Contributor : Jancy
Nationality : Philippines
Instagram : @jancy_uy
Age Group : 19-30 yo
Gender : Female
Trave Style : Family travel
Destination : Lake Balinsasayao, Philippines
Date : May 2017
Lake Balinsasayao – is one of three crater lakes rising 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level located within the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park, an 8,016.05-hectare (19,808.1-acre) protected area covering the municipalities of Valencia, Sibulan, and San Jose in the province of Negros Oriental, Philippines.
Been there twice with group of friends but on the third time, I wanted to be with my family and let them experience mother nature at its best.
Since I was with my family including my grandma (70+ y.o.) and relatives I hired a Van and may cost you 3,000 Php (w/c I already bargained) for a whole day tour. For those who are bringing their own car, you can just pass through the National Highway going all the way to Amlan. Turn left at the La-Laan San Jose juncture and drive all the way up until you reach the registration point. From there the lakes are just a few minutes away.
Other ways to get there: From Dumaguete you can ride a PUJ (Public Utility Jeep) going to Amlan and get off at the juncture in La-laan in San Jose. Fare is approx P20 and may take just 15 minutes. From there hire a motorcycle (locals call it habal-habal). 2-way fare is P400 good for 2 people.
From San Jose juncture, there is just one concrete road leading to the lakes. There are sections where you will encounter blind curves so be extra careful with your driving. You will pass by 2 small villages before you reach the registration point where you will have to pay entrance and parking fees. Motorcycle ride may take 45 minutes but depending on the speed.
History: Lake Balinsasayao, Lake Danao, and Lake Kabalin-an are part of Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park, a protected area totaling 8,016 hectares (19,810 acres).
As a protected natural park home to an expansive ecosystem and biodiversity, Balinsasayao Twin Lakes National Park is one of the major tourist attractions in Negros Oriental. The lake has a rich fish fauna and the surrounding dipterocarp forests are rich in bird life. However, invasive fish species such as tilapia, common carp, mudfish, shrimp, mosquito fish and milkfish have been introduced in the lake.
Where to Stay:
No need to worry and it is a fact that the city is nicknamed The City of Gentle People. On top of that, Dumaguete is listed 5th in Forbes Magazine’s “7 Best Places to Retire Around the World”.
What To See & Do:
Tourism: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) manages tourist activities in the natural park. The bureau allows swimming, sightseeing, mountain trekking, camping, birdwatching, paddle boating in Lake Balinsasayao. The natural park has a concrete view deck, umbrella cottages, a restaurant, a souvenir shop, restrooms, and a visitor center.
Where To Eat:
Try their famous chicken adobo and chicken tinola (soup) in Lake Balinsasayao restaurant.
In Dumaguete, try Lab-as and Hayahay if you want seafood.
Dessert: Sans Rival (Try the signature dessert, the famous Silvanas and Sans Rival cake) Nobody can resist these sweet delights and it is good for pasalubong (small gift).
Must Do:The place is very peaceful and serene so just relax, distress and enjoy the scenery. (Don’t forget to take pictures though)