Claveria lies on the northwestern part of Cagayan. It is 185.3 kilometers from Tuguegarao, the provincial capital, and 613 kilometers from Manila via Ilocos Norte.
More than a century ago, some strangers named Feliciano Valdez, Joaquin Nebab, Jacinto Semana, Gaspar Rumbara, Dionicio de Peralta, Leon Agra and many others, most of them from Pasuquin and Vintar, Ilocos Norte, cleared their trail northeastward and drifted to this part of Luzon. Their place was called Kabikungan which means "where the bikungs are."
Since most of the people were fishermen, there was a move to transfer the community to the seashore but the Spanish missionaries opposed the move because the stone church which was the center of their faith, would be left behind. The transfer was not effected until the coming of the marauding pirates from the south seas called "tirong" plundered the place, burned some of their dwellings and started the destruction of the church. Strong earthquakes and ravages of time and weather completed the destruction. From then on, Kabikungan continued to be frequently attacked by the tirongs until Governor General Narciso Claveria's campaign against the Moro pirates was diverted to the North after successfully conquering the south seas for which he was conferred the Grand Cross of San Fernando by the Queen of Spain.
Residents of Kabikungan petitioned the sympathetic Governor General that the village be made into a town and separated from Pamplona. Pamplona is 40 kilometers east of Kabikungan. General Claveria promised its conversion but was not realized due to his recall to Spain.
On June 5, 1865, Kabikungan became a town, and in recognition of Governor Claveria's unrelentless campaign against the pirates, his unforgetable visit and promise to convert the place into a town, and his humanitarian policies, Kabikungan was christened Claveria.
Claveria today is one of the cleanest towns of the Philippines. It has many scenic spots like the famous Lakay-Lakay Lagoon, Mabnang and Kilkiling Falls, and beaches.