6 gorgeous lakes in the Philippines that will captivate you

Lake Kayangan

Lake Kayangan

Taal Lake
Taal Lake

Taal Lake, Batangas

Taal Lake is one of the world’s most idiosyncratic sites, with a geography that often confuses people. Get this: Taal Lake is a freshwater lake on Luzon. In the middle of Taal Lake sits Volcano Island; additionally, in the center of Volcano Island lies another lake called the Main Crater Lake. It’s essentially a lake on an island, with a lake on an island! Geography aside, it’s a fascinating area that’s home to endemic species like the Hydrophis semperi, a freshwater sea snake, as well as the freshwater sardine, Sardinella tawilis.

How to get there: Fly to Manila Ninoy Aquino international airport and make your way to Tagaytay City (the drive takes anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours, depending on traffic). Once in Tagaytay, hop onto a jeepney or hire a tricycle to Talisay, where you’ll be able to hire a banca (sailing boat) to get to Taal Lake.

Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

Lake Sebu is a town in South Cotabato that’s home to many marvelous splendors, including seven waterfalls and an exciting zipline adventure. Its lake (also named Lake Sebu) is also another key attraction; be sure to climb into a dugout canoe and paddle across the calm surface to admire the breathtaking scenery.

How to get there: Fly to General Santos international airport and take a bus to Koronadal in South Cotabato. From the Koronadal bus terminal, take another bus to Lake Sebu. The entire journey from General Santos to Lake Sebu should take about three hours.

Lake Kayangan
Lake Kayangan

Lake Kayangan, Palawan

You need to make a 15-minute uphill climb to reach this lake in Coron, but once there, you’ll be able to cool off in its crystal-clear waters. Surrounded by mighty limestone cliffs, the lake comprises 70% freshwater and 30% saltwater.

How to get there: Fly to Francisco B. Reyes airport in Coron (Busuanga) and take a bus to Coron Town. From there, it’s a 30-minute boat ride to the lake on Coron Island.

Lake Barracuda, Palawan

Near Lake Kayangan is Lake Barracuda. This is a great site for those who don’t want to (or can’t) make that steep climb to Lake Kayangan, but want to experience something similar. A popular dive destination, Lake Barracuda is known for its strange thermocline, where the water at the top starts cold and gets warmer as you go deeper.

How to get there: Fly to Francisco B. Reyes airport in Coron (Busuanga) and take a bus to Coron Town. From there, it’s a 30-minute boat ride to the lake on Coron Island.

Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake
Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake

Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake, Zambales

The extraterrestrial landscape that surrounds Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake is a sight to behold. With a depth of 800m, the lake is one of the country’s deepest bodies of water. Head here for a spot of trekking, but avoid swimming at all costs — the water contains traces of harmful substances such as arsenic and boron.

How to get there: Fly to Manila Ninoy Aquino international airport and take a bus to Capas, Tarlac (two to three hours). The Crater Lake is best explored with a licensed tour guide or group, so look for one in Capas.

Lake Apo, Bukidnon

It’s not always about size. Lake Apo in the mountainous region of Bukidnon may be small compared to the other contenders on this list — it’s 24ha wide, with a depth of 26m — but it is equally stunning. Sit back and relax at this picturesque green spot, or go for a swim in its clean waters.

How to get there: Fly to Laguindingan international airport in Cagayan de Oro and take a bus to Valencia. Then, get a multicab bound for Dologon and ride a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) to Lake Apo.

Also read: 7 spectacular waterfalls in the Philippines you need to see

Written by

Samantha David

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