You'll have to go about thirty miles north of Davao City to find caves to explore, but spelunkers say the trip is worth it. The town of Kapalong (www.kapalong.gov.ph) stands next to the Suaon Natures Park, a series of caves where limestone plus water plus time have led to a proliferation of intricate mineral formations. Okbot, Otso, and Alena Cave are open to the public, as is Sua-On Underground River.
"We have stalactites, stalagmites, and columns - what you get when stalactites meet stalagmites," explains Kapalong tourism coordinator Roderick Parcon. "We have draperies. We have cave corals. And we have cave pearls, the rarest cave formation you can find."
Spelunking in Kapalong doesn't require you to bring your own equipment; you can hire the equipment as part of a package tour that costs about US$23 (PHP 1,000) per group of five. The tour is sponsored by the Davao Speleological & Conservation Society (www.dspecs.multiply.com), and includes gear, the services of a cave guide, and certificate.
More on must-haves before going on a caving expedition: Caving Equipment - What You Need to Go Caving.