The Philippines, with its more than 7,000 islands, is rich with beauty and natural resources sprawled over the archipelago. Aside from white sand beaches other bodies of water, like the lakes in Mindanao, remain to be explored by travelers looking forward to visiting exciting places. For backpackers who want to enjoy an eco-tour without breaking the bank, here are 3 of the beautiful lakes found in Mindanao:
With an area of 354 hectares and elevated at 1,000 meters, Lake Sebu is surrounded with rainforest and boasts of seven waterfalls. Local and foreign tourists travel to Tupi, South Cotabato for this destination hideaway because of its famous waterfalls. However, they leave with more than just the memories of the majestic wonders of nature. Slowly making a mark as an eco-tourism and adventure destination, it is the largest of the must-see three lakes in Mindanao.
What makes a backpacking adventure to this place, which is the home to the indigenous T’boli tribe, worth it, is the fun and excitement it promises even on a day trip. One can go on a boat trip and explore the islets and afterwards enjoy kayaking, trekking and sightseeing. For tourists who are interested to learn about culture, a trip to the T’boli Museum should be part of the itinerary. Visiting the waterfalls, though, can be challenging since only two can easily be reached. The other waterfalls require trekking, one with 734 steps. However, for those who want to get pumped up with adrenaline rush, the best alternative is via riding zipline, 180 meters high.
Another lake that is worth the traveler’s eyes is Lake Seloton, smaller in area than Lake Sebu at 200 feet. Though smaller in size, this placid basin is the deepest among the three. Just like in Taal Lake in Batangas, fish cages adorn this body of water since tilapia farming is one of the sources of living of locals, together with weaving. Perhaps, among the three, this is more of a photographer’s haven with its beautiful sunrise. The calmness of the lake is perfect since it serves as a mirror to ideal subjects in photography. It is best to pass by the lake before sunrise. A great and invigorating way to start the day!
How to get there:
From Manila, one can take the two-hour flight to General Santos City Airport, a 30-minute bus ride to
Located at the south of Marawi, northwest of the Butig Mountains, Lake Lanao is the second largest freshwater lake in the Philippines and the largest one in Mindanao. Its water comes from four rivers, with Agus River being the only outlet and which is used to a large percentage of Mindanao’s electricity. It is said to have been formed after a volcanic eruption, with the lake now filling up the crater. There are a myriad of activities visitors can enjoy, aside from sightseeing. This is a great destination for anglers because of its extensive marine life. Frolickers can go boating, sport fishing and swimming, among others. This part of the region boasts of a breathtaking beauty with its lush countryside, with the famous mountain range referred to as “The Sleeping Lady”. On the banks of the lake, several restaurants serving Filipino dishes and of course, seafood await travelers.
Being the second largest major island in the Philippines, Mindanao offers a myriad of spectacular tourist destinations. Truly, a region rich with natural resources, culture and heritage, this beautiful island in the Philippines is part of the Department of Tourism’s bid to showcase the beauty of the country.