Best time to travel to Philippines

El Nido Caves in Philippines

Come closer to the history of the Philippines and discover its oldest caves

Best time: December–May

El Nido Caves

This is a perfect chance for you to take a look at the ancient history of the Philippines. Ille or Isle Cave is one of the most attractive archaeological sites of the country, as this place was home for the first people of El Nido. It's located at New Ibajay, 45 minutes from the town center. Nowadays, this cave is popular among tourists because of its archaeological value. Scientists have found pottery, human and animal remains and other artifacts dating back 12,000 years. As the roads leading to the cave are not paved it's recommended to visit the site outside of June-November wet season.

Even though you can use motorbikes, a significant part of the trip should be done by foot. There are several rules to follow. First of all, you have to register at the house located in the field. Also, you must have your own flashlight. Finally, hire a professional guide to join you. In addition to the Ille Cave itself, tourists like to climb the top of the rock formation, as the views are amazing there.

Another popular site to discover in El Nido is its pre-historic Cudugnon Cave famous for its marble cliffs, surrounding white sand beaches, lush mangrove forests, and enchanting lagoons. Mind that you will have to crawl through the narrow passage to get inside its main cavern.

Surreal Cathedral Cave is also to be explored. It has got its name thanks to its shape that resembles cathedral encircled with rocks. Getting inside is way more complex—you have to swim inside. But even if you are a good swimmer, it's still dangerous for the area is home to venomous sea snakes, so perhaps it's better to be viewed from a boat.

Also, if you're interested in diving, the underwater Paglugaban Cave would be the best option.

Generally, you can explore various caves of El Nido on tours offered by local travel operators. December to May is the recommended season for drier weather ensures better access.

Practical info

What is the ideal season for exploring El Nido's caves?

Visiting El Nido's caves in the June to November wet season is not recommended due to heavy rain and resulting impassable roads, making December to May the ideal time to go. This season provides relatively dry weather making the sites more accessible, but visitors still need to prepare for some challenging terrain. Show more

In which location can you find the renowned pre-historic Cudugnon Cave, and why is it notable?

The pre-historic Cudugnon Cave is located in El Nido and is famous for its stunning marble cliffs, lush mangrove forests, surrounding beaches, and picturesque lagoons. It requires visitors to crawl through a narrow passageway to reach the main cavern, but the rewarding views are well worth the effort. Show more

What should visitors arrange ahead of time when planning to explore the challenging Ille Cave in El Nido?

Exploring Ille Cave requires visitors to make preparations like registering at the house in the field, hiring a professional guide, and carrying a flashlight. To be able to explore the cave safely, you must join tours outside of the usual wet season (June to November) and be prepared for some significant travel to reach the cave. A considerable chunk of the trip must be made on foot. Show more

Is it safe or recommended to explore El Nido's caves on our own, or should we join a tour operator?

Exploring El Nido's caves alone is possible, but not recommended due to the specific equipment, knowledge, and skills truly needed to navigate through safely. Several reputable tour operators are available to provide specific tour packages making it easy to design a suitable exploration itinerary based on your preferences and requirements. Show more

What kind of equipment or experience do visitors need to explore the Paglugaban Cave in El Nido?

To explore the Paglugaban Cave located underwater, visitors will need a standard scuba diving kit, including a tank, wetsuit, and mask. However, diving into the cave requires experienced divers since the cave is in deep and dark waters. Visitors must also hire experienced tour operators to guarantee their safety and enjoy their experience. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin