Located on Panglao Island, off the coast of Bohol is the Hinagdanan Cave. The cave did not really make it to the top of our list while we were in Bohol but since the weather was rather dull with a lot of rain, we added it to our list. I won’t say that I was totally impressed but it is a great 10 minute stop if you are in the area. You can spend up to 30 minutes if you choose to swim inside it.
The best way to get there is by renting you own vehicle. We spent a lot of time riding around Bohol on our rented motorcycle. You could also choose to take a tricycle to the caves. Whichever works for you.
The entrance fees aren’t too expensive and there isn’t a segregation based on locals and foreigners here unlike in many parts of South East Asia. Adults pay 50 PHP, a ticket for a child is 10 PHP and you pay an additional cost of 75 PHP/ person if you want to swim.
A BRIEF HISTORY ABOUT THE DISCOVERY OF THE HINAGDANAN CAVE
The Hinagdanan Cave was discovered quite by accident. Way back in the 16th century, Bingag ( the area where the cave is located) was covered with thick vegetation. As time passed people came to live in the area and they cultivated it. The owner of the land was cleaning the area for his farm when he noticed two holes that were side by side. Intriguingly enough, the holes were only visible after the decayed trunks of some trees were removed. At first, he threw a stone in to find out how deep it was. Imagine his surprise when he heard a splash!
Later one of the big trees died which opened up the entrance that is used today. A ladder was carved in order to make the cave more accessible. In the local dialect, ‘ladder’ means ‘Hagdan’. That is how the cave came to be known as the Hinagdanan cave.
THE HINAGDANAN CAVE
The entrance to Hinagdanan Cave.
The descent to the Hinagdanan cave is fairly easy. Mind your head during the initial few steps as the roof is rather low in spots. A railing is set in place so you grab on to it in spots where the floor gets slippery. At first the cave appears rather dark but give your eyes a few seconds to adjust. You don’t need t carry a torch since there are lights placed at strategic intervals. I did not even need a flash to take my photographs.
As you proceed inside, look up. You will notice a lot of stalactites hanging. These occur because of the deposition of calcium carbonate and other mineralized water solutions (primarily calcium carbonate though) which drip down as water seeps through the limestone. They form a beautiful natural phenomenon and the Hinagdanan cave is a great place to see them.
As you proceed into the cave, a large pool of water will immediately come into view. This is the swimming area. Note that the pool is only 8 feet in depth so diving off the sides is strictly prohibited. Look up and you will notice the two holes from the story of its history. These are now covered and you can peer into them from above too. They help in illuminating the cave considerably.
The cave does get stuffy when the number of people increase. In fact, there is a rule that only 50 people can be in the cave at a time. That is why everyone’s time inside is restricted to 30 minutes each. If you aren’t going to take a dip in the water then you probably won’t need that long. Over all, I found that the cave made a great short stop on our way to Alona beach.