Though largely overshadowed by its more famous neighbors – Tuguegarao City and Sta.Ana (Palaui Island), Claveria in Cagayan province has its own attractions to show off to tourists. This sleepy town is a pleasing hodgepodge of beautiful beaches, forest-clad massif, agricultural lands and pristine waterfalls.
Here are the top tourist attractions in Claveria, Cagayan that you can visit:
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CLAVERIA CAGAYAN TOURIST SPOTS
I find traveling around Claveria cheap as you don’t need to charter a boat to take you to the best beaches, perfect for budget travelers. You can just walk or ride a tricycle or jeep to get to the best destinations.
One of the beaches in Claveria that you should not miss if you like watching sunset is Claveria Beach. Since my inn is a few blocks away from the beach, I decided to take a leisurely stroll to get there.
Claveria Beach is a long stretch of powdery cream (to gray) sand hugged by azure sea. From here, you can see the distant Apo Lakay-Lakay on Taggat Lagoon. Claveria Beach seems like a favorite hang out of locals especially at sundown. And for me, it is undoubtedly one of the best spots to view sunset in the Philippines. Surprisingly, despite being accessible, it was not crowded during my visit.
HOW TO GET TO CLAVERIA BEACH:
Take a tricycle from Claveria town proper.
Taggat Lagoon is the gateway to Calayan Island and Fuga Island, as this serves as the port of boats bound for the aforementioned islands. Having said that, you can find several boats docked here especially at daybreak.
But apart from being an important wharf, Taggat Lagoon is an attraction in itself. The lovely cove is fringed by windswept and craggy mountains. Striking features of Taggat Lagoon are rock formations named by the locals as Lakay Lakay (Old Man) and Apo Baket (Old Woman). There is also a pretty small waterfall that gushes into the rocky shore.
On the other side of Taggat Lagoon, another beautiful, uncrowded beach (I suppose it connects or is still part of Claveria Beach) dappled with Tiki huts awaits tourists.
The gorgeous Sentinela Beach is devoid of tourists. The talcum white and coast here is fringed by rock formations. If Taggat Lagoon has Lakay Lakay (Old Man) and Apo Baket (Old Woman), Sentinela Beach is home to Baket Baket, which is believed to be the couple’s son. Legend has it that a wealthy family became greedy that is why they were punished and turned into rocks.
A prominent hill known as Bantay Kalbo stand nearby and on the other side hides another gorgeous, empty beach. The snow-white sand there is akin to a barren desert where the constant wind crafted dune patterns.
HOW TO GET TO SENTINELA BEACH
You can hire a tricycle to take you to Sentinela Beach, it should not cost you an arm and leg as it is about 15-20 minutes away from Claveria town proper. Alternatively, look for the terminal of jeeps en route to Sanchez Mira (the next town) at the town center and tell the driver you are bound for Sentinela Beach. Alight at Brgy.Calamaggoan and walk towards the beach.
Sentinela Beach is crowned by a hill known as Bantay Kalbo which plummets into the churning sea. Shrubberies clad this mound which seems to be a favorite spot of gorgeous white-collared kingfishers. An easy hike to the summit will reward you with a scenic view of the surroundings and Sentinela Cove. An abandoned telecommunications tower on the summit serves as a lonely sentinel of Bantay Kalbo.
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The good-looking Mabnang Falls just has been unattractively developed. The basin has been cemented to create a catch pool like that of Portabaga Waterfalls. But there is a rather charming pool before the hike to the waterfall which offers an incredible view of the vast agricultural land below it. Mabnang Falls is located in Brgy. Mabnang (formerly part of Sta.Praxedes) at the border of Claveria and Sta.Praxedes.
ATTRACTIONS NEAR CLAVERIA
PORTABAGA FALLS (STA. PRAXEDES)
Although not as striking as the more famous waterfalls like Maria Cristina in Iligan City or Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig, Surigao del Sur , you can also take a side trip to Portabaga Falls in the neighboring town of Sta.Praxedes – the smallest town in Cagayan – while you are in Claveria.
Sadly, the natural beauty of Portabaga Falls has been outshined by the unappealing development. The waterfall which used to be a resting place for farmers back in the days has been transformed into a picnic resort dappled with cottages and the basins have been turned into 4 catch pools with bridges. It’s a popular picnic spot for locals, so expect it to be crowded especially on weekends and holidays. There is an eco-tourism trail in the forest surrounding Portabaga Falls, consider taking a walk here early in the morning or at sundown (hire a local guide) and you might chance upon some elusive birds and monkeys residing in its confines.
MACATEL FALLS (STA.PRAXEDES)
Not far away from Portabaga Falls is the twin falls called Macatel Falls. This gorgeous waterfall echoes in a quiet verdant jungle.
HOW TO GET TO PORTABAGA FALLS AND MACATEL FALLS
At Claveria town proper, hire a tricycle to take you Portabaga Falls located in Sta. Praxedes. While you are at it, you can also drop by at Macatel Falls.
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