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Caving Adventures in Mabinay: Exploring Panligawan, Pandalihan, and Crystal Caves

Hey there, fellow Foxes! 🦊

Our latest adventure took us deep into the heart of Negros Oriental, to a town renowned for its subterranean wonders: Mabinay, the "Cave Town" of the Philippines. We decided to tackle the beginner-friendly caves of Panligawan, Pandalihan, and Crystal Cave – an excellent introduction to the world of spelunking.

Getting There & Essential Info

The drive from Dumaguete City was a scenic 2.5 hours, mostly on smooth roads with some winding sections as we got closer to Mabinay. The registration area for all the caves is conveniently located in one spot, and you can find it easily with this map:

The standard tour fee is 400 pesos for a group of up to 6 people, with an additional 25 pesos per person beyond that.

If you're looking for more challenging experiences, Mabinay offers Advanced-level caving (taking about half a day) and even Extreme caving, which requires pre-booking and rope training at least a week in advance.

For bookings and inquiries, contact: RUSSEL B. BALDOMAR 09161497616

Cave-by-Cave Exploration

1. Panligawan Cave (Courting Cave)

Panligawan, meaning "courting" in the local dialect, is a fitting name for this charming cave. It's said that couples used to come here to whisper sweet nothings in the echoing chambers.  The entrance is easy to access thanks to stone steps, and inside, you'll find stunning stalactites and stalagmites formed over millennia. The cave's highlight is a large opening in the ceiling that lets in natural light, illuminating the formations and creating a magical atmosphere.

2. Pandalihan Cave

Next up was Pandalihan Cave, known for its impressive rock formations and unique "cathedral ceiling." As you venture deeper into the cave, the darkness envelopes you, and your headlamp becomes your lifeline.  The path can be a bit more challenging here, with some scrambling and squeezing through narrow passages.  The effort is rewarded with the sight of glistening flowstones and the eerie beauty of the cave's hidden depths.

3. Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave is aptly named for its abundance of sparkling crystal formations. The walls seem to shimmer as your flashlight dances across them. This cave is a bit smaller than the others, but its beauty is no less captivating. The delicate crystals create an ethereal atmosphere that makes you feel like you've stumbled upon a hidden treasure.

Tips for Your Caving Adventure

  • Wear sturdy shoes: The cave floors can be uneven, sharp and slippery.

  • Bring a headlamp:  While the guides provide basic lighting, a headlamp gives you more freedom to explore.

  • Pack water and snacks:  Caving can be tiring, so stay hydrated and energized.

  • Be respectful of the environment: Avoid touching the formations, as the oils from your hands can damage them.

  • Listen to your guide: They'll ensure your safety and share fascinating information about the caves.

Our caving adventure in Mabinay was a thrilling journey into the depths of the earth.  The caves offered a unique blend of natural beauty, geological wonders, and a touch of local folklore.  If you're looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in the Philippines, Mabinay's caves are waiting to be explored. Check out our video below:

Until next time, keep exploring!

The Traveling Foxes 🦊


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