If you think Islas de Gigantes is just all about stunning beaches, then think again. It offers more than that. Proof? One example: The breathtaking Pawikan Cave.
Pawikan Cave is one of the most popular attractions in Islas se Gigantes. In fact, it is included in most tour packages they offer. Well, I do not see any compelling reason why they shouldn’t. With its stunning beauty, any visiting tourist who loves nature will surely be left in awe.
If you are visiting Islas de Gigantes and if you love going extreme adventures, make sure you include Pawikan Cave in your itinerary.
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Here are the top reasons why you should:
The physically challenging terrain
To reach the Pawikan Cave, you need to take about 45-minute to 1 hour trek from the jumping off point, which is usually at a coastal community in Brgy. Lantangan, to the entrance of the cave. Not only that, you are going to hurdle a pretty unforgiving terrain. It will surely test your physical stamina, endurance, and of course, your patience.
The breathtaking panoramic view of the sea
The trail going to Pawikan Cave includes trekking along cliff edges overlooking the peaceful, serene waters surrounding the islands. The cool fresh air blowing in from the see offers relief from the exhausting trail going to the cave.
The rock formations and boulders
I should mention that Pawikan Cave is located at an area that is some hundreds meter above sea level. You literally need to climb up to get to the cave. Following the trail, you will come across along the way some unique limestone formations and boulders that you will surely find interesting.
The lush greenery along the way
The trail could be more hostile for trekkers if it were bare and exposed under the scorching sun, but thankfully, it is covered with dense canopies of towering trees and lush foliage, offering relief from the heat of the sun.
The surreal beauty of the cave
The first time I stepped into the entrance of the cave, the thought of “chamber of secrets” from the famed Harry Potter series came into my mind. The view was similar to those fantasy movies in my childhood.
The beauty of the cave can be enjoyed even at the entrance. Stalactites and stalagmites formed from over hundreds of thousand years greet visitors right at the entrance of the cave, complementing the beauty of the texture of the cave’s interior walls. Plus, there are living creatures (e.g. bats, rare bird species) inside the cave that will surely catch your attention (and imagination) .
Indeed, the cave offers a one-of-a-kind experience to behold.
And, again, if you love going extreme adventures, you should definitely include the Pawikan Cave in your Islas de Gigantes itinerary.
How to get there:
1. From Iloilo City, head to Ceres Bus Terminal (or Tagbak Terminal if you choose to ride a van)
2. Hop on a bus bound for Carles (alight at Bancal Port)
3. At Bancal Port, head to the tourism office to pay for fees (e.g. environmental fee); negotiate for a boat transfer to Islas de Gigantes
4. At Islas de Gigantes, negotiate for a caving tour.
Note: Caving usually is part of tour packages being offered in Islas de Gigantes. It would be a lot better if you get a tour package for this so you get a chance to see other attractions as well. If you want an exclusive tour, you can get it, but that would entail paying more.