surrounded with several hectares of pristine forest in the heart of the province, the cave system can be found in Barangay Villa Ventura in the town of Aglipay. It is composed of 37 caves, 8 of which have been developed as tourist spots recommended for camping activities and other outdoor functions.
From Santiago City in Isabela, I took a van going to Maddela and get off at the road leading to the caves, travel time is about an hour, fare is 65 pesos.
From the high-way, I walked for about 250 meters to the registration area where I paid a fee of 25 pesos. From there, I walked again for another 100 meters to the entrance of the cave where I met my spelunking guide.
Entering the Aglipay Caves will surely provide you an overwhelming experience. The caves have spectacular and well preserved stalagmites and stalactites formations formed from minerals deposited by dripping water.
Several formations such as turtle, peacock, rice terraces, owl, snake and the wedding can be seen inside, just make your imagination work. :)
I must say, that the cave system is well preserved. This only shows that the local government together with the community had taken all the necessary precautions to ensure its conservation and protection. I am so happy to see towering stalactites and stalagmites, some bats and glittering geological formations. Truly an amazing work of nature!
As it is so dark inside, the guide will provide a lamp, but it is highly recommended that you bring your own. Bring extra clothes and get ready to be wet and muddied. I strongly suggest that you wear proper footwear as it is so slippery inside. Always be careful.
There are no fees to be collected by the guides, but I strongly suggest that you give them a tip.
For the less adventurous, the place is also perfect for relaxation. You can enjoy fresh air and the lush surroundings while having some picnic at the picnic huts in the complex. Accommodations are also available at a very cheap rate (300-500 pesos), they also have provisions for camping as well as cottages and dormitory facilities for overnight visitors.
HOW TO GET THERE
Buses going to Tuguegarao City in Cagayan pass by Cordon and Santiago City where vans are available for a short trip to Quirino. You can also take an RVT Bus bound for Maddela with bus terminal found in Sampaloc, Manila. Travel time from Manila is about 8 hours, fare is around 400 pesos.
Want more? To read my other spelunking adventures, click here.
This is part of my 3-day trip to the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Isabela that happened last March 2-4, 2012. Join me as I explore the caves and the waterfalls in Quirino, the 56th province on my list!
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