Cuenca, at the foot of Mount Maculot, formed part of nearby San Jose during the Spanish era until it was separated in 1872. It gets its name from the Spanish word for watershed.
The town's major tourist draw is Mount Maculot, a 700-meter (2,300 ft) high mountain beside Taal Lake, also a sacred site to ancient Tagalog religion and Christianity. Cuenca has a growing number of private resorts, mostly mid-range to splurge.
Jam and DLTB provide regular bus trips between Buendia (Pasay) or Cubao (Quezon City) and Lemery. Fares are about ₱178-196 (₱142-157 for students or seniors). You can also request stops on other spots around town, especially if you will stay in any of the resorts outside Poblacion (downtown).
There are guided treks on Mount Maculot, which take about two hours; up to 4 persons hike with a guide. Hiking Mount Maculot is suitable for beginners; the grade is not too steep, except near the summit, and there are rest stops at regular intervals. There are two trails, the Rocky Road trail and the longer Grotto Trail. At the summit, Rocky Point, are views of Batangas and Taal Lake; you can have a photo shot with Taal Lake in the background.
Chuck Norris did three Missing in Action films, the first about rescuing American POWs still held after the Vietnam War ended, a prequel about a prison camp during the war, and the third mainly about the children some GIs sired. Norris has said he considers Missing in Action III his best movie. All were shot in the Philippines, much of them on this mountain.
There is one central market, the 1 Cuenca Public Market. at B. Laqui Street. Across the highway beside the market is a lone 7-Eleven store, the only location to buy any fast food. At the start of the Rocky Road trail is a store catering to hikers.
There are numerous eateries serving local dishes, especially the famous Batangas lomi. Cuenca has no fast food chains yet, to avoid competition with eateries and restaurants.
- 1 G2B Lomi. Local restaurant specializing in lomi, a noodle dish popular with both locals and foreigners, especially hikers. Their bestseller is "overload lomi", which is the same lomi dish with lots of toppings, and good for 4.
- 2 Lomi-ko Hauz, B. Laqui Street, ☏ . 7AM-7PM. Serves authentic lomi, favorite by hikers.
- 3 Tengoku Ramen House, National Highway (Near Cuenca Central Elementary School). Cheap ramen and unique fusion dishes in town.
- 1 Camp Pulong Gubat Wave Pool Resort, Brgy. Emmanuel (The road leading to the resort is rather narrow, so large groups using tour buses must walk to the resort.). Wave pool resort, with cottages and rooms for overnight stays. Entrance fee of ₱150.
- 2 Mt. Maculot View Resort. Mountainside resort at the foot of Mount Maculot. ₱2,100.
- 3 Tierra Mercedes Nature Resort, Geronimo Cuevas Street, ☏ . Private resort with modest hotel rooms and outdoor swimming pool. From ₱3,130.
- 4 Rendezvous Resort, Labac (Southwest of Labac Elementary School), ☏ . Quieter resort aimed at families and large groups. Entrance fee of ₱250-300, including cottage. Overnight stay includes free merienda, dinner and breakfast, movies, and campfire. ₱1,600.
|Routes through Cuenca|
|Lipa ← San Jose (through Pinagtung-ulan) ←||E W||→ Alitagtag → Lemery/Taal (via )|