The Amazing Spelunking Adventure at Sumaging Cave

A visit to Sagada won't be as exciting and memorable without some spelunking activity. At first, I couldn't imagine caves like Lumi-ang and Sumaging exist in such a high mountainous ground of the Mountain Province. Nevertheless, these caves are among the natural wonders that make Sagada a must-visit destination. Seeing these places gives every traveler a taste of history and adventure.

After six hours of bus trip from Baguio City, we finally arrived in Sagada and immediately checked in at George Guest House, one of the popular and affordable inns in Sagada. Our room costs P600 for two persons - it was big enough to fit four pax.

George Guest House entrance

Wonderful view at the back of George Guest House

We went to the office of Sagada Genuine Guides Association (SAGGAS) to inquire about spelunking and other tours. SAGGAS provides tour guide services around Sagada. You can contact them in advanced to book for specific tours or just go to their office when you arrived in Sagada. Their website has tons of information about Sagada which are very helpful for first time visitors.

There are two types of spelunking adventure: the beginners and advanced. The beginners course would take 1 to 2 hours inside the cave while the advanced spelunking (also called as the Cave Connection) would take 4 to 5 hours. We booked for the beginners course because we thought the advanced spelunking was too extreme for starters. :-)

SAGGAS office located just along the main road

We took our lunch at Yoghurt House in Sagada which is famous for their, what else, yogurt :-)

Inside the Yoghurt House

 The famous strawberry-banana-granola yogurt

After taking our lunch at the Yoghurt House, it's time to begin our spelunking adventure. This was our first extreme caving experience so we felt nervous and excited. I was excited to try it also after reading Chyng's experience about it on her blog. She did it without hesitation and survived it with grace. :-)

We did not book for a transportation to Sumaging cave because we were on a budget and thought it's accessible by walking from the town. We were wrong! I took a bunch of photos as we trudged the long way to the cave.

Along the way to Sumaging cave, you'll get to pass this cliff with hanging coffins

Closer view of hanging coffins

Directions to important landmarks in Sagada

Our guide, Jory, preparing the kerosene lamp


...and trek...

...and more trek! Whew!

We headed down to Lumi-ang burial cave before proceeding to Sumaging cave.
If you book for the advanced spelunking, the adventure will begin here until you reach
the second cave which is Sumaging, hence, the Cave Connection.

Lumi-ang burial cave speaks about the rich tradition of Igorots on how they bury the dead. 
The coffins are short because the body is placed in the fetal position.

A beautiful view of rice terraces on the way to Sumaging cave

Reminds me of some scenes in Twilight movie :-P

After about 45 minutes of walking, we finally reached the concrete stairs
leading to the entrance of the cave.

Cave's mouth? Not yet...more steps to go

Descending down to the cave. Imagine the 250+ steps to undergo when you climb back up.

Jory leading the way. It's pitch black inside the cave and this kerosene lamp
was the only source of light.

A few visitors were around before we arrived

"The King"
Some of the rock formations in Sumaging Cave are named after human genitalia - so go figure!

"The Prince"
You'll get to meet "The Queen" and "The Princess" too. Yes, the whole member of the royal family :-)


"Dinosaur's Footprint"

Yes, there's rappelling too




They specifically call this as the "King's Curtain"

"The Sleeping Bear"

Exploring the Sumaging cave was indeed an amazing experience. It's a test of endurance, flexibility and courage. Although a bit risky, I highly recommend this activity to everyone. If you're feeling more adventurous, you may want to do the Cave Connection instead which is more exciting and longer. You need to hire a guide in order to do these and you'll be fine. The tour guides from SAGGAS are all professional and well-trained so you are assured a safe and fun spelunking experience.

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Ed said...

galing ng mga photos! just posted our spelunking story :D

Batang Lakwatsero said...

woot.. ganda tlga. na-eexcite ako mag-cave :)

Gabz said...

yes, even before I did the spelunking I was very excited din. do the cave connection mas adventurous sya. we did the sumaging cave lang kasi. :)

Robbie said...

Wow buti ka pa you were able to take great shots inside. I only use point and shoot kasi so my shots were pretty awful.

The trek papuntang Sumaguing was nice! You can enjoy a great view on the way. :D

Gabz said...

Yes, agree maganda ang view on the way. Yun nga lang malayo...we decided to hire a vehicle pabalik kasi hindi na kayang maglakad from spelunking. :D

I brought a dslr with me but I let the tour guide handle it most of the time. Mahirap na. :D

SImurgh said...

nice post!!
better than mine.

well, I did mine haphazardly.
I'll make a few corrections

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

Sagada cave is the best cave in the Philippines that I;ve seen so far. You;re able to give justice to it with those stunning photos.

AJ said...

I sound redundant now - the photos are stunning! :) As you already, I've only to one cave (in Bohol), but clearly it doesn't hold a candle to this one. Haven't been to Sagada yet. This post gives me another reason to go. And that colorful yogurt place is just way up my alley. :)

Kura said...

Agree with gael, Sagada caves are the best I've seen so far. Lagi ko tuloy nacocompare. Nagiging bias ako sa iba. Anyway highway, i'll be back there next year. Sayang hindi pa ko blogger nung pumunta ako nun 2 years ago. Ganda ng camera mo. Palong palo!

Gabz said...

@thepinaysolobackpacker - thanks! :-)

@AJ - thanks again! :-) The Hinagdanan Cave is nothing compared to Sumaging Cave. :-) Yes, Yogurt House is a nice, cozy place. Punta ka na sa Sagada! :D

@Kura - haha! thanks :-) Yes, the same here - I think it's the best cave I've visited so far (even better than the Underground River in Palawan) :-p

Chyng said...

yan pwede na magcomment!

your photos are very inviting, galing!
glad you enjoyed Sagada as well. I'll be in iloilo this saturday (cross to bacolod afterwards). im excited! ^_^

Gabz said...

yes, super enjoy ang Sagada :-) wow, enjoy Iloilo and Bacolod! Hoping for a good weather :-)

Jo Jo said...

As her time in Florence drew to a close she was only at ease amongst those to whom she felt indifferent. Flights to Goa

Pinoy Adventurista said...

I can't wait for my trip to Sagada this Holy Week... I'm so excited! It's my 1st time... hehehe! thanks for sharing your experience! :)

Pinoy Travel Freak said...

Wow enjoy Mervz! Marami daw tao sa Sagada sa Holy Week. Tapos siksikan sa cave connection. Anyway, have fun kasi masaya talaga sya. :)

Lakbaylouis said...

Cave connection is more exciting gabz. CRYSTAL CAVE in Sagada is the best cave i have explored in my life. It's not open to public/tourist though to preserve the cave. I risk my life in this cave but totally rewarding. I was d 4th explorer of d cave & i did last year of june.

Pinoy Travel Freak said...

I think so...that's why I'm going for the cave connection when I return to Sagada in 2 weeks. :)

Crystal cave sounds interesting. Lucky for you to have done it. I haven't heard of it before. I will check it out. :)

Judith said...

Nice shot, how much the budget going to sagada? Thanks

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