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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sagada Cave Connections: Sumaguing and Lumiang Caves

The Sagada Cave Connections is the highlight of Sagada's Tourism.  It is called Cave Connections because it is composed of two interconnecting limestone caves: Sumaguing and Lumiang Caves.  But, before heading on to the cave, tourists are required to register at the Sagada Tourist Center and pay a minimal registration fee of 10 php per person.  You could also hire tour guides there.  Tour guides are available at a standard service rate of 400 php.  The suggested guide to person ratio for beginners is 1 guide per 3 persons.  Better go there early because there are warnings at the cave entrance not to enter beyond 4 pm.  

Spelunkers have the option to choose their route.  For beginners especially children, the Sagada Tourist Center advises the Sumaging Cave which takes approximately 2 hours to explore.  Through this route, you exit where you enter.  On the other hand, you can choose the Cave Connections where you will enter the Lumiang Cave and exit through Sumaging Cave.   This takes approximately 4-6 hours.  On our case, our duration was exactly four hours and we were a mixed bunch of 19 with kids and senior citizens.

sagada cave connection map

sagada cave connection trail

The Sagada Cave Connections is considered to be a novice level cave.  In fact, the track towards the cave entrance through the woods is already cemented.  

lumiang cave

There are hanging coffins by the Lumiang Cave.  Well, not exactly hanging as some of those coffins are on the ground and opened even.  You can see scattered bones as you pass by.

lumiang cave

As indicated by the map, the first part is going downwards.  As you go deeper, the light from the cave entrance fades so the guides are equipped with their lanterns.  However, there are instances when our guide's lamp malfunctions.  Good, this we had our light headlamps which we bought in Manila from Wyler Enterprises

lumiang cave

lumiang cave
As novice spelunkers, we were focused on taking one rock at a time.  I did my part slowly but surely.  As I looked up, most of my companions were already far from were I was.  Through my beginner's eyes, I could not trace the track they took because I could not differentiate one ruble from another.  Good thing, I was always with a guide.  They would patiently point were to step in each obstacle along the way.

lumiang cave
I enjoyed the part were I just need to fit myself along the natural cracks along the boulders.

But, it was the rappelling which I found to be difficult.  They told me to bend and spread my legs so the rope won't shake to much as I pulled my own weight upward.  I noticed the guides could easily go up without any ropes though.

sagada limestone

If you lack exercise and stamina like I do, you'll find the spelunking journey to be a bit exhausting.  However, the tour around the cave and the beautiful limestone formations is worth every ounce of sweat.  You'd have to see to appreciate their funny names like pregnant woman, mickey mouse, curtains and rice terraces.  There is also a huge cauliflower over there.  Although you way be thirsty, don't ever drink the water inside the cave.  Its stagnant water were you can get amoeba.  

Once you approach Sumaging Cave, you'll go through water tunnels which is in my opinion not as scary as seeing the dark and seemingly endless pits of Lumiang Cave.  But, the cold water can make you feel a slight pang to your tired nerves.  After the water and crawling through a mountain of bat poo, you'll find the light that will lead you to the entrance of Sumaging Cave.  The bat poo part was a bit of a challenge for me since countless of time, my slipper got stuck in it and my feet would slide of my flip flops.  Bringing along a hiking sandals or flip flops is advisable.

Sumaging Cave
Once you get outside the cave, you'll have to climb a hundred more steps to reach the road.  

Sumaging Cave
According to the cave rules, vandalism and scattering of trash is not allowed.  Sadly, there were some visible vandalism and trashes on the cave.  =(

Overall, the Sagada Cave Connections is one adventure that a Travel Tripster will never forget.  Try it out for an adventure of a lifetime.  After you're finish this cave, buy yourself a "I Survived Sagada" T-shirt from the nearby stores and tell your friends about it.

Sagada Cave Connections Sagada Cave Connections
Price Per Person FREE (guide 400 php)
Payment Options Cash
Business Hours Before 2 pm
Reservation Required No but register at the Sagada Tourist Center
Sumaguing and Lumiang Caves
Transportation to Attraction
Jeepney, Bus
Commute Guide

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