Manacota Cave and Underground River, Luna, Apayao Province

Explore Nature in a Different Way

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Manacota Cave and Underground River, is a natural place in the town of Luna in Apayao Province, where the river exits in underground cavern.

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The Manacota Cave and Underground River is one of the few subterranean site in the Philippines that remain unexplored by tourist due to inactivity of  the province in tourism aspect  for a long time. Many tourist and local travelers is unaware that the whole province of Apayao is one of the most promising tourist destination  with  its natural attraction that never found in any part of the country.

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These cave belong to a series of complex and fragile karts system  that gives visitors of a unique and stunning experience.

Karst is a term for a feature that forms on the landscape when water dissolves soluble bedrock such as limestone, marble, or dolomite. Many karts region display distinctive surface features, with sinkholes as being the most common, then spring and disappearing streams,  Most karts regions include thousands of caves and the water is generally underground.

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The entrance of the cave,  that may be a part of karts system ooze a water that look like small waterfalls and the blue green underground river, that  flow out from the main chamber of the cave, gives a pleasurable experience.

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 The Manacota Cave and Underground river  owned only one wooden raft, as they called it  Bullet, it made up of PVC pipes, they put a wooden stopper in its ends, to let it float, the front stopper is formed like a bullet,  then put it inside the wood that serves as raft.

The width of the raft is narrow and unstable, the design and the width is enough to get through with the rocks that obstruct getting inside the cave.

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Navigating going inside the cave.

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The raft is supported by a rope and haul it by the guide.

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The first and the last speleothems to see in the brightness of the day and the rest is total darkness.

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The nature at its best  on top of the entrance of the cave.

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Getting inside the main chamber.

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While waiting to others, everybody are excited, for what unique adventure activities that the cave can offers.

From here, the head guide asked the visitors, what visitors want to do, do they want spelunking or just water rafting? The group choose both.

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The most technical part is getting up for spelunking.

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The guide in the lower part is used as human ladder while guides in upper part is a support for the safety of spelunkers.

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Most of the spelunking are upward till it reaches the level parts.

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Stalagmites and stalactites in Lussok Crystal Caves (also located in Luna) is better than in Manacota, but Manacota gives  unique trill and awesome experience compare to Lussok Crystal Caves.

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The Manacota guides is highly appreciated when it comes in guiding  visitors, they are very exhausted in assisting to ensure the safety of spelunkers, considering the difficulty level in navigating the cave is genuinely technical.

But unfortunately, guides are lack of experience and knowledge, about the fascinating facts and the preservation and conservation about the cave.

Oolites or cave pearls are present in the cave, the guides never give any restriction about holding or picking those oolites, as well as touching stalagmites and stalactites.

In some areas, touching those flow stone are not allowed, where the natural oil of hands and or skin can ceased their growth.   Oils have an interesting property, that are not soluble in water, and in fact they repel water. Touching those  speleothems, this would just sort of go around, or maybe move over but not directly to that spot. It wouldn’t take long before the oil wash away, but it can already affect the way it grows by touching it frequently.

Manacota  is the latest wonder being newly open as tourist destination in the province, the guides are also new, whatever lousy  observation, we said, this is to improve their services, because Manacota is one of the best place in the country and it deserve the best services from the locals.

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 One of the grand stalagmites wherein the part of the underground river and the waterfalls are located.

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Modern travelers enjoys this kind of unique opportunity to observe wonderful geological features.

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The exhausted but exciting cave tour gives a personal achievement,  Aside from many astonishing features, Manacota cave and underground river offers more that will amaze everyone.

The rafting in underground river and to behold to the beauty of waterfalls inside the cave, is up next..

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Getting down at the edge of the underground river, and be ready to (rock) raft.

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Exploring the underground river. As mentioned the designed of the raft and its width is narrow and this is unstable. The noise of the ladies, men got disgusted also got fear but not noticeable..LOL

The fear in the dark was easily conquered but not  the fear of wobbly raft, ha ha ha

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The underground river is also a dwelling place of fresh water wildlife, like different kind of fish, like eels, shrimp and many others.

The place is exquisite beyond imagination. As formed by water erosion through the limestone rock formation, the lakes, the stream and waterfalls is so breathtaking and so astounding , and maybe, only one of a kind in the country.

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While the guide row the raft, the  opportunity to see limestone formation from a new perspective is a great experience.

Kayaking maybe one of the best thing to explore the underground river.

UNFORTUNATELY,  the guide, who is ahead of us, said, he saw the snake. Those who got fears in the wobbly raft got more panic. So the river rafting is cut, and we turned back.

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Manacota experience is considered excessive and too much and enough, but since we never see the waterfalls, and the river rafting is cut short,  we considered it as  UNFINISHED business.

 

 

How to get there? 

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 Getting to thecCaves, requires river trekking. The trek begins in the main barangay of Marag, same barangay, where the Manacota cave and underground river located.

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The trail is rewarded of clean and refreshing scenery of running water-river.  Trekking time is roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour, at a reasonable safe pace.

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The trail is  little bit long, but safe and can be rewarding a with fun, but you have to respect nature and your limits.

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A natural beauties along the way.

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Approaching the entrance of the cave, where the genuine adventure begins.

 

For more details about Apayao Province click the picture or just click  HERE

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 Related Post:

Lussok Crystal Caves

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Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • Apayao Tourism

 

 

 

 

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