Apayao temporarily closes Dupag rock formation to visitors

LAOAG CITY — Apayao’s famous Dupag Rock Formation has been temporarily closed to visitors.

In an advisory issued on Saturday, the Apayao Tourism Office said there were some issues the Apayao government needed to address before hikers and trekkers would again be permitted to visit the major tourist destination located in Marag Valley, Luna, Apayao.

The sprawling labyrinth of seven to eight-foot jagged limestone rocks that sit majestically atop a 30-meter high hill in Marag Valley, has been attracting hundreds of local and foreign tourists each day.

“The Dupag rock formation is temporary closed until further notice. Thank you for your understanding,” said Apayao Tourism Officer Rebekah Tamaken-Mamba.

She declined to elaborate on the specific reason for the closure, but assured that the temporary closure of the famous tourism spot will be for the good of everyone.

With a significant improvement of its roads and bridges, the landlocked province of Apayao subdivided into lower and upper Apayao covering seven municipalities, has become more accessible to its neighboring provinces in Cagayan, Ilocos and Cordillera regions.

From Laoag City, going to Luna town is just approximately four hours on exclusive vehicle or five hours on public transport.

When visiting the Dupag rock formation, there are three different trails to choose from with varying levels of trekking difficulty. They all involve clambering upwards and sideways through cramped spaces.

The easiest route would take one to the highest rock in 30 to 45 minutes. A 360-degree view of the surrounding forests, fields, and rivers awaits visitors at the peak. Those who had been to the place always look forward to a revisit.

Still not known to many, the province of Apayao – located deep in the Cordillera mountains about 566 kilometers north of Manila – is gifted with natural landscapes such as hidden waterfalls, unexplored caves, rock formations, hot springs and a critical habitat of flora and fauna along the long stretch of Apayao River, rolling hills and plains and mountain ranges.

The Apayao government, through its tourism office, also continues to explore the province’s natural wonders but is somehow hesitant to open it in full to protect its delicate biodiversity. PNA-northboundasia.com