Monday, September 3, 2012

Carayan Resort: Nature's Bliss

Our visit to Kamay Ni Hesus Healing Center in Lucban, Quezon was actually a supplemental trip from our original itinerary and that was to spend an overnight stay in Carayan Resort, a nature resort located at the foothills of mythical Mt. Banahaw.

Carayan Resort is located in Barangay Panglan, Majayjay, Laguna. The journey to Carayan Resort is already a treat in itself because of the exhilarating drive along the pitch & winding road of Curva Hill backdrop by flourishing verdant countryside.

The nature resort is situated beside a rock-strewn brook with chilly natural spring water streaming from Mt. Banahaw. The entire landscape is surrounded with well-trimmed pockets and dish gardens complemented with various ornamental plants and assortment of fruit bearing trees. The typical mountain breeze is always fresh and often time misty.

The entrance to Carayan Resort

Landscape of Carayan Resort

There are two large swimming pools with gushing natural spring water. The natural spring water is obviously cold so expect your teeth to chatter and your body to quiver at first minute of your dip. Preference for accommodation varies; there are hotel rooms and native cottages to choose from. I made a reservation for a bahay kubo or a native cottage that is adjacent by the brook. The cottage has two rooms; there is no modern furnishing, it is fan-cooled only and entirely made from indigenous materials. The cool mountain breeze from Mt. Banahaw is comfortable enough to freshen up our senses. The rooms are spacious to comfortably sleep the nine member of my entourage. There is only handful of guests billeted in the resort at the time of our visit and as a result the swimming pool and picnic hut is entirely ours.

The natural spring water swimming pool near the brook

Another natural spring water swimming pool near the entrance gate

The Bahay Kubo we rented

The flowing cool natural spring water from Mt. Banahaw 

The lovely dish gardens

One of the nicely nurtured spot gardens within the landscape

The covered mess hall near the brook

The rocky brook

Some of the many lovely flora collections

Other activities to complement your stay in Carayan Resort can include a visit to Nagcarlan, Laguna, where you can find the San Bartolome Church with the Underground Cemetery. The resort shares border with the town of Liliw, prominent for being the “Tsinelas Town of Laguna". Discover the captivating hidden falls in Majayjay called Taytay Falls, a natural spring falls cascading from majestic Mt. Banahaw. And for the faithful who wish to reflect and commune with God, the Kamay Ni Hesus Healing Center in Lucban Quezon is a few hours’ drive from Carayan Resort. And while in Lucban, purchase several kilos of their renowned Longganisang Lucban or simply take time for snack by gobbling-up on their famous Pancit Habhab.

We brought our own cooked foods and beverages during our overnight stay. The resort runs its own restaurant and caters for group arrangement. A lone sari-sari store is conveniently located in front of the entrance gate however the selection of commodities on sale is limited so it is better to stock-up on your provisions.

There is one "exciting and hilarious” piece of information you need to be aware of once you are in Carayan Resort.

Within the resort compound, a pair of seemingly naive “gobblers” wanders the vicinity. They may look gullible to your sight but these wary toms with large, featherless, reddish head, red throat, and red wattles on their throat and neck can relentlessly run after you. When these toms are excited, a fleshy flap on the bill expands and the wattles with bare skin on the head and neck become engorged with blood. Their head is a shade of blue when calm but once it turns red it means they are ready to fight; better start running!

When I started taking their picture, they started stalking me

Tom & Gerry - the Dynamic Duo

These dynamic duo are actually wild male Turkeys. We nicknamed them “Tom & Gerry” because of their aggressive disposition and unceremonious mood. Somehow, Tom & Gerry are instant celebrities in their own rights within the resort because majority of the guests who came cross them develop some kind of intense and lucid curiosity.

The rate for the native cottage with rooms for an overnight stay is P1, 200. Accommodated guests are free to use the swimming pool, covered mess hall and view deck. For day tour guests, an entrance fee of P50.00 is charge each. Picnic huts rate start from P150.00 to P800.00. The air conditioned hotel rooms rate range from P700.00 to P1, 250.

There is very limited review about Carayan Resort perhaps because it is vaguely situated or nobody among previous guests was interested enough to rate them.

Here are some of my factual reviews about Carayan Resort. If I may just remind my valued readers that I am not in any way associated with neither the resort group nor I have relations with the owners and staffs.

1. The resort’s amenities are modest and home-grown.

2. The swimming pools are sparkling and tidy except for the other pool by the main road where fractures on most of the floor tiles and several structure displacements are visible.

3. The resort gardens are skillfully landscaped and nicely nurtured.

4. The neighborhood is clean & green. We admire the waste segregation they are implementing.

5. The cottage we rented is spacious and the beds are comfortable but the band of red ants that started overrunning our area is a total nuisance.

6. The shower quarters near the pool area needs a makeover.

7. Our host and resort staffs are very helpful, considerate and accommodating.

8. Tom & Gerry are definitely rude but I still consider them a stand-out for the resort because they in some way kept my rowdy pack including my two teenage sons at bay and cautious.

Overall, I will recommend Carayan Resort to my friends and associates and afford them a three-star rating for being a “green hub” with modest amenities at affordable rates while being cared for by courteous staff.

Driving to Carayan Resort

From Manila take the South Luzon Expressway and exit in Calamba Exit. Drive along the National Highway towards Los Banos, pass by Bay, and Victoria. In Victoria, you will arrive in a T-junction; the junction is distinctly marked with several large duck statues. Take the right junction towards Calauan. Midway to Calauan, a Y-junction will be visible by the left side. Inquire with someone in the area if the junction is called Curva. Once confirmed the road leads to Curva, drive carefully along the winding and pitching road. The stretch of road will lead you to the towns of Nagcarlan and Liliw. Bypass both towns and continue towards the town of Majayjay. Watch out for the welcome arch of Majayjay, it will be visible from a distant while a span bridge will be just ahead. Upon the bridge approach, start to slow down. You do not have to go beyond the welcome arch, Carayan Resort main gate is just before the arch on the left side of the road.

The Victoria - Calauan, Laguna road junction marker

Some of the lovely countryside landscape 

The countryside of Victoria, Laguna

The exciting drive along Curva Hill

Another exhilirating drive along Curva Hill

Plan your trip, maximize your time, commune with nature, and most of all.... Enjoy

Credit: Wikipedia


Anonymous said...

Do I need to bring car or are there public vehicles available for me to hop from places to places? Thanks!

WDLeader said...

Hi, It would be better if you have your own means of mobility because Carayan Resort is way-off public transportation route. And if you're planning to visit Taytay Falls, which happens to be within proximity, you will definitely require your own vehicle as it is quite remote. Thanks and have a safe journey.

Anonymous said...

Oh. So I need to bring car. :P
Okay... thank you! :)

This post is great, btw. ;)


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