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Apayao | Adventures That Are Truly Wow

Apayao may just be a place you knew from your Philippine history class. Or you may have heard of it before but never even got your fingers googling it somehow.


This far-flung province in the Cordillera Region, framed by lush mountainscapes & crouched by evergreen fields, is the  stuff of out-of-radar getaways. It’s a universe of eco-destinations, exquisite indigenous culture & quiet retreats.

Although none are held secret, they remain largely unexplored by many tourists. And when you decide to come, you’ll find that everything is worth the pursuit.

road trip

Get to Know Apayao, Now!

Oh you must have  basked on the beaches in Pagudpud. Sure, you’ve gone deep in the caves of Cagayan Valley. You’ve probably feasted on miki in Bangued & got inked by Apo Whang-od in Buscalan. But then you missed Apayao, the province at the heart of it all.

Where is Apayao?

The provinces of Cagayan Valley, Abra, Ilocos Norte & Kalinga surrounds Apayao. It is part of the Cordillera Administrative Region, dotting Kabugao as its capital town.


We may be more familiar with the name Kalinga-Apayao. But these two provinces have long separated in 1995. The Ymandaya & Imallod of the Isneg tribe are their indigenous community who live with the rest of the Ilocano population.


Kabugao is a first class municipality & is the center of trade, education, transportation & governance. However, Luna is also a preferred place especially among tourists since many attractions are in this quiet town.

What to See in Apayao?

Ecotourism is what they are most proud about. It offers its guests with various ways to experience nature — from underground rivers to skyscraping rock formations.


Note that there’s actually more to see than what’s on this list as the province continues to provide infrastructure support & guidelines.

Dupag Rock Formation

dupag rock formation

Perhaps, the Dupag Rock Formation in Luna is the most coveted attraction in the Province. This cluster of razor-like limestone rocks puncture the panoramic Marag Valley. While getting there is already half the excitement crossing a river, going up is an adrenaline-pumping fun.

Lussuk Cave and Underground River

Just when you think that only Puerto Princesa has an underground river, Apayao will surprise you with an equally exciting adventure.

Lussuk cave

The thrill begins with a short upstream paddle on the placid river leading to the mouth of Lussuk Cave. What makes this experience different from Palawan is the chance for tourists to explore the different chambers on foot.


Lussuk or hole in Ilocano used to be a hideout of the Japanese in World War II. It is also called Crystal Cave because of its sparkling mineral deposits.

Manacota Cave and Underground River

Manacota is just a hop away from Dupag Rock Formation. With a spout of raging river stream, this spot makes it awesome for a cold dip surrounded by massive stone walls.

Manacota river

This subterranean river runs about 700 meters illuminated by streaks of sunlight peeking through rock crevices & thick foliage.

Cagandungan Hanging Bridge

The thrill of standing on a rickety wooden bridge makes Cagandungan an attraction to add  on your Apayao bucketlist. Spanning about 150 meters, it connects Barangay Marag and Cagandungan. Also, it is the site of the annual Rakit Festival, parading its bountiful harvests aboard bamboo rafts.


Bayugao Falls

It might not be the highest or widest of waterfalls but these mutli-tiered cascades make up for a perfect adventure. It cuts through the thick of forest of Marag Valley & flows through a gushing roar of sparkling water curtains.


Emilia Church Ruins

The old church ruins of Emilia in Pudtol is a reminder of the short-lived Spanish conquest of Apayao. The Dominicans built it in 1684 but was abandoned in 1815 due to attacks of the local Isneg.


Mataguisi Church Ruins

Just close by Emilia Church are the ruins of Mataguisi Church. Today, what’s left of this 1608 stone church are its façade and some surviving walls.


Mt. Kilang

The Cordilleras is famous for chasing sea of clouds. And yes, Apayao is no exception with Mt. Kilang as its entry. But if you can’t scale its 1,656 elevation, don’t fret. Just drive up to Solsona-Apayao Road in Calanasan & soak in all the cloudy drama.


Why Visit Apayao?

It’s simple — give this place a chance to tickle your wanderlusting fancies. Allow them to showcase their colorful culture. Savour their indigenous cuisine. Explore someplace new.


When to Visit Apayao?

Summer is the best time to experience Apayao. Although, in May it can get really very hot. To add, heaviest rains come in December to February.


How to Travel to Apayao?

The fastest way is to fly to Tuguegarao or Laoag. Then, take onward overland trip to Kabugao. Alternatively, you can also take the bus from Manila to Apayao. Terminals are in the following locations: North Star Bus Line (Quezon City), Florida Bus (España).



Contact Apayao Tourism for assistance

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