Trekking up Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines

Sagada is a mountain destination located in Mountain Province, Philippines. It was popularized by a local movie “That Thing Called Tadhana” (That Thing Called Destiny) which was shot there, and has since generated a lot of tourists. It is known for its scenic natural landscapes, caves, and cliffs with a sea of clouds view. It also has a variety of exotic plants. With an elevation of about 4,800 feet above sea level, it has one of the cooler climates in the Philippines.

So on our recent visit to the Philippines, we planned on trekking up Sagada with our most adventurous millenial nephews and nieces. We rented 2 vans for our trip and after a 5 hours trip, we finally arrived. Here is the breathtaking and scenic beauty of Sagada. The long and winding road trip was all worth it.

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WHERE WE STAYED

There are no five-star hotels in Sagada but there are modest and clean lodges and inns. We stayed at Rock Inn Café, located near the town’s attractions.

It has mountain view rooms, lovely gardens, an awesome dining area, and interiors using local materials. We loved its peaceful ambiance.

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Have you seen this plant? Very interesting, didn't know this one existed until we checked in at the inn.

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Hut outside the lodge where guests can sit and relax to view and enjoy the lush scenery of the mountain

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Area where elders and locals meet and discuss issues affecting their community.

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Trumpet vine flowers beautifully hanging from the ceiling of the entrance to the inn

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The awesome dining area

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Cute little pots adorned the walls of the dining area

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Outside dining area for those who want to feel the cool and fresh air while eating or simply sipping their coffee

SUNRISE OVER A SEA OF CLOUDS AT MARLBORO HILL

Who wouldn’t be interested to see the beauty of the sunrise over a sea of clouds, especially among us who lives in the city? This was the experience at Marlboro Hill that we did not pass.

Our tour guide picked us up from the lodge at 4 am. Our group walked to the waiting jeep that took us to Marlboro Hill. The young ones went to the top, for a fun top-load ride to the area. They stood up there for the duration of the 8-minute ride while we sat inside.

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Then we got off the jeep and started our trek. It was an easy to moderate hike made more relaxed by the cool and fresh mountain breeze. After about an hour we reached a flat surface almost at the edge of the ridge. Here we waited for the sun to rise and peep through the clouds.

It was not crowded we went there on the weekday after Christmas. We had an unobstructed view of the magical sea of clouds, with no heads or trees in front of us. As if nature intentionally put the surrounding trees away from the view.

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The mountains looked like a watercolor painting where the clouds were spread like a sea of soft and white pieces of cotton. The clouds did not cover much of the mountain but it was still a breathtaking sight.

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SAGADA POTTERY

Curious about getting a hands-on experience on how pots are made out of clay, we visited this pottery-making house in a secluded area.

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Started by the American missionaries to provide a livelihood for the locals, Sagada Pottery now shares this interesting skill and cool experience with tourists that included us.

The potter patiently guided our hands to spin around the device/wheel and slowly form the pot.

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It’s satisfying to see the pots we made, they were so cute! But sadly, we cannot take them home. They will just break in the luggage when we fly back home. But we paid for them before leaving.

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SPELUNKING AT SUMAGUING CAVE

Have you ever tried caving also known as spelunking…. exploring untamed caves on bare feet? It sounds daunting but if you do it with a group, it would be less and you might actually enjoy it. And so we decided to do it at Sumaguing Cave which is perhaps the most popular attraction in Sagada and the deepest in the Philippines at 500 feet.

We walked down the man-made staircase from the road. It is a bit of a walk to get to the entrance of the cave but still look relaxed and excited to try a new adventure.

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Along the way to the entrance is this posted reminder which in a nutshell, is to do our part in the conservation of the cave.

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Reaching the huge entrance, we saw the stalactites in the ceiling. When the tourist guide finished lighting the lamps we said a prayer then headed and descended the stairs that then became just rocks.

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As we continued our descent, we saw the different and amazing rock formations shaped by nature and years. At this point, the tour guide asked us to remove our slippers.

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It was an unending descent down slippery, sharp rocks mostly using the butt technique, walking on very slippery stones or cold water.

We stopped and rested on this part with a flat surface where the rocks are colored with yellow and orange hues. We took this opportunity to take souvenir photos.

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The way out of the cave is the same as the entry. But going up is more difficult this time, literally crawling back up. Climbing with a rope, on tires, and at one point watching flying bats right above us, and taking these precious family adventure photos amid beautiful rock formations. Thank goodness for tour guides. Still can’t believe we did it. It was one feat of a lifetime!



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15 comments
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Sagada is one of the tourist destination here in the Philippines. Not only because of the scenic view but also cold weather.

Glad to know you enjoy the trip.

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Great family outdoors adventures! It looks like you guys were having a lot of fun! The cave must have stunk ammonia from bat urines.

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It was a one of a kind adventure except for the stink. Thank you for dropping by.

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Wow! Lucky family adventure! You truly enjoyed that rare scenery especially inside the cave. How nice!

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One of rare occassions that we go home and explore things and places together. Thank you for dropping by.

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been there po ate. It is indeed a magnificent place. 😊

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Wow so memorable trekking at sagada. I super like your photos at the Marlboro Hills 🥰🙃

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It was memorable not only because of the beautiful place but got to share the adventures with nieces and nephews from California to Manila.

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