Cavinti: Exploring the Ecotourism Capital of Laguna
Last February, I was invited to a four-day tour in Cavinti, Laguna. I’d already been here in the past, but I knew there was still so much I haven’t seen. Cavinti is considered the ecotourism capital of Laguna, with its plethora of nature attractions including trails, waterfalls, lakes, caves. and more. And yet, it’s still one of the most underrated places in this province!
Here are the highlights of our trip #CavintiTour2023, and hopefully you can use this for your next visit to Cavinti as well.
- What to see in Cavinti
- Where to eat in Cavinti
- Where to stay in Cavinti
- What to read next:
What to see in Cavinti
We’d visited the best tourist attractions in Cavinti. These are:
Bumbungan Eco-park is a wet bridge with what appears to be a man-made waterfall. It is now used as a picnic grove, with cottages and tables available to the public.
This is our first stop in our four-day tour, where we had quick breakfast and registered in the tourism office on-site.
A legend written in books! Cavinti Falls is undeniably the most popular attraction in Cavinti. Formerly known as Pagsanjan Falls, it stands about 90 meters high with the strong gush of water hiding a small cave called the Devil’s Cave.
We followed the foot trail to get here, which includes vertical rappeling. The best part about our visit to this waterfall was the balsa ride, which brought us directly under the waterfalls and into the cave. Some of us went swimming in the ice-cold basin as well.
Naculo Falls lies above Cavinti Falls. This waterfall is part of a private property that you can book via Airbnb. That’s right — by booking The Cliff at Naculo Falls, you can enjoy an exclusive accommodation with access to your own waterfall!
This is one of the highlights of our trip. We enjoyed a hearty lunch with fresh-tasting binalot na tilapia before climbing down the steep ladders to see Naculo Falls up-close.
Cavinti Cave, or more formally as Cavinti Underground River and Caves Complex, is a beginner-friendly cave featuring pristine stalactites, stalagmites, and various formations.
We went here to do the basic cave tour, which is around 2 hours. It was one of the best caving experiences I’ve had. There are submerged routes, a formation called the “Fountain of Youth” which was dripping with drinkable alkaline water, and an open chamber called the “Skylight.” The tour ends with a visit to a mini falls, where we enjoyed a strong water massage.
I can’t recommend this caving site enough. If you like caving, this is one of the must-try cave sites in the Philippines.
Also known as the Transfiguration of our Lord Parish Church, this church is a heritage site over 400 years old. It features colonial baroque architecture, similar to other old churches in the country, and a bell tower.
Cavinti Weaving Center
The traditional art of weaving is alive in Cavinti! In the village of Uda, women weave pandan leaves to create hats, bags, and boxes (tampipi). You can buy a hat for as cheap as P35!
Where to eat in Cavinti
Cavinti has interesting restaurants and cafes (if you know where to find them). You can enjoy modern offerings like pastries and coffee or head to restaurants that serve regional dishes.
This coffee stall is the cutest thing ever! It’s located on the road side with a pleasant view of Lumot Lake, so motorcyclists and drivers can simply stop over for a hot or cold brew.
Recommendations: Cold Brew is a must-try. The coffee taste is just right (not overpowering like in others) and there is a sweet dose of condensed milk at the bottom. I loved the drink unstirred, so you can taste the sweetness right at the end of your sip.
This alfresco cafe is known for using tampipi (woven pandan leaves) as containers for serving pastries. So not only can you enjoy good snacks and drinks, you are also supporting a sustainable local business.
Recommendations: They have an interesting list of coffee drinks like the Twix Latte, so take your pick! For the food, I liked the pasta carbonara and banana muffins, which the old baking hobbyist in me would be so proud of.
BuenApetiti Restaurante by Las Caidas Wellness Resort offers delicious regional cuisine. It’s a great place for family meals, especially if you like live music performances with your plate of Filipino food.
Aside from the restaurant, there is also a waterfall with a cottage balsa and a spa & wellness center inside the resort grounds. We’ve been informed that accommodations would soon follow.
Recommendations: There is so much good food here, but what I enjoyed the most are the chicken binakol and kare-kare.
Kalahi Lake Shore
This beautiful private resort serves delicious lunch to their guests! We had a lovely meal in an alfresco area with swing seats (ala Popeye’s). I particularly love the fresh raw oysters, pinais (freshwater shrimps with young coconut), and tilapia, paired with the best cucumber juice I’ve had.
Serenidad Leisure Hub
Serenidad Leisure Hub is one of the private islands you can rent in Cavinti. They also cater meals upon request. We had a boodle fight for lunch here. It was hands down the best food I’ve had during our tour. I loved the kesong puti (so soft and yummy), ginataang hipon, ginataang kalabaw, and vegetables with pinatisan.
Where to stay in Cavinti
Cavinti has various accommodations — there are camping and glamping sites, private resorts, and even private islands you can rent for yourself! Here are the places we stayed at and/or visited.
Caliraya Lake Front Resort
Where do I even begin? I’m in love with this house. Caliraya Lake Front Resort has four bedrooms, spacious living and dining areas, and a veranda that looks out at the lake. There is also an IG-worthy infinity pool where you can enjoy a casual swim and a pier where you can find kayaks.
Kamp Tralala is a campsite perfect for those who are on a budget or who want to experience the simple life in Cavinti. They also offer one of the best activities in Cavinti — the party balsa ride!
The party balsa has a cottage, hammocks over the water, a floater, and a slide — features that you can enjoy while the balsa takes you around the lake. The camp’s dog Sky also likes coming to the balsa ride. The hammock was so comfy; I actually fell asleep on it on the ride back.
Mahatao Island has a peaceful shore and modest accommodations, perfect for groups who simply want to escape the city life. There are also kayaks available if you want to explore the surrounding islands.
Other resorts and camp sites
Here are other accommodations we visited in Cavinti.
FarmShare AgriPark. Also called Farm T-House, this farm resort offers container houses and hands-on activities like milking and feeding cows, as well as petting baby goats (so cute!).
Nest T-House. A place that the young would appreciate, the Nest T-House offers various container houses. Some have verandas overlooking the forest and some have those web duyans that are perfect for the gram.
Eagle’s Camp. One of the newest private islands for rent in Cavinti. They offer stylish cabins, large space outdoors, and a quiet surrounding. It is secluded so it’s perfect for exclusive family getaways.
Isla del Antonio. This is a budget-friendly island resort that offers cabins for couples and small groups. They are also proud to house a gym where you can keep fit and/or learn martia It sits across Mahatao Island.
Chandava Lake Resort. This camping site offers basic cottages and tents. It is ideal for beginner campers since it has a convenient location (it is connected to the mainland), a restaurant, and a store for your essential needs. They also offer various activities, such as horseback riding.
Lolo Itok’s Lake View Resort. This private resort is ideal for casual family outings. It features a 2-storey house, a quiet lakefront, and a swimming pool. Here you can enjoy the quiet lake view, try fishing, or ride an ATV.
La Ruazol Resort. This resort with swimming pool is ideal for family outings, but they are more commonly booked for events like weddings.
Other suggested accommodations: Caliraya Ecoville Resort, Green Lake View, and 5558 Campsite.
Cavinti has something for everything. It offers everything from nature adventure to relaxing spots and staycations, with accommodations ranging from basic camp sites to high-end private resorts. Visit Cavinti in your next trip to Laguna!
Here’s a short clip of our tour:
I would like to thank the tourism office of Cavinti and CTSOA for inviting me! As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.
What to read next:
Heading to Cavinti, Laguna? Check out these related posts!
- Cavinti Falls (formerly Pagsanjan Falls)
- Balon-Balon Falls: Tri-Falls of Barangay Tibatib
- Cavinti Cave
- Cavinti: Exploring the Ecotourism Capital of Laguna
Where to stay:
- Caliraya Lake Front Resort
- Julian’s Island Lodge
- The Cliff at Naculo Falls
- Greenvalley Island
- Best Cavinti Resorts, Glamping Sites, and Camp Sites
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).