Posted by: junbagaindoc | March 22, 2008

Surf Kamp Caliraya

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.

Tired of going to Tagaytay and Baguio? Surf Kamp can be your next destination to:

1. cool yourself from the summer heat.

2. find a relaxing place minus the distraction of modern living.

3. experience outdoor living.

4. establish bond with you family/kids and friends.

5. a place for water sports.

About Caliraya Lake.

Caliraya Lake is a man made lake that supplies water to the Caliraya Hydroelectric Plant. It is a large reservoir built by the Americans in the 1930’s. The lake is situated in the Laguna towns of Lumban, Cavinti and Kalayaan. It rises 1,200 feet (365.8 m) above sea level. The Sierra Madre mountain range is visible from the lake.The waters of Caliraya Lake are cool and measures about 50m at its deepest part. The lake roves over partly submerged hills which form islands. The shores are sticky red clay on some areas and pebbled on other areas. The area is so windy that you have to be careful for things that can be blown away. 

 More about the lake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Caliraya

How to get there:

Caliraya Lake is 110 km (68 miles) from Manila and would usually take 2.5 hrs of driving in a private car and a bit longer when taking the public transport. It is best to travel early morning (about 5 or 6AM) to avoid traffic along the towns.

By public transport, visit this link: http://www.waypoints.ph/detail_gen.html?wpt=calrya

By own car. If coming from Manila, take the South Express way and take the last exit to Laguna. From the exit drive all the way to Calamba, Los Banos, Pila, up to Pagsanjan. When in Pagsanjan you will pass-by the arch and after a few meters you will find the church at the end of the road, then take a left turn and drive all the way to Lumban. When in Lumban, the road to Caliraya will be to your right. Watch very carefully for the sign of the Caliraya marker (it is to your right) since it is small and probably will not be visible if driving at night.

If coming from Antipolo. Take the zigzagging road through the thickly forested rolling and rugged ridges of Rizal towns of Teresa, Morong, Baras all the way to Laguna towns of  Famy, Sinoloan, Pangil, Pakil, Paete, Kalayaan and finally Lumban. When in Lumban, the road to Caliraya is to your left and watch for the sign then take the left turn and drive all the way to the mountain.

Whatever road you take to get to Lumban. Once already driving in the mountains to Caliraya you will pass-by the following landmarks before reaching Surf Camp. When in the mountains just drive along the main road and you will pass-by the Caliraya Dam (technically driving on top of the dam) after the dam you will see the Japanese Garden (to your right) then Hilltop Resort (also to your right). After this land marks are populated areas where you will find the entrance to Surf Kamp to your left. There is a small signboard and take a right turn then park near the place where you want to camp.

Since the place is becoming to be popular to adventure seeking people it is best to get in  touch with the friendly owner Marco, call or text him at 09213521742 for reservation and other inquiries.

Some few notes about activities that you can do in Surf Kamp.

1. Camping.  Almost all visitors do camping plus other activities like aqua sports. When camping please bring own tent (or rent one of the permanent campers in the place, see camper picture below) since there are only open huts suitable for meals but not for sleeping. Also, tent will protect your from the very cool mountain breeze at night and early morning. At night the place can be so dark, so bring your own light source (but no generator please, you will destroy the tranquil and relaxing silence of the night). No electrical terminal can be found in the huts so no need to bring karaoke or portable sound system. You can cook your own food by grill or with your own portable cooking equipment (no electric cooker pls), while you can arrange food to be cooked for you in one of the staff house but it rubs you the fun of living outdoors (what is camping without cooking your own food!). To complete your camping experience,  a bonfire can be arranged for the night.

NOTE: It is very rare for people to be noisy at night in the camp site. Hence nobody brings in karaoke or portable sound system nor generator to power this stuff. Please respect your fellow campers by not creating loud noise. Woods for bonfire can be arranged with the staff before night falls.

2. Aqua sports. Bring your own equipment like, jet ski, banana boat, inflatable boat, wind surf, boat and life vest. Most visitors tow this equipment to the place and in some cases leave them in the place for their next visit.

3. Fishing, boating and sailing. If you cannot bring your own boat then a boat for rent can be arranged. Fish found in the lake are Largemouth Bass and other varieties. Bring also your own fishing gears and bait.

NOTE: For your own safety please bring life vest when you intend to do water sports.

4. While camping, the kids will enjoy a day of kite flying. Kite flying will never be a frustration due to constant blow of wind plus the open field devoid of wires and tree branches. NOTE: the wind can be strong to snap your line, make sure that your line is quite strong and that the frame of your kite is sturdy to prevent bending.

Do not expect a 5 star resort accommodation. What is exciting about the place is its very simple accommodation and facilities. You will not find any rooms with air-con, in fact there is none, only a few hut at the entrance can be found which houses the staff. Hence camping is the preferred way of having a place to sleep and rest.  The only facilities available are: row of toilets and bath, washing area for eating utensils or clothes, open hut, trash bins, simple plain flat grounds lined with carabao grass, trees for shade, cool mountain breeze, launching area for boat and ski, tent shade (per request), tables and chairs. There is no wi-fi, internet station/shop, no electricity, no air-conditioned rooms (in fact no room for rent), but there is cellphone signal in the area. The main attraction of the place is its bare nature minus modern conveniences.

 Pictures of Surf Camp.

panoramic view 1 of the site.

panoramic-grounds-1-web-low-2.jpg

 

closer panoramic view

Panoramic view

camp grounds view 1

Camp ground view 1

campers for rent

mobile campers

Campers in jet ski.

 Jet ski

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