Does holidaying only mean sightseeing and traipsing in and out of museums? Shweta Ganesh Kumar shows you new ways of enjoying a holiday in the Philippines
Travel can also mean action and adventure and that's what you can find in Sagada, a small little town, high up in the mountain province of the Philippines. Sagada is famous for its limestone caves. Travellers can actually go spelunking or caving under these limestone formations and see the underground river inside the caves.
My group and I entered the limestone caves through the Lumiang Cave, which was used as a burial cave in ancient times. Even today there are huge pinewood coffins at the entrance. Lumiang Cave is 100mts deep while Sumaguing, the cave we exited from, is 163mts deep.
Cold and clammy, the cave is full of narrow spaces that you have to squeeze through to move forward. The second cave is more muddy than rocky and the only way to go ahead is by using ropes! There are also thousands of bats living inside these caves. Over thousands of years, Sagada's underground river has shaped these limestone caves and the formations inside.
To wash off the aches and pains of caving, you can trek to the biggest falls in the area - Bomod-Ok. Falling from a height of almost 200ft, the cold spray is refreshing and energising.
Apart from the caves and the falls, Sagada is also known for its ancient rice terraces and its hanging coffins. It has a lot to offer and is an example of how even visits to sleepy mountain towns can be about more than just sightseeing.
Sagada is located in the Philippines
Currency: Philippines Peso
Spelunking, also known as caving in the United States and potholing in the United Kingdom, is the recreational pastime of exploring non-commercial cave systems. The challenges involved with caving largely depend on the cave being visited. Often they include negotiating through tiny spaces and walking through water. At times, travellers also need to climb and crawl through tiny spaces where it may not be possible to reach the ground. In such cases, ropes are used. Ropes may also be used to negotiate through steep or slippery passages.