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Uncover the Serenity of Lake Mapanuepe: A Nature Escape in San Marcelino, Zambales

Nature’s resilience shines at Lake Mapanuepe, a serene haven nestled amidst the remnants of Mt Pinatubo’s tumultuous eruption in 1991. Regardless of its tragic previous, this rising tenting vacation spot in San Marcelino, Zambales, affords a tranquil retreat for nature fanatics searching for solace amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Subtle and sublime beauty of Lake Mapanuepe in the morning.
Delicate and elegant great thing about Lake Mapanuepe within the morning.

Unveiling Lake Mapanuepe

Positioned simply south of Mt Pinatubo, Lake Mapanuepe boasts a picturesque setting with huge grazing lands, verdant hills adorned with towering agoho bushes, and the tranquil expanse of its namesake lake. Spanning 648 hectares with a most depth of 25 meters, this hidden gem stands as a testomony to nature’s artistry.

Earlier than the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the world that’s now Lake Mapanuepe was house to 3 thriving barangays – Decrease Aglao, Buhawen, and Pili – positioned inside the Mapanuepe Valley. The Mapanuepe and Marella rivers flowed freely by the valley, converging on the Sto Tomas River.

Nonetheless, the eruption and subsequent rains brought on lahar and sediment to dam the Mapanuepe River, resulting in an increase in water ranges that submerged your entire valley. Solely the steeple of the Sta. Barbara Church, with its cross, stays seen above the floor, a solemn reminder of the settlement that lies beneath the serene waters of Lake Mapanuepe.

Lake Mapanuepe View Deck in Aglao.
Lake Mapanuepe View Deck in Aglao.

Journeying to Lake Mapanuepe

Whereas reaching Lake Mapanuepe requires a little bit of effort, the journey is properly price it for adventurers craving an escape from the unusual.

The view deck also serves as the port for boats to take you to the camping sites.
The view deck additionally serves because the port for boats to take you to the tenting websites.

DIY Commute

  • Trip a Zambales-bound bus at Victory Liner (P500) and ask to be dropped off at San Marcelino, Zambales.
  • Trip a bus to Olongapo. From the Olongapo Terminal, journey a jeep going to San Marcelino.
  • From the San Marcelino Market, journey a jeep to Aglao. Just one journey per day (normally within the morning) and the identical jeep comes again within the afternoon. The schedule could change with out prior discover.
  • From the Lake Mapanuepe View Deck port, journey an outrigger boat to the campsite (P350/boat as much as 5 pax).
Our tour van arrived early in Aglao.
Our tour van arrived early in Aglao.

Self Drive

  • Off-road automobiles can even attain the Lake Mapanuepe campsite however ought to be guided by a neighborhood to securely cross the a number of streams to achieve the tenting grounds. Some streams could be deep and impassable even with excessive clearance, and the locals know the perfect routes.
  • Nonetheless which means, guests ought to first go to Barangay Aglao in San Marcelino, Zambales the place guides could be acquired, and pay the environmental and entrance charges.
These outrigger boats can take up to 5 passengers at a time.
These outrigger boats can take as much as 5 passengers at a time.

Be part of Group Excursions or arrange a Personal Tour

  • The simplest means is thru organized excursions, becoming a member of a bunch, or having a non-public tour. For our go to, our van headed straight to the Lake Mapanuepe View Deck in Aglao and parked the van on the Barangay Corridor. From right here, we took a small outrigger boat to our campsite, which is just a brief 15-minute journey. The daybreak boat journey was surreal as the nice and cozy glow stuffed the sky, and the cool breeze embraced us as our boat minimize by the mist hovering over the nonetheless waters of the lake.
Phase 2 camp site.
Section 2 camp website.

Embrace Lakeside Tenting

There have been already campers within the space who have been in all probability having fun with the lengthy weekend sooner than us. Regardless of the numbers, the tenting space is huge sufficient to accommodate tons of of individuals. The campsite has 4 phases. We have been camped at Section 2, which was stated to be probably the most scenic however may be crowded. It has a number of tree cowl near the lake.

Section 1 is so much quieter and is positioned close to the stream and some communities of Aetas. Phases 3 and 4 have wider grasslands and open areas. All the phases have bathrooms and bathe areas maintained by the Aetas. There are additionally some small shops in every section.

Captivating morning mists.
Charming morning mists.

What to Do in Lake Mapanuepe

Lake Mapanuepe
My tent.
Lake Mapanuepe
Studying on my Kobo.

Lakeside Tenting

There is no such thing as a mobile community within the space, however currently, Section 2 has elective web entry out there for P150 good for twenty-four hours, powered by Starlink. However I made a decision to not and simply loved the serenity of the place. Studying a ebook, strolling round, birding, chatting with my camp buddies for this journey, and having fun with the meals.

Obligatory camping chair photo at the lake, of course!
Compulsory tenting chair picture on the lake, after all!

Automotive Tenting

I observed some automobile campers introduced additional creature comforts like larger tents, grills, and even showers/altering tents. I additionally noticed a number of campers bringing of their pets, each canine and feline. A beautiful place to allow them to run round and discover nature.

ATV and Biking

ATVs are additionally out there for lease at Section 3 for a bit adrenaline rush. Some automobile campers additionally introduced bikes as the world is sweet for some gravel biking.

Lake Mapanuepe
Discover the close by stream.

Boat Tour

For a further price, guests can even take a ship journey across the lake and go to the situation of the Sta Barbara church, the place a portion of its steeple could be seen protruding above the water close to the shores of Barangay Pili.

A Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) hunting in Lake Mapanuepe.
A Widespread Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) looking in Lake Mapanuepe.

Nature Images

Nature photographers would benefit from the place. Dawn right here is classy, with the mountain peaks rendering stunning gradients within the morning and the lake reflecting the hues of the sky.

A medium egret (Ardea intermedia)
A medium egret (Ardea intermedia)
Lake Mapanuepe
Striated grassbird (Megalurus palustris)

Within the night, with minimal mild air pollution, astrophotography is right if the situations are proper. Additionally it is doable to do fowl pictures. Loads of Brahminy kites within the space, and I photographed some striated grassbirds, medium egrets, and a Widespread kingfisher.

It’s additionally enjoyable to fly drones right here for some great panorama pictures. Simply watch out of the eagles and falcons within the space.

Lake Mapanuepe

Important Data for Your Journey

Put together in your journey with these sensible ideas and ideas:

  • The simplest method to Lake Mapanuepe is through the Lake Mapanuepe View Deck port, the place boats can take you to the campsite. It’s simple to seek out this location through Google Maps or Waze, and you may securely park your car close to the barangay corridor. The one draw back is you may’t convey a few of your stuff or gear.
  • In case you are taking a car, it is suggested to rent a information to guide you to a protected route alongside the river and stream crossing. Information charges can vary from P500–800 backwards and forwards. The in a single day automobile tenting price is P600/automobile.
  • Carry your tenting gear like tents, cook dinner units, energy banks/turbines, and lights. There is no such thing as a electrical energy within the space.
  • Carry water and meals. There could also be some small shops there, however costs are virtually double since they must convey the provides in.
  • No mobile community within the space, however WiFi is out there for P150/24-hour entry through Starlink.
  • In case you are staying in a single day, safe your meals, trash luggage, and gadgets. Cattle freely graze the world, and at evening, could rummage by your trash or meals luggage.
  • There are many bathrooms and bathe areas, very primary however they are going to do. There’s a P5 price for utilizing the bathroom and a P10 for the bathe. Pay Aeta to keep up the bathrooms and bathe areas.
  • Swimming is just not really helpful, as there could also be unsafe buildings or tree branches because of the sunken settlement. There are spots designated for dips, just like the stream.
  • Aeta distributors are roaming the world promoting memento gadgets. Some can also promote Colassisi parrots and iguanas. Please don’t condone them by shopping for these animals.
  • Please respect co-campers. By late evenings, tone down your noise and maintain it inside your camp.
  • Depart no hint. Do convey again what you introduced and maintain the place clear.
Lake Mapanuepe
Organized excursions normally embrace set meals.
Lake Mapanuepe
Joiner excursions are a good way to satisfy new individuals with the identical ardour for journey and the outside.

Expertise the Magic of Lake Mapanuepe

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Lake Mapanuepe, the place nature’s resilience and sweetness converge to create an unparalleled escape from the unusual. Embrace the tranquility, bask in journey, and create lasting reminiscences amidst the wonders of San Marcelino, Zambales.

Lake Mapanuepe
Phases 3 and 4 areas of the camp websites.
Lake Mapanuepe
Following the stream.