The Cave Connection in Sagada, Mountain Province is one of the main attractions for travelers visiting the Philippines. It’s for three and a half hours of exploring connected caves–Sumaguing and Lumiang caves.
It was one of the highlights of our Sagada adventure which challenged all our physical capabilities in the group and at we told each other at the end of spelunking, “We did it!”. As you read along, you’ll find out why it’s no easy feat but it was so worth it to cross it off your ultimate travel bucket list!
First we went to the Tourism Information Center to register our names, ages, where we’re from, etc. for records and safety purposes. We had two tour guides with us ready with their lanterns and backpacks (to put our things inside like wallets, cell phones or cameras).
I suggest going here during off peak season as there are too many tourists during the peak season. When we went there, it wasn’t peak season but still there were a several groups of people. You won’t enjoy the caves as much as you would if it’s too crowded as the line becomes too long.
So where to begin? You’ll enter at the burial cave, Lumiang Cave, and exit from Sumaguing Cave. Yes, you read it right, burial cave as the traditional Igorot (the locals of Sagada) ancestors’ bodies were buried inside wooden coffins which now hanged at the entrances of the caves in Sagada. More about that as The HodgePodge Lifestyle features in another article about the other places to see and things to do in Sagada.
The author going down the rocks of Lumiang Cave
Off we went inside and crawled through the holes to go down the caves. Sometimes you’ll think you can’t fit in but surprisingly you can. The technique is to help each other especially when someone can’t reach down the rocks. This photo above is going down the cave and the hole was so small, it was still a wonder how everyone fit!
We went rappelling down some of the rocks, climbed the higher ones and the best part I loved was I swam from one end to the other to reach the other side. Yes it was ice cold but it was amazing! Some of the rocks are slippery because of the bats’ poop so you have to be careful. Crawl if you have to crawl or remove your shoes and go barefoot if you can climb better that way.
The tour guides are so used to doing the spelunking. It’s really admirable how fast and sturdy they are. They’ll guide you and give you instructions on how to do the different movements in climbing or crawling through the holes and also when to take pictures. Their first priority is their guests’ safety.
This area is very slippery because of the bat’s poop but the smaller rocks made it easier to climb all the way up. If you’re a first timer, don’t worry as the tourist guides will always assist you along the way. Usually, one will lead the right path while the other waits for everyone at the back of the line so less chances for accidents to happen.
These are only a few of the breathtaking stalagmites and stalactites you’ll see inside the caves of Sagada. Along the way, you’ll see with your own eyes the beauty God created inside the caves and the experience is truly nothing anyone can take away from you so if you have the chance to go caving in Sagada, go for it!
On the way up you’ll crawl again in a small hole but going up this time. There’s a rope to hold on to so that it’s easier to haul yourself up and the tourist guide will reach for you hand to pull you up as well. Someone will be behind you in case you need an extra push.
The feeling you get after completing a three and a half hour caving is surreal. Definitely caving is one for the books! It was one of the most adventurous and memorable activity I’ve done. I’m happy to have done it as it’s part of my bucket list.
The next day our body hurts so much, we could barely move. Every single muscle hurts (muscles you didn’t realized you even have in your body stretched hahaha!) but it was worth it as you only get to experience it once in your life–unless if you’re really into caving. Definitely if you visit Sagada, you should try the cave connection.
There are a lot of other activities you can do in Sagada which The HodgePodge Lifestyle will feature next at Sagada Adventures: Rolling Hills of Marlboro Country, Kiltepan Sunrise & Bokong Falls so watch out for it!
For more info about Sagada, you may visit the following websites:
Facebook: Visit Sagada