I have traveled to Sagada 9 times the past 6 years. Out of the 9 visits, I have experienced its dark side on 5 occasions. The experience was adrenaline-thrusting, heart-thumping, and fun-filled!
Sagada, Northern Philippines’ backpacking mecca, has some of the most incredible limestone caves in the entire country for adventure enthusiasts to explore. Spelunking or caving is a classic outdoor activity with lots of awesome twists. On those 5 occasions that I did caving in Sagada, it always felt spectacular like the 1st time I did it. It is such a great activity for someone who isn’t terrified of tight spaces, heights, darkness, and getting dirty. Despite not being for the faint-hearted, one is welcome to give it a try Sagada’s vertical cave system that is a perfect introduction to the underground world of caving.
There are several caves that can be explored in Sagada. The most established are Sumaguing and Lumiang Caves. But if you are the more adventurous one, then Crystal Cave may be your better cup of tea. To date, my Sagada caves undertaking are some of the best that I have experienced. The stalactite and stalagmite formations I have seen are beyond amazing. Spending several hours inside the caves, one’s imagination would be put to the test and try to spot the “king’s curtain”, “the queen”, “giant chocolate-caramel fudge”, “the pregnant woman”, the “prince and the princess” and many other formations with funny monikers.
The three to four hours spelunking is a test of one’s endurance (especially when you go inside the cave forgetting your packed food because of too much excitement, that you end up feeling really hungry), flexibility (by worming your way into narrow holes and spaces), courage (since some parts are pretty slippery and high) and survival instinct while appreciating this cave system.
The spectacle of the cavernous structures and the shady depth, the path of potholed steps may not be the usual way of rousing someone else’s happy and satisfied soul. To me and my friends, this is exactly something that feeds us. Yes, its physical tiresome, BUT, caving’s lure to see the indefinite and mysterious is just unbearable to resist.
Things to Remember:
1. Secure a tour guide: Look for registered guides at the office of
2. Wear the appropriate attire: Don something light, quick-dry (dri-fit), and stretchable clothes. Use durable, non-slippery footwear.
3. ALWAYS follow the guide’s instructions. It is vital to listen to them for your safety and pleasure.
4. Explore with a group: I’m pretty sure you’d much appreciate some encouraging words, cheerful companions and a helping hand inside the cave.
5. DO NOT vandalize and litter. Remember, leave nothing but footprints.
6. Have FUN!!!
Spelunking in Sumaguing cave costs P500 for a group of four. Cave connection is at P400 per person, for a minimum of two people per guide. So there.
Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.