If there’s one place in the country that’s guaranteed to relax you, it’s Cavinti in Laguna. Here you can find a quiet lakeside community and tiny houses built on isolated islets in the lake. Here’s our stay at Julian’s Island Lodge, one of the private islands in the area.
Our stay at Julian’s Island Lodge
It’s been years since our last visit in Cavinti, Laguna. Back then, you could count in one hand the number of accommodations available for booking in the lake area. Today, things are different – there are more options to choose from, from resthouses and cottages to glamping tents and domes.
Hali and I went in this trip with our blogger friends. We drove separately and met up in Bloc Glamping Site, which is beside the reserved parking for the guests for Julian’s Island Lodge. There the caretaker, Kuya Sammy, met us and took us for a quick boat ride to our lodging.
Julian’s Island Lodge is a private island with a 2-story house, a gazebo, and a “jetty” where you can hang out or eat by the lakeside.
The main house is very traditional. It reminded me somewhat of my grandmother’s house in the province – made of wood, with old-school furniture and cabinets, and paintings on the wall. In some parts of the house, the floor even creaks.
The house has a living room, a fully equipped kitchen, and 1 CR and 1 bathroom.
There are 3 bedrooms and an attic with additional mattresses. Hali and I chose one of the two bedrooms in the second floor. I think these are the best ones because the bedroom in the ground floor lacks sunlight and the attic requires a steep ladder, which I don’t trust myself in climbing. Besides, our bedroom opens up to the large living room and the veranda with the lake view.
It was a bit rainy during our stay so Hali and I mostly slept. And oh boy, it felt so good – the weather was cool and it was quiet. Cavinti felt the same somewhat, although admittedly more commercial. I still stand by when I say it’s a great place for a relaxing weekend.
The rest of the group went kayaking. Each kayak is only good for one person — but I think this can still be a romantic activity for a couple.
At night, we had a really good dinner in the gazebo — barbecued chicken and grilled tilapia. With the long drive and the cool weather, we welcomed the warm food. Tilapia is one of the food you can easily buy in Lumot Lake. Some accommodations even offer fishing activity for them. I believe shrimp can also be harvested, but it’s seasonal.
In the morning, we had a late breakfast back at the gazebo and chatted a bit more. Afterwards, we packed our bags for our journey back to the mainland.
Here are my final thoughts about Julian’s Island Lodge.
I think that Julian’s Island Lodge is a great choice for anyone who’s looking for a relaxing getaway — whether it’s a trip for friends, family, or even couples.
As per my fellow blogger Katrina, this property is bigger than others you can rent in Lumot Lake.
Personally, I prefer a more modern lodging — but again this is purely subjective. This lodge has complete amenities and the kitchen is fully equipped, so those who love preparing meals on outings don’t need to be concerned about bringing extra items on the trip. It has everything you need. There is no airconditioning, but you don’t really need one because the area is in a high altitude. In fact, it’s recommended to bring a cover or jacket. Speaking of which, I do wish there was a hot shower because it tends to be chilly, especially at night.
I suggest staying here for at least 2 nights, since I find Cavinti a little bit far from Manila.
Practical Info: Julian’s Island Lodge
Julian’s Island Lodge is a private island in Cavinti, Laguna.
How to get here
Julian’s Island Lodge is 2.5-3 hours away from Manila.
Here are the commute directions:
- Ride a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Get off at the boundary of Sta. Cruz and Pagsanjan.
- From there, ride a jeep to Cavinti and get off at the terminal.
- Ride another jeep to Barangay Bukal.
Once in Barangay Bukal, walk towards the Bloc Camp Site where the caretaker of Julian’s Island Lodge will meet you.
Hali and I drove here in a private car. I think this is the easiest way to get there.
Book your stay here
You can book here via Airbnb. Capacity is 10 people.
Aside from the accommodation, here are other additional fees (Updated as of 2021):
- Overnight parking – P100
- Kayak – P300 (each kayak is good for 1 person only)
- Bonfire – P300
Things to know before you go
- Bring your own food. There are sari-sari stores in the mainland where you can buy snacks and drinks. You can ask the caretakers to cook for you for an additional fee. You can also ask them to buy tilapia, which can be fished in the lake.
- Bring your own toiletries.
- There is no WIFI. Globe has none to minimal signal. Smart is okay.
- It tends to be chilly at night, so make sure to bring a jacket or other covered clothing.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Katrina of Happy and Busy Travels for the invite and Julian’s Island Lodge for hosting us! As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you been to Cavinti, Laguna? Share your experience with us below!
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Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).