One of the more obscure and underrated provinces in Luzon, the province of Quirino is slowly gaining attention from travelers looking for off-the-beaten path destinations. It may not have any beaches, but this land-locked province in the Cagayan region has lots of other spots to offer for adventure-seekers.
One of the best adventures you can do in Quirino is cruise along Governor’s Rapids, a tributary of the mighty Cagayan River where you can get a view of stunning limestone formations. Aside from enjoying the view through the clear, glassy waters, you can also try cliff-jumping from 18-foot high cliffs and rock formations along the river route.
On the boat ride back, you can also visit a cave along the river and take a dip under the powerful cascades of the waterfall inside.
Another popular tourist destination in Quirino is Aglipay Caves, located roughly 10 kilometers away from the provincial capital of Cabarroguis. Aglipay Caves consists of 37 interlinked underground chambers, with only eight chambers developed for caving for enthusiasts of different levels of ability. A complete tour of all of the accessible caves would take about two and a half hours.
Aglipay Cave has both open chambers and crawl spaces, with a variety of stalactites, stalagmites, and other geological formations. Some areas require visitors to duck walk and navigate through slippery terrain, making it a fun and exciting trip.
Bimmapor Rock Formation
Bimmapor is a rock formation sculpted from nature that resembles a ship’s stern about to sink located along the banks of Siitan, part of the mighty Cagayan River in Nagtipunan. The area is the jump-off point for boating, swimming and picnics along the river.
The rough sandstone landscape surrounding the rock formation looks strange and surreal with natural patterns cutting across its surface, making this an interesting spot for landscape and nature photography.
The town of Nagtipunan, where the Cagayan River cuts across, is ideal for camping and eco-tourism activities including trekking, swimming, boating, rafting, excursions and fishing, among others. Siitan is known for having one of the cleanest inland bodies of water in the country. Tourists can ride traditional wooden boats and go canoeing down the river. You can also try river tubing down the route and drift along with the current.
With its natural towering walls of limestone covered in lush vegetation, the area along the riverbanks is also being developed as a site for outdoor rock climbing.
For a truly scenic view, head up to Landingan Viewpoint, which is also part of the town of Nagtipunan. Getting here requires riding through a road framed by lush farmlands and majestic fog-capped hills.
It’s a wild ride to get to the top, and you pass through hilly portions reminiscent of Batanes. From the Tapao Viewdeck, visitors get a view of the vast plain surrounded by hills and mountains. Your reward is a majestic view overlooking the towering hills and the Cagayan River that cuts through the valley.
There’s a lot more to discover in the underrated province of Quirino. I can’t wait to revisit and see what else it has to offer!