Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol: Complete Guide

Our complete guide to the Princess Manan-aw Cave will tell you what you need to know before visiting this UNESCO Geosite.

Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

On our last day in Bohol, we set out to go for a refreshing dip in a cold spring, but somehow got lost on the way and ended up exploring Princess Manan-aw Cave instead.

The cave is hidden in the forests of Alicia in Bohol, and luckily we had our guides Bickay and Joy there to show us the way to the cave.

Once we entered the cave, we saw the most amazing mineral formations we’ve ever seen in a cave. And the cave is still very much “alive” – you can see water droplets forming new stalactites and stalagmites right in front of you. The cave literally sparkles.

In this article, we’ll give you all the information you need to know before exploring the Princess Manan-aw Cave. We’ll tell you how to get a guide for the cave, how to get to the cave, and what to expect during your adventure in the cave.

Princess Manan-aw Cave Entrance in Bohol, Philippines
Trey exploring Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

How to Get to Princess Manan-aw Cave

The Princess Manan-aw Cave is located in the hills of Alicia in Bohol, near the Cagongcagong Village.

If you want to visit the Princess Manan-aw cave, you’ll need to get a guide to take you there. You can’t enter the cave without a guide, and it’s pretty impossible to find on your own as its entrance is hidden in the forest.

Fortunately, the cave’s guides Bickay and Joy live right near the cave. They are licensed by the government and are permitted to take you into Princess Manan-aw Cave.

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Book your Princess Manan-aw Cave Tour by messaging the ATGA-Princess Manan-aw Cave Facebook Page or by emailing [email protected].

Guides for Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol

Princess Manan-aw Cave: Our Experience

On our last day in Bohol, we set off for an adventure in the Alicia area, a 1-hour drive from where we were staying in Anda. Our destination was a cave and cold spring, but we ended up getting extremely sidetracked.

The cave and cold spring we were headed for is called Inahagan Cave on Google Maps. It was May during Bohol’s hot and dry season – so this place looked awesome to go swimming and cool off.

We should have known better, but we Google-mapped our way there and got a bit lost though I didn’t know it at the time. We drove up large hills, dirt roads, and rice terraces, and somehow ended up at a dead end.

On our way there we saw a sign for Princess Manan-aw Cave. Trey being the nerd he is, recalled the name as he was looking up all the unique geological features of Bohol a couple of nights before. Since we were already here we decided to go for it.

Sign for Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

There were two street signs, one that pointed in the direction of the cave, and another advising you to go the opposite direction to check in if you want to visit the cave.

We were a bit confused but decided we should probably listen to the board and check in as they advised. And I’m glad we did – because there is no way we would have found this cave without them.

Something we’ve learned while in the Philippines – guides aren’t that expensive and they are extremely helpful. There usually isn’t a time when we regret hiring one (not that we’re ever given a choice).

Cagongcagong Barangay Hall for Princess Manan-aw Cave Permit

We rode to the nearby village of Cagongcagong and walked into its Barangay Hall to ask about visiting the Princess Manan-aw Cave. The man we met, Seville, hopped on his motorbike and told us to follow him down to the cave.

That drive down to the cave was the gnarliest road we’ve ever driven on in the Philippines. It’s an unpaved road with large rocks and boulders all over the place. Some of the roads in the Philippines are rough but this one was on another level.

Thankfully our motorbike had a good shock system cause that ride was bumpy as hell. We even bottomed out a couple of times. On some parts of the road there is a thin strip of concrete that you can drive on but it doesn’t last forever. It alternates between thin strip of concrete and bumpy ass road.

Bumpy road to Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

Seville rode through there like he was going on a casual drive while Trey was the tensest I’ve ever seen him riding a motorbike. Good thing this wasn’t his first time riding otherwise we would have been walking.

Finally, Seville parks his motorbike and we follow him to some local homes. We were a bit confused as to why we were at someone’s house but we go with it. Business is a little more casual here.

The people come out of their homes and they are super friendly. Their daughter even came out and took photos with us. Seville tells us that our guide is coming and these are his family members, same with our guide, which is his cousin.

Taking photo with guide's daughter at Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

Our guide Joy arrives and she goes into one of the houses and grabs hard hats and headlamps. She brings another guide, Bickay, then they lead us onto our great adventure.

The hike to the cave is actually behind their house, which is why we are here. We walk through a foresty area, some farmland, and then more forests again. We recommend bringing shoes for this adventure, but slippers are also fine which is what Trey wore.

Walking through forests to go to Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

After walking for 10 minutes, we get to the cave entrance. It’s pretty unassuming. It has some large stalactites in the front, nothing too unusual, I thought that would be it but no… our cave journey had just begun.

Princess Manan-aw Cave Entrance in Bohol, Philippines
Getting ready to enter Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

First, Joy gives us a rundown of the cave. There’s only one way in and one way out, and also to not touch the stalactites and stalagmites because they are still very much alive.

We enter the cave, and we notice it’s a bit damp in there. Cool and refreshing but damp.

Trey checking out stalactites in Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

The floor of the cave feels like you’re walking on a very thin playmat. Then all a sudden Joy points out the most gorgeous stalactites we’ve ever seen. They are shiny, reflective, white, and literally look like a crystal… and that is only the beginning.

Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol crystal

It was then that I really started to understand what she meant by the cave being alive. You can see the drippings of the water forming new stalactites and stalagmites.

Most caves we’ve been to are not like this… but this cave is fully active, alive, and well and still evolving to this day! To say we were awestruck would be an understatement.

Chloe and Trey in Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

As the cave kept going, we saw more and more crystal like formations. Bickay and Joy pointed out many interesting stalactite structures.

On the cave’s ceiling is a stalactite that looks like broccoli.

Broccoli crystal in Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

On the cave wall, there is a mineral structure that has been given the name Princess Manan-aw since it looks like a princess with a sparkly dress.

Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol minerals

We climb a ladder to get to the next level, where we were met by a giant spider! Neither of us had seen a cave spider before so that was something we’ll never forget.

Cave spider in Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

The cave itself is rather large, there are times when the ceiling is really high and you only need to duck down to go through passages a couple times.

Theres also a “photo booth” when you can stand within the stalagtites and take a photo, just be VERY careful not to touch them.

Our guides encouraged us to take a photo there. I was scared to send back the millions of years of work this cave put in but Trey went right in!

Trey posing in the "photo booth" in Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

At the end of the cave there is a fresh water spring source. You can’t see it as its down a gaping hole but you can definitely hear it. So cool!

Finally it was time to walk back and enjoy the cave’s wonders again. On the ladder down I noticed the craziest plant growth I’ve ever seen. Looked like thin black coral.

Our guides also pointed out one of the stalactites that fell to ground. They are unsure when the stalactite fell but it was before the cave was opened to the public.

On our walk back, our guides welcomed us into her home to get some shade and relax. We didn’t realize how tired we were from exploring the cave so it was nice to catch our breath for a bit.

Hands down this was one of the best caves we’ve ever been too. It was truly like finding hidden treasure inside a cave. I still can’t believe that getting lost lead us there.

What You Need to Know Before Visiting Princess Manan-aw Cave

  • We recommend bringing your own flashlight or headlamp with you when you visit the cave since the headlights provided by the tour are not very bright.
  • Bring plenty of water for your visit to the cave. The walk to the cave is short but very hot.
  • We recommend wearing closed-toe shoes to explore the cave, although slippers are fine if that’s all you have.
  • Children must be at least 7 years of age to do the cave tour.
  • Bring small bills – its not often they do tours here so don’t expect them to have change for big bills.
Guide showing rock in Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

Facts About Princess Manan-aw Cave

  • The Princess Manan-aw cave is one of the geosites of the Bohol Island Geopark, a UNESCO Global Geopark.
  • The cave is hundreds of thousands of years old and its formations are made primarily of calcium bicarbonate from the limestone rock.
  • Princess Manan-aw Cave is 195 meters long. The cave is connected to a cold spring which is the water source for the Inahagan Pool at Birhen Nature Resort.
Chloe in Princess Manan-aw Cave in Bohol, Philippines

Princess Manan-aw Cave Location

The Google Maps location for Princess Manana-aw Cave is inaccurate. In actuality, the cave entrance is located somewhere around this location. If you look at the location of that map pin, you’ll see its out in the middle of the forest.

If you want to visit the Princess Manana-aw Cave, you need to contact ATGA-Princess Manan-aw Cave. Alternatively, you can visit the Cagongcagong Village Hall first, then they will set you up with a guide, which is what we did.

Hi! I'm Chloe, a traveler who loves going on adventures through lesser-known places. I travel the world in search of the best hikes, beaches, and waterfalls. And of course, food!

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