Have you ever tried spelunking before? If you haven’t, Sagada is a great place to try spelunking for beginners! Explore the cave for 1-2 hours and check out the amazing rock formations inside. This travel guide to Sumaguing Cave contains everything you need to know about Sumaguing Cave spelunking!
Sagada is a great place to try a lot of things including sea of clouds, trek to Marlboro Hills + Blue Soil, spelunking and many more! It is filled with exhilarating activities that will lure every adrenaline junkies. The Sumaguing Cave spelunking will make your Sagada trip extra unique from other trips you’ve been.
Getting to Know Sumaguing Cave in Sagada
For your information, Sagada has more than 60 caves and Sumaguing Cave is the biggest one. As a result, Sumaguing Cave earned its name “The Biggest One.”
The rock formations inside the cave resembles common forms which your tour guide will gladly discuss to your group as you explore the caves. A complete tour inside the cave will take 1.5 – 2.5 hours depending in your group’s pacing.
- People & Language – the local residents of Sagada are Igorots /Kankana-eys who speak a language called Kankana-ey. Most people can also speak Tagalog and English so don’t worry if you need to ask for directions.
- Currency – the currency accepted in Sagada is Philippine Peso (PHP). Some establishments like restaurants accept online payments like Cash, bank transfer and credit cards.
- Best month to visit – the coldest month of the year in Sagada is January. Moreover, Sagada has 2 seasons – rainy and dry. Hence, the best time to visit Sagada is during dry season from November – April and the lean season is during the rainy months of May – October.
How to get there?
If you are not traveling in a time-sensitive manner, I highly recommend P2P Bus from Cubao to Sagada. The time of departure is at 8:00PM and travel time is 12 hours.
Otherwise, you can follow the DIY steps below to get to Sagada.
Step 1: Manila to Baguio by bus. Ride a bus in Cubao going to Baguio City. The fare is Php550.00 – 720.00 depending on which bus line you will choose. Travel time is 7-8 hours.
Step 2: Upon arriving in Baguio, take a taxi cab to GL Trans Terminal. Then ride a bus to Sagada for Php220.00 and travel time is about 6 hours. Take note that the earliest schedule is at 5:30am and latest schedule is 1pm. Make sure to be in Baguio before lunch time.
Step 3: Proceed to the Tourism Office located in the town proper just beside the Police Station. Hire a local guide and pay the registration fees.
Insider tip: if you are staying for 2 days in Sagada, I highly recommend Sumaguing Cave spelunking after Echo Valley or Marlboro Hills in the morning.
Sumaguing Cave Rates
Take note that you have to pay the tourist registration fee (Php100.00) at the tourism office before going to the jump-off point. You will need this receipt upon entering all activities in Sagada such as Marlboro Hills, Echo Valley, Sumaguing Cave, Bomod-ok Falls, etc.
Below are the rates to pay at the Tourism Office. This is also where you can hire a local guide to Sumaguing Cave.
|Sumaguing Cave guide Fee||Php800.00|
Important Note: the shuttle is Php400.00 for specific hostels in Sagada. Additional Php250.00 if your homestay is not included on the list. But if you have private vehicle, you can opt not to get shuttle service.
Where to Stay in Sagada?
2. BOOK ROOMS AT AJJAA’S PLACE FOR PHP850.00 GOOD FOR 2
3. BOOK ROOMS AT WAGAZ HOMESTAY AND CAFE FOR PHP1,000.00 GOOD FOR 2
If you have budget for accommodation, I recommend staying in Sagada Heritage Village.
4. BOOK ROOMS AT SAGADA HERITAGE VILLAGE
FAQs & Important Tips From Joan’s Footprints
- Bring flashlight. Although the local tour guides bring flashlights, I think it will be better to bring your own too. If you have head lamp then that will be much better because it’s really pitch black inside the cave.
- Wear comfy clothes like leggings and a t-shirt. Do not wear dresses or short shorts. For ladies, wear cycling shorts and sports bra inside.
- Bring dry bags where you can put your water bottle and other gadgets like cellphone.
- Bring extra clothes. Spelunking requires you to sit and crown inside the cave so expect to get wet during the 2 hours spelunking experience.
- Use comfy footwear and do not wear sneakers. Non-slip sandals will do.
- Most importantly, do not leave your trash inside.
Sumaguing Cave “The Big One” in Sagada
Entering this enormous cave, it felt to me like I was entering Underground River in Palawan. You’ll see the huge mouth of the cave as you approach and then everything goes pitch black inside. But before that, your tour guide will give you a brief orientation and safety guidelines.
The Slippery Limestones
The first part of the cave is the most slippery. This is why our tour guide asked us to keep our phones inside our bags. The path is filled with limestones which are very slippery so most of the time we move in a seated-like position.
After surpassing the most difficult part of the cave, your tour guide will first show you some vandalized writings on the rocks which are believed to e writings of the people who first discovered the cave.
Flow Rocks & Rock Formations
The easiest part of the cave will be the path filled with flow rocks. Unlike limestones, flow rocks are not slippery because these rocks are very rough. In this part you’ll see a lot of rock formations like cake, mermaid, elephant, pig pen, giant food and many more.
Curtains Rock Formation
Before reaching the finale – curtains rock formation, you’ll have to go down the rope and do a minor rappelling. Don’t worry because your guide will show and tell you what to do. I think this is the part I enjoyed most!
It took our group 1.5 hours for the whole Sumaguing Cave spelunking. After this we went back to our homestay, had a quick lunch and headed to Boomed-ok Falls trekking. Check my travel guides in Sagada here!
Did you know? The right term to use is spelunking and not caving. Spelunking is the exploration of caves as a hobby. Caving on the other hand is a term for professionals who studies and creates cave maps.
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