Anda in Bohol is famous for its long white sand beach but for the traveler, there are other options, like the beautiful and cool cave pools. These are refreshing alternatives to sun worshiping.
The southeast part of Bohol, where Anda is located is mostly made of limestone and developed during the early and middle Miocene era (20-11 million years ago), thus it is called Anda Limestone.
Because of the soft nature of the rock, over time, the action of water and other geologic activities has led to the formations of caves across, not just in the municipality but in many parts of Bohol.
But one thing that this geologic action has brought to Anda is the formation of several mini caves (it has actually 30 major and minor caves) near the sea. With the porous nature of limestone, water from the mountain seeps in these caves as it journey to the sea. And, voila! you have cave pools. Seven are known of which four are accessible. Below are the cave pools I’ve been to.
Combento Cave Pool
This is the best, so far, that I’ve been to and I like the most! Just around a hundred meters or less from Bitoon White Beach in Barangay Birhen. Combento Cave Pool is one of two, the other a smaller one and is just a few meters from each other. Actually, there are three caves here of which one is dry.
From the entrance is just a few short steps down to the pristine body of water below. As the height of the water depends on the tides, the deepest portion is around 6 ft. I just like swimming here.
It’s not that deep actually. Mostly, the pool area is shallow due to some rocks on some portions that one can stand on. Look up and the dome like formation above is just so awesome that it heightens the experience of being in a cave. Unfortunately, some bathers leave shampoo sachets and other plastic items.
Entrance fee to this cave pool is just P10 for adults and is collected at the gate.
Kaligoon Cave Pool
A few meters before Combento Cave Pool, and the first one that visitors will pass is a smaller cave pool. The water is shallower compared to Combento and the ceiling is lower but still enough room to swim around.
I didn’t bother swimming here as its bigger brother is better. But its less spooky compared to Combento and can be a good place for solo dips.
Cabagnow or Kabagno Cave Pool
This is the deepest cave pool in Anda with portions said to be 25 feet deep. It was also a scene in one local movie. Kabagno Cave Pool is a bit challenging. Because its practically a hole in the ground, one has to bring a ladder (a nearby house rents one) so that it would be possible to get out!
The water is cool and during high tide, and, the same with the rest of the cave pools, saline water mixes with the fresh. Several townsfolk visit this pool and is quite popular for weekenders as one can just jump from the edges.
There are no signs leading to this cave pool although tricycle and habalhabal drivers know where to alight and start a short walk.
East Coast Cave Pool
The Cave Pool within the compounds of East Coast White Sand Resort and Recreation in Barangay Candabong is smaller than Combento Cave Pool. Its deeper but nonetheless interesting too. There’s a series of steps carved out of the rocks and electric lighting is available, upon request.
I opted not to swim here as its just small and since its within the resort, they collect a P100 fee. It’s free when you’re a guest here.
While locals are familiar with these cave pools, it is always better to visit the LGU Tourism office at the municipal hall near the church.
My great thanx to Mayor Angelina Simacio for hosting me in Anda, Bohol and to Kathy Pitlo for guiding me around the municipality.