Tabon Caves

Palawan - Caves of Tabon - Lipuun Point Caves

Useful Information

Location: Lipuun Point, Quezon.
From Quezon take road to Punta Baja, 3 km from city center turn right on concrete road 9 km. 155 km from Puerto Princesa City.
(9.279985, 117.981411)
Open: All year daily .
Visitors need entry permit.
Fee: free.
Visitors need entry permit.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Guided tours:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1851 peninsula surveyed by the British and named Albion Head.
03-JUL-1962 discovered by Dr. Robert Fox and his team from the National Museum, start of excavations.
1970 excavations ended.
11-APR-1972 declared a Museum Reservation Site by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 996 by President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
2012 declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines.


Tabon Caves are famous for the skull cap of the Tabon man (Homo sapiens sapiens), which is 22,000 years old, and a femur bone and tibia fragment which are 47,000 years old. This is currently the earliest Homo sapiens sapiens fossil evidence in Southeast Asia. The cave was discovered by Dr. Robert Fox in 1962 who subsequently excavated it with his team from the National Museum. It is said to be half a million years old, and have been inhabited for almost 50,000 years. The caves contained an astonishing wealth and an extensive time-range of cultural materials.

Another famous discovery from the cave is the Manunggul Jar, a burial jar. It is a National Treasure and featured on the 1,000 peso bill.

The Tabon Caves Complex consists of 38 caves identified to contain archaeological and anthropological artifacts, but there are 218 caves and rock shelters known on Lipuun Point. They were named after the Tabon scrubfowl (Megapodius cumingii), a small bird which is also known as Philippine megapode or Philippine scrubfowl. They are maintained and managed by the National Museum, all visitors are watched to make sure damages of any kind are impossible. One of the caves is open to the public, access to the Tabon Caves has recently been made easier by the construction of a new concrete road and boardwalk. Before it was necessary to take a boat ride. However, you have to secure an entry permit at the Tabon Caves Area Museum and Satellite Office at Barangay Alfonso XIII in Quezon, Palawan. Then proceed to Tawa-Tawa in Lipuun Point where the cave complex is situated.

In July 2015, Holy Trinity University in Puerto Princesa, Palawan was selected for the construction of a new college to studies of ancient Palawan man (Tabonology). Nearly all active research stopped after Dr. Robert B. Fox died.