Showing posts with label Sagada Itinerary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sagada Itinerary. Show all posts

SAGADA: Where to Ride the Zipline and do Rock Climbing

August 20, 2014

SAGADA: Where to Ride the Zipline and do Rock Climbing

If you plan to ride the short zipline in Sagada and do some rock climbing, do it on the same day you're going to Echo Valley. Both activities are in the same route leading to Echo Valley and the Hanging Coffins.


Where it is located

You will pass by the zipline on the way to Echo Valley.
The stairs that you see lead to Echo Valley.




How It's Done

Approach this tent

Put on the harness.

Ready to do the zipline

Climb these stairs

A view of the zipline route




Going between trees

The end!


The route down the mountain leads to the Hanging Coffins.
You pass by the tents below that offer Rock Climbing.

This is the wall where you do rock climbing.

NOTE: We didn't do rock climbing so I don't have details to share.

SAGADA: Gareth Likigan: Best SAGGAS Guide for Exploring the Sumaging Cave

August 9, 2014

SAGADA: Gareth Likigan: Best SAGGAS Guide for Exploring the Sumaging Cave


1. They know where to go. 
Sumaging cave is very hard to navigate on your own. See my post "Exploring Sumaging Cave with Kids" to see how the Sumaging cave exploration goes.

2. They know how to keep you safe.
  • They provide the equipment that will keep you safe, like the lamps.
  • They remind you where to step, what rocks are slippery and where to step to avoid guano. 
  • They also try to gauge your physical capability and decide whether to take you the whole length of the cave or just part of it.

3. They take your photos.
It's impossible for you to hold a typical digital camera because you need both hands to keep your balance and to keep yourself safe. The guide can take your photo while exploring the cave


I highly recommend that you get Gareth Likigan as your guide in Sumaging cave. 
  • He's very knowledgeable about the history of Sagada.
Gareth giving safety tips at the entrance of Sumaging cave

You can see Gareth in action in this video at the Lumiang burial cave

  • He's very experienced exploring the Sumaging cave. He constantly reminds us where it's safe to step on the rocks and is very vigilant all throughout the tour in keeping us out of danger. 
After exploring Sumaging cave

  • He meticulously took our photos every step of the way so we had numerous and great photos of the tour.
  • Aside from this, he's also very likeable and nice to my kids. My kids enjoyed the tour and was given souvenir rings that Gareth himself made while going down the steps of Lumiang Burial Cave. 

Gareth with my kids after the Lumiang burial cave tour

While going down the Lumiang burial cave, Gareth made rings...

...from this plant.

The finished product.

Then he gave my kids the rings he made as souvenir. 

How to contact Gareth Likigan

Gareth Likigan
Cellphone number : (+63)929-55-69-55-3
Email address:


The Sumaging cave tour includes a visit to the Lumiang burial cave

My BANAUE and SAGADA Itinerary with Kids (Day 4: Sumaguing Cave, Lumiang Burial Caves in Sagada)

My BANAUE and SAGADA Itinerary with Kids 
(Day 4: Sumaging Cave, Lumiang Burial Cave)




See the Banaue Rice Terraces at the Banaue Viewpoint
Lunch at Mount Polis
See the Bayyo Rice Terraces
Read more of Day 3 of My Banaue and Sagada Itinerary with Kids



Map of the route for today

STARTING POINT: St. Joseph's Resthouse
FIRST STOP: Sumaging Cave
SECOND STOP: Lumiang Burial Cave
THIRD STOP: Lunch at St. Joseph's Resthouse

9:00 AM - 9:40 AM:

Meet up with Gareth Likigan of Sagada Genuine Guides' Association at St. Joseph's Resthouse 
Passed by the SAGGAS office to pick up another guide and equipment for caving. 

Paid municipal tourism fee at the Municipal Tourist Office and got the Sumaging cave entrance pass.
Municipal tourism fee is 35 pesos per person

After getting the pass, we travelled to Sumaging Cave.

9:45 AM - 12:00 PM:
Spelunking at Sumaguing Cave
Check out my post: "Exploring Sumaging Cave with Kids

12:00 PM - 12:40 PM:
Washed up at Sagada Cave pay washroom.
Walked from Sumaguing Cave to Lumiang Cave.

12:40 PM - 1:30 PM:
Explored Lumiang Burial Cave
Check out my post: "Exploring the Lumiang Burial Cave with Kids " 

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM:
Returned guides to Saggas Office
Returned to St. Joseph's resthouse

2:00 PM - 3:45 PM:
 Lunch at St. Joseph's Inn.

Rest of the day:
We rested at our cottage at St. Joseph's resthouse.


See Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins
Do the Sagada Zipline
Read more of Day 5 of My Banaue and Sagada Itinerary with Kids 


See Dalton Pass
Read more of Day 6 of My Banaue and Sagada Itinerary with Kids 

SAGADA: Exploring the Lumiang Burial Cave with Kids

August 7, 2014

SAGADA: Exploring the Lumiang Burial Cave with Kids

Why Visit the Lumiang Burial Cave:

Below are the highlights of SAGGAS guide Gareth Likigan's Lumiang Cave Guided Tour. The information he shared with us show why it's worth visiting the Lumiang Burial cave. The burial rites of the people of Sagada form a very important part of their lives. How it is conducted affects all their beliefs on life and death and therefore has played a dominant role in forming their culture.

If you wish to watch the video of the tour, check out the video I uploaded below. 

These are the highlights of Gareth Likigan's guided tour, shown in the video below:

1. The name "Lumiang" came from the rootword "liang", meaning cave. Therefore, if you translate it in English, it will be called "Cave burial cave".
2. The Lumiang cave used to be a cemetery or a burial cave. About 100 coffins were buried there but throughout the years, many have fallen. deeper into the cave.
3. There are many burial caves in Sagada but this one is the most visited because it is accessible.
4. The last coffin to be buried at Lumiang cave was in 1986. The practice of burying in caves is still done elsewhere. They don't do it here anymore because a lot of tourists visit this cave. They won't be able to endure the smell if they still use this as a burial cave
5. The coffin buried here range from 100-500 years old. The lower the coffin, the older it is. They bury the coffin by piling one on top of the other.
6. The coffins are made of pine trees and cut out like a canoe. Inside the hollowed portion is where they bury the dead.
7. The coffins are small because they bury the dead in a fetal position. Their belief is that we came out our mothers in a fetal position so we should go out of this world in a fetal position be reborn to mother nature.
8. The practice of burying the dead in long rectangular coffins was the effect of the arrival of Christianity. When Christianity arrived, they buried the dead lying down.
Other information we got from our conversations with our guide:

How the coffins are transported:
All the relatives, friends and village mates form a line from the house of the deceased to the burial cave, and they each take turns transporting the body of the deceased until it reaches the cave. Then they put the body inside the pine coffin.
Why bury the dead in caves:
So they can easily escape their coffins and go to the after-life.

Where it is located:
It is located along other main road of Sagada where all the restaurants are. It is located before the Sumaging Cave. 

Lumiang cave is the start-off point of the cave connection tour and then you exit through Sumaging cave.

We only took the Sumaging cave tour. A visit to Lumiang cave is included in the Sumaging cave tour. We entered Lumiang cave through the main entrance and exited the same way. We walked along the main road again and entered Sumaging cave from the entrance and exited the same way. 

Below is the Lumiang Burial Cave Tour:

At the left of the photo is the entrance along the road that leads to Lumiang cave.

Close-up of the entrance that leads to Lumiang cave.

Then you go down a flight of stairs.

Going deeper towards the mouth of the cave.
You see the coffins on the right side of the photo.

This is the video I took of the lecture of SAGGAS guide, Gareth Likigan.

The small pine coffin side-by-side the rectangular one.
The rectangular coffin is the latest coffin buried in 1985

You can inspect the coffins up close

Some coffins are inserted in a niche near the roof of the cave.
They believe that the higher the coffins are the easier it is for them to escape from the cave and go on to the after-life.

Wooden nails sealing the coffin

SAGADA: Exploring Sumaging Cave with Kids

July 28, 2014

SAGADA: Exploring Sumaging Cave with Kids

Why Visit Sumaguing Cave 
You cannot go to Sagada without visiting the Sumaguing cave. It's what makes traveling all the way to the remote town of Sagada worth it. To make it easier to explain why it's an adventure you shouldn't miss, read the Lonely Planet article below:

Lonely Planet included Sumaguing Cave as one of the Top Ten Underground Experiences . Below is the write-up on Sumaging Cave:

"...2. Sagada Burial Caves, Philippines

Sumaging Cave is an exhilarating adventure guaranteed to bring out the Indiana Jones in you. The route takes you crawling through narrow crevices, wading through water and scaling the sides of deep ravines, and in some sections the smooth limestone is so slippery you have to go barefoot. Guides light the way (and the stunning calcium formations) with gas lanterns. The connected Lumiang Burial Cave is fascinating for its eerie collection of centuries-old wooden coffins. Other, slowly decomposing, coffins can be seen hanging from the cliff-face....."

How Long It Takes:

It took us 2 hours and 15 minutes to explore ALL PARTS of the cave. My kids' ages are 14, 16, 18 and 20. And we're all physically fit. 

What to Wear:
What to Expect:

Exploring the cave is composed of four (4) parts. If you feel you're unable to explore ALL parts of the cave. You can stop at any of these parts and go back to the mouth of the cave with your guide.



1. You enter a gate that leads to the mouth of the cave.

Entrance that leads to the cave

Left sign

Right sign

2. You walk down several stairs that leads deep into cave and stop at the entrance where it's too dark to enter without a gas lamp.

First set of stairs after the entrance...

...then you turn left... go down more stairs...

Stopping for a photo op before going down more stairs. 
At the right side of the photo you see the stairs leading to the mouth of the cave.

Yup, more stairs....

Close up of the stairs.

Nearing the mouth of the cave

3. The SAGGAS guide lights the gas lamp and gives a briefing on what spelunking is all about and shares some rules and safety tips while inside the cave.

Lighting the gas lamp

Gareth Likigan, our SAGGAS guide, giving safety tips

Last photo before entering the cave


Going down the cave in rocks peppered with guano

Done with the second part!


Walking along flow stones

This is the most interesting part because this is where you view the magnificent rock formations which are called flow stones.

What are flow stones? Flow stones are formed from actively flowing water. The water deposits carbonate material when carbon dioxide is lost and then forms the flow stones in layers. 

As you will see below, it may have taken hundreds of years to make these rock formations by continuous flowing water that deposits carbonate material on the ground.

You crawl down flow stones

It seems slippery because of the water you see 
but the texture of flow stones are like sand paper. 
You can lean and stick to it like velcro.

Rested briefly as we prepare to go deeper down the cave.

This rock formation is called "The cake"
You see Mariel taking a bite at the back!

Sliding down 8 feet of the rock formation 
called "The wisdom tooth"

This rock formation is called "The wisdom tooth"
NOTE: The rock formations I featured here are not the only rock formations you will see. There are still more beautiful rock formations to see once inside the cave.


They say this is the most challenging part. Personally, I find the second and third parts equally challenging but with different kinds of danger. 

1. You go through a hole

2. You scale a wall with a rope to go deeper down the cave.

3. You wade through water to reach the deepest part of the cave

Below is the sign that you have reached the deepest part of the cave:
This part of the cave used to be under the sea.
You see the shells deposited on the roof of the cave

We did it!!!
We finally reached the deepest part of the cave!

(the parts above in reverse order)


We used a different route ascending the cave.

You climb using a rope...

...then you pass through a hole.


Passing through flow stones again.


Climbing rocks peppered with guano

Spelunking is over!!!
We did it!!!


After spelunking is over, we still have to climb 275 steps to reach the entrance of the cave.

Last pose before passing the entrance at the right

My tips:

1. Do not go inside without a guide. The guide will keep you safe and will direct you where to put your feet down and where to pass. They will also take the photos.

2. I highly recommend Gareth Likigan of SAGGAS. He was very informative, kept us safe and at the same time, religiously took photos with our own camera.

3. Watch this episode of Biyahe ni Drew. This helped me prepare for the spelunking.


After exploring the cave, getting wet, climbing, slipping and holding rocks filled with guano, this is where you can wash off grime from exploring the cave.

Sagada Cave is located across the entrance of Sumaging Cave.

Sagada cave offers:

1. Use of the shower/bath facilities for 20 pesos per person.
2. Use of comfort room facilities for 10 pesos per person.
3. Food and water
4. Souvenirs