If you are going to visit the bat cave in Boracy please listen to my simple safety tips that could safe your life! While working in Manila I heard so much hype about Boracay, Philippines so I took a 3 day weekend to go explore. After checking into my hotel which was only around $25 per night for beachfront, (in the picture above) I walked down to the bike shop and rented a 200cc Honda dirt bike. The guy I rented it from asked me, Where are you going? to the bat cave?” Well being the adventurer that I am I couldn’t resist the temptation so I replied yes and asked him the directions.
#1 Take a Guide
I was staying in Station 2 so he told me to go out to the main road, take a left and just keep driving. Its a tiny island so its hard to miss. Upon getting there, I saw young boy maybe around the age of 12 or 13. He had torn dirty clothes and carried flashlight. Smiling from ear to ear he asked, “are you going to the bat cave?” and I replied, yes. Then he said, “500 piso, I take you” and I replied “ang mahal yun!” which means that’s too expensive. The truth is that my hardheadedness took over and I thought that with my childhood years of climbing around North Carolina backwoods, I could pull this off without this kid’s help so I refused the assistance of the guide and continued to follow the path that lead down to the cave entrance.
While approaching the bat cave the kid continued following me and trying to strike a deal. “sege na poh, 400 na lang”, the boy said. Then he went down to 300 piso and I still refused. He warned me that I would need help. Looking back I realized that was trying to explain something to me but I couldn’t understand because back then my Tagalog was horrible. Regardless, I entered the bat cave which had a wide but dark opening with an almost straight drop of what looked like 40 to 50 feet. While in the opening I was able to see a path where people have walked and I proceeded that way. As I got further in the cave the light quickly escaped. I got about 15 feet down on a ledge and I came to a dead end where I couldn’t walk or climb around any rocks. That being said, this is about the same distance into the cave where the rocks become moist and slippery. I couldn’t go any further so I decided to admit defeat and call up to the young boy. “Hey help me, I can’t go any further”, I said as I turned around to start going back up. When I turned around, I realized that I was in a position that was easier to climb down to, than to climb back up. While trying to get around this rock, I slipped and almost fell 40 feet to my certain death. Luckily but painfully, my leg was pinched in between two rocks and I was able to catch my fall at the expense of scraping up my shin. My life flashed before my eyes and I was literally shaking from the fear. I pulled myself up to a safe ledge and tried to calm my nerves as I waited for the guide to get there. Once the guide came to my rescue, he turned on his trusty little flashlight and I could see the clear path that they always use to descend into the cave. After seeing it in the light, it was obvious that there is only one way to navigate the decent and if you wonder off that path you will either come to a dead end or fall. Unless you know the path and have a light so you can stay on the path you will not make it in one piece.
This tip might not safe your life but its still worth mentioning. They don’t call it a bat cave for nothing. Somewhere around 10,000 bat call this little island cave home. As you get to the floor of the cave the first thing that hits you is the smell of these 10,000 bats. Its musky to say the least and the floor is covered in bat feces that seems to be dripping from the high ceiling at a pretty steady pace. I haven’t been shat on yet but I still wouldn’t advice gawking at the ceiling with your mouth open. Event though bats are fascinating creatures, they were my least favorite feature of the bat cave.
Yes, the Boracay bat cave is full of sea snakes and they happen to be some of the most poisonous snakes in the world. You don;t have to be a scientist or an avid National Geographic fan to know to stay away from these guys. The good part is that the sea snakes are not aggressive and seem to be very inactive, that is until you accidentally step on one and it bites your ankle. This is another very good reason to bring a guide because they carry flashlights so you can see them. They have bright colors and actually seem to reflect light back making them super easy to see. Just ever so gently walk around them and in some cases, when they are directly in your walking path gently step or jump over them. I’ve been back 3 times since and have never once had a problem with them but it can still be a hair raising experience knowing that you are in such close proximity to one of the most dangerous creatures on earth.
#4 Water Hazards in the Bat Cave
After the treacherous climb, dodging bat poo and avoiding dangerous snakes, we arrived at the end of the cave. Just approaching it was amazing because before you can see the water, the inside of the cave lights up with a glowing green/blue color like something out of a movie. The cave empties into a beautiful pool that flows into the ocean. The pool of water is crystal clear and temping to jump into. You can see the sunshine through from the other side so you know you could easily jump in and swim underneath the water to exit the cave and swim to the beach. This is even possible but not when tide is thrashing. The flow of water that comes into the cave is bottle-necked at that entrance and during certain tide heights, you can see the water thrashing. Any attempt to try to swim underneath the rocks to your freedom could result in getting caught up in that current and smashed against the rocks. Unless the water is absolutely calm, do not attempt swimming out of the cave.
I hope you enjoyed this story and I hope that you enjoy your time in Boracay as much as I did!
Category: Boracay Activities