Volcanic Weekend Adventure – Part 1

The Navigator With our precious little ones back in California for a few weeks for Summer break, pleasantly, Angelica and I found ourselves with a little extra time.

So this weekend we decided to do a little exploring on our own.  We weren’t really too sure where we would end up going but we definitely wanted to explore the outdoors.

Unfamiliar with many of the tourist attractions in the Philippines outside of Metro Manila, we were lucky enough to get a little help from our friend the in picture above.  =)

 

First stop, Hidden Valley Springs:

Hidden Valley Springs is a secluded resort found at the crater of an extinct forested volcano in Laguna. A naturally beautiful botanical garden filled exquisite tropical plants, giant ferns, century old trees, wild orchids, and a hidden waterfall. The best part is the relaxing warm springs where you can take a swim or just hang out while you take in the beautiful and tranquil scenery. The resort is about 72 kilometers from Manila. (Approximately 1.5 – 2 hours depending on traffic.)

It took a little more asking around at last we found it.

We paid p2,000/ea (about $45/ea) an it included:

  • Entrance and parking
  • Lunch buffet
  • Access the pools and waterfalls
  • Mid-day snack (Merienda) : Coffee and Treats
  • *Driver and Helper meals were only p100 ($2/ea)

We took a quick stroll through the gardens and to the Lunch area where the resort had lunch ready for us.  The ground were beautiful and clean.  The plus was there were hardly any people, which is not typical, but because we went this weekend rather than Easter weekend I think we got very lucky. =)

The dining area was festive and nice.  Food was also good for the price and they even had a singing group for entertainment. (We are getting used to having singing groups everywhere we go)

After a quick lunch we started on the trail to explore the Hot Springs and look for the Hidden Falls.

We were pretty lucky there wasn’t a big crowd the entire day.  We definitely took the time to take plenty of photo ops.

View from the Hot Springs Below.

Midway to the Hidden Falls they had a locker area and showers.  Small covered cabanas were also available for larger groups.

Here’s a shot of the soda pools through the trees.

Lots of cool waterfall features surrounded each pool.

Soda Water Pool

Hike to the Hidden Falls

Butterfly stopped to say hello to us.

Our Toy Poodle, Soxy, was having a ball.  She enjoyed all of the plants and was able to roam the ground.  (Obviously a plus for dog owners, as dogs were allowed on the grounds, but not in the pools.)

Century Old HVR Tree.  It was HUGE.  Reminded me of the Giant Redwood Trees back in California.

Monument for the HVR Tree

Bamboo Walkway/Bridge/ Path to get to the Hidden Falls.

Lovers Pool was tucked away and was the farthest pool from the entrance.

It began to rain as we cut through the forest to get to the Hidden Falls

Stairway to the Hidden Falls

Tropical Vegetation

Right before the Hidden Falls

The Hidden Falls.  It wasn’t very big but it was beautiful nonetheless.

The guide to a photo off me and Angelica.  As you can see it was raining quite a bit from the looks of Soxy.  It was her first waterfall!

Hike back up to the pools

Looking up at the stairway from the Hidden Falls

More tiny falls, now, at the warm springs

Angelica was able to take a nice shot under the warm springs falls.

Soxy was all wet from the rain.  We tied her to the bench as we entered the pools to relax.  I think she was a little cold and scared but she soon got warmer and began to relax as well.

I was expecting the springs to be much warmer but it was still therapeutic.

Shots from the pools

Angelica and I found a small hot-tub-like pool where the water seemed warmer.  We spent most of our time there.  I took my camera out after an hour and was able take some close up shots.

Aaah… Feeling relaxed…

More shots from the pool:

We were both very young when when our families took us to this place. We remembered very little from our separate experiences.  Now that we are parents ourselves, we can appreciate the beauty and tranquility this place offers.  It was nice to see it again and this with each other.  The ultimate bonus, we have to admit, was the lack of the crowds.  We got lucky again! =)

 

Hidden Valley Springs

CONTACT INFO
ADDRESS: Alaminos, Laguna, Philippines
Tel. Nos. (63 2) 254-9665, (63 2) 412-7321
Fax. (63 2) 412-7321

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