San Pablo Laguna is about 2 hours away from Manila and its one of the places people from the city headed to for a quick escape of a bustling toxic city life. San Pablo is surrounded with beauty and wonders of nature you will be amazed with the majestic view of the Mountains surrounding the area such as Mt. Banahaw, Mt Cristobal, Mt Mabilog and Mt. Makiling from a far.The green lush, mountain terrains, blue skies and lakes. One of the famous getaway in San Pablo are the Twin Lakes namely Pandin and Yambo. Basically there are 7 lakes in this area they are:
2. Yambo Lake
3. Calbato Lake
4. Palakpakin Lake
5. Muhikap Lake
6. Bunot Lake
7. Sampaloc Lake
Those Lakes are separated to each other and you will see some of them when you are in the summit of Mt. Mabilog. The easiest mountain to trek and its about 440 MASL. When you are in the summit the view of Mts Banahaw, Cristobal and Makiling will feast your eyes plus the Yambo lake and a bit of Pandin Lake.
Since my trip itinerary was to climb the Mt. Mabilog and visit the Pandin Lake , we will focus on pandin Lake as this was the one i visited. After the minor hike in Mt. Mabilog i rested some and started enjoying the view and the lake.
Pandin Lake is the most visited lake among the 7 lakes in San Pablo. The residents who take care of the lake offers Rafting for 2 hrs with a fee. you can also do picnic while you are in the raft and then swim, but u really need to take care as this lake is not a joke. The lakes depth was about 80-100 ft deep as the guide told me.
The weather is good that day.It was sunday and i expect lots of people will be in the lake, good thing i started with hiking before visiting the lake so its not that much crowded like in the morning. The raft can accommodate at least 6 pax to 10 pax but since its only me and my buddy went here we have to join another traveller so the raft. We shared raft to another 4 female guest.
About 2:00 pm we started sailing for 10 mins to the other end of the lake. The food is already served in the raft and you can have them anytime you want,remember you only have 2 hrs.
You will order the food prior to jumping in to the raft, they will ask your orders and they will prepare it in advance.
The package for 400 pesos consist of :
2hrs rafting with guide and lifevest
1 rice, 1 bottled water,1 banana,1 grilled tilapia, 1 order paco salad, 1 order babyshirmps in cocomilk (specialty of Laguna)
if you wanted to add buko juice its 25 pesos each and if you wanted grilled pork its 40 pesos additional.
After 10 mins of sailing to the other end , the guide asked us if we wanted to have a glimpse of the twin of Pandin, The Yambo lake. so we went out of the raft and hiked a little like 2 mins to see the other part. The yambo lake seems to be more quite, serene, and mystical. (am a bit in a scary mode) there’s mo much guest rafting in the lake compare to pandin we are about 4 rafts in that time ,in Yambo i didn’t see anyone rafting in the middle of the lake but there are some people in the shore.
In my opinion both of them are nice to visit but depends on what do you like and what kind of atmosphere you wanted to experience
Pandin Lake – its more busy with crowd and lively, you can join other guest and chill and swim with them. I personally feel scared to swim alone in this area , i dunno why or maybe i’m just thinking too much and imagining stuff like what am seeing in the movies hahaha.Its like anytime someone will pull you down and you will just vanish and no one will see you or a crocodile will eat you whole. hahah am so ridiculous. Kidding aside, the place got no crocodile and its safe as long as you were wearing your life vest as its very deep.
Yambo Lake – if you wanted to have the place for your own, if you wanted peace and serenity, if you wanted no crowd, if you wanted to swim all by your self in the entire lake.
After checking out the Yambo Lake , we headed back to the raft and started eating the meal they prepared and then enjoyed swimming in the cold emerald green water. Its a big scary as you cant see anything in the water but eventually, i really enjoyed swimming in the lake and eventually you wont feel cold anymore.
So after 2 hrs of relaxation and chilling and eating , we need to head back to the shore. Times up!Unfortunately there is no shower room in the area where you can wash up, just a place for peeing is allowed but no shower room. Omg ! that’s the downside! So i don’t have a choice but to change clothes with out showering . Good thing its a freshwater lake and it doesn’t smell bad. So i travelled and went home with our showering not bad at all.
7:00 am Get Bus going to Lucena or San Pablo – Dela Rosa Bus in South Station
8:50 am Arrival in San Pablo – Bus dropped us as at Bus stop in front of Jollibee Maharlika
9:00 am Had breakfast in Jollibee
9:20 am Trike to 7/11 near San Pablo Cathedral tell the trike driver “Bayan”
9:30 am Arrived Bayan get some water and trail food in 7/11
9:35 am Ride a jeepney going to Ilog yell driver to drop you at Pandin Lake
10:00 am Arrived and walk towards the path to pandin lake ( hired a guy to lead us where the lake is)
10:00 am to 1:50 pm I went to hike to Mt. Mabilog ( check out my separate blog) http://wanderingron.com/mt-mabilog-day-hike/
2:15 pm Started exploring the Pandin lake
4:15 pm Finished Rafting Back to shore
4:30 pm walking back to the highway
4:50 pm arrived to Bayan and transfer jeep to Sm San Pablo
5:00 pm Bus from San Pablo To Alabang
7:20 pm Arrival in Alabang
115.00 – Bus from Alabang to San Pablo
100.00 – Breakfast at Jollibee
20.00 – Trike to Bayan ( San Pablo Cathedral) 40 pesos each trip /2
50.00 – 1lt of water and snacks at 7/11
13.00 – Jeepney to Ilog
25.00 – Guide from highway to the Lake ( 50 pesos tip /2)
425.00 – Rafting/ Food plus Buko Juice
13.00 – Jeep from ilog to bayan
9.00 – Bayan to Sm San Pablo
70.00 – Sm San Pablo bus to Alabang (ordinary)
840.00 – Total Expenses ( This is the expenses if you travelled by 2 ) The more people you are traveling with the cheaper the expenses it would be.
*** It would be much better if you will combine Mt.Mabilog and Lake Pandin /Yambo so it would be cheaper its its just good enough from morning till afternoon tour.
Check out the Mt. Mabilog blog — http://wanderingron.com/mt-mabilog-day-hike/
Thanks for reading! Ciao!