Tucked away in the north-central part of Luzon, Nueva Vizcaya is a blissful landlocked province ringed by three mountain ranges: Sierra Madre on the east, Cordillera on the west and Caraballo on the south, making it a popular destination for outdoor and environment enthusiasts. Nicknamed as the “Citrus Capital of the Philippines,” this destination is alos famous for its high quality oranges, honey dew, sweet ponkan, and other citrus fruits. On top of it all, it is brimming with hidden treasures and wonders. Let Skyscanner take you to these five secret getaways in Nueva Vizcaya:
1. Capisaan Cave System
The fifth-longest cave system in the Philippines is no wonder the first on the list of the best attractions in Nueva Vizcaya. This 4.2-kilometer long cave in Barangay Capisaan, Kasibu exhibits rare calcite formations, pristine stalactite and stalagmite formations, and a subterranean river which doubles as a passageway to its best part. This spelunking paradise also called as Lion-Alayan Cave, its main entry and exit points.
An end-to-end trek in the multi-chambered cave takes about four hours, but not a minute would go to waste as the view that seems to resemble a lion’s teeth, just a whole lot bigger, will distract anyone from keeping track of time. Check prices to Manila
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_Photo credit: Rhaine Pineda_
2. Imugan Falls
A short 30-minute trip from the National Highway will take you to the Imugan Falls of Sta. Fe in Nueva Vizcaya—another natural and pristine jewel in the area hardly ever visited, but hard to miss as well.
Imugan Falls is a thirty-five foot-tall crystal clear waters resting high up in the Caraballo Mountain Range, falling into a shallow basin-like pool which flows all the way through the Imugan River. Prepare to be captivated by its secret beauty in the form of diverse species of flora and fauna all over the place. Oh, and breathe as much fresh air, too.
Passing through six to seven kilometres of rough road and hiking through another couple of kilometres are nothing compared to the view you are about to see and the activities you will never regret experiencing: swimming, fishing, trekking, or simply appreciating nature at its best.
Photo Credit: Travel to the Philippines
3. Mt. Ugu (Mt. Ugo)
This 2,086-meter high mountain is located in the southern portion of the Cordillera. It was discovered accidentally by volunteer mountaineers during a rescue operation in 1987 when a plane crashed on its slopes.
Apart from being a famous destination for mountaineers, Mount Ugu is also visited for the interesting and quite intriguing history. Rumour has it that, another plane has crashed in the mountain during the 1960’s, and ghost stories about victims, along with the 1987 crash, started to afloat. It was also explained that the word “Ugo” came from the Ibaloi word “Ugoan” which means “to cut the neck.” Urban legend also says it was the site where the invading Spaniards were killed, in the manner in which the mountain was named.
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Photo credit: BackPackersAdventures
4. Mount Palali
Mount Palali was once the hunting ground of the Bugkalots, Gaddangs, and the Ifugaos. The 1,705 meters above sea level-high mountain is bounded by the municipalities of Quezon and Bayombong. A destination for hiking as well a historical of a World War II tora-tora plane, it also displays dipterocarp forest containing a diversity of flora and fauna and offers a breath-taking view of the low-lying municipalities of Nueva Vizcaya.
The climb to Mount Palali takes several hours, and huge boulders indicate the end of the first half of the trek. Subsequently, the landmark known as Haring Bato, also known in the native tongue as Dinar-awan will be reached—the halfway point. The summit is forested, like its counterparts Mount Arayat and Mount Makiling—with pitcher plants, creepers, and wild flowers which again, makes it one of the most pristine places to visit.
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Photo credit: BoyReale
5. Dupax del Sur Church
Built in the 18th century, Dupax Del Sur Church is one of the oldest unreinforced brick churches in the Cagayan Valley. The essentials of an Old Spanish brick church like wooden floor, columns and lattices can all be seen in Dupax Del Sur Church. The church also has a museum that keeps centuries old church artifacts. The Dampol Bridge—yet another unreinforced brick-made structure along with a Spanish Flagpole are also some of the well-preserved Spanish monuments that the church displays.
The Dupax Del Sur Church, declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum, is a 45-minute drive from Bayombong.
Photo credit: Shubert Ciencia