Information about Balatoc Mines
The Balatoc Mines is located underneath mountain ranges in the town of Itogon, Benguet. It comprises interconnecting tunnels and has three tailing pods, where leftover materials from the mining process are placed. Opened in 1997, the site offers interactive experiences to visitors, allowing them to try mining for a day. Since it opened, the mines have become a popular destination for school field trips as well.
Before going inside the mine, guests are provided with safety gear such as hard hats and boots
to be used during the tour. "Chapas" are also given, which the visitors can take home as souvenirs. The "chapa" is the entrance pass of the miners during the early years. They will drop it in a box before entering the mine, then get it once they are outside. The "chapa" indicates whether there are still miners left inside the tunnel. Visitors get to ride the underground locomotive train to the well-known Vegas Tunnel. Several lights are inside the site to guide the people exploring the place. But in an operating mine, usually, only headlamps are used to shed some light in the passageways. During the tour, the guide will explain the history and future plans for Balatoc Mines.
Tickets and entry
There is a minimal fee you are required to pay to enter the mines. However, this fee usually covers the safety gear you will need to wear during your time in the mines as well.
Best time to visit
It's best to schedule a visit to the mines during the dry season (December to late May).