Before the Spanish arrived, SAN PABLO was a prosperous hamlet called Sampalok near the town of Bay Laguna, where sampalok (tamarind) trees grew in abundance. It was originally inhabited by tribal groups and Muslims who migrated from Mindanao. These days, it is known as the City of Seven Lakes, lying as it does to the southwest of six lakes and a five-minute jeepney ride (P15) south of the largest of the lakes, Lake Sampalok which you can circumnavigate in a few hours. There are trails leading through lush jungle and farmland to all seven lakes, and the Lake Sampalok shore boasts floating restaurants serving native freshwater fish such as tilapia, bangus, carp and several species of shrimp. There are numerous jeepneys from Los Baños to San Pablo, but only a limited number from Pagsanjan (daily 5am–4pm; 2hr).
The Underground Cemetery (daily 8am–5pm; free) makes a pleasant enough side trip about thirty minutes east of San Pablo. It's an intriguing remnant of the Spanish colonial period, built by Spanish Franciscan missionaries in the sixteenth century to stop the spread of disease. The only portion that is actually underground is the crypt, which you can explore by crawling down a flight of stone steps inside the baroque Spanish chapel. In the nineteenth century the cemetery gained notoriety when the crypt became a hiding place for revolutionaries plotting against Spanish rule. The cemetery lies 2km south of Nagcarlan, from whose centre you can get a jeepney to the site.