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Interestingly, Lake Caliraya in Laguna is a man-made lake situated in three towns - Lumban, Cavinti and Kalayaan. In 1937, a US Army Engineer created Lake Caliraya by flooding the Cavinti valley of Sierra Madre in order to generate hydroelectric power for Metro Manila. Entrpreneurs then saw the potential of the area and built two communities as ecological destinations where one can enjoy nature's unspoiled beauty. The man-made lake covers partly submerged land areas and this resulted to numerous islands complete with coves. These islands are now built with vacation houses private villas, and resorts.
Caliraya experiences a year-round cool climate as it is perched high in the Sierra Madre mountain range. The cool mountain breeze of Sierra Madre and the deep waters of the lake combine to make Caliraya an excellent place for various water activities such as boating, jetskiing, waterskiing, and windsurfing.
The place is suitable for outdoor activities such as camping (check out Eco Saddle Campsite) and resort developers already built golf courses for more challenging games. Caliraya is also well-known as the Bass fishing capital of the Philippines. However, despite all of these activities, there's one thing you can't do in Caliraya - swim in the lake. It's because the lake's floor is composed of sticky red clay. Local folks believe that the lake's floor can suck you down especially if you are at the deep end. Of course you can wade in shallow waters but limit it there.
As it is such a prime location for rest and recreation activities, Caliraya has become a haven for the rich and famous. Many high-end real estate developments such as country clubs, resorts, private villas and rest houses, and golf courses have been built to cater to the elite. However, there remain affordable resorts where the middle-class can stay to enjoy life's pleasures in Caliraya.
How to get to Lake Caliraya
By commuting: Take a ride at the Sta Cruz-bound bus of HM Transit on EDSA Cubao or Green Star on LRT/Taft Ave. The bus will go through South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and will exit at Calamba tollgate. Get off at the terminal in Pagsawitan, Sta. Cruz, Laguna then ride a jeepney with "Lumot" signboard. The Lumot-bound jeepney will take you directly to Lake Caliraya. (Note: There are few public transport/jeepneys that descend from Cavinti/Lake Caliraya. Please consider this when planning your trip.)
By private vehicle:
Through South Expressway…
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.
From Edsa take Ortigas Avenue turn right at the first intersection after 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.
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