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EXPLORING THE OUTDOORS IN LAGUNA: A LIST OF MUST-VISIT DESTINATIONS
March 2, 2020
Your next weekend getaway need not be far from your place at BellaVita San Pablo, Pila, or Alaminos. In fact, consider this as an advantage in exploring outdoor destinations in Laguna.
Pack up and gear up—Laguna is the perfect place to explore the outdoors. It got its name, which literally means lake, from Laguna de Bay, the largest freshwater lake found in the eastern part of Metro Manila.
Laguna is bounded by Cavite, Batangas, Quezon, and Rizal.
With this, it boasts of numerous natural wonders that you can explore by yourself or with family and friends.
Outdoor destinations in Laguna
Falls, rivers, and lakes
Laguna has many bodies of water to explore, including famous waterfalls, hot springs, and lakes. Pagsanjan Falls is, of course, the most popular among them.
- Twin Falls (Kalayaan)
- Buruwisan Multi Falls (Siniloan)
- Caliraya Lake (Cavinti, Lumban)
- Cavinti Falls (Cavinti)
- Ambon-ambon Falls (Pangil)
- Biak na Bato Falls (Pangil)
- Buntot Palos Falls (Pangil)
- Hidden Falls (Pangil)
- Three Falls (Sta. Maria)
- Aambon Falls (Sta. Maria)
- Matabungka Falls (Paete)
- Taytay Falls (Majayjay)
- Majayjay Falls (Majayjay)
- Crocodile Lake (Los Baños)
- Magdapio Falls (Pagsanjan)
- Sampaloc Lake (Sampaloc)
- Hulugan Falls (Luisiana)
- Aliw Falls (Luisiana)
- Bunga Falls (Nagcarlan)
Nonetheless, there are emerging exciting outdoor activities from time to time. These are designed for the adrenaline junkies.
Magdalena River is known for its white water rafting activity. The adventure destination has basic courses (1.5 hours) and advanced courses that last up to 3 hours of conquering the rapids.
Other activities here are river biking and river tubing.
There is an admission fee of Php750 per head, minimum of six persons.
Pangil River Eco-Park
The eco-park is perfect for camping and backpacking.
Aside from the camping grounds, there are also swimming pools. Water tubing is allowed in the nearby river.
Also, backpackers and campers may proceed to a short trail to the waterfalls (Ambon-ambon, Biak na Bato, and Buntot Palos).
Admission fees of Php42 and Php100 for day tour and overnight stay, respectively. You also need to pay Php20 for the parking fee.
Parks and gardens
Laguna has many recreational facilities such as the following.
Makiling Botanic Gardens
The garden is located at the University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños, specifically at the foot of Mt. Makiling. The garden is an educational facility where endemic and rare species of flowering plants, trees, and flowers are found.
The facility also has an amphitheater, pavilion, and picnic areas where guests can have a picnic with loved ones and friends.
The nature trip starts with a one-hour hike to the covered area. There’s a Php20 admission fee as well.
Tayak Hill Nature and Adventure Park
Bikers frequent the adventure park; thus, it was called as the Biker’s Heaven of Laguna. It is located in Rizal, near Mt. San Cristobal.
Pilgrims also frequent the place, however. There are two crosses atop the hill. A short hike, about 10 to 15 minutes, is needed to see the usually windy peak.
When you’re there, you will see the view of Laguna and Mt. San Cristobal.
Camp N at Nuvali
Camp N is a teambuilding destination in Sta. Rosa, specifically in Nuvali. Nonetheless, regular patrons can also tackle the adventure tower and aerial ropes.
Nuvali also is a destination of its own. It has green art installations throughout the property. It has a lake where you can do boating and koi feeding in front of Solenad 1.
El Salvador Eco-Park
This park is popular as a rappelling destination, going to Cavinti Falls.
If rappelling does not appeal to you, hiking is the next option. It takes a short trek, about 30 minutes, to go to the falls.
Rates start at Php270 per head.
Villa Martha Picnic Grove
This picnic grove in Nagcarlan is not as famous as the other parks but is equally impressive. People call it the hidden paradise of Nagcarlan.
It has open spaces where guests can have their picnic. There are also two hot spring pools in the area.
A short hike of about 25 to 30 minutes going to the grove is needed.
Joni and Susan Agroshop and Integrated Farms
This is a budding destination in San Pablo City. It is mostly known for its sunflower gardens, mushroom village, and vegetable gardens that are open to guests.
Also, it is a one-stop-shop where you can buy fresh products. The farm has a greenhouse restaurant that serves dishes made from the freshest ingredients.
It has an entrance fee of Php50.
Mountains and trails
The province is famed for its Mt. Makiling trail.
The mountain is famous for its legend wherein a forest nymph named Maria Makiling is said to be guarding the place. This explains the mysteries that occur here from time to time.
This trail, which starts from UPLB, leads to three sections: Flat Rocks (30 minutes), Mudspring (1 to 1.5 hours), and Peak 2 (2 to 5 hours). Mt. Makiling has two peaks.
This mountain is one of the shortest mountains in the province. Found ain Calauan, the hike to the summit only takes 2 hours (or up to 3.5 hours depending on your pacing).
The mountain is famous for its panoramic view of the seven lakes as well as the neighboring mountains. Camping is also allowed.
Bangkong Kahoy Valley
This is a small mountain in Dolores, where green sights are everywhere. It is located between Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal.
It is open for camping, although they also have their own lodging facilities.
The place serves healthy, organic meals to their guests.
Laguna is a province rich in history as well.
The locals of Paete usually hike uphill to Tatlong Krus during the Holy Week. There are three giant crosses atop Mt. Humarap. From there, you will see the panoramic view of the town as well as Laguna de Bay.
The trek is about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your pacing. Also, halfway through the hike, one may visit the Matabungka Falls, a 25-meter falls.