Saturday, February 1, 2014

Adventure and Cultural Exploration - a Spelunking Experience with Sumaguing and Lumiang Caves

Sumaguing Cave Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
 Part 8 of the Cordillera Series
One of the famous activities in Sagada is spelunking. Being a town situated at about 1600 meters above sea level, it blessed with many caves. One of the sought after cave adventure will the the cave connection between the Sumaguing and the Lumiang caves. Aside from being a famous location for adventure lovers, the caves are also a ground to where the culture of our historic ancestors are prevalent. It is culture and adventure combined into one.

The Sumaguing and Lumiang caves are interconnected with each other in a series of chambers that one can traverse testing your agility and flexibility as you have to make your way through rugged and slippery rock formations and openings that will make sure you make use of every part of your body to fit between those rocks, climb them or even slide through them. Eventhough the cave openings are only abour 473 meters apart the tunnels and chambers are intertwined in a complex manner making it 3-4 hours to traverse the cave connection.

Entrance to Lumiang Cave Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
The lush display of pine trees towards the entrance of Lumiang Cave

Lumiang Cave is considered as the smaller cave and is the usual entrance if traversing both of the caves. The entrance of this cave is famous for the stacked coffins where the Igorots of Sagada are "burying" their departed family members on a stacked manner in a belief that their spirits can easily reach the heavens the higher they can get. And from this entrance, it leads down to a a very small opening that a person can only fit one at a time.

Lumiang Cave Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
Lumiang Cave entrance and the stacked coffins

Lumiang Cave Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
Towards the very small entrance of Lumiang cave

The Sumaguing Cave is the larger cave and is usually the exit cave if going through a cave connection. But those who does not have time and courage to explore the two, this cave is the usual destination to where they go the deepest part of the cave for about an hour and a half until they reach the deepest chamber that are filled with magnificent slactites and stalagmites formation and water than can go as waist-deep. Not to mention bats that thrive the chambers too.

Sumaguing Cave Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
The large entrance of Sumaguing Cave

Sumaguing Cave Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
Slippery rocks and the deep tunnel inside the Sumaguing Cave

Sumaguing Cave Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
Sumaguing Cave explorers down below towards the bat chamber

At the end of the cave connection exploration or the entrance of the Sumaguing Cave will greet you  with a refreshing Halo-Halo with jelly, milk, shaved ice, small pearls (sago), purple yam (ube), rice crispies, apples (yes apples), and beans that only costs Php 30 a cup. At this stall you also need to register. Just show the receipt of the environmental fee you paid at the Sagada Tourism Center so you can proceed.

Halo Halo at the Sumaguing Cave - Schadow1 Expeditions
Halo-Halo near the Sumaguing Cave entrance

Both caves are located along the end of Sagada's South Road and is about 2.5 kilometers away from the town center passing by the scenic Kanip-aw Rice Terraces.

Kanip-aw Rice Terraces Sagada - Schadow1 Expeditions
Kanip-aw rice terraces along the South Road

The transport fee to the caves costs Php 350 and the guide fee for the cave connection is Php 800 for 2 people. If you only want to go inside the Sumaguing Cave towards the deepest part of its chamber and back, the guide fee costs Php 500 for up to 4 people.

The Sumaguing and the Lumiang caves are mapped by Schadow1 Expeditions as part of our mapping advocacy to promote Philippine tourism and help local government units using the mapping data for their disaster risk resiliency planning.

Data has been contributed to +OpenStreetMap Philippines  and a routable GPS map of the whole country is being compiled weekly to aid drivers and outdoor recreationists on their navigation/trek within the Philippines.

Google Maps (link)
Schadow1 Expeditions Contributions (link)

How to use for your Navigation System (link)

For a more detailed account of Schadow1 Expeditions on its Cordillera Mapping Expedition, check on the links below:

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