Hidden Valley Springs
As the mercury rises and the city heaves, we cannot think of a better time to slink out of Manila, slip into some swimwear, and reconvene with nature next to a cooling body of water. Not so easy – you might think – but have your driver zip a mere 1h30 through the scenic Laguna countryside, and you’ll find yourself in the sleepy environs of Alaminos, home to the fabled Hidden Valley. An entrance fee of PHP2,200 will get you past the gates of the Hidden Valley Springs Resort (a chalet complex that’s seen better days), which need not be approached as you beeline for the jungly path that winds into a private corner of watery paradise.
Exotic flora and fauna abound here – the chirrup of birds and cicadas will render the Manila hum a distant memory – but better yet, come the six volcanic pools gushing with natural spring waters so clear you can see the wiggle of your own toes. And tucked behind a wall of towering, ancient trees there’s a waterfall, perfect for that ‘Timotei’ moment. If you’ve worked up an appetite with all that lounging and toe-dipping, an inclusive lunch is served at the resort – although perhaps nothing to write home about, the simple buffet of roasted meats and salads should sate that post-swim tum twinge. Just get there early enough to nab one of the waterside gazebos. Lush!
Hidden Valley Springs Resort / Alaminos City / Laguna / +63 721 3594