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Cathedral Cave

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

39GM+GRM, Pinasil Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Tutya
Local tour guide
"Visit Cathedral Cave in the late afternoon to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more serene experience; the natural acoustics are even more impressive when it's quieter. Also, don't forget to bring a waterproof bag for your electronics, as the water can get choppy and splash inside the cave."

What is Cathedral Cave?

Cathedral Cave is a mesmerizing natural wonder located in the majestic limestone cliffs of El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. Known for its towering structures and the mysterious, ethereal atmosphere within, the cave got its name because of its cathedral-like dome and the spiritual ambiance evoked by its natural architecture. The cave is partially submerged in water, which means that it is accessible mainly by boat, and visitors often find the experience of entering the Cathedral Cave both awe-inspiring and humbling. The echo of water droplets, the shimmering play of light against the cave walls, and the hushed silence all contribute to a sense of being in a sacred and ancient place.

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History of Cathedral Cave

While there might not be a vast written history specifically about Cathedral Cave, the geological history of Palawan and its limestone formations date back tens of millions of years. These formations were created by the accumulation and the eventual erosion of coral reefs during geologic times when the sea level was much higher than today. Through the ebb and flow of the Earth's natural processes, including the movement of tectonic plates, sea level changes, and the natural acid in rainwater, these dramatic karsts and caves were formed.

The local people of El Nido and even those before, perhaps the ancient Tagbanwa tribe, have known about these caves for centuries, using them as navigational markers, sources of freshwater, and even as burial sites. Legends and myths have been woven into the very fabric of Cathedral Cave. For the indigenous Tagbanwa, these formations are often considered sacred, home to spirits and deities of their animistic beliefs. As El Nido became a popular destination, Cathedral Cave turned into one of its iconic highlights, visited by those who seek both adventure and a connection to the primal beauty of nature.

Why is Cathedral Cave Important?

Cathedral Cave holds significant importance both from a natural and a cultural perspective. Ecologically, the limestone formations it resides within plays a vital role in the biodiversity of the region. These areas harbor unique ecosystems, both above and beneath the water, serving as habitats for various endemic species. The cave, like many natural attractions in Palawan, helps to draw international attention to the need for conservation and sustainable tourism in these fragile environments.

Culturally, the cave stands as a testament to the rich heritage of the people of Palawan, linking the present with the ancient past. The legends surrounding the cave, as well as its use by indigenous people, contributes to its importance as a part of the local folklore and identity. Moreover, Cathedral Cave and similar formations in the area are economic assets, crucial to the livelihood of many locals who are involved in the tourism industry.

From a visitor's perspective, Cathedral Cave represents an untouched piece of natural wonder that promises a unique experience. It is one of the few places in the world where one can witness the impressive melding of earth's geological history with present-day natural beauty, surrounded by the clear waters of the Bacuit Bay.

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Things to Do & See at Cathedral Cave

Visiting Cathedral Cave is an adventure that begins with a scenic boat ride, weaving through the turquoise seas and surrounding limestone cliffs. As you approach the cave, you'll notice the clear waters change in gorgeous hues due to the varying depths. Upon entering, the first thing you might notice is the vast open space that resembles a cathedral's interior, with stalactites hanging like chandeliers from the vaulted ceiling.

The play of light inside the Cathedral Cave is truly a sight to behold, casting shadows that dance on the walls and illuminate the water below. It's a perfect moment for reflection and photography, capturing the eerie beauty and the sublime nature of the cave. Visitors can carefully explore the cave’s nooks and its waters, either swimming or by kayak, always being respectful of this natural marvel.

For those interested in the biodiversity of El Nido, it's worth paying attention to the unique plant and animal life within and around the cave. Bats and swallows are common residents, and their presence adds an extra layer to the cave's mystical aura. When visiting the Cathedral Cave, it’s crucial to be mindful of the environment, ensuring that this wonderful attraction remains pristine for future generations.

Frequently asked questions

What is Cathedral Cave in El Nido?

Cathedral Cave is a natural limestone cave located in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. Known for its high ceilings that resemble a cathedral's interior, it is a popular spot for tourists who enjoy exploring unique geological formations and experiencing the beauty of El Nido's marine environment.

How do I get to Cathedral Cave in El Nido?

Cathedral Cave can be reached by boat as part of various island hopping tours offered in El Nido. The cave is situated on one of the limestone cliffs along the coast, and it is often included in Tour B or C itineraries, which are popular among visitors to the area.

Can you swim inside Cathedral Cave?

Swimming inside Cathedral Cave is generally not recommended due to the cave's structure and potential for boat traffic. However, visitors can admire the cave from their boats and take pictures of the impressive rock formations and the cave's cathedral-like appearance.

What should I bring when visiting Cathedral Cave?

When visiting Cathedral Cave, it is important to bring essentials such as sunscreen, water, a hat, and a camera to capture the stunning scenery. Wearing water shoes can help protect your feet from sharp rocks. It's also advisable to bring a waterproof bag to keep personal items dry.

Is there an entrance fee to Cathedral Cave in El Nido?

Access to Cathedral Cave is typically included in the island hopping tour package. However, El Nido has an environmental fee that is required to be paid by all tourists, which goes towards the conservation and maintenance of the natural attractions, including Cathedral Cave.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

39GM+GRM, Pinasil Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps