Travel Stories

Exploring Sagada: A Well-Preserved Mountain Gem - Day 3

Like what they always say, “All good things must come to an end.”



Day three was our last day at Sagada, so we decided to save the best activity for last: the cave connection. What better way to end our amazing journey than exploring the nooks and crannies of Sagada’s famous caves, right?


At around 7am, we met up again (for the last time) with our ever-so-trusty tour guide, Kurt. He told us that, because of time conflicts, we won’t be able to do the cave connection anymore (which originally consists of entering Lumiang Burial Cave, then passing and coming out of Sumaguing Cave), so we just opted to explore the latter.

When we got to the site, we were told to get rid of any excess clothing (scarves, jackets, etc.) so we won’t have any problems when going down the cave. After that, Kurt quickly set up his gas lamp, we presented our environmental fee receipt at the entrance, and we started our descent.


I’ve been inside the cave before and I already know what’s in there, but I was still shaking with fear and excitement as we continued to descend into the cave. When I first went to Sagada a few years back, Sumaguing Cave was my favorite destination, and for my second time, it’s still my number one.


A few minutes, a handful of mini heart attacks, a couple of rocks hugged and held on for dear life, and one wet and muddy body later, we finally reached the first rock formation of Sumaguing Cave: the elephant.


(The Elephant)

Sumaguing Cave is very famous for its stunning and natural rock formations, with some closely resembling the human male and female genitalia. Locals have named the formations based on what they look like, even adding a royal touch to some of them. Piece of advice: listen closely to the tour guides, because they have lots of stories and jokes hidden in their sleeves.


(The Queen)


(The King)


(The Turtle)


(The Birthday Cake)


(King’s Curtain)


(The Snake - we’re sitting on it)


(The Crocodile)


(The Shy Princess)


(Mini Water Terraces)


(Giant Molars)

Aside from these cool rock formations, Sumaguing Cave also houses equally-amazing coal and iron formations, which are all natural and accidental.


(This formation resembles two people from the Bible. Care to guess?)

We were also amazed to see fossils of fishes and shells embedded on the walls and ceiling of the cave, proving that it was, in fact, submerged in water many years ago.


After photo-ops and sight-seeing, we decided it was time to bid farewell to the majestic Sumaguing Cave and go back up to the main land. We left the cave by rappelling and climbing on rocks and rubber tires.


After almost four hours inside the cave, we finally saw the sun shine again. We said our thanks to our dear tour guide and promised to come back soon.


(With Kurt, our guide in almost all the places we visited)

For the last time, we decided to topload a jeepney on the way back to the town proper. The feeling of sitting on top of a moving vehicle--- with the beautiful landscape of Sagada--- will never be new to me. Even if I’ve done it three times in three days, the feeling’s still the same.



After washing up, packing up, and saying goodbye to the very kind owners of Kenlopsik Transient House, we did what most travelers do: buy souvenirs. You don’t have to worry about souvenir knick-knacks and native products when in Sagada--- they are literally everywhere!



After souvenir-shopping, we decided to eat out one last time at Salt and Pepper. This place is not in every list of “where-to-eat-in-Sagada” for nothing--- their rosemary chicken and mushroom chicken meals are highly recommended!


For our departure, we chose CODA Lines’ direct trip so we won’t have to make two trips to get home. At first, we didn’t know where to buy the tickets, but thankfully, the guys at the information center were very helpful and showed us where their ticket station was. The fare is P720/person, with a very long journey of 12 hours, with three stopovers.

As of September 2016, direct trips from Sagada to Quezon City are 2:30pm and 3:30pm only, while trips from QC to Sagada are 8pm and 9pm. They also have scheduled trips to Banaue and from Bondoc, as well as Baguio trips. For more information, check out and


Here’s our actual DIY itinerary:

Day 0
2200H - ETD Victory Liner Manila

Day 1
0400H - ETA Victory Liner Baguio
0500H - ETA GL Trans
0700H - ETD GL Trans
1300H - ETA Sagada town proper
1330H - ETA Kenlopsik Transient House
1430H - Lunch at Sagada Homestay
1530H - Start Echo Trail
1830H - End Echo Trail
1900H - Dinner
2000H - Rest

Day 2
0400H - Wake-up call
0430H - Start trail to Kiltepan Viewpoint
0530H - ETA Kiltepan Viewpoint
0730H - ETD Kiltepan Viewpoint
0800H - ETA town proper
0815H - Breakfast at Sagada Taste
0915H - Rest
1000H - ETD town proper
1045H - ETA Aguid/Bomod-ok Falls registration area
1100H - Start descent
1200H - ETA Bomod-ok Falls
1230H - Start ascent
1330H - ETA Aguid/Bomod-ok Falls registration area
1400H - ETD Aguid/Bomod-ok Falls registration area
1445H - ETA town proper
1500H - Late lunch at Sagada Homestay
1545H - Rest
2100H - Dinner at Sanivet Erl Mami Haus and Café
2200H - Rest

Day 3
0600H - Wake-up call
0700H - ETD town proper
0730H - ETA Sumaguing Cave
0800H - Start descent
1200H - Start ascent
1230H - ETD Sumaguing Cave
1300H - ETA town proper
1315H - Pack up, etc.
1330H - Lunch at Salt and Pepper
1430H - Souvenir shopping, etc.
1500H - ETD Sagada
0300H - ETA Quezon City

Victory Liner bus - P450/pax
Taxi to GL Trans - P25/pax (P100)
GL Trans bus - P220/pax
Environmental fee - P35/pax
Accommodation - P600/pax (P300 x 2 nights)
Echo Trail - P250/pax (P1000)
Kiltepan Viewpoint - P100/pax (P400)
Jeep from Kiltepan to town proper - P62.50/pax (P250)
Jeep from town proper to Aguid/vice versa - P40/pax (P20 one way)
Bomod-ok Falls - P166.67/pax (P500/group of 3)
Separate fee - P10/pax
Sumaguing Cave - P200/pax (P800)
Rental jeep - P125/pax (P500)
CODA Lines bus - P720/pax
Food expenses - P1000/pax (estimated)
Total - P4004.17/pax


(Thanks, Sagada! You’re all right!)

Photos: Jane Castandiello, Mark Corral, and Jane Corral