I was always afraid of the dark but now i'm facing my fears!! The cave connection will last around 3- 4 hours going into small holes and sliding and jumping from the rocks inside the cave. You will need to do this with a tour guide because it is dangerous if you do it alone and you should get a legit guide from http://www.saggas.org/ .. I would recommend it especially those who are seeking adventures. It's something you will never forget. Just trust your guide and always listen to their instructions because one false move, you'll end up in those rocks.
Another thing that I like in this tiny town is that everything is within walking distance; the spots, gift shops, the inns, the restaurants and cafes. You can go cafe hopping and find out what each of the cafe has to offer.
Some cafes to visit are St. Jo's, Log Cabin, Strawberry Restaurant, Masferre's, Ganduyan, Bana's Cafe, Kimchi, Yoghurt House and others.
I came here with the company of one Filipino guest and one Japanese guest. Before my visit to this place, I thought Echo Valley was all about coffins dangling by the mountainside. With the help of a volunteer guide we came across the area, a trek deeper down the valley proved there's more to it than just that. He led us to the trail leading to the site of the hair-raising human bones scattered on the ground and coffins inserted on stone holes. This tribal custom, which no one knows exactly how it started, still exists up to this modern day times. After all, this is the unique practice that makes Sagada a unique and distinct destination. See my travelogue for more pictures.
This cave is home to the Undergound River. We got inside this cave, just a few distance from the entrance. From there you can hear the gushing sound of the river and its cool inside. Other cave to see nearby is the Matangkib cave.
In my April 2012 visit, I was greeted with the story of a group of certain volunteer environmental organization being saddened by the unjust interference of dirty politics into their organization. And to add to that, the members are devastated to find out that their noble contributions to the environment and the community as well, is not given the due value and respect by the authorities. Their rules/standards that have been in practice for more than a decade now for the safety of the visitors are being taken for granted. By the way, the visitor’s registration fee has been increased from Php25.00 to Php35.00 now.
During peak season, particularly, the period of Holy Week where thousands of visitors flock to this place, there is overcrowding inside the caves, thus making the adventure less enjoyable. No more leisure walks in a street leading to the caves due to the suffocating smoke from all types of vehicle that they allow to pass thru… damned traffic jam!
People are praying that Sagada will never be another disastrous Baguio City. And people are hoping that such ungrateful attitudes would not lead to the environmental deterioration of this lovely place we fondly call Shang-rila.
The first time I came to Sagada, this activity was actually not in my itinerary because I traveled alone then and so I was afraid. I didn't know before that joining a group was the alternative. And so when I was informed of this, I did. The group I joined in was heaven-sent. I was not a VT member yet at that time, and I didn't know that one of our tour guides was a member (waan04). I only found this out when I returned to Manila, that was, when I went back browsing VT again and decided to sign up already so I could share my experiences.
My second visit to this cave seemed less challenging already, but the excitement felt just like the first time I did. I mean, who would get tired seeing those amazing limestone formations and the adventure itself. If given the chance, I'd love to do this activity again.
Exploring and conquering Sumaging Cave will make your stay in Sagada complete. This is the ultimate experience you'll get in this tiny town.
Travellers should have a brave and adventoruos spirit for them to visit this cave. There are many wooden coffins, old and a few newer ones, that are stacked up at the large entrance. The coffins are made and carved out of pine tree trunk. It gave me the impression that this is a unique way of burying the dead, and strange. See my travelogue for more pictures.
I have recently discovered that there is more than just stacks of coffins at Lumiang Cave. Speaking of spelunking, this cave is far more challenging than Sumaging cave. This is the Cave connection – where one enters Lumiang cave and exits at the mouth of Sumaging cave.
Inside Lumiang cave, I remember going down, down and down the cave passing thru a lot of small stone holes. Also, crawling sideways off the rock wall was the most challenging for me. I almost wanted to back-out for fear of falling off the ravine, but the support of my tour mates kept me going. Listen carefully to the guides instructions to avoid accidents.
And when you reach Sumaging cave, reward yourself with the amazing limestone formations. This activity runs up to a maximum of four hours. So plan your schedule, eat well before going in and don’t forget to bring chocos and water for power up. Please see more pics in my travelogues.
Fee for Cave connection is P400/head.
The guides' contact numbers:
We took a stroll down the hill until we reached the Village Bistro where you could go down a steep path towards the cave. We found the coffins a little difficult to spot, because perhaps we went too far down the path. Interesting rock formations but not so interested in seeing more coffins.
Just before the hospital there is a path that leads to st. Mary's Church and then you can continue on the path and it will lead to rocky Valley Inn which is back on the main road. Good views along the path (30 min easy walk).
The municipal hall has a travel desk where you can arrange the trip that you want. Considering the age of our group and being there the first time, the trip where we go through the Sagada cave was suggested for us. We were given 2 guides and the package cost P400 per person. Bringing a large backpack is not advisable since it could just get into the way. At the mouth of the cave, you can see the hanging coffins, and so begins our journey. It's a 2hour trek of going through narrow boulders, climbing rocks, rapelling down, crawling with your butts, stretching arms as far as you would. In short, it was a total workout. The best footwear, I think would be Crocs. Flip flops would do but it twists off your feet when the trail gets slippery. One of the foreigners who joined us was wearing hiking shoes, but she didn't seem to have a hard time with it. But there are wet areas which we had to go through, so she keeps on taking them off and putting them on afterwards. If you have a medical condition and claustrophobic, don't take the package where you go through the entire cave. They have arranged trip where you only enter the part where there are bats and certain rock formation. This option is a short trek inside, and you don't have to go through the somehow treacherous route. It must have been really cold inside the cave because we could see mist coming from our mouth when we huffed and puffed, yet we were all perspiring. Oh, that's another tip. No need to bring jackets or sweaters. When we get out, there's a small store waiting for the hungry hikers. They also have a wash area, but you have to pay for its use.
The Bomod-ok trail is a 45 minutes to one hour walk to get to the Bomod-ok Falls. Along the way you will pass by a small local village and rice terraces. The walk was scorchingly hot so be prepared with your sunblock if you dont want to burn yourself.
Everytime I hear adventure, the Sumaguing Cave would always come first thing on my mind. I really conquered all my fears in this cave. Just upon entrance you will have to climb down on a steep rock formations for 5 mins. in a sitting position using your hands and your butt, yes you read it correctly. Any mistake you can slip and fall down and I can't imagine falling down coz I'll have to drag all of of my10 companions in front of me. Just imagine the rocks are sharp, wet and slippery due to bat droppings. Inside you will be amazed by the large chambers cathedrals and smooth rock formations. But wait that is just the entrance. We still have to climb again, crawl backwards or on our stomachs, hang, rappel, be carried by our guides, jump and swim to get around the cave.
Have a taste of their local food. It is actually a smoked salted pork and they usually use this as part of their local cooking. They sometimes add this to some viands like Pinikpikan, Stew and chopsuey (there could be more)
It is also known as "the big cave" in Sagada. It is the cave we exited during our cave connection challenge.There's a concrete stair way leading to the cave entrance starting from the road. Like the Lumiang cave, you can visit this cave by normal caving if you are not courageous enough to try the challenge. You also need to a guide in exploring this cave. The guide will show you the different forms of the cave rock formation if you didn't notice it yet like the queen, princess, king, prince, turtle, chocolate cake, pig pen, etc. Some are really humorous. There's a part of the cave where you need to rappel down a rock wall barefooted because it's slippery. There's water everywhere, I love it like a waterfall and it looks very refreshing to swim but i didn't because I am cold. It's tempting though because the water is fresh and crystal clear. The palatial curtain is the best rock formation for me with a narrow pool. I also found out that there are fossilized sea shell on the lower part of the cave. Sagada is located on the Mountain province so the entire Philippine archipelago was once submerge to sea water.
Tourists usually visit Sagada not only because of its natural beauty but because of its famous caves and 2 of which are the Lumiang cave(Burial Cave) and the Sumaging cave. These 2 caves are connected to each other actually that is why they have this tour called cave connection. This challenge is not for the faint of heart because no safety equipment provided to us. If you hate darkness, bats and claustrophobic then just do the normal caving. Your only source of light is a gas lanter.
We entered at Lumiang cave then exied to Sumaging cave. We thought it was easy but it was the most thrilling, nerve racking and dangerous adventure I ever had. I can’t believe that I made it until the end. It took us 3.5 hours to finish the challenge. Both caves offers different attraction. The hanging coffins at the main entrance of Lumiang cave is just an appetizer and from there we started our descent for more than 100 feet passing through small passage. Aside from walking, we also did rappelling, climbing, embracing rocks, sliding down using your butt, going down high walls until we reached the part where different kinds of rock formations are located which are part of the Sumaging cave. Just be careful on this challenge because it's really dangerous, don't be on a hurry take it slowly and carefully. Watch what you touch and where you put your feet. Don't think that some pot holes are shallow because there are some which are bottomless pit. Your guide will take good care of you just listen. We went there only with shorts and no gloves etc but we finished the challenge unscratched.
You shouldn’t miss this one if you really want an adventure but remember that you should have an average to high level of fitness for this job. A local guide is a must for this adventure because of its dangerous nature. P800 guide fee for two people. You can arrange a schedule to the Local tourism office located inside the town hall. I will never forget this one.