Callao Cave Tour | Tuguegarao Travel Guide

Callao Cave Tour | Tuguegarao Travel Guide

After spending 2 days in Palaui Island, we have a day (well, actually a half day) to spare. So after dropping our bags to our hotel, we asked them if they can arrange a tricycle tour to Callao Cave. The quite bumpy trike ride took almost an hour. From the entrance, an environmental fee must be paid and a designated tour guide will be provided.

Must read: Cagayan Trip for less than Php 5,000 ($107)

Jump-off point

From Manila, the fastest way to get to Callao Cave is by plane via Tuguegarao City. Cebu Pacific flies daily directly to Tuguegarao and is only an hour plane ride away.

What We Did

Before getting into the cave, one should ascend the 184 steps. A glimpse of the Pinacanauan River will also be visible the moment you go up. The word ‘pinacanauan’ as narrated by our guide, means left-most in Iloko. This river is said to be the cleanest and is suitable for water activities as rafting, kayaking and fishing.

(Also read: our Palaui Island tour)

Callao Cave (6)The famous Pinacanauan River in Peñablanca, Cagayan.

When we were nearing the 184th step, we felt a sudden rush of cold air. A clear indication that the we were just close-by. Upon reaching the cave, there were a handful of people to which speaks to me as great. Callao Cave is a seven chamber show cave and said to be discovered by Theodore Roosevelt in 1932.

Callao Cave (3)

Since we arrived around past lunch time, the rays of the sun does not directly came through the cave though it would really be cool if we saw it. Our tour guide showed us the different rock formations inside the cave and most of them surprised us. I was amazed with the ice cream formation complete with flavors, I may add! Filipinos got some really active imagination.

And of course, the chapel. I asked the guide if there are many couples who have their wedding ceremonies there but she said that there are only less than 20 people who did. It might be because of the stairs, she added. There are also some water coming from some stalactites making the flooring muddy and slippery. Overall, the experience was great and it was nice learning new facts once in a while.

Where We Stayed

We booked our overnight stay in Tuguegarao in Hotel Joselina Main Branch. You can check out their rates on their website Rate per night is P850 for a room for 2 pax.

Food Recommendations

>> Pancit Batil Patong – Our lunch after we landed in Tuguegarao. We went straight Jomar’s, one of the famous panciteria in the city, to try this local dish. We only did one mistake though, we ordered two separate  meals. One is actually enough for 2 persons. With the never ending sahog, pairing it with sukang Iloco and poof, you got yourself a one delectable super food.

>> There is also a Luna StrEAT Park that is just around our hotel’s corner. A banchetto style of food park that you get to choose what to eat. We ate bagnet and chicharon bulaklak, a very deadly combination for high blood. Lol. It was really good though.

Travel Tips

• For the full effect of the light coming through the cave holes, be sure to visit the cave before lunch.

• Since there are 184 steps to ascend, ensure to have your water with you.

• There might be a ‘cheaper’ way to commute to Callao Cave but we didn’t do that because of the hassle. And we asked the locals about that long and broken commute and they are looking at us as if we’re crazy to do such.

**Our Callao Cave tour has been done during our Cagayan Valley-Tuguegarao trip last Mar 3-6, 2016. Pics were taken using Nikon D3100 and Sony Cybershot TX30.

Travel Expense Summary

Day 3 Expenses


Divide by 2

Van to Tuguegarao



Trike to Hotel Joselina



Hotel Joselina



Triple J’s Pancit Cabagan



Trike tour to Callao Cave



Entrance fee to Callao Cave



Tip to Callao tour guide



Native halo-halo



Dinner at Luna StrEAT




Php 2,554

Php 1,277


Our only contact for our Tuguegarao tour is Hotel Joselina. They are also the ones who helped us find a tricycle to take us to Callao Cave at a reasonable price. Their rooms are also clean but the Caggay branch looks newer though quite far from the center. Contact them at 0917-5538556 or visit their website

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Written by Tody Dino

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