The Cavinti Underground river and caves complex is yet another of Laguna’s hot ecotourist destinations. Located in Brgy. Paowin in the municipality of Cavinti, the complex along with the accompanying Fall have rapidly grow to become a popular tourist destination.
Cavinti Underground River and Caves Complex
To see the cave you must first obtain a permit and sit for a brief safety lecture (orientation). All this is done at the Bumbungan Eco Park which acts as the take-off point. There are limited tours in a day and cut-off is 12 noon, It is strongly advised to book ahead to ensure you get a place. It can be very disappointing going all the way there to find out all tours are booked.
If you commute to the Cavinti Underground River and Caves Complex from Sta Cruz, tell the Driver to drop you off at junction going to Bumbungan Ecopark. The landmark is a cemetery at the Junction which is on your left. The ecopark is just a short walk from the junction or you can take a tricycle for P10.00 each.
The road going to the complex is not the best… 16 Kms of bumpy, rough dirt road to be exact. If you drive here I advise you to leave your car at the Jump-off point and take one of the 4×4 rides commissioned by the LGU to get you to the complex. Saves any damage being done to your car.In fact, from what I understand, you are NOT permitted to drive to the caves yourself unless you have a 4×4. If you do decide you drive all the way it is better to do it trip in summer as it gets very slippery on the dirt road once it gets wet and muddy. Fees are all listed below.
When you finally reach the caves, your guide will be there to assist you and go over the do’s and don’ts once more before entering the cave. From there you ride a balsa about 20 meters down the river and then trek for asnother 5 minutes to actually reach the cave entrance.
According to the municipal officer charged with protecting the area, the Cavinti cave are a class II cave system so visitors with tour guides can enter but out of 13 chambers of the cave, only 3 are open for tourists and one of those is only for the very fit We opted for the first two because the third one narrows down a lot and can get claustrophobic.
Once you enter the cave you find yourself entering a different world. A little into the cave you come to a huge open area called the “cathedral” for obvious reasons. If you decide to try caving at Cavinti Underground River and Caves Complex you should expect to do a bit of crawling in some areas as this is a real cave and doesn’t have a nice concreted pathway to follow. Also it does get dark in there so if dark closed in spaces freak you out… maybe this is not for you.
Together with Palawan and Sagada, Cavinti is one of the 3 municipalities that have a cave management plan. Unlike the underground river in Palawan, you can not explore the Cavinti caves via boat or bamboo raft (Balsa) because Cavinti simply isn’t flooded enough. But this means you can actually experience the cave instead of just looking at it from a boat.
The whole trip took us close to 6 hours including travel to and from the jump-off point. We had a refreshing swim in the river near the cave and then headed back. It was a great day with many good memories
- If you are looking for a bit of adventure not too far from Manila, then you should check out Cavinti Underground River and Caves Complex. If you are a “hardcore”caver or spelunker then the first two beginner caves may be a little tame for you but from what we are told, cave system three is pretty challenging.
- You should expect to get wet even if you don’t plan on swimming. The cave is wet in places and depending on the time of year, you might even find a subterranean waterfall sprinkling down on you. The bottom line is – dress appropriately.
- It is a good idea to bring your own packed lunch. The tourist industry in Cavinti is still in it’s early stages so food establishments are few and far between.
- The headlamp provided by Cavinti Underground River and Caves Complex is not that strong. If you are wanting to take photos inside the cave, bring a good lamp. It is also worth noting that a few other caves use kerosene lamps in the cave. this throws a wider light and also the yellow flame brings out the color of the stalagmites and stalactites from what I understand.
Caving Fee P500.00 per person ( for Foreigners P1,000.00)
Tour Guide: P400.00 per group
Transport: P2,500.00 good for 6-8 people.
You will be passing unpaved roads (muddy during rainy season). Long and winding roads- literally. Travel time to the cave 1.5 to 2hrs.
Your vehicle are not allowed unless you are driving a 4×4.
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Cavinti Underground River and Caves Complex
How to get there?
1. Ride Sta.Cruz Laguna Bound bus.
*From Cubao Quezon City, Take HM Transport or DLTB
*From Buendia-Taft near LRT Gil Puyat Station, Take DLTB or Green Star Express bus. travel is around 3 hours.
2. In Sta.Cruz, ride a jeepney to Cavinti or Lumot and request to the driver to drop you off at bumbungan eco-park. travel time is 1 hour.
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