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Caving / Potholing New Corella


Class 1 Caving / Potholing Philippines Destination

New Corella caves and potholes number at least 100 (although only 70 have been explored) and make a caving / potholing adventure vacation a reality.

The long limestone escarpment, that runs the length of the Davao del Norte (northwest to southeast), channels rivers and streams to the fertile plains below, with most of the water passing through New Corella. Along the way the water has eroded the soft rock and created a labyrinth of spectacular caves with the widest variety of formations and cave life.

Usually in June each year, New Corella hosts an Invitational Caving Adventure, to explore the caves and to promote Philippine caving to a wider audience.

Caving / Potholing Around New Corella

Take the Rosary Trail and visit a good selection of caves over one day or two: some wet; some formerly wet, now dry due to deforestation above; and, some, unfortunately, damaged through ignorance and/or the lust for fast profit. Here are two extremes:

Marcelino Cave

A special cave along the Rosary Trail is the Marcelino Cave, which you would never find unless you knew where to look. Entering under the shade of an long established tree, an almost-submerged crawl/swim for five metres into the narrow Marcelino Cave entrance opens into a low gallery of miniature crystal stalactites above the water course. A duck-walk brings you into a larger chamber and passages, until you finally reach the brilliant crystal walls that narrow to almost nothing even though the cave roof is still tens of feet above. Marcelino Cave is home to a specie of very small bat (only about 3cm long) that has yet to be identified and is the daytime resting place of at least one king cobra.

Bonduc Cave

One of the damaged caves of New Corella is Bonduc Cave. A long now dry passage through chambers, that used to be home to swifts and bats, now barren. Bonduc Cave is interesting for the holes in the roof that banyan trees, some thirty feet above, have used to secure their roots and draw moisture from the cave floor. Evidence of the thousands of bats that once roosted here can be found in the excavated guano pits, up to ten feet deep and fifty feet across in places and broken stumps of harvested stalactites.

Canyons Cave

The most spectacular cave and the most technically challenging is the Canyons Cave (locally Tinago'ng Busay). Although the Canyons Cave is only 330 metres deep it is very wet, with deep pools that you must swim across, and requires some basic rappelling skills. Near the head of the cave is one of the highest underground waterfalls in the greater Davao region; the Canyons Cave waterfall is approximately 12 meters high

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Renting Caving Equipment In New Corella

Renting Caving equipment and cave guides in New Corella is easy. Cavers / potholers need supply only their own protective overalls and then proceed to the Municipal Tourism Office of New Corella for registration, briefing and payment of caving fees. Caving fees include caving / potholing equipment rental (helmet & lamp and rappelling gear where required), Environmental User's Fee and Cave Guide fee . . . it is quite acceptable to tip the cave guides if they have done an excellent job.

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