The province of Laguna is known for its attractions. You can visit the hot spring resorts in Los Baños, the footwear market in Liliw, the historic town plaza in Pila and more. But if you’re a nature enthusiast, then you’ll definitely enjoy San Pablo Laguna’s “7 Lakes.” Visiting all seven lagoons can be done on your own. If you want a hassle-free trip, hire a local tour guide. You can hire a tricycle for the day ($16 for a day tour that’s good for five people), and request to be taken around all seven reservoirs.
Start your day by trying out the sumptuous pastry selections at Lola Esteling — a cozy restaurant that’s just beside the San Pablo City Library Hub. Buy a hefty slice of their delicious sylvana/s, and have it paired with a hot cup of coffee.
Once you’re done with breakfast, make way to the nearest and most accessible lagoon in all of San Pablo City — Sampaloc Lake. You can either ride the tricycle to get there faster, or take a leisurely stroll towards the largest crater lake. The beautiful inland sea that holds a few houses on stilts and fish pens also offers a beautiful backdrop of Mt. Cristobal.The next lagoon that you can visit via tricycle is Lake Mohicap (covers an area of 14.5 hectares) — one of the city’s main water suppliers. Trekking towards the reservoir can give out a daunting descent due to its uneven manmade stairs. There aren’t any sturdy railings to hold on to, so caution is really needed when going down. But you’ll certainly feel mesmerized once as you get to the base. You can appreciate more of the lagoon’s beauty by renting out a floating raft ($0.45 with local guide). Lake Palakpakin is another lagoon that will surely impress you. The reservoirs shoreline is even more striking to look at, given its beautiful layout of water lilies. But that’s not all! The lake, which covers an area of 43 hectares, is also used as a breeding ground for cultured Silver Carps and Tilapia.
You can have lunch on top of a floating raft (also called ‘Balsa’ in our local language) while admiring the view of Pandin Lake. If you opt to do a DIY day tour, then it would be convenient to bring your own food. But you can also try the packages that are offered by the locals who dwell by the lake. Most of them offer a raft tour with lunch for around $9 per person.
Yambo LakeLake Pandin would probably be one of the hardest to get to, especially if you’re not into scorching hot, half-hour treks. The uneven path towards the lagoon was a long one. But let the lake fascinate you with its picturesque attraction once you reach its shores. It’s one of my favorite lakes from all the 7, which covers an area of about 20.5 hectares.
Yambo Lake is just a short hike from its twin lagoon, Pandin. But you’ll still have to prepare yourself for an intense climb up on its hard slopes. But you’ll surely be enthralled by its expanse and magnificence right after your ascent.
Lake Kalibato (covers an area of 42 hectares with a maximum depth of 135 meters) is another lagoon that’s worth traversing. But before you reach the reservoir, you’ll have to get through a rocky stream and some uneven landscape.Lake Bunot, on the other hand is the last lagoon on the list. It covers an area of 30.5 hectares, and is used as a breeding ground for Tilapia.
You’ll probably be tired by the time you finish all of San Pablo City’s 7 Lakes. So indulge yourself with some local fast food meals by heading out to Jollibee Plaza (near the San Pablo City Plaza). There are plenty of tasty rice meals in Jollibee for just under $3.
San Pablo City Plaza
After dinner, do a leisurely stroll by the San Pablo City Plaza. You can also say a prayer by the San Pablo Cathedral, or take pictures of old houses nearby. And if the library hub is still open, visit that as well.