Let’s give those hot springs and buko pies a rest, shall we? This bustling and colorful province two hours south of Manila contains more gems than it is given credit for. For years, Laguna arts and industry thrived below the radar to create some of the most interesting haunts in the region. Throw in some untouched natural beauty and renowned food, and you have a Laguna itinerary for every traveler’s taste.
Many natural and cultural offerings highlight the province. And thanks to this ever-growing list of things to do, Laguna is the perfect retreat for a weekend’s worth of arts, culture, food, and fun. Translation: this Laguna itinerary will keep you coming back for more.
Said to be the cleanest of the 7 lakes of Laguna, Lake Pandin is surrounded by lush vegetation and maintained by a small community. For P500, you get a short hike to the lake itself, a balsa ride guided by local women across the lake (where you can get a view of Lake Pandin’s twin, Lake Yambo), and yummy home-style lunch. Strong swimmers can challenge themselves with the lake’s current, while the rest can hang on to the balsa and just chill in the fresh, clean waters. The best time to visit is at 10am, to make the most of the lunch package. They recommend to make reservations in advance to ensure there’s still availability.
Contact: (+63) 907-9952983
Carlito’s Workshop is just that, a workshop by Carlito Ortega. He’s a renowned sculptor, famous for his works with brass and hardwoods. Not only do guests get a glimpse of his works and his collections, they may even get the chance to see him at work if they’re lucky and he’s around! Carlito treated guests to merienda of coffee and puto to add extra personal touch. Carlito’s Workshop is open on Saturdays. For visits on other days, reservations are required.
Contact: (+63) 919-8377755, (+6349) 562-0351
Tasty Filipino comfort food with a gorgeous view of the biggest of Laguna’s 7 Lakes: this is the experience you get at Café Lago. Located right at Lake Sampaloc, Café Lago is a homey restaurant specializing in everything from staple ulam, like sinigang sa miso, kaldereta, and lechon kawali; to local kakanin, like their very popular suman sa lihiya. It’s open all week for families and barkadas taking a stab at their Laguna itinerary. Thanks to its proximity to the lake, visitors can rent a bike or a pedal boat and enjoy the lake’s offerings.
Contact: (+63) 917-5016694
Tsinelas St., Liliw
Gat Tayaw St. is a popular street in the small town of Liliw, Laguna for its line of end to end shoe shops. Originally famous for their slippers, Liliw also now manufactures everything from flip-flops to sandals to boots – anything you can put on your feet, really. And the best part, they are of good quality considering the price.
Sulyap Gallery Café and Restaurant
With their tagline being “A Taste of the Past”, visitors can already tell what kind of experience they’ll get at Sulyap. Starting out as an antiques gallery and a café, Sulyap has now expanded into a quaint B&B, where old-world atmosphere and impeccable service merge. Enjoy the modernized Filipino fusion fare like kulawong puso ng saging, kulawong talong, and ginataang sugpo at the restaurant or in the patio with a view of the property. Or get some R&R in the classically furnished rooms, out at the pool, or in their gardens. You choose to spend your visit, it’s sure to be an experience.
Contact: (+6349) 573-2907
Laresio Lakeside Resort and Spa
Are you up into more adrenaline pumping action? Laresio Lakeside Resort and Spa got your back! This Laguna Itinerary is located in Los Baños, is a complex of containing various water-related activities. These include cliff-diving, giant water slides, kayaking, balsa rides, and water seesaw. Plus, fun activities for the not-so-water-inclined such as ziplining, wall-climbing, and rappelling. They have various packages ranging from P450 to P1500, depending on the kinds of activities you want to enjoy. They offer accommodations catering to everyone from couples to large corporate groups, as well.
Contact: (+63) 998-5399343, (+63) 917-5517934