Mystical Cave, Antipolo
Don't be fooled, we love the outdoors but I can confidently say we aren't a great hiking family. If you are anything like us then Mystical Cave will make you feel real good about yourself. For those over achievers among you there is an extended hike with a mountain look out you can tackle. I like to rate activities by their pay off. Mystical Cave has a relatively short travel time and a great pay off. It isn't breathtakingly beautiful but it was certainly easy and fun. It gets bonus points because every member of the family enjoyed it. Here's a little history:
"In 1970, Inday Nelly Deles discovered the Mystical Cave. They say that when she is 7 years old, she had dreams, visions about this cave. She is from Ilo-Ilo and she travelled around the country to find the cave that she was dreaming about. Until she reached Antipolo. When she found the cave, the hole of the cave is just like a coin, using gelignite, it exploded forming entrance thru the cave. Every Lenten season or Holy Week, many people visits the cave or even they sleep or over night in here. Mystical Cave it's not just an attraction to those who love to explore but also for those who are religious, and learning instuitions because many rocks samples are seen in the cave. It is 8 storeys deep but only the first floor is the allowed to be visited." Alluring Antipolo
Pack accordingly for your hike. Bring flashlights, head lamps, toilet paper, baby carriers, sturdy shoes and water. We went on a dry week so we didn't deal with any mud but you would certainly get muddy if the weather was wet. There are bathrooms, the type of CR you would expect along a hike but hey, at least they have one. There is a covered area for waiting or picnicking.
I only brought my iPhone so the pictures aren't great but at least you can get a feel for how vast the belly of the cave really is. Mystical Cave is covered in stalactites and stalagmites. We had a very sweet teenager for our tour guide. She was well equipped with knowledge and her English skills were good enough to explain to us all the interesting facts about Mystical Cave. Most of these facts are based upon religious symbols such as Jesus and Mother Mary.The name itself, Mystical, came from the holy images seen in the cave. I love how deep Catholicism runs here. The local townspeople put large buckets in the cave to collect water as it drips from the stalactites because it is laden with minerals and some believe the water is holy and has healing powers.
Getting to Mystical Cave wasn't too difficult as Waze and Google Maps both had the landmark. There was a bit of winding and the roads there aren't totally paved but it is still very doable. You can park your car on the road and then proceed up steep stairs for about five minutes. My toddler did this all by himself and loved it. At the top of the stairs there is a landing with the covered area, CR and fees. I believe it is 40php for 7+ and includes a tour guide, don't forget to tip! We spent over an hour in the cave and the last half we actually played hide and seek. It was awesome! And don't forget, there is hike to the peak of the mountain with a nice overlook but we didn't do it.
You can text to request a tour guide or check if they are open at 0905 567 5736. There isn't a real address so use a maps app of some type to get you there.