Visiting some limestone caves is always a fun idea. Neither Pagat Cave or Marbo Cave are seeping, so you won’t see a lot of cool stalagmites and stalactites. However, you will see beautiful fresh water pools for swimming.
Let’s start with Marbo Cave (see link for directions):
It’s a short hike so you don’t need much more than a liter of water and a bathing suit. We brought snacks because we wanted to have a picnic in the cave, but if you’re just going to see it you don’t need to bring much.
Follow the trail down, and the cave is right there at the bottom. You don’t need a flashlight because it is well lit from the surface (the opening is large.) There’s two swimming spots, one easy to get to and one that you climb over slippery rocks to get to. Both are cool, fresh water.
Warning: There are two places where you can swim under rock into a tunnel. Don’t do this! Several people have drowned in the cave after trying to do this.
After you enjoy the cave, turn back if you like. Or, continue on the trail until you get to the cliffs. The view is very nice. Make sure you bring sunscreen if you want to walk out to the cliffs. It’s not a long walk, but it’s hot and sunny.
Next up: Pagat Cave (follow the link for directions):
This is a much more difficult hike. You will need at least two liters of water and a snack. In addition, you need: Water shoes, a bathing suit, a flashlight, bug spray, sunscreen, and gloves. I recommend a waterproof camera as well, because you don’t want to lose your footing and get you camera wet unless it’s meant to be in water.
The trail is flat in some places, but mostly it is very steep. There are ropes in places to hold while you descend, so keep your gloves on.
At the bottom, you’ll see a hole in the rock to your left. It doesn’t look like much, but that’s the way in.
Hold the rope and walk carefully down. When you get to the bottom, change into your bathing suit and water shoes, and store your pack along the side of the trail.
Walk through the first pool, which is only ankle deep, and proceed through the small hole into the large cavern beyond.
If you wear glasses, you might get used to hiking with your prescription sunglasses on and leaving your regular pair in the car.
However, once you enter the second cavern it is completely dark and you will need a flashlight and glasses to see anything.
I was completely unprepared, as I thought it was a little cave like Marbo. Now I know better, and can go back dressed properly and with the right glasses.
There are no tunnels or side caverns so you won’t get lost. The only danger is if there is a flash flood, so check the weather and don’t go on a day when there is a lot of rain expected.
And don’t forget to reapply sunscreen and bug spray before you start the long trek back to your car.