Nestled at the foot of the dormant volcano Mount Makiling, and sitting astride lovely Lake Laguna, Los Banos is a hugely popular weekend retreat from nearby Manila. It’s also a standard stop on the tourist trail for visitors to this part of the Philippines.

Los Banos translates into ‘the baths’, and is named for the many hot springs that bubble out of the lush volcanic land. Being just 63kms from Manila, it’s quick and easy to reach, which sometimes means the town gets uncomfortably crowded on long weekends or holidays.

Ambitious visitors can trek to the top of Mount Makiling through dense virgin rainforest to the mud springs at the summit for a real natural adventure. The nearby Makiling Botanical Gardens are also worth an afternoon to see the myriad plants that thrive in the region.

There is also a campus of the University of the Philippines here, so the town has a distinctly student vibe to it along Grove and Lopez Avenues. The National Arts Center provides visitors with a look at the budding artists of the Philippines, while Paciano Rizal Park and Shrine offer an outdoor place to relax right in town.

Getting There & Away

Los Banos is just 63kms from Manila, and connected by the South Luzon Expressway to the capital. Buses run frequently throughout the day to Los Banos from Manila, or you can rent a car and easily drive along the expressway to reach the resort town. Manila’s international airport services daily flights from most countries with most major airlines.

Things to Do

Los Banos Attractions

Makiling Botanical Gardens

For a convenient look at the wonderful plants and flowers of the region, head to this lovely garden.

Grove and Lopez avenues

These strips are lively spots for wining, dining and mixing with the locals.

Side trips from Los Banos

Mount Makiling

The dormant volcano makes an excellent place to trek through the rainforest to reach the summit.