|The Serene Caliraya Lake|
I was given the task of organizing a camping trip for the all-boys Legal Team of our Company. Sure, I was known in the group as the backpack traveler so they relied heavily on me to deliver a fun-filled camping weekend.
If it is with my regular camping buddies, I wouldn't have much problems cause Dong Ho would have probably laid down the itinerary and Lantaw and Erick would have brought all the camping gears we need. And of course, Ferdz and Oggie would have supplied all the needed contingencies and what-to-dos.
|Vivid Colors of Trees|
But this time, I have to plan for the weekend trip of mostly corporate guys who, except for one, rarely do an outdoor trip - where the definition of travel is a "leisure trip" rather than roughing it up with nature. Luckily, since we are all guys, laying down and explaining the "what-to-expect" part was easy.
I actually made Plan B which mostly include staying in a popular hotel/resort in the area where foods are served ala buffet with swimming pools, sheltered rooms and other water sport activities but surprisingly, when I discussed the setting up of tents, bonfires and sleeping under the stars, the choice became unanimous.
|Windy Lake Shore|
|Accommodation for the Night|
Of the several places on our list, we have chosen to camp at Lake Caliraya. Here are several reasons: 1) I have visited the place before on a day trip and it truly provides good photography opportunities. 2) It's about 3 to 4 hours away from Manila and you can even do a loop where you go there via a faster SLEX route and leave there via a more scenic Rizal route. 3) Cheap and secured camping site thru Surf Kamp Caliraya.
|Time to Grill the Catch|
|Beers, Hotdogs and Bon Fire|
Although experiences vary and "fun" is how you make the most of your experiences, let me share some itineraries and things we did during the weekend.
8:00 am - depart from Manila via SLEX Route
12:00 nn - arrive at Camping Area, registration, lunch
1:00 pm - set camp/swimming/fishing
6:00 pm - prepare dinner, bonfire, socials, lights out.
6:00 am breakfast
7:00 am free time/swimming/kayaking
11:00 am lunch
1:00 pm leave for home via Rizal Route
|Tents in a Cold Morning|
Surf Kamp in Caliraya is a resort along Caliraya Lake and is ideal for outdoor fun and activities like, camping, water skiing, kite flying, windsurfing, fishing, sailing/boating, or simply relax under a tree with its windy and cool mountain breeze. It is widely known as a wind surfing camp due to the fact the there is constant strong wind all year long and that the resort is facing the wide area of the lake with good launching pads for boat and ski.
Cost are as follows:
1. Entrance fee is Php 200 per person.
2. Picnic hut rental is Php 800
3. Bonfire - Php 300
4. Camping tent with rubber mat that can fit 4-6 pax is Php 600.
5. Kayak is Php 350 per hour.
6. Wooden banca is Php 800 per day.
7. Motorized boat is Php 1,500 per hour.
|Morning Has Broken|
|Happy Campers and the owner Marco (in red)|
Since it is a camping ground, you have to bring everything you need (food, clothes, snacks, cooking wares, personal hygiene stuff, etc.). It has a modest comfort room with running water. Only few portion of the camp site has electricity so you need to request the owner if you want one. Wind is strong almost year round and it gets chilly at best so better bring your jackets.
Before leaving, you may also want to visit the Cavinti Japanese Garden located just few meters off the main road.
How to go there?
For SLEX, take last exit to Calamba, turn right to Calamba Junction towards Los Banos all the way to Pagsanjan Church. Turn left passing through to Palacol Bridge going toward Barangay Bagong Silang and start ascend to Caliraya Lake.
For Rizal route, proceed to Marikina all the way to the Cainta junction towards Taytay. Following the main highway bound for Laguna pass through the eight municipalities of Rizal. Make a U-turn at Barangay Bagong Silang, Lumban to start ascend to Caliraya Lake.
Surf Kamp Caliraya is located at Lumban, Laguna. For inquiries and reservations, please call Marco at 0909 248 6727 or 0921 352 1742.