Spelunking is one of my favorite adventure activities. I like the challenge of getting inside the cave and being rewarded with stunning rock formations, stalactites and slagmites. It also makes your creative mind work as you can think of too many things as to what a certain rock formation is. So when we planned for this Sagada trip, I made sure that we will explore Sumaguing Cave.
After visiting the Sugong Hanging Coffins, Lumiang Burial Caves and Kapay-aw Rice Terraces, we proceeded to the man-made stairs that leads to the entrance of Sumaguing Cave.
Being a holy week, it took us a while to get inside as there are too many tourists that time.
It was dark inside, but our guide brought a lamp to help us see the trail. You have to hold on tight to the rocks and be careful with every step you make as the path going down is really steep and slippery. The trek was also made hard by the bats' guano all over. The smell stinks at first, but you'll get used to it after spending quite some time inside. Hahaha!
At some point, you'll need to remove your footwear as it would be easier to walk barefooted on the steep rocks.
You'll surely forget all the difficulties in getting inside the cave as you will be rewarded with the cave's amazing and spendid beauty. This cave is truly amazing! I love the different rock formations with funny and interesting names. Some of these formations were called rice terraces, turtle, chocolate cake, king's curtain, bear, pig pen, elephant and a pregnant woman.
What I like most about this activity is the challenge of getting through narrow boulders, climbing rock formations, rapelling down, passing and hopping through pools of water, crawling and stretching your arms. Hahaha! It will really test your endurance and flexibility as you go through the different jaw-dropping spots inside the cave.
Get ready to be wet as well, there are parts that you need to dip in knee-deep cold water.
A guide is required when exploring the cave. You could go to the municipal hall where they have a travel desk that can assist you in getting a guide. The guiding fee costs 500 pesos for a group of 4 persons plus additional 35 pesos per head for the environmental fee. The package also includes a visit to Sugong Hanging Coffins, Lumiang Burial Caves and Kapay-aw Rice Terraces.
It took us about 3 hours to finish exploring the cave. The heavy number of tourists at that time took a toll on our time because it was so hard to get inside as we need to wait for other tourists entering the cave. Normally, it would just take 2 hours to finish.
Sumaguing Cave is probably one of the most popular of all the tourist attractions in Sagada. If it's your first time, do visit this cave. The experience will be definitely leave a lasting memory!
- Use a sturdy, comfortable and non-slippery pair of footwear.
- Wear quick drying and comfortable clothes.
- Bring a headlamp if you have, though it is optional since the guide will bring a kerosene lamp.
- Bring a camera (preferably waterproof) to capture each precious moment.
- For your safety, get an accredited guide and always follow his instructions.
- Always practice "Leave No Trace Policy".
- You can get a guide from the municipal hall or at SAGGAS.
- Secure an environmental fee (35 pesos) from the municipal hall, official receipt shall be issued.
- Guiding fee is 500 pesos for every group of 4 persons. If you want to save on cost, you may wait for other small group so you could share on the fee.
- To save on transportation fee, you may opt to walk going to the cave instead of hiring a jeepney. It is just 30 minutes away from the municipal hall at the town center.
- Sumaguing cave is packaged with other sites such as Sugong Hanging Coffins, Lumiang Burial Caves and Kapay-aw Rice Terraces.
HOW TO GET TO SAGADA
Via Banaue: Take a bus bound for Banaue. Travel time is about 9 hours and fare is 450 pesos (for the bus schedule check out this post). From Banaue, take a jeepney to Sagada. Travel time is around 3 and a half hours (with several stops), fare is 250 pesos.
Via Baguio: Take a bus bound for Baguio. Travel time is about 6 hours and fare is 400 pesos. Then go to Dangwa Bus Terminal and look for the Lizardo bus bound for Sagada. Normally, the earliest trip is at 5:00 am and the last one is at 1:00 pm. Travel time is around 5 hours, fare is around 220 pesos.
|This is part of my Holy Week and Araw ng Kagitingan long weekend holiday trip in Ifugao, Mt. Province and Kalinga last April 5-9, 2012. Mountain Province, a landlocked province in the Cordillera Administrative Region is the 59th province on my list. We enjoyed the peace and serenity of Sagada and Bontoc, its rusty idyllic atmosphere, cool climate and most especially, the friendliness of the people. Join me as I continue my journey to visit all 80 province in the Philippines!|
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