Sagada is not just famous for its cool climate, tall mountains, and amazing scenery. It is also home to caves that were discovered underneath the town. One of these underground chambers is called "The Big Cave" which is aptly named as it has the biggest chamber among the 60 discovered underground caverns. Welcome to Sumaging Cave!You
STAGE 1: The Descent
Our tour reached the entrance to the cave a few hours after lunchtime. I remember that the rain has just stopped so the steps leading down the main entrance to Sumaging was still wet when we arrived. It took us a few minutes to reach the end of the stairs. It was a short and easy walk down these steps which slowly turned to rocks then boulders until we've reached the caves dark mouth signalling the start of our descent to the innermost chamber called - Stage 1.
Before we even began the descent, our guide jokingly reminded us of the ABCDEFs of climbing which stands for "Always be careful, don't ever fall!" - to your death if you ever do. Our climb was slow because of the slippery slope. The climb down smelled of bat poops and urine, and the chamber was filled with echoes from the many tours that were already below us. We can see how far we were from the ground because each guide were given petroleum lamps to provide light to each touring group.
STAGE 2: The Chamber
Once we reached the bottom of the climb, we were told by our guide that we are now entering Stage 2 of our spelunking adventure. We were asked to remove our shoes and slip-ons and to walk the cave barefooted. The guide explained that walking barefoot will give us more footing when we explore the cave.
There are a lot of really cool rock formations inside the cave. Check them out here.
STAGE 3: The Tunnel
The best part of our spelunking adventure was when we explored the cave to its innermost chamber. Before we even began the exploration, we were asked if we are willing to really get wet, and if we were claustrophobic. The guide explained that Stage 3 will require us to go through a really small tunnel, and we need to crawl inside small spaces. Inside the tunnel are ropes that we'll need to hold on to. The waters in the cave are very deep and falling in can be dangerous so we need to make sure to hold onto the ropes tightly when we move inside the tunnel.
Once we reached the end of the tunnel, we had to rappel going up to go back to the caves main chamber. It is important that you listen to your guide and must follow his or her every direction.
Going through the tunnel can be nerve wrecking but don't worry, just listen to your guide and ask for help if you need assistance. They are trained to provide you the support you'll need should it be required.
- You will get wet inside the cave so wear comfortable clothing.
- Bring flashlight - I recommend the miner's flashlight so you won’t need to hold it while exploring.
- Wear comfortable footwear that won't slip and has firm grip.
- Bring your camera, but make sure it is waterproof, and that it will not slip off your hand. The cave is dark, and some waters inside the cave are extremely deep, if you drop your camera inside, consider it gone for good.
- There are many tour groups inside the cave so make sure to always check if you're still with your group when you're on a tour.
- Have a buddy with you always, and make sure you are near your tour guide.
- Do not attempt to explore the cave on your own.
If you're up to an amazing experience, not afraid to get wet, and to crawl inside small spaces then book that Sumaging Cave tour in Sagada today.