Conquering Sagada Philippines: Cave, Trek, Swim
January 1, 1970
Are you looking for a lot of fun and action packed Adventure in one place?
Well, you should definitely check out this place!
Where is Sagada?
Sagada is a small town in the Mountain Province. It is a place blessed with nearly all nature has to offer. It has caves, mountains, rivers, and falls. You can explore the mysterious Sumaguing Cave that has interesting formations, trek for hours to reach Bomod-ok Falls, swim all you want in the cold waters of the falls and river, enjoy the amazing sunrise and the sea of clouds in Kiltepan, be amazed by the story of the “Hanging Coffins”, and enjoy the homemade yogurt and other goodies being offered by the locals.
To know more about this place, you can visit these links:
How I found this Haven
I reached this place through a 3 days 2 nights package tour from a local travel agency worth 3,300 Philippine pesos ( approximately US $ 65.7). The package covers the transportation from Manila to Sagada and back, the payment for the rented house, registration fees of the sites to visit, and the accommodation fee of the driver and tour guide. Reaching the place is pretty tough considering it is one of the highest places in the Philippines. Personal driving will be difficult because of the stiff mountains and narrow roads, especially if you are new to this place. I believe that availing a local tour package would be the best choice. I was lucky enough to be part of my company outing that’s why it’s cheaper.
Our trip from Manila to Sagada took approximately 10 hours. After dropping off our things inside the rented house, we just took our lunch and headed straight to our first destination.
The Mysterious Sumaguing Cave
Sumaguing Cave challenged my inner daredevil. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. We have to remove our slippers to come down and leave our gadgets and other stuff to a safe place. I recommend bringing the following with you: gloves, headlights, dry-fit attire, handkerchief, and extra clothes. The rocks are slippery covered in bat poop, and the road is narrow and steep. You have to climb, slide, crawl, and jump to enter the cave stages. Good thing, the local tour guides are there to assist us. We trailed the dark, and gloomy cave carefully, holding on to anything that can help us on the way down, but once you see the formations, all the efforts are rewarding. We saw several rock formations there. To note, they are the Shark’s head, the Turtle, the King’s Curtain, The Dancing Hall, and the Rice Terraces. The experience is not complete if you will not swim in the cold waters inside that looks like a jacuzzi. The spelunking is enough for the day. We immediately took our rest going back to the rented house.
The Long Trek to Bomod- Ok Falls
The next day is another adventure. We woke up early in the morning to trek down to Bomod-ok Falls. I’m telling you, the trekking itself is a magnificent view. On the way down, lavish yourself with the stunning rice terraces of Sagada, and the breathtaking Cordillera mountains. Every angle is a picturesque moment, and you can’t help taking selfies. The trekking took an hour and a half, and my legs were shaking in soreness when we reached the falls. Good grief, the ice-cold water of the falls provided relief for my tired muscles. We spent 30 minutes bathing in the beautiful falls before going up again.
Heard the Story of the Hanging Coffins?
Our day did not stop there. With our clothes still dripping wet, we headed straight to Sagada Hanging Coffins. Before reaching the next destination, you still have to do a 15-minute trekking, a little lighter this time. You will walk past the local cemetery where local villagers were also buried. On the way, you will also stop by the echo valley where you can shout out any thought, and hear your voice on the other side. You will not be allowed to shout when you are near the hanging coffins. After few minutes, you will arrive there. The local tour guide will now tell you the story and history of the hanging coffins. Of course, I am not allowed to tell it here. It’s for you to find out on your visit. It’s a great honor to see the site and we also offered a prayer for the souls of the departed ones we came to visit.
The Yogurt is Homemade and Surreal
After the visit there, at last, we came back in our rented house. It’s great to end the day with a happy tummy. So, we roamed the whole town in search of the perfect dinner. We found it at the Strawberry Cafe. I personally had “Adobo Chicken” for dinner and vegetables on the side. I also ordered their homemade mango yogurt I loved so much. The ingredients are fresh, and the yogurt melts in my mouth like clouds. It has a distinct taste that you can eat the plain yogurt itself without any add-on. It’s creamy, milky, smooth, and just heavenly. I promised myself when I get back, I will definitely order that again.
The Final and Majestic View at Kiltepan
The last day of our Sagada adventure should be a memorable one. Therefore we really woke up early 4:00 in the morning to watch the sunrise and sea of clouds on our next destination, The “Kiltepan”. The weather that time is on our side. Tourists do not always see the beautiful view there due to the weather. We took a local “Jeepney” to go up the site. We arrived there at 4:30 in the morning and waited for the beautiful sunrise to greet us. It was one of the most breathtaking views I saw in my life. The sea of clouds looks like nymphs dancing before the king sun arrive. They are pure and dazzling above the mountains that seemed like their very own stage. The waiting is definitely worth it.
Every adventure has its peak eventually, and we have reached it. We came back to our rented house, fixed our things, and headed to the waiting van that will send us back to Manila.
Things to Remember on Your Trip
Sagada is a paradise, and I will add it to the most beautiful places I visited so far in my life. So if you plan to visit too, here is the list of things you can bring just to be prepared:
- Trekking shoes/ clothes
- Headlights/ Flashlight
- Dry fit attire
- Camping Stuff
- Go-pro / Camera
- Adventurous SpiritLots of Courage
Goodluck to you!