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“Best to visit of the Lakes but only in summer!”
Review of Lake Pandin

Lake Pandin
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San Pablo Trails Mountain Bike Tour from Manila
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
San Pablo, Laguna, Philippines
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Best to visit of the Lakes but only in summer!”
Reviewed September 10, 2013

Lake Pandin is part of San Pablo's "Twin Lakes." The other "twin" is Yambo and they are only separated by a short hike. The lakes were also formed by volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. When you go to the lake there is a small food place, rafting and so on. I don't have a contact number now but I will try to post.

Visited October 2012
Thank Rayme_525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 reviews from our community

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English first
Manila, Philippines
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Get down and dirty and nature will reward you right after!”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

I think a trip to Pandin Lake is perfect if you want to take a break from the hustle-bustle of the city! I cannot offer much help regarding the transportation or the drive because unlike most travelers, I came from a town further south (Paete). Here are a few of my tips though:

(1) Only go during the rainy seasons IF you're ready to get DOWN & DIRTY. We had to go through more than just mud before getting to the lake. I'd say it was a 15 minute walk and something that I didn't mind since I've walked through a similar trail before but if you're very particular about cleanliness, then my advise is to wear rubber shoes to avoid all the poop. There locals own goats, carabaos and horses there so go figure. And since it was raining, it was so muddy and the road was wet, we kept sinking into the mud. Yikes! But if you're game, why not!

But once you do reach the lake, all the stress goes away! I've been travelling through Laguna my whole life but a lot of people from my town were still surprised that this hidden gem was tucked away in San Pablo.

(2) It is not commercialized at all! There are no multiple sari-sari stores, only one small one that offers a few refreshments. There are no vendors that pester you and force you to buy their products. Everything is well coordinated by the "mothers" running the place and from what I heard, they share all their income... so you don't feel that they're just trying to rip you off! It is Filipino hospitality at its finest! =)

(2) Buy the ube/purple yam and leche flan Php100/3 of any. And get their halo-halo too which was only Php20!!! It's doesnt' have as much ingredients as your other halo-halo but it is still very good and so cheap too.

(3) Definitely go in for a swim. It was raining when we got there but the water wasn't too cold! It was a perfect swim! But be sure to wear your life vests! If you don't, you'll be risking your life (it's 180 ft deep) and the jobs of your rafters!

(4) Bring your own drinking water! And extra water for rinsing off when you go back to the parking lot and before hopping back in your car. You'll be taking the same muddy road and there won't be any rest rooms for taking showers.

(5) If you're not interested in eating seafood which composes almost the entire menu they offer for lunch, bring your own food! Although I heard you can ask to have pork or chicken grilled right there at a negotiable price. But during our trip, we ate before going there so we don't have to think about bringing too much and cleaning up after. Less mess, less trash, better lakes! And you'll have more time to enjoy the lake since you can only stay for 3 hours.

(6) Try to go on a weekday! There are less people and if you're nice, they won't mind extending a few more minutes for you. =)

(7) Get coordinated. We just walked in and since it was a Satuday, they were fully booked so they had to give us their oldest raft that they hardly use for guests (otherwise we would have waited for an hour or more). It wasn't as nice nor as clean as the others' but we took it anyway since we were dirty from all the mud anyway and it was raining so that'll help wash the stuff off.

(8) Ask the locals about the legend of the lakes! Every trip is an opportunity to learn something new and to soak up the Filipino culture! =)

And pray for sunny weather! Nevertheless, Lake Pandin is wonderful and a few rains won't stop you from appreciating it's beauty!

Visited June 2013
2 Thank lishyc22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Lake Pandin Has Much More to Offer”
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Lake Pandin, one of the 7 lakes in San Pablo, Laguna is just a short 15-minute drive away from Casa San Pablo where we stayed for the night. From the public parking for visitors, we walked through what seemed like privately owned vacant lots where coconut and banana trees are planted. After a 10 minute trek on semi-paved but narrow uphill footpaths, we reached the 180 feet crater lake. We were told that prior reservation is needed but we were lucky to have arrived early and get the last remaining bamboo raft at P150 per head, complete with free fresh coconut juice. Lunch and snacks of local delicacy can be ordered for serving on the raft. A busload of students on field trip which came without prior booking a few minutes later were unable to experience the lake tour. Two women rafters paddled our raft, occasionally pulling a rope that is connected on both sides of the lake to pick up some speed. We enjoyed the cool breeze in the middle of a very hot summer day. Some people parked their raft on the far end side of the lake to swim, dine and party. On reaching the other side of the lake, we got off and climbed a hill to view Lake Yambu. This is a much bigger lake but there was no activity when we reached the place. The Lake Pandin tour is a simple, east-to-west sail but I just thought that creative activities can be organized to make the short trip more productive and meaningful, e.g., story-telling by the rafters about the lake and surrounding areas, serenading guests with local native songs, tourism talks about San Pablo, and the like. We were told that the local government does not collect any fees from the tour organizers composed of local residents but only makes sure that the lake is preserved from pollution and abuse.Nevertheless, experiencing the lake and discovering that there are 7 lakes in the area was exciting enough. The raft assigned to us had some broken bamboo slots and we had to be cautious when posing for a photo shoot. When I called the rafter's attention, I was told that the newer ones are assigned to the bigger groups.The four of us were given life vests but because the lake was perfectly flat and peaceful, we decided not to wear it. We were told that on rainy days, the current can be strong, but I imagined that sailing, dining and restricted fishing under the 'nipa' hut in the middle of the lake must be fun.

Visited May 2013
Thank pnaytraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City, Philippines
Level 6 Contributor
69 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Simple Life in the Countryside”
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Even though there’s a couple of write-ups about Lake Pandin, not a lot of people frequent this place. Maybe because there’s a signage that looks more like ER Ejercito’s campaign ad than Lake Pandin’s welcome sign. Maybe because there are other lakes around. But the lack of commercialization carves out its charm.

It will take you about 15 minutes from the entrance towards the lake, and it is all worth it. Make sure to get a guide on your walk, or you might get lost. Just tip your guide. Here’s our awesome guide, Jessie.

You will be greeted by a beautiful green lake surrounded by plants and trees. There are a couple of balsa with huts, wherein you can take your lunch while marvelling in the beauty of the nature that envelopes you. It’s great if you go here around 10am, then you can take your leisurely lunch and take a dip in the lake.

If you already brought lunch, you only need to pay P180/adult (it’s free for kids) for the balsa ride. This gives you two hours (or more— they’re pretty laid-back and generous) to enjoy your lunch and swim for a bit. Life vests are also available for the whole family.

Our lunch included 10 cups (when we just paid for 6) of rice wrapped in banana leaves (save the banana leaves, as you will use it to cover your plates) and Grilled Tilapia. I’m not a fish person but I found their tilapia to be very fresh and tasty! Maybe it’s a plus that the Lake Pandin’s group are all fishermen. This Lake Pandin business, actually, augments their familiy’s income, especially if it’s a lean season for seafood harvest.

They also served us with Ginataang Hipon. I should try cooking this at home! Although I’m sure it won’t be as yummy— they have easy access to fresh buko and the coconut milk they used in this dish is quite delicious.

The scenery is green, lush and beautiful. When you get to to the end of the lake, grab your lifevest and jump in.

For more digs about this ethereal place, feel free to check out my post here: http://lisawenceslao.tumblr.com/post/44513701332/lake-pandin

Visited February 2013
2 Thank Wence W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City, Philippines
Level 4 Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Very refreshing”
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Me and my friend had a do-it-yourself tours to Seven Lakes tour in San Pablo City, but Lake Pandin is the best among them all. This is where we stay the longest and had a chat with the local kids, sitting on the raft and enjoying the view. The place is very calm and refreshing, way too far from the busy and chaotic Metro Manila. You can actually book your lunch there while in the raft cruising along the lake, although we did not had our lunch there. It's 2-hour drive from Manila, The only cons of going to Lake Pandin is hiking for about 15-20 minutes from the highway to reach the lake, but nevertheless, it's worth the visit!

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Ivy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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