Stressed at work? Looking for a weekend escapade? Why not visit the seven San Pablo lakes in Laguna?
Here you’ll get to see and experience seven stunning San Pablo lakes namely the Sampaloc, Bunot, Mohicap, Palakpakin, Calibato, Pandin and Yambo Lake. You can go swimming, cycling, jogging, rafting, trekking, and sightseeing.
All of these for one day. Sounds fun? Keep scrolling.
HOW TO GET THERE
First off, if you’re coming from Manila, take a bus heading to Lucena at Alimall, Cubao or Buendia Bus Terminal. The fare is less than 150 pesos, and the ride is 2 to 2.5 hours.
Ask the driver to drop you off at San Pablo Medical (or 711 San Pablo Highway). From there, you can take a tricycle to Sampaloc Lake for 40 pesos.
Then from Sampaloc lake, hire a tricycle for 600 pesos to tour you to the remaining San Pablo lakes.
But if you’re coming from Santo Tomas, Batangas (like us), ride a bus heading to Lucena or a jeep heading to San Pablo. The fare is 35 pesos.
Here are the 7 San Pablo Lakes
First up is Sampaloc Lake. Having a circumference of 3.7km and a maximum depth of 27m, the Sampaloc Lake is the largest of the seven.
You might think cycling around the area is too much but one round will leave you wanting for more!
Around the lake, you’ll get to see a full view of the lake, fishermen in action, early joggers, fresh fishes for sale, water lilies in full bloom, and some mouthwatering lomi.
Afterwards, you can rent a bike for 20 pesos or a bicycle with a sidecar for 50 pesos. If you’re feeling bold, why not jog around the lake?
After Sampaloc Lake, we decided to rent a tricycle to tour us around the other six remaining for 600 pesos. Our next stop was Bunot Lake since it is the closest to Sampaloc.
Having an area of 30 hectares and an average depth of 23m, it is mostly known for its cultured tilapia.
READ: Manuel Uy: Beach Camping
Before you can get a glimpse of the lake, you have to pass by rows and rows of houses.
We later learned that a lot of houses surround the lake.
By the time we got there, there was a fisherman diving for tahong. Some kids were even swimming.
The lake looked so beautiful despite the many houses surrounding it.
Up next, Mohicap Lake. It is one of my favorite among the seven San Pablo lakes.
It is the smallest among the seven with only an area of 22.89 hectares and an average depth of 21m. Entrance fee is 10 pesos per person.
When we were by the entrance of Mohicap Lake, Kuya Alex gave us a warm welcome. Kuya Alex is the OIC and treasurer of the newly established tourism Kalipunan ng mga Mamamayan sa Lawa ng Mohicap.
He gave us a brief background of the different San Pablo lakes and how they are trying to promote Mohicap Lake.
Since the lake’s certification from the tourism office last December, they are hoping to turn the lake into something like that of Pandin Lake or even better.
After descending a flight of stairs (105 stairs to be exact), you will see the marvelous view of Mohicap Lake with the mountains in the background. There are rafts, some houses, and fishermen.
You can rent a raft to get to the other side of the lake where you can go for a swim since it is shallower.
The lake is a breeding ground for shrimps and native fishes like tilapia, mudfish, and catfish which is why you can also rent some fishing equipment.
Bamboo Rafting Rates
For rafts consisting of 40 bamboos
1-6 persons = P900 pesos for all
7-12 persons = P120 pesos/pax
For rafts consisting of 10 bamboos
1-2 persons = 300 pesos for all
3-4 persons = 130 pesos/pax
For rafts consisting of 6-8 bamboos
1-2 persons = 300 pesos for all
3-4 persons = 130 pesos/pax
For rafts consisting of 6-8 bamboos for fishing
Four persons = 300 pesos for 7 hours
HERE’S A TIP: Contact Kuya Alex at 09462707776 and make your reservations for a DISCOUNT 😉
Too bad, we didn’t bring any extra clothes. As a result, we couldn’t go for a swim. We promised we’d come back again for sure to try fishing and swimming. I’ll post an update then.
Regarding food, you can bring your own, or you can avail of their service. Just contact Kuya Alex at least three days before your estimated arrival so they can prepare the food.
You can check their facebook page for more photos and info: Exciting Lake Mohicap
Our fourth lake of the day is Palakpakin Lake. It has an area of 43 hectares and an average depth of 7.5 meters. It is the shallowest among the seven San Pablo lakes.
Our tricycle driver stopped by a bridge for us to get a view of the lake. As seen in the photo, there are houses around the lake. Residents grow cultured tilapia and silver carps.
Afterwards, we proceeded to go to the Calibato Lake.
Calibato lake has an area of 42 hectares and an average depth of 135m. Because of this, it holds the title of being the deepest among the seven San Pablo lakes.
Before getting to the Lake, you’ll have to trek for 10 minutes to reach it. You will be passing a small brook that will lead to the lake.
By the time we arrived, some fishermen were fixing rafts for fishing. Most fishes found here are tilapia.
You can get a great view of Mt. Cristobal from here while resting under the big Talisay trees.
Second to the last on our list is Pandin Lake. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in the area which is famous for swimming and lake tours.
It has an area of 20 hectares and an average depth of 63m. You have to trek for 15 minutes to reach the lake. There’s no need for a guide; the trail is pretty easy to follow.
During the walk, you will pass by some coconut trees. Definitely, Instagram worthy!
You will also see a cow farm. The view got me singing.
“Old Macdonald had a farm
And on his farm, he had a cow
With a moo moo here
And a moo moo there.”
Once you reach the take-off point, register and wait for your turn to ride the raft. You have the option to add lunch if you didn’t bring any food.
Bamboo Raft with lunch = 360 pesos/pax
Bamboo Raft without lunch = 200 pesos/pax
Each raft is for eight persons. Since there were five of us, we had to join with another group to complete the required number. Only two hours are allotted for each raft.
While waiting for our turn, we wandered around. The place had monkeys, native pigs, halo halos, and souvenirs. I even heard there are turtles. But I haven’t seen any.
After almost 30 minutes, it’s finally our turn. Yehey!
Bangkeros pull a rope attached from the take-off point to the other end of the lake to get from point A to point B.
Lake Pandin is so beautiful that we couldn’t resist the urge to take a dip.
Despite having only the clothes that we were wearing, we decided to go on ahead and swim. YOLO!
It was a hot day so we figured we’d be dry by the time we ride the bus.
Before swimming, we decided to eat first. Tadaaa!
Lunch consists of tilapia, pako salad, shrimps, rice, and water. Also, you can buy fresh buko for 25 pesos.
The swimming area is shaded by a big tree with a swing attached. Don’t worry if you cannot swim; the bangkeros provide life vests.
We swam for almost an hour and played tag. Two hours were not enough to thoroughly enjoy what the lake has to offer.
TIP: You can make reservations through Ms. Tina at 09079952983 to avoid the long queue during weekends and peak seasons.
Finally, Yambo Lake is the last on our list of San Pablo Lakes.
It is dubbed as the twin of Pandin Lake since the two are near each other. It has an area of 28.5 hectares and an average depth of 40 m.
To get to Lake Yambo, you have to cross Pandin Lake and hike for 5 minutes to reach the vantage point. From here, you’ll get a fantastic view of Yambo Lake.
Breakdown of expenses:
Overall, your 647 pesos can go a long way. Next time you’re feeling stressed or adventurous. Hop on to that bus and visit the seven stunning San Pablo lakes.