The serenity and tranquility of Forest Camp

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  • PENN T. LARENA

This pandemic has brought our travel plans on hold.

Last week, I had the privilege of visiting Forest Camp after two years, and encountered tropical flowers, trees, flowing rivers, wild butterflies, and singing birds.

While we were all ecstatic to plan for that next adventure, resort owners Melba and Florante Vicuña have also been preparing for their comeback to the new normal.

The Forest Camp’s campsite

The resort is 2.5 hectares of nature at its best, a valley under a canopy of tropical, indigenous forest trees. It has a river passing through its landscape with cascading sound blending perfectly with the welcoming songs of birds and the applause of leaves.

Aside from swimming in the nine pools designed to appear like natural lagoons formed by the river, you’ll get to relax inside humble hammock houses which can accommodate small and big groups.

There’s also a small camping site where you can pitch a tent if you’re a backpacker. Other activities that you can enjoy are the zipline, wall climbing, skating, and horseback riding! You don’t need to worry about food because they have a restaurant and bar that offer delicious native Filipino dishes and a wide variety of food items and beverages.

The Lanzones Hammock Hut of Forest Camp is a prime hammock hut fronting one of the many pools in this unique mountain resort. It has a lower level perfect for picnics and relaxing on a hammock. Its upper level is a room that overlooks one of the pools and the activity area.

      HOW TO GET TO FOREST CAMP FROM DUMAGUETE

Forest Camp is located in the town of Valencia, about a 20-minute drive away from Dumaguete City.

Cascading water in a man-made pool

The best way to get around Dumaguete and Valencia is to rent a scooter to explore. You can rent scooters in Dumaguete for around P600 per day.

If you’re not confident on a scooter, there are always local public transport going to Valencia and, in the jeepney terminal, a habal-habal can take you to the Forest Camp.

Forest Camp is one of the most famous mountain resorts in the province. It is a perfect place for weekend family picnics, birthdays and reunions with high school friends, or even if you just wanted to take a break. They have several pools filled with the cold running water from Mt. Talinis. You can enjoy unlimited swimming and picture taking, which I know will be a lot, of course, for P120 entrance fee per head. There is no corkage fee so you can bring your food, but if you want, you can just order from the restaurant in advance. – NWI