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Exploring Hinagdanan Cave on Panglao Island, Bohol

Hinagdanan Cave is a site I definitely didn’t expect to find in Bohol. Crawling down the tight entrance reveals a huge naturally lit underground cavern with a turquoise blue lagoon.

It’s certainly a pretty epic cave. However, when I went it was a little crowded, which didn’t complement the ambiance. In this guide, I’ll help you find it on your trip to Bohol and give you some tips to make the most of your visit.

Olly gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler & adventure photographer for 6 years with 700+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.

What is Hinagdanan Cave?

Hinagdanan translates to "laddered" cave.

The story has it that the cave was accidentally discovered by a farmer while clearing his land. The farmer then built a ladder down the hole for the village to enjoy the cool waters below.

It's heavily disputed as to when this occurred, however, it is said that villagers used the cave to hide from the Japanese Imperial Army invasion during World War Two.

Cave Details

Hinagdanan Cave is a 100 m wide grotto with large limestone rock formations. Several large stalagmites and stalactites cast impressive shadows when lit from the holes above which creates a really beautiful scene for travel photography.

The entrance to the cave is very narrow and short. However, it won't take long before the cave opens up to reveal a large cavern.

From here, you'll get to see the epic blue fresh water that is great for swimming.

Water in hinagdanan cave

How to Get to Hinagdanan Cave in Bohol

Hinagdanan Cave is located in Dauis, a small municipality in the famous tourist island; Panglao.

When I first visited in 2017 after my trip down the Loboc River, the cave was relatively unknown. However, due to the proximity to popular tourist hotels, resorts, and guest houses, the cave is very popular these days and you'll likely share it with many other tourists.

Depending on where you are staying in Panglao, you will most likely be able to walk there. My advice is to follow the directions on the map below.

Otherwise, several tricycle drivers would be happy to take you for 150-200 pesos from most hotels in the area.

Below I've pinned the exact location of Hinagdanan Cave to help you find it.

Map of the panglao ladder cave in bohol

Is the Cave a Tourist Trap?

While I was definitely impressed with the beauty of Hinagdanan Cave, I personally think it was a little too crowded, even during my first visit. And, recent reports from other travelers I've met, plus the photos you'll see on Instagram, suggest it is much more popular now.

Now, you will realize as soon as you are near the entrance just how much industry is built up around the attraction. There are stalls, vendors and even a ticketing office to see the cave.

While I appreciate that locals are rightly turning a profit off their natural wonders, I'm not too sure if it's a place I'd visit again. The cave was cramped and full of people swimming with life jackets. This made it difficult to even move let alone explore.

Furthermore, the cave does smell a bit since many bats are living here. It's the same smell you'll find at the bat cave in Kuta Lombok (Indonesia), and at the Railay Bat Cave in Thailand.

If you decide to visit Hinagdanan Cave, then I hope that you have a better experience than I did.

Hinagdanan Cave Entrance Fee

The Hinagdanan Cave entrance fee is 50 pesos per person. However, if you want to swim in the azure blue waters you'll have to pay an extra 75 pesos. I decided to check out the cave without purchasing a swimming ticket. This is really affordable.

Recent updated opening hours are: 8 am until 5 pm daily but you can only swim until 4 pm.

Due to the cave being on private land, all of the money goes to the owner. Considering just how popular the site has become, I bet she's pretty happy with her ancestor's discovery.

All in all, Hinagdanan Cave is certainly an impressive grotto with some unique history. If you're close-by and have a spare 30 minutes and 50 pesos, then by all means check it out. However, if you're looking for a quiet place to relax and explore, then I'd probably suggest skipping this one.

Hinagdanan cave

More Philippines Travel Guides

I hope you've enjoyed this quick guide to visiting the Panglao cave in Bohol. For more fun things to do nearby, check out Mag Aso Falls, or read my guide on where to see the endangered Tarsiers on Bohol.

Otherwise, here are some of my most helpful blog posts for travelers planning adventures around the Philippines.

Hinagdanan cave bohol
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure travel journalist & photographer. Traveling non-stop since 2018, I've published over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. These draw on my personal experience to share unique itineraries, accommodation tips, & fun adventure guides covering hikes, viewpoints, beaches, waterfalls, & tours. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

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Thursday 2nd of February 2023

Agree with your article, and that it has become too crowded which takes away some of its charm. For a more relaxed caving experience, there are plenty of caves on Camotes Island that are just as beautiful and us being the only people inside when visiting.