Cantabon Cave - Natural Pools, Stalagmites and Adventure in Siquijor
One of Siquijor’s best things to do and interesting tourist spot is Cantabon Cave. Located in central Siquijor, Cantabon Cave is an adventurous trail inside a pitch black cave beneath the earth.
From a small hole in the ground, local guides lead visitors into this unique Siquijor tourist attraction. Hundreds of stalactites hang from the cave roof and a stream of fresh water flows through Cantabon Cave creating natural swimming pools in this underrated activity in Siquijor.
How To Get To Cantabon Cave
Cantabon Cave is in the Central parts of Siquijor island. If you are in San Juan, which is the main tourist strip in Siquijor, it should take around 30 minutes of cruising along lush jungle and small villages.
The best and most popular way to reach Cantabon Cave and explore Siquijor is by scooter. Scooters cost between Php 250 ($5) and Php 350 ($7) per day depending on the number days you intend keeping the bike.
Roads in Siquijor are mostly concrete roads in excellent condition but you are bound to come across some odd rough patches which is just part of the adventure and nothing really to worry about. So just keep an eye out and take extra caution if any road works are taking place.
An alternative is to rent a tricycle for the day. Tricycles are basically cousins with Thailand’s tuk tuks and are scooters with an enclosed side car. A tricycle isn’t the most comfortable option but will cost around Php 1500 ($32) for the day and can carry up to 4 persons. The price also includes the driver who will suggest a route and best tourist spots.
Cantabon Cave in Siquijor
** Cantabon Cave is point B on map.
How Much Time At Cantabon Cave
The whole Cantabon Cave experience took us 1 hour and 30 minutes from start to finish. Around 30 minutes were spent organizing and getting prepared, walking to and from the cave. And for an entire hour we were inside the cave.
Set aside 2 1/2 hours if you are staying in San Juan which is a 30-minute ride away.
To give a perspective of our day. We started off the day at 7 am, went to Cabugsayan Falls, Locong Falls where we had fun diving in crystal clear water, had a local breakfast and arrived at Cantabon Cave at 11:30am.
Cantabon Cave Entrance Fee
The entrance fee to Cantabon Cave is 20 Php ($0.40c) per person and another Php 500 ($10.50) for the guides. The Php 500 guide fee is good for up to 3 persons and Php 100 for any additional person. The price will include life vest, helmet and maybe even flash light (fee for flashlight is unclear, it seems sometimes they charge a fee and others don’t). Considering the whole adventure takes around 1 hour and the price can be divided between 3, that works out to be $3.50 per head.
TIP: The Php 500 guide fee is good for up to 3 persons but if going solo this fee still applies. Try doing this tourist spot in a group.
When To Go To Cantabon Cave
We usually do our adventures and visit tourist spots early morning which is the best time for photography and to avoid any crowds. But since this Siquijor tourist attraction is inside a cave and there won’t be any natural light, tourists can visit at any time of the day. And regarding any crowds, Cantabon isn’t as popular as Cambugahay Falls, even so visitors are limited so don’t expect any crowds.
However, if it has been raining, Cantabon may not be accessible since there may be too much water or could be dangerous to let anyone in. Guides do take measures to ensure all visitors are safe so they will inform you of any situation.
What You Will Need
A few things you will need for this tourist attraction are water shoes, headlamps and a water camera or at least mobile phone water pouch. Water shoes and headlamps can be rented out for 50 Php each while paying your entrance fees. But if you have your own, you can avoid the extra 50 Php for the shoes and headlamp.
After Cabugsayan Falls, Locong Falls, and a great local breakfast with sausage, veg, meat, and noodles we decided to include Cantabon Cave. We were already in the higher lands of Siquijor when we stopped for breakfast. After a few blank stares and giggles from kids that don’t usually see tourists up here for breakfast, we cruised for a further few minutes to reach Cantabon’s jumping-off point.
Informative Cantabon Cave signs mark the starting point and indicate the booth where the fee is collected.
From here we were listed with 2 local ladies who would be our guides. It takes around 5 to 10 minutes to reach the cave from the booth.
A rusty steel door covering a hole in the ground leads the way into Cantabon Cave. Once inside, it was amazing how much the cave opens up. And hundreds or even thousands of stalactites drop down from the ceiling.
A stream of water is what leads the way into the cave. And from just ankle deep water, some point got deep enough for Jacqueline to swim in.
The cave continues for some distance when all of a sudden starts closing in. This is where we made a U turn and headed back.
Overall, the Cantabon Cave is an amazing tourist attraction that offers a bit of a mix to all the waterfalls in Siquijor.