We spent the day at Lake Pandin, Laguna one day last month. It’s a 2.5-hour drive from Metro Manila, and you have to leave your car in a small, unpaved parking lot and get to the lake on foot. There is simply no way to drive there directly.
The facilities of the lake are definitely rustic and third world, but the lake is unspoiled and beautiful. Pandin is cared for and run by about 20 locals who operate the bamboo rafts as well as prepare the food, and guests are asked to register with a woman they refer to as “Pangulo.” They can serve you lunch on the raft (fresh caught tilapia and bangus from the lake) or you can opt for just the balsa ride.
The lake is clean enough to swim in but there are no changing rooms or even proper toilets around the lake (just a rather dirty makeshift toilet and you have to pay P5.00 per head to enter). We all changed into dry clothes in the car.
Also there is a 20 minute trek through a narrow dirt road from the parking lot to the lake, and it gets really muddy when it rains. The path sometimes slopes uphill or down, and I wouldn’t recommend it for seniors or very young kids. John had to carry Naomi both ways and it wasn’t easy. Still we all really enjoyed our day at the lake, and the kids are calling it “an adventure.”
- Ideal for kids 6 and up, not suitable for very young children, seniors, or disabled.
- Bring your own water and snacks for the balsa ride if you don’t intend to order food (they serve fresh fish, rice, and vegetables).
- You can also order a fresh coconut to sip on, which is a nice touch but they don’t serve them cold since they don’t have refrigerators.
- Best to go in good weather (no rain).
- Wear swimsuits if you want to go in the water, but be ready to change in the car.
- You can also text in advance to make reservations – 0907-9952983 or 0929-9789565.
LAKE PANDIN, San Pablo, Laguna *you can simply enter “Lake Pandin” on Waze
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