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Not to be confused with Los Banos in California, USA.

Los Baños is a resort and university town in Laguna, located south of Metro Manila across the country's largest lake, Laguna de Bay. It is 63 km from Manila and is a popular weekend destination for residents. The 2015 census showed a population of 112,000. It is largely a satellite community of adjacent Calamba.

Los Baños is Spanish for "the baths"; the city takes its name from the thermal springs at the foot of Mount Makiling, a dormant volcano located just south of town. As early as 1595, a building was constructed to serve as shelter for the patients who came to seek cures for their ailments at the hot springs. The springs are still an attraction and many of the better class of hotels in town include bathing areas.


Town hall

The town has been a center of learning since the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture (UPCA) was established there in 1909. Various other Filipino and international institutions followed. Although Los Baños is a small town, it now has a large scientific community and their achievements, particularly in the study of agriculture, have been a source of local pride and worldwide note.

Once you get down from your bus or Jeepney at crossing, Los Banos, you can take a walk from Jollibee to Robinson Shopping Mall, it's just about 20 meters opposite each other and if you go further, there's a nice Aglipayan Church associated with a local legend.

  • Maria Makiling. A diwata, (equivalent of a fairy or goddess) who has been the guardian spirit of the mountain since long before the Spanish arrived. There are many legends about her; in some she is Dian Masalanta, the ancient Tagalog goddess of love, pregnancy and childbirth, while in Christian versions she is named Maria and attends church often. Maria Makiling on Wikipedia

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

Not the fastest way ...

Take the HM Bus Liner at EDSA-Cubao (adjacent to Victory Liner) or DLTBco at EDSA (beside Ramon Magsaysay National High School Cubao and ALPS Bus Terminal) that goes to Sta. Cruz. Tell the conductor to drop you off at "Olivarez Plaza" (it's a town mall) or "College" (UPLB is popularly known as 'College') or you can ride the Sta. Cruz bus from Manila (take the bus from Buendia).

By transport bus:

  • HM Transport
  • BCTSS from Lawton Manila Capital
  • Lucena Lines (LLI)
  • Jac Liner from Alabang and Cubao
  • DLTB Co.

If you are from Manila, Navotas, you can ride a bus bound to Calamba coming from Lawton. Ride a jeepney from Calamba, tell the driver you want to get down at UPLB. If you plan to go to University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB), take a jeepney with a signboard that says "UP College". It will take you inside the campus.

By car[edit]

You may take the South Luzon Expressway southeast from Manila, then exit at Calamba to follow the national roads. A bypass road opened in 2015 at Calamba to divert cars from the already congested section of Maharlika Highway at Real and Calamba Crossing, but prepare for traffic jams when it is peak season at the resorts.


  • 1 University of the Philippines, Los Baños (UPLB, Elbi). Primarily a university of agriculture. There are some places of interest within its administered area:. University of the Philippines Los Baños (Q3550116) on Wikidata University of the Philippines Los Baños on Wikipedia
    • 2 Makiling Botanic Gardens (on UPLB campus), +63 49 536 2637. 08ː00-16ː00 daily. Little streams and rivulets cut through the demonstration garden.
    • 3 UPLB Museum of Natural History. Biological & zoological exhibits. Hopefully it won't be a field trip day for all the Metro Manila schools. UPLB Museum of Natural History (Q95144479) on Wikidata UPLB Museum of Natural History on Wikipedia
    • ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB). ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (Q4654167) on Wikidata ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity on Wikipedia
    • International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). On a large (252 hectares, 620 acres) experimental farm. International Rice Research Institute (Q1204921) on Wikidata International Rice Research Institute on Wikipedia
  • 4 Mount Makiling Forest Reserve. Formerly a national park, now a reserve administered by the university's forestry department. It is adjacent to the campus and, like the campus, includes some sites of interest:. Mount Makiling (Q1551536) on Wikidata Mount Makiling on Wikipedia
    • 5 National Arts Center. A school for young artists managed by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Perhaps what stands out most though are the truly exceptional views of Lake Laguna. National Arts Center (Q6970491) on Wikidata National Arts Center on Wikipedia
    • Boy Scouts of the Philippines Jamboree Site – a campsite at the foot of Mount Makiling
  • Magnetic Hill
  • Dampalit Falls-dirty – small waterfall
  • Immaculate Conception Parish – a centuries old church at the town proper (Poblacion/Bayan)
  • Paciano Rizal Shrine – house of Paciano Rizal, brother of National Hero Jose Rizal
  • Yamashita Shrine – execution site of Gen. Yamashita


  • 1 Mount Makiling (start from gate at end of Makiling Rd on UPLB campus next to Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems). Fine hiking destination, not only to the peak but also en route through the UPLB-owned Mount Makiling Forest Reserve. Birding and sightseeing opportunities avail (as in big views of surrounding territory). But take ample water, watch out for leeches, and be prepared to come back sticky and withered after completing the 3200 ft (Peak 2 being the highest point) ascent and back. Takes about 4–5 hours each way, so plan to make it a full day outing. Some sites associated with the trek are Flatrocks (river cascade), Mudspring (often mistaken as volcanic crater of Mt. Makiling) nominal admission fee.

The town is famous for its therapeutic pools of mineral hot springs at the base of mystic Mount Makiling. Most of the local residents' water supply is warm water and during the hot season residents sometimes have to bathe with ice blocks in a pail to cool the water. The first thing you do when you’re around the bend to the welcome sign – roll down the windows and breathe deep. Breathe in the fresh air and see the difference why this place is a therapy. Escape to a local resort like the Splash Mountain, sink into a soothingly hot pool and feel your tension melt away. Spa-like, that’s how the experience is. You can stay at these pools the whole day if you like – swim, soak, sunbathe, and it’s enough to refresh your weary soul. Consider also La Roca de Trinidad Resort, Sa Dulo Hotsprings.

  • Trace Aqua Sports Complex and Museum – aquatic sports venue for the 2005 SEA Games and Philippine Olympic Festival



Los Banos is famous for its buko pie, young coconut meat deliciously baked in a pie crust. This is the town's signature dish and served in many places. Well known buko pie outlets are The Original Buko Pie and Letty's Buko Pie but there are cheaper versions and it still tastes good. Find a place you like and take a few pies along when you leave..

At crossing, you can find Toyang's Pancitan (Noodle Restaurant) which has been a very popular noodle. Next is sea food at Samaral Restaurant. Now if you just want burgers and fries, local fastfood chains and malls dot the way from Crossing to UP. For desserts? Try Los Banos’ homemade icecream, fresh milk, and kesong-puti (cottage cheese) at DTRI restaurant. Primarily hidden but well known by visitors and tourist alike but not the locals, Jo Clemente's famous curry restaurant about 200 meters from Crossing to UPLB is another wonder and if you managed to find it, you will come back and taste the delicious food served piping hot meals and when it is's really hot.

  • 1 The Original Buko Pie, National Hwy, +63 49 536 3783. all day.
  • 2 Seoul Kitchen, F.O. Santos st, corner Pearl St, +63 930 662 0977. 11ː00-23ː00 daily except closed Su. Good for if you need a Korean fix.
  • 3 Spice Jar Restaurant (about a block from Robinson's, same side of street), +63 905 301 1071. Good Mexican food plus a few Filipino dishes, pizza, donuts, & expensive steaks. No guacamole or margueritas. mains from ₱120, mostly 180-250.
  • 4 Mother M's Food Hauz, +63 921 658 4014. Affordable diningː breakfast, beef pares, bulalo, student meals.
  • 2nd floor of Vega Center, in front of UPLB gate. Homemade cakes, pastries, and specialty coffee.

Fast food[edit]

Nationwide fast food chains have their omnipresence in this town, but there are also local destinations if you want to find cheap eats.

  • Ellens Fried Chicken (crossing, Los Banos and Grove, near UPLB Gate). Fried Chicken and student meals.
  • Creisking's Lomi Haus (near Agapita).


The local Mineral Water fresh from its springs is a health drink and once you tasted it, you will feel the amazing healing properties. Liquor is not allowed in the campus of UPLB so be aware of that before thinking a good night out at the campus.


There are a lot of boarding house and apartments to choose from all around the campus.


Go next[edit]

Routes through Los Baños
ENDCalamba  W  E  → Jct Santa Cruz

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