Tourist Spots in the Philippines

10 Unusual Laguna Tourist Spots for the Adventurous

Laguna is a popular out-of-town destination for long weekends and quick family vacations thanks to its proximity from Manila. It only takes around two hours to get from the main city hub to Sta. Rosa, and from here you’ll be treated with a variety of activities that tourists have been indulging for years.

From hiking up mountains to swimming in lakes, Laguna is definitely on people’s radar. But for those who are craving something new and exciting in this part of Luzon, here are a couple of unusual Laguna tourist spots that you can check off of your bucket list! They may not be as mainstream as other choices to visit in Laguna, but they are still worth the trip.

1. Hulugan Falls

Hulugan Falls

(photo via Instagram, @biyahenidrew)

You don’t have to book a plane ticket to see rich rainforests and greenery as far as the eye can see! In Laguna, there is a gem called the Hulugan Falls, which is a postcard perfect destination for any nature lover.

This isn’t as popular as Pagsanjan Falls, but the Filipino backpacking community has been aware of its existence for quite some time now, ever since a picture of its majestic falls resembling the Amazon rainforests surfaced online. Get your cameras ready, because this sight will blow you away!

  • Type: Outdoor excursion, Waterfalls, Lake
  • Location: The jumping off point is at Brgy. San Salvador, Luisiana
  • Directions:
    By Public Transport:
    – Take a bus which is headed towards Sta. Cruz.
    – Get off, and then ride a jeep going to Luisiana that passes San Salvador. Ask the driver to drop you off at Hulugan Falls.
    – A tricycle will be available to take you to the start point of the trek going down to the foot of the falls.
  • Budget: P1,500
  • Activities to do: Trekking, Nature-spotting, Bird-watching, Wading, Photography
  • Don’t miss: The fauna living in the lush forests surrounding the falls. They have everything, from well-known species of birds to rare sightings of different insects. It’s an entire eco-system, undisturbed and at its purest!
  • Travel tips:
    – Pack light, bring extra clothes, lots of potable water, snacks, extra money, and contingency items like insect repellent and umbrellas.
    – Also, you are not allowed to stay at the falls during nighttime.
    – Be prepared to return to the city by 3pm.

2. Magdalena

Because this town is overshadowed by its more popular neighbors Majayjay and Nagcarlan, not a lot of local or foreign tourists visit Magdalena. It’s a sleepy town with quiet folks. But Magdalena has a unique charm that no other place in Laguna shares.

Moreover, while it’s not a popular mainstream destination, film and TV crews have long since eyed Magdalena as an ideal place to shoot soaps. Fernando Poe Jr. had a special love for the town, and Heneral Luna was even filmed here too.

  • Type: Town
  • Location: Magdalena is situated next to Nagcarlan and Luisiana in Laguna.
  • Directions:
    By Public Transport:
    – Go to either Cubao or Buendia’s bus terminals and ride either an HM, DLTBCo., JAC Liner, or Green Star bus that passes by Sta. Cruz.
    – Once in Sta. Cruz, take another jeepney to go to the Magdalena Town Plaza.
  • Budget: P1,000
  • Activities to do: Visit the Magdalena Church, Go to Magdalena Park and pose with the Hollywood figures, See their “Walk of Fame,” Climb to the top of the bell tower
  • Don’t miss: Tulay Agarao, or a suspension bridge above the river. You can even have a picnic setup below, if the weather is nice enough.

3. Caliraya Lake

Caliraya Lake

(photo via Instagram, @travelstoriesphilippines)

About two hours away from the hustle and bustle of Manila lies Caliraya Lake. Visitors to this lake will also enjoy a scenic view of the famous Laguna de Bai. One interesting fact about this lake is that it’s man-made, and access to the grounds were reserved only for the elite in society.

Since opening its doors to the rest of the public, Caliraya Lake has established itself as a hub for peace and quiet. Perfect for weary city dwellers!

  • Type: Re-creational center, Resort, Lakehouse
  • Location: You can find Caliraya Lake in the towns of Lumban, Cavinti, and Kalayaan, Laguna.
  • Directions:
    By Public Transport:
    – Go to the Cubao Bus Terminal and find the HM Transport line going to Pagsawitan.
    – When you arrive at that terminal, take a 3-5 minute ride to a tricycle or jeep with a signboard that says “Lumot”.
    – From the Lumot terminal, take a ride to a jeep going to Lewin.
    – From Lewin, take a boat ride to bring you to a resort located in Caliraya Lake.
  • Budget: around P1,250 to P5,000
  • Activities to do: Walk around the lake, Jet ski, Swim, Take a vacation and stay offline for a while
  • Don’t miss: The beautiful, picture perfect sunsets and sunrises. The lake reflects the light just perfectly.
  • Travel tip: Most of the resorts have no restaurants you can buy food from, so bring everything you might need for a short staycation, including pre-cooked or easy to open foods, charcoal-friendly meats or fruits, and potable water.

4. Aling Taleng’s Halo Halo Restaurant

Since 1933, Aling Taleng’s Halo-Halo restaurant has been serving up some of the finest Pinoy desserts this side of Laguna. Created by Catalina Zaguirre in Pagsanjan back in the day, they take pride in their special halo-halo which adds kundol, ube, and tubo to the ingredients at the bottom of the cup.

They are still serving the same recipe as they did back then, and every Laguna tourist needs to stop by here for a refreshing serving of halo-halo!

  • Type: Restaurant, Side-stop, Deli
  • Location: 169 General Luna St., Pagsanjan
  • Directions:
    By Public Transport:
    – From NCR/Manila, go to the HM Transport Bus terminal in Cubao, the Green Star Bus terminal in Taft/Buendia, or the HM Liner Bus terminal in Alabang’s Metropolis Mall. Ride one of the buses going to Sta. Cruz and get off at Pagsanjan/Jam Bus Terminal in Barangay Pagsawitan.
    – From there, you can take a jeep that passes by Pagsanjan, Lumban, Paete, Siniloan, or Caliraya and get off at your destination.
    – A trike can take you to Aling Taleng’s, along General Luna St.
  • Budget: P40 to P400
  • Don’t miss: Try our their specialty puto bumbong and crispy pork binagoongan.
  • Travel tip: Ask if they are still offering boat rides to Pagsanjan Falls for a complete Pagsanjan experience!

5. Alaminos Goat Farm

Alaminos Goat Farm

(photo via Instagram, @ezysefuentes)

Petting zoo animals isn’t a new concept, but Alaminos Goat Farm in Laguna takes the concept to a whole new level. Owned by Rene Almeda, who is known as warm and cheerful, the Alaminos Goat Farm presents a whole new way to treat goats, and the milk they produce.

You can even purchase goat’s milk products here for a cheaper price too! It’s a great side-trip in Laguna for something new and refreshing for the whole family.

  • Type: Farm, Store
  • Location: San Vicente, Alaminos
  • Directions: Take the usual routes towards San Pablo, Laguna. You’ll find a path going to the goat farm at the back of the Iglesia ni Cristo church. There are many signs on the road pointing to Alaminos Goat Farm.
  • Budget: around P300
  • Activities to do: Ask if you can pet some of their prized goats, which have been heavily featured in government scientific studies, local morning TV shows, and are favorites among goat suppliers across the Metro.
  • Don’t miss: The Almeda family; Rene and his sons, are very warm, accommodating, and are passionate about their goat farming.
  • Travel tip: If you can come here at around 7am, locals say that’s the best time to buy goat’s milk straight from the farm!

6. Lumot Lake

This is another tourist spot you need to visit when your weary mind, body, and soul, just need to take a step back from the noise of the urban jungle that is life. Known as the Sierra Lake, or Lumot Mahipon Lake, this is a man-made water reservoir sandwiched between Lumban and Cavinti that was created when Lumot Dam blocked off the Lumot River.

It’s serene and detached from the city life that can stress us out more often than not. The lake is definitely a must-visit for anyone who just wants to get away!

  • Type: Reservation, Lake, Inn
  • Location: The lake covers ground along three towns in Laguna—Cavinti, Lumban, and even Kalayaan.
  • Directions:
    By Public Transport
    – Take a bus headed towards Sta.Cruz (HM Transit/Green Star).
    – Get off at the Pagsawitan terminal in Sta. Cruz, then ride a jeep going to “Lumot.”
    – Ask which jeeps and trikes can take you to the resort/inn of our choosing, as there are many lodging areas around the lake.
    – If you just want to see it, ask the driver of the jeep or trike if they will stop by Lumot Lake.
  • Budget: P1,000 to P1,500
  • Activities to do: Book a place at Green Valley Island; check out the carabaos; ask where you can swim; and cook by the campfire at night.
  • Travel tip: Bring your own utensils and food to share, for your local guides and caretakers while staying by the lake.

7. Buntot Palos Hidden Falls

Buntot Palos Falls

(photo via Instagram, @mangochizcake)

These grand, hidden waterfalls of the Sierra Madre is one of those hidden gems that can blow you away as soon as you discover their grandeur. It will definitely take some hiking of a more advanced kind than other tourist spots, but the view of the grand waterfalls is worth every step up the mountain.

Buntot Palos, aka “Eel’s tail”, is also called the “Hidden Falls,” or “kawa-kawa” by the locals. It’s a 90ft waterfall that seems out of this world, and thousands of liters of water collect in a basin down below. The tailend of this basin forms into the Pangil River, which ends in the Laguna Lake.

  • Type: Outdoor, Nature-trail, Reserve
  • Location: The jump-off point is located at Brgy. Bailan, Pangil, Laguna. You can enter the trail towards the falls either from the Eco Park of Pangil, or the Barangay entrance in Bailan.
  • Directions:
    By Public Transport:
    – From EDSA Central, take a jeep that traverses Tanay, Rizal.
    – From Tanay, take another jeep to Siniloan.
    – When you’re in Siniloan, take a tricycle to Brgy. Bailan and ask where to register for the trek.
  • Budget: P500 to P600
  • Activities to do:
    – Wade in the basin waters.
    – Marvel at the rich forests surrounding the waterfall.
    – Buy fresh fruits from the local vendors and taste their take on Filipino cooking.
  • Don’t miss: nearby Pangil Eco Park
  • Travel tips:
    – Do not come here during rainy seasons, as the trail gets dangerously muddy!
    – Even when it’s not raining, it’s already quite messy, so prepare sturdy shoes or boots, lots of extra clothes, water, snacks, and insect repellent.

8. Bukal Falls

This is another well-preserved jewel of Majayjay, Laguna. Not only does it serve as a natural spring, it’s also a waterfall. Located at the foot of Mt. Banahaw, the waters here are so pure, you can taste their sweetness—really! The beauty of Bukal Falls has been kept at its most natural state for many years, making it the perfect place to get lost in Mother Nature’s total glory.

  • Type: Reserve, Nature trail, Waterfalls
  • Location: Brgy. Bukal, Majayjay
  • Directions:
    By Public Transport:
    – From Buendia or Cubao, take a bus bound for Sta. Cruz and get off at Pagsawitan or at the terminal of the jeepneys bound for Majayjay.
    – Tell the driver of the jeep bound for Majayjay to drop you off at Bukal Falls’ entry point at Brgy. Bukal.
    – Then, take a tricycle to the barangay hall.
  • Budget: P500 to P600
  • Activities to do: Definitely take photo ops when you can, swim, dive, trek, and you can even try drinking the purest of spring waters! Just ask the tour guide which basins you can drink from.
  • Don’t miss: The clear blue waters, the cascading waterfall streams, and a small statue of the Virgin Mary atop one of the waterfall’s cascades.
  • Travel tips:
    – Bring all the items you need—from bottled water to snacks to extra clothes—as the area is sparse of stores and shops.
    – Also, everyone is encouraged to travel here in small groups to protect the sanctity of the falls.
    – Do your part as a responsible tourist and leave the area as you found it, clean and orderly.

9. Villa Escudero

Villa Escudero

(photo via Instagram, @wowphilippinestravelagency)

So you’ve visited all these waterfalls in Laguna and you’re grown a little frustrated that you can’t linger at the foot of the majestic falls for too long? Villa Escudero can help fulfill your needs by sitting you down to eat by the side of actual waterfalls! The waterfall resto sits at the foot of the Labasin Falls, and it’s completely safe!

  • Type: Restaurant, Waterfalls, Resort
  • Location: Pan-Philippine Highway, San Pablo City
  • Directions:
    By Public Transport:
    – Take a public bus heading to Lucena City.
    – Let the conductor know that you are going to Villa Escudero, and it will stop you at the right location where you can find a tricycle to ride towards the resto and resort area.
  • Budget: P1,000 (If you want to book at the resort, prepare to pay more.)
  • Activities to do: Dine, Book a day trip complete with carabao rides and excursions to the town proper, Bamboo rafting, Birdwatching, Coconut harvesting lessons
  • Don’t miss: Quick massage from the waterfall
  • Travel tip: The more the merrier! Bring the whole barkada or your family!

10. Hidden Valley Springs Calauan

This resort in Laguna captures the best of both worlds, incorporating Laguna’s famed clear and clean waters with the idea of a public spring and resort. Surrounded by lush and healthy vegetation, Calauan’s Hidden Valley Springs is a little bit more gimmicky than the other trails, but it still provides a healthy and natural escape from the sprawl of Manila’s cityscape!

  • Type: Resort, Public springs
  • Location: Brgy. Perez, Calauan
  • Directions:
    By Public Transport:
    – From Metro Manila, ride a bus headed towards Lucena.
    – Alight at 7-11 in Alaminos’ town proper or the Alaminos market.
    – Look for a terminal that reads Apasan, and ask the tricycle drivers to take you to the Hidden Valley Springs.
  • Budget: Day tours are around P2,200 to P2,700 per person. (Overnight rates can cost you as much as P10,000 for 2 adults.)
  • Activities to do: Bathe in the tropical pools or tour the tropical rainforest near their restaurant.
  • Don’t miss: If weather permits it, you can request to eat outside for dinner so you can see the stars!
  • Travel tip: Best to bring a lot of people here so you can split the cost of the entrance/day tour fee.

Enjoy a fun experience and check out other things to do, restaurants to try and more in Laguna. Discover cheap hotel deals and cheap flights from carriers like Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, and more with Traveloka!


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