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Cagayan: Callao Cave

Located in the municipality of Peñablanca in the province of Cagayan, Callao Cave is the most famous of the limestone caves found in the province.

Callao Cave is found in the western foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains of the Philippines. The cave is under the Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape
A huge sign says it all
Guess how many steps you need to take to get to the cave?
Yup it's 183 steps
The cave is probably the most "historical" cave in the country. In 2007 a fossilized 61-millimeter metatarsal bone of an early settler was discovered inside the cave. It was dated using uranium-series ablation and was found to be at least 67.000 years old. The remains of what was dubbed as the "Callao Man" antedated the 47,000-year-old remains of the Tabon Man. As a matter of fact, the Callao Man is considered as the oldest human remains in the Philippines.
The NHI marker
Aside from the Callao Man, another important historical figure found his way to the cave. In 1932, the then American Governor-General to the Philippines Theodore Roosevelt III visited Callao Cave. He is the eldest son of the 26th President of the United States. After his visit, he created the National Park system of the Philippines with the passing of Act no. 3195 in 1932. With that, Callao cave became one of the earliest national parks in the country. Callao Cave National Park was established on July 16, 1935, by Proclamation no. 827. It covers an area of 192 hectares of land. 
Can you see the image of the Virgin Mary?
Check out the "chapel" inside the cave
The man-made altar inside the cave
Check out the rocks. They're like swords hanging over your head.
Sunlight baby!
Hmm, another passageway huh!
On June 29, 1994, Callao National Park was reclassified and enlarged by Proclamation no. 416. It was reestablished as the  Peñablanca Protected Landscape. Its total area was further increased by Proclamation no. 484 on October 6, 2003. The park was then renamed as Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape.
The gang

To date, Callao Cave is the second cave that I have visited so far. For me, Callao Cave is like a time portal. When I entered the cave my thoughts were whisked back into the time of the cave dwellers. It was then that I got hungry for more knowledge which then inspired me to travel more to see more new places and learn more new things.
Our very knowledgeable guide Andoy

Not only that, when we visited Callao Cave, we were lucky to have a famous tour guide accompanying us during the trip.  Andoy Dalimag was featured in a very famous TV show not once but several times. His life story was even portrayed in Maala-ala Mo Kaya. He is famously known as the "batang tour guide".

Getting there:

Even the arch gives a hint of what we'd expect from the town
Finally 0 Km to Callao Cave (CC)
From Manila, ride a bus or a plane to Tuguegarao City. From there, rent a tricycle heading to the Callao Cave.

Overall rating


  1. Sobrang ganda...
    Another place to visit.. :)
    Love ur blog :)

  2. Tour package po ba yan o maghahire lang kau ng tour guide?
    Mga magkano po kaya ang budget kapag ng visit Jan?

    1. Hi there, actually unplanned trip yung Callao Cave tour namin. When we got to Tuguegarao from Sta. Ana, Cagayan para sa bus ride namin going to Manila, nalaman namin na 3 hours pa hihintayin namin bago kami makasakay. So nagrenta muna kami ng trike going to Callao.
      We payed 700 for a group of 6 (2 trike). Pero dapat daw mga 150 per trike lang sabi nung local na nakausap namin. Tapos yung guides sa callao libre yun. We just gave a tip kasi sobrang galing nung guide namin.


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