Adrenaline & Adventure · Hacks For Wanderlust · Heights & Hiking · Philippine Gems

A First Timer’s Guide To Spelunking In Sumaguing Cave, Sagada

As promised on my last post, I will be writing a short guide on spelunking in Sumaguing Cave for first timers. I just think that it’s nice to know what to expect from our adventures sometimes. I’m a meticulous planner and I believe that certain activities needs a little bit of preparation especially if you’re a first timer.

So, you’ve either planned a trip to Sagada and you want to do their famed cave connection, or you’re considering if this activity is for you, am I correct? If you haven’t made up your mind yet, I will tell you right now: DO IT. It’s such an incredible experience and I was instantly hooked. I never thought caves could be that cool so I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. And whatever you’re worried about, I got chu covered. I’ll highlight everything you need to know in this super quick guide. I’ll be fast and straight to the point, no story telling because that’s over and done with. If you haven’t read it yet, you should, and maybe that will convince you. (READ: Gone Spelunking In Sagada)


Yes. Unless you have some serious case of claustrophobia, heart problems, or asthma, then you’re probably not a great candidate for this. If you’re physically impaired, it will be very difficult. If you’re not in shape, it can be done! As long as you know how to follow instructions, you’ll be fine.


The Cave Connection, which explores  different caves, is advertised to last for 4-6 hours. In our case, it wasn’t more than 3 hours long. That includes cigarette breaks (not us, my husband and I do not smoke), photo breaks, and a swimming break in a pool. I suppose it depends on your group. The bigger the group, the longer it would take. The more crowded it is, the longer the queue would be. There were only 4 of us, plus our tour guide, so it all went smoothly.


Girl, Unspotted -- sagada sumaguing cave spelunking

There are some challenging parts but it’s nothing anyone in average physical condition cannot handle. If I could do it while I was sick, you could too! Just follow your guide’s instruction. Otherwise, one mistake could be pretty fatal. There’s a lot of intricate steps that may seem intimidating, but it’s all feasible. Quite frankly, the hardest part for me was climbing back up. But that’s alwaysssss the hardest part.


Girl, Unspotted -- sagada sumaguing cave spelunking

I wore a sporty bralette swimsuit top and knee length stretchy yoga pants. My husband wore some kind of lightweight hiking pants and a dry fit shirt. Others wore shorts. There’ll be a lot of sliding down and you’ll be going through sharp rocks so that’s something to consider if you don’t want to scratch your precious legs. As for our footwear, we used water shoes, but I suppose you could wear sandals or any shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. You will get wet one way or another so go for dry fit material, or and something you don’t mind ruining at least, because you might. A great grip on your shoes will also help. But when we went through the wet and slippery rocks, we took off our shoes.


Spelunking in Sagada requires a guide, and trust me, you need one. We paid 400 php ($8) per person. If you’re going by yourself, it will cost 800 php ($17). You’ll also need to find a ride there unless you’re okay walking there and back. Transportation in Sagada is quite pricey. I believe we paid 600 php ($13) for a ride back and forth. The price is not per person so you can split it with a group.


Now. Weekdays to avoid the crowd. The more people there are in the cave, the longer the queue. You definitely do not want to do it during a typhoon or a heavy rain. I suppose it doesn’t matter what time of the day you go because either way, it will be pitch black down there.


There’s another option where you just explore one cave, but that sounds kinda lame, no? But whatever, it’s up to you. It’s a good option for families with kids.


Girl, Unspotted -- sagada sumaguing cave spelunking

  • LISTEN TO YOUR GUIDE. And tip him well. You will be stepping on his shoulders, legs, maybe head too– your life depends on how well you listen to him, so listen good.
  • Don’t be intimidated when you enter the cave. It gets creepier if you’re afraid of the dark, but it will grow on you.
  • Waterproof your stuff. Your camera, your money bag, etc. Don’t bring your phone. It’s too dark for SnapChat. Not worth it.
  • Hydrate yourself. Obviously, bring water.
  • Seriously, just do it. It’s phenomenal.

See, I told you it’s not thaaaat crazy. You can do it, and if you’re as thirsty for adventure as I am, you’ll most definitely fall in love with it. I already can’t wait to explore another cave. Anyway, if you have any other concern or question, hit me up on the comment section and I’ll get back to you!

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15 thoughts on “A First Timer’s Guide To Spelunking In Sumaguing Cave, Sagada

  1. I am also a meticulous planner and so I appreciate the detail in this post so I know exactly what to expect! I’ve always thought about going spelunking (mostly because it fun word and I want to say it to other people ;-)) but have never come across anywhere to do it on my travels. I’ll definitely be putting this on my Philippines list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually didn’t know that Spelunking meant Cave exploration. until I looked it up . So I can say I’ve been Spelunking in the caves on Bear Mountain in Zagreb. Caves are quite cool…literally and a great spot to be in when it’s blazing hot outside 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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