The 7 Lakes of San Pablo City, Laguna – Travel Guide
ABOUT SAN PABLO CITY, LAGUNA
San Pablo City, Laguna is said to be one of the oldest cities in the country. Aside from that interesting fact, it is also called the city of seven lakes because of, well, the seven lakes that surround it! Since I have been reading a lot of articles about the seven lakes of San Pablo City, we decided to give them a visit.
THE SEVEN LAKES SAN PABLO CITY, LAGUNA
Lake Calibato – one of the seven lakes in San Pablo City, Laguna
Lake Sampaloc (Lake Sampalok) is located just behind the city hall right in the center of San Pablo City. It is the largest (and the dirtiest) of the seven lakes San Pablo City.
Lake Bunot (Lake Bunot) in Brgy. Concepcion Bunot has nothing special to offer. Small cottages built on stilts and fish pens are abundant in the area. Water is murky and filthy.
The twin lakes of Yambo and Pandin in Brgy. San Lorenzo are the most prominent among tourists because they indeed have a beauty to boot. Pandin Lake can be reach via a 15-minute trek.
Once you reach Pandin Lake, you can take a 2-hour raft/boat tour that costs Php180 per person (Php360 if with lunch). The cruise will take you to Pandin and Yambo Lakes. This activity is, by far, the most remarkable in this tour. You can literally just drop the other 5 lakes (as most of them offer rubbish) and head directly to Pandin and Yambo lakes and get the best view that the seven lakes offer.
There’s a Php40 parking fee (if you’re travelling via a private car) at the jump off area.
Lake Palakpakin (Lake Palacpaquin or Palacpaquen) in Brgy. San Buenaventura, like the other lakes, has nothing new and nice to offer. Its view is smeared of fish pens and settlers.
Lake Muhikap (Lake Mojicap or Lake Mohicap) in Brgy. Santa Catalina offers the same view of fish pens and floating cottages. Nothing nice.
Lake Calibato (Lake Kalibato) in Brgy. Sto. Angel is my favorite. Although there are settlers at the bay area and some fish pens that dotted the water, the place is surprisingly clean and serene. That thing they did in Lake Pandin (meals on a cruise/raft) can be also done in this particular lake.
HOW TO GET TO SAN PABLO CITY, LAGUNA
By Public Transportation
- From Pasay take a bus bound for Lucena or Bicol.
- Alight at 7-11 in San Pablo, Laguna. It is near San Pablo Medical Center. Travel Time is 2-3 hours. Fare is less than Php200.
- Take a jeepney or a tricycle and go to the city hall. From there you can rent a tricycle to cover the 7 Lakes. No need for a guide as drivers already know the way. Php300 is a fair rate.
By Private Transportaion
- From Metro manila just head to South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exit at Calamba.
- From Calamba, you can head straight to San Pablo City.
- Once there, you can ask the locals in the area on which road to take in order to get from one lake to another. Lake Sampaloc is just by the road while the other six lakes are reachable by doing a little bit of trekking.
TRAVEL TIPS TO THE SEVEN LAKES SAN PABLO CITY, LAGUNA
- A walk to Pandin Lake is easy but can be tiring; make sure to bring an umbrella, and water to keep you hydrated. If you don’t want to walk, you can hire a habal-habal to take you to Pandin Lake. Rate is Php50 per person.
- There are youngsters offering a guide service at the jump off for Php50 per person; it’s not necessary. It’s easy to find the way to the lake.
- There are two ways of going to Yambo Lake – through the boat ride from Pandin Lake or via Nagcarlan, Laguna. The former is the best option.
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OUR (UNSOLICITED) PLATE OF THOUGHTS
After our tour to the seven lakes, we realized that there’s really nothing spectacular about them. Four of the seven lakes San Pablo (Sampaloc, Bunot, Palakpakin, and Mohicap) have filthy waters. The fish pens, the small cottages built on stilts that dotted the water surface, the settlements, as well as the commercial and business infrastructures that have flourished around the area are not only eye sores but contributors to conspicuous water pollution. Travelling to San Pablo all the way from Metro Manila to visit the seven lakes San Pablo IS NOT WORTH IT.
I hope the residents around the lake especially those that rely on the income from the fish pens will do something to preserve whatever is left of their prominent lakes. May their local government conduct proper trainings on waste management for its residents and businesses. I was saddened when I bought an ice candy from one of the local vendors. I told him there’s no need to put the ice candy inside another plastic wrapper but he insisted. He said it’s free of charge and it is very much okay. I told him I do not need another trash. He said I will have to pay double if I won’t put the ice candy in another plastic wrapper. Absurd.
Isdaan Floating Restaurant and Fun Park is a beautiful restaurant/park in Calauan, Laguna. Although foods are expensive (Php65 for a cup of rice), this place boasts impressive structures that will make you think you are in Thailand!
Thank you for dropping by!
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