Nestled in the rugged Cordillera Mountains, Kalinga Province is a treasure trove of awe-inspiring natural tourist spots and rich indigenous culture. From the mystic mountains and the great Chico River to ancient rice terraces and traditional tattoo artistry, Kalinga offers a true adventure. Discover the enchanting Kalinga Province and explore its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich traditions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Kalinga Province is home to breathtaking natural tourist spots and rich indigenous culture.
  • The Chico River offers thrilling experiences for adventure seekers and holds cultural significance for indigenous communities.
  • Buscalan Village is renowned for traditional Kalinga tattoo artistry, with Whang-Od being the oldest living traditional tattoo artist.
  • Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park provides a paradise for nature lovers with its diverse flora, fauna, and untouched beauty.
  • The Lubo and Mangali Rice Terraces offer stunning landscapes and scenic views.

Chico River – A Must-Visit for Adrenaline Junkies

If you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking thrilling experiences in Kalinga, the Chico River should be at the top of your must-visit list. This majestic river winds its way through the breathtaking Cordillera and Cagayan Valley regions, offering panoramic views of lush forests and awe-inspiring gorges.

What makes the Chico River truly special is not just its natural beauty but also the profound cultural significance it holds for the indigenous communities that call its shores home. These communities have lived in harmony with the river for centuries, relying on it for sustenance and as a vital part of their traditions and way of life.

One of the most popular activities on the Chico River is white water rafting, which provides an exhilarating adventure for thrill-seekers. As you navigate the powerful currents and cascading rapids of the river, you’ll be surrounded by stunning scenery that will leave you in awe.

“The Chico River is not just a playground for adventure enthusiasts; it is a testament to the deep connection between nature and indigenous communities in Kalinga.”

White water rafting tours on the Chico River are well-organized and guided by experienced professionals who prioritize safety while ensuring an exciting and memorable experience. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rafter, the Chico River will challenge and thrill you in equal measure.

So, gather your friends and embark on a white water rafting adventure on the Chico River. Experience the rush of adrenaline as you navigate the rapids and immerse yourself in the beauty of Kalinga’s natural landscapes.

Why Choose White Water Rafting on the Chico River?

  • Thrilling Adventure: Paddle your way through the turbulent white waters of the Chico River and experience an adrenaline rush like no other.
  • Stunning Scenery: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Kalinga as you raft through lush forests and majestic gorges.
  • Cultural Immersion: Learn about the rich traditions and way of life of Kalinga’s indigenous communities who have a deep connection with the Chico River.
  • Guided Tours: Professional guides ensure your safety and provide expert guidance, making white water rafting accessible to both beginners and experienced rafters.
  • Unforgettable Memories: Create lifelong memories as you conquer the rapids and embrace the exhilaration of white water rafting.
Adventure Level Duration Price
Beginner 1-2 Hours $50
Intermediate 3-4 Hours $80
Advanced Full-Day $120

Experience the thrill of white water rafting on the Chico River and witness the harmonious relationship between nature and culture in Kalinga.

Buscalan Village – Home of Traditional Kalinga Tattoo Artistry

Visit the remote Buscalan Village and immerse yourself in the ancient art of traditional Kalinga tattooing. This village is home to the Butbut tribe and is renowned for being the residence of Whang-Od, the oldest living traditional tattoo artist in the Philippines. Getting a tattoo from Whang-Od or her apprentices is a unique and culturally significant experience. To reach Buscalan, you’ll embark on a 12-hour drive followed by a hike to the mountaintop village. This isolated village has gained widespread recognition, attracting both local and foreign travelers who seek to be inked by Whang-Od.

Whang-Od, Master of Traditional Kalinga Tattooing

“Tattooing is part of our culture and identity. It represents our bravery, power, and history,” explains Whang-Od, who has been practicing the traditional hand-tapping technique for over 80 years.

Whang-Od’s tattoo artistry has been passed down through generations, and she is known for her intricate designs inspired by nature, mythology, and tribal symbols. Each tattoo tells a story and holds deep meaning for the wearer. The process involves using a dip pen-like instrument with a thorn attached to it, tapping ink into the skin to create the desired pattern. The experience of receiving a traditional Kalinga tattoo is not just about the art but also a connection to centuries-old traditions and cultural heritage.

Preserving Kalinga Tattoo Art and Culture

Whang-Od has dedicated her life to preserving and promoting the art of traditional Kalinga tattooing. She has trained and mentored younger tribal members in this ancient practice, ensuring the continuity of the cultural tradition. Today, the village of Buscalan has become a hub for tattoo enthusiasts, historians, and cultural researchers who come to study and document this unique art form.

What to Expect in Buscalan Village Highlights
A remote mountaintop village Immerse yourself in the traditional Kalinga way of life
Whang-Od’s tattoo artistry Get inked by the legendary Kalinga tattoo artist
Breathtaking mountain views Experience the natural beauty of the Cordillera Mountains
Interaction with the Butbut tribe Learn about their customs, traditions, and way of life
Cultural immersion Participate in traditional ceremonies and rituals

Visiting Buscalan Village is not just about getting a tattoo; it’s an opportunity to engage with the Kalinga tribe and gain a deeper understanding of their customs, traditions, and way of life. The warm hospitality of the villagers, combined with the stunning mountain landscapes, creates an unforgettable experience for every traveler who ventures to this hidden gem in Kalinga Province.

Embrace the rich cultural heritage and ancient artistry that Buscalan Village offers. Plan your journey to this unique destination and discover the magic of traditional Kalinga tattooing.

Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park – A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Hidden deep within the rugged landscapes of Kalinga lies the Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park, a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts. This protected park is a true paradise for those seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty of untouched wilderness. With its upland pine forests, meandering rivers, hidden waterfalls, and diverse biodiversity, this national park offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience.

Located in the northern part of the Cordillera Mountains, Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park boasts breathtaking vistas and a tranquil atmosphere. The park’s remote location ensures that it remains undiscovered by the masses, making it an ideal destination for those who crave solitude and a deeper connection with nature.

One of the highlights of this Kalinga tourist spot is its incredible biodiversity. The park is home to a variety of plant and animal species, including rare birds, reptiles, and mammals. Walking through the park, visitors can witness the vibrant tapestry of flora and fauna that thrives in this untouched environment.

In addition to its scenic beauty and rich biodiversity, Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park offers a range of outdoor activities for adventure seekers. From hiking and trekking to camping and bird-watching, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the park’s natural wonders. The park also provides access to the Chico River, making it a fantastic place for kayaking or canoeing.

For a truly immersive experience, visitors can embark on guided tours and learn about the park’s cultural and historical significance. Indigenous communities in the area have a deep connection with the land, and their stories and traditions add an enriching layer to the visitor experience.

Key Features of Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park Outdoor Activities
• Upland pine forests • Hiking and trekking
• Wild rivers • Camping
• Hidden waterfalls • Bird-watching
• Diverse flora and fauna • Kayaking and canoeing
• Indigenous cultural heritage • Guided tours

Whether you’re an avid nature lover, adventure seeker, or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a visit to Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park is a must during your trip to Kalinga. Discover the wonders of this hidden gem and reconnect with the raw beauty of nature.

Lubo and Mangali Rice Terraces – A Feast for the Eyes

While Banaue’s rice terraces may be more famous, the Lubo and Mangali Rice Terraces in Kalinga are equally stunning and deserve a spot on any traveler’s bucket list. Set against a backdrop of majestic peaks, these bright green terraces offer a picturesque view of Kalinga’s natural beauty. For a more panoramic vista, head to the Sungang View Point, where you can marvel at the Tulgao Rice Terraces and the Sleeping Beauty Mountain Ridge.

A Comparison of Banaue and Lubo and Mangali Rice Terraces

Features Banaue Rice Terraces Lubo and Mangali Rice Terraces
Rice Terrace Height Approximately 1,500 meters Approximately 1,200 meters
Accessibility Easy access with tourist amenities Requires trekking and local guide assistance
Tourist Crowds Popular and often crowded Less touristy and serene
Scenic Beauty Breathtaking views of terraces Stunning landscapes with mountain backdrop
Local Experience Commercialized, but still offers cultural immersion Authentic indigenous culture and local interactions

“The Lubo and Mangali Rice Terraces in Kalinga offer a tranquil and less crowded alternative to experience the magnificence of rice terraces in the Philippines.”

Caves of Balbalan – An Underground Wonder

Delve into the subterranean wonders of Kalinga by exploring the caves in Balbalan. The Caves of Balbalan, including Mangagab and Maanos Caves in Balbalan town, offer a unique and awe-inspiring experience for cave exploration enthusiasts. These caves boast massive golden caverns, beautifully sculpted rock formations, and towering stalactites, creating a mesmerizing underground landscape that will leave you in awe.

To reach these subterranean wonders, you’ll need to navigate through narrow tunnels and scramble over rocks, making the journey an exciting physical challenge. As you venture deeper into the caves, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking sights that showcase the natural beauty and geological wonders of Kalinga Province.

Whether you’re an experienced spelunker or a first-time cave explorer, the Caves of Balbalan offer an unforgettable adventure like no other. Prepare to be amazed by the surreal underground landscapes and immerse yourself in the mystery and grandeur of these subterranean wonders.

Caves of Balbalan

Cave Name Features Highlights
Mangagab Cave Massive golden caverns and rock formations – Impressive stalactites and stalagmites
– Underground rivers and streams
Maanos Cave Breathtaking rock formations and chambers – Spectacular natural skylights
– Formation of cave pearls

The Caves of Balbalan offer an unparalleled opportunity to explore the hidden treasures beneath the surface of Kalinga. Be sure to add this underground wonder to your list of must-visit Kalinga tourist spots and embark on a cave exploration journey like no other.

Saltan River – Tranquility and Refreshment

Take a break from exploring other Kalinga tourist spots and visit Saltan River for a tranquil and refreshing experience. This gently flowing river, surrounded by massive boulders, offers a peaceful setting for a picnic or a refreshing swim. You can relax and enjoy the crystal-clear waters while watching locals jump and dive into the river. Saltan River is a local favorite and a perfect spot to unwind after a day of adventure.

Activities Facilities Best Time to Visit
  • Swimming in natural pools
  • Picnicking by the riverside
  • Rock jumping
  • Picnic huts
  • Camping areas
  • Restrooms
  • Dry season (February to May)
  • Mornings or late afternoons for optimal weather

Whether you’re seeking tranquility or looking for a refreshing swim, Saltan River has it all. The natural swimming spots along the river provide a perfect respite from the tropical heat. Nestled among the boulders, these pools of crystal-clear water invite you to dive in and cool off. If you’re feeling adventurous, try rock jumping and make a splash! The riverbanks are also dotted with picnic huts and camping areas, making it an ideal place to spend quality time with family and friends.

For those planning to visit Saltan River, the best time to go is during the dry season, from February to May. During this period, the weather is generally sunny, and the water levels are at their most inviting. Mornings or late afternoons are particularly pleasant, ensuring optimal conditions for a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Saltan River is a hidden gem in Kalinga, offering tranquility and refreshment in a stunning natural setting. Whether you choose to swim in the crystal-clear pools, have a picnic by the river, or simply relax and admire the beautiful surroundings, this spot is sure to leave you feeling rejuvenated. Don’t miss the chance to unwind and connect with nature at Saltan River during your Kalinga adventure.

Palang-ah Falls & Hot Springs – Nature’s Spa Retreat

Indulge in a relaxing and rejuvenating experience at Palang-ah Falls & Hot Springs in Tulgao, Tinglayan. This medium-sized cascade offers a deep pool perfect for a refreshing swim, while nearby hot springs provide a unique spa-like experience of hot and cold water therapy. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you enjoy the therapeutic benefits of these natural wonders.

Surrounded by lush greenery and towering cliffs, Palang-ah Falls is a picturesque setting for a serene escape. Take a dip in the cool waters, feel the rush as the waterfall cascades down, and let the peaceful ambiance wash away your stress.

After your swim, head over to the nearby hot springs to continue your spa-like experience. These natural hot springs are known for their healing properties and offer the perfect blend of relaxation and rejuvenation. Immerse yourself in the warm waters and let the minerals soothe your body and mind.

The Benefits of Hot Springs

Hot springs have long been cherished for their therapeutic benefits. The warm mineral-rich waters can relax muscles, improve blood circulation, and promote better sleep. The healing properties of hot springs can also ease arthritis pain, reduce stress, and detoxify the body.

“Soaking in the hot springs was like immersing myself in nature’s spa. The warm water enveloped me, easing my tired muscles and soothing my mind. It was truly a rejuvenating experience.” – Samantha, avid traveler

Whether you’re seeking relaxation or looking to heal your body and mind, Palang-ah Falls & Hot Springs offers a perfect nature’s spa retreat. Bask in the beauty of Kalinga’s natural landscapes while immersing yourself in the therapeutic waters. It’s a truly magical experience that should not be missed during your visit to Kalinga.

Bulo Lake – The New Zealand of Kalinga

Bulo Lake, also known as the “New Zealand of Kalinga,” is a hidden gem among the Kalinga tourist spots. This picturesque lake is often overlooked, but its breathtaking beauty is deserving of recognition. Nestled in the heart of Kalinga Province, Bulo Lake boasts crystal-clear waters and is surrounded by rolling hills and endless fields, creating a serene and idyllic atmosphere.

When you visit Bulo Lake, you’ll be transported to a scene straight out of National Geographic. The tranquil waters reflect the blue sky, and the sight of birds gracefully flying overhead and water buffaloes grazing by the shore only enhances the natural beauty of this stunning lake. It’s a photographer’s paradise, offering countless opportunities to capture unforgettable moments of peacefulness and natural wonder.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, a spot for picnics with loved ones, or simply a place to unwind and enjoy the picturesque views, Bulo Lake is the perfect destination. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature as you take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s shoreline or find a cozy spot to sit back and soak in the breathtaking scenery.

Don’t miss the chance to explore this hidden beauty in Kalinga. Bulo Lake promises a truly unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of the natural wonders that the province has to offer.


Kalinga Province is a hidden gem in the Philippines that offers a truly unique and unforgettable travel experience. With its breathtaking natural landscapes, vibrant indigenous culture, and rich traditions, Kalinga is a destination that caters to both adventure seekers and culture enthusiasts. Whether you are exploring the mystic mountains, white water rafting on the Chico River, or immersing yourself in the ancient art of traditional tattooing in Buscalan Village, Kalinga has something to offer for everyone.

Take the road less traveled and discover the hidden gems of Kalinga. From the untouched beauty of Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park and the awe-inspiring Lubo and Mangali Rice Terraces to the subterranean wonders of the Caves of Balbalan, Kalinga unveils its secrets to those willing to venture off the beaten path. Immerse yourself in the tranquil Saltan River, indulge in the natural spa retreat of Palang-ah Falls & Hot Springs, or witness the picturesque beauty of Bulo Lake, known as the “New Zealand of Kalinga.”

Plan your trip now and embark on a journey that combines adventure, culture, and natural beauty. Experience Kalinga tourism at its finest, uncovering hidden treasures that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you are a nature lover, thrill seeker, or simply someone seeking an authentic travel experience, Kalinga has it all. Discover the wonders of Kalinga, immerse yourself in its vibrant culture, explore its breathtaking attractions, and uncover the hidden gems that await you in this remarkable province.


What are some popular tourist spots in Kalinga Province?

Kalinga Province is home to several breathtaking tourist spots, including the Chico River, Buscalan Village, Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park, Lubo and Mangali Rice Terraces, Caves of Balbalan, Saltan River, Palang-ah Falls & Hot Springs, and Bulo Lake.

What adventure activities can be done in Kalinga?

Kalinga offers a range of thrilling adventure activities, such as white water rafting on the Chico River, exploring the caves of Balbalan, and hiking to Buscalan Village.

Where can I experience traditional Kalinga tattoo artistry?

The renowned Buscalan Village, home to the Butbut tribe, is where you can immerse yourself in the ancient art of traditional Kalinga tattooing. Whang-Od, the oldest living traditional tattoo artist in the Philippines, resides in this village.

What can I expect to see at Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park?

Balbalasang–Balbalan National Park offers upland pine forests, wild rivers, hidden waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna. It is a paradise for nature lovers and a haven for biodiversity.

Are there any stunning rice terraces in Kalinga?

Yes, while Banaue’s rice terraces are more famous, Kalinga boasts the equally stunning Lubo and Mangali Rice Terraces. These rice terraces offer a picturesque view of Kalinga’s natural beauty, set against a backdrop of majestic peaks.

What can I expect to find in the caves of Balbalan?

The caves of Balbalan, such as Mangagab and Maanos Caves, are known for their massive golden caverns, sculpted rock formations, and towering stalactites. Exploring these caves provides a unique and awe-inspiring underground adventure.

Where can I find a tranquil river spot in Kalinga?

Saltan River is a peaceful spot surrounded by massive boulders, offering a serene setting for picnics or a refreshing swim. Locals can often be seen jumping and diving into the crystal-clear waters, creating a lively and enjoyable atmosphere.

Are there any waterfalls or hot springs in Kalinga?

Yes, Kalinga is blessed with natural wonders such as Palang-ah Falls and adjacent hot springs in Tulgao, Tinglayan. These medium-sized waterfalls and hot springs provide a soothing and rejuvenating experience amidst nature’s beauty.

What makes Bulo Lake special?

Bulo Lake, often referred to as the “New Zealand of Kalinga,” offers pristine waters, rolling hills, and endless fields, creating a serene and idyllic atmosphere. The sight of birds and water buffaloes adds to the natural beauty that will remind you of a scene from National Geographic.

What can I expect from Kalinga Province as a tourist destination?

Kalinga Province offers a unique and authentic travel experience, with its breathtaking natural landscapes, vibrant indigenous culture, and rich traditions. From adventure activities to cultural immersions, Kalinga has something to offer for everyone.

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Hello! I'm Wise, a Filipina with a deep love for my country and a passion for sharing its beauty with the world. As a writer, blogger, and videographer, I capture the essence of the Philippines through my eyes, hoping to give foreign visitors a true taste of what makes these islands so special.

From the vibrant streets of Manila to the tranquil beaches of Palawan, my journey is about uncovering the hidden gems and everyday wonders that define the Filipino spirit. My articles and blogs are not just travel guides; they are invitations to explore, to feel, and to fall in love with the Philippines, just as I have.

Through my videos, I strive to bring the sights, sounds, and stories of my homeland to life. Whether it's the local cuisine, the colorful festivals, or the warm smiles of the people, I aim to prepare visitors for an authentic experience.

For those seeking more than just a vacation, the Philippines can be a place of discovery and, perhaps, even love. My goal is to be your guide, not just to the places you'll visit, but to the experiences and connections that await in this beautiful corner of the world. Welcome to the Philippines, through my eyes. Let's explore together!

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