Like other limestone caves it exhibits a wide variety of unique formations. Much of the interior of this cave is filled with stunning forms of stalactites and stalagmites similar to those found in other caves. In addition, you’ll see the fractured blocks of clusters, pointed forms hanging upward and sharp pinnacles grown into giant proportions rarely seen elsewhere. The strangest sights was a magnificent work of nature that goes beyond geological formations.
Callao cave– one of 300 limestone caves with seven chambers located in the barangays of Magdalo and Quibal in the municipality of Penablanca about 24 Km northeast of Tuguegarao city and within a well protected zone. Callao is named after a village in the area. It is a natural tourist attraction and a cultural treasure of the country. Callao cave has an elevation of 85 meters and a coordinate of 17′ 42 North latitude and 121 49 East longitude. The limestone formation consists of 540 meters of reef carbonates formed during the late Miocene and early Pliocene. It was first excavated in 1979-1981 by a team led by Maharlika Cuevas of the National Museum.
The discovery of Callao man in 2007
Excavated by a team of local and international archaeologist led by Dr. Armand Salvador B. Mijares at a site in Callao cave, human metatarsal confirmed the bone is 67,000 years old which is much older than the ”Tabon man” at 47,000 years old. The bones referred to as Callao man or ”Homo-Luzonensis” predates homosapien bones discovered earlier in history. In addition, similar skeletons and ancient tools and other kinds dating back 10,000 years ago. All discoveries are a reminder of early settlers, this cave serves as ancient dwelling and it is also a reminder that early people lives here 70,000 years ago.
Dr. Armand Salvador B. Mijares – a Filipino archaeologist , a professor of Archaeology at the University of the Philippines and the main author of ”Journal of Human Evolution.”
Note: Complete photos of Callao Cave from first to the fifth chamber. Only the entrance of sixth chamber shown. Chambers 6-7 have been sealed off to the public, access is restricted due to landslide and erosion.
Upon arrival , purchase your tickets here. For your safety and convenience, avail their services, student cave guides are available.
Operating hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 PM
Admission ticket prices
Student with ID— P10
Senior Citizen— P15
Children below 12— P10
Wedding Pictorial— P500
Operating hours 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Always remember the Caver’s Creed > Take nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but footprints, Kill nothing but time.
Be a responsible caver > No food allowed inside the cave. Littering / Throwing garbage and vandalism inside the cave is strictly prohibited and punishable by law.
This is a well deserving break to explore the beauty of Callao cave. Like most visitors, my adventure starts here. Climbing 184 steps to reach Callao cave is the most challenging part of my adventure but fully excited to reach the top. I prepared everything in advance to make climbing easier for me, definitely, water is a must-need and backpacking makes a lot more to feel free and shoulder my balance. What a sweaty day! This is an intense workout catching my breath, you need endurance and it takes more effort before you’ll see nature’s beauty.
Not a first timer to visit Callao cave, I’ve been here a couple of times never had a problem. I was born in Piat Cagayan, my small hometown is just 40 mins away from Tuguegarao. Piat, my birthplace where I spent most of my life surrounded by people I grew up with. When I moved to Manila leaving behind my roots, I can’t help but to remember the good times and old memories of my birthplace, leaving my hometown that I love and community of friends was hard.
I never fail to visit my hometown, the place where I’ve started from. The good thing, I was given the chance to re-visit Tuguegarao city and Callao cave again. I have this feeling that if you leave for so long and return for a short vacation, it feels like I’m a tourist to my own backyard. I’m back again! It’s hard to think that after having such a good time and reluctant to leave again.
The aerial view of Peñablanca Cagayan taken from an elevated point of Callao cave.
A good view comes after the hardest climb. You can just imagine the amount of effort put forth , I was so relieved it was over! I must be honest to you > Climbing 184 steps was truly exhausting, my fitness level is good but my strength is nowhere near the strength that i had back in my heyday..
The entrance of Callao cave
The First Chamber of Callao Cave
The first chamber converted into a chapel where masses are held during scheduled Sundays and Holy Fridays.
Callao cave, the best known limestone cave in Cagayan.
The first chamber is the welcome area, large and spacious. It is considered as the best chamber.
The 2nd Chamber of Callao Cave
Hiking around passing through the chambers. Memories come flooding back my past visit to the same old cave. I was trying to recall and compare current changes however, I didn’t see any except for the excavation site at the side entrance. My mind thoughts, as you get older, you’ll face connectivity issues out here.
I’m adopting myself to life in the dark for a while . I’m experiencing a strange feeling to see multiple bats hanging, the atmosphere was dark and cold. It creeps me, life inside this cave is totally different from the life outside world.
The best day tour companions, from the left; Elvie, Baby Lanz, Dr. John, me and Kuya Tom Marvie. My unforgettable memories: taking photos and to bond sweet moments.
As I go deeper to the higher chambers, you’ll see unique rock formations.
The Third Chamber of Callao Cave
Sun rays through the cave, pretty enough to illuminate the third chamber.
Hanging stalagmites grows upward of the cave, column formed under many process of wind-born sediments and water dripping from the cave.
Pausing for a break before entering the next chamber. That Girl in yellow shirt named ” Mary Ann is our cave guide for 2 hours.
Cave formations carved by mother nature.
The Fourth Chamber of Callao Cave
This is how mother earth was made. Incredibly beautiful!
Inside the cave is a combination of light and darkness.
A hard climb going to the fifth chamber, the floor is too slippery.
Moving deeper and darker..
Following the hiking trails
Pretty light rays glows in the dark, the big hole up there was carved by mother nature.
The Fifth Chamber of Callao Cave
Callao cave interior looks like another world, it’s a hidden world of light and darkness, peace and tranquillity.
Hiking and trekking can be a pretty thing for a while, I can still manage to smile after an hour climb.
Entrance of fifth chamber of the cave.
The Sixth chamber of Callao Cave entrance. My three hours cave adventure twists through all sorts of wondrous rock formations.
From my last visit, I stayed for more than a week but no matter how long I visit for, it was never enough, time wasn’t sufficient enough to explore the whole of Cagayan. Hoping next year life will return to normal, will get the chance to visit Cagayan again. Thanks God for meeting old friends, relatives, town mates and all people I’ve known longest time. Sadly, we weren’t able to make our way to Sta. Ana but soon..
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Coming up next>>” Iguig Calvary” and ”Poor Claire”