One of the best things to do in Dumaguete is to explore Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park.
The twin crater lakes known as Balinsasayao and Danao, rising 1000 meters above sea level, are the prominent features within the national park located on the western side of Mount Guintabon.
I have put together this complete guide to visiting Lake Balinsasayao including how to get there, how much it costs, and what to expect when you arrive.
WHERE IS LAKE BALINSASAYAO?
Balinsasayao Twin Lakes National Park is located just 14.5 km from Dumaguete in a village known as Sibulan.
BALINSASAYAO TWIN LAKES TOUR
The best way to visit Twin Lakes is to book a full-day tour to see the highlights of Dumaguete.
The Twin Lakes Natural Park and Dumaguete City Tour is the most top-rated tour with great reviews and hundreds of bookings.
This comprehensive tour includes a visit to Balinsasayao Twin lakes and also a tour of the must-see highlights in Dumaguete City such as Rizal Boulevard, Sansrival cafe, Silliman University, and more!
All this for less than $35 USD.
HOW TO GET HERE
If you choose not to do a tour and want to visit DIY, you can rent a motorbike in Dumaguete for 500 – 800 pesos per day or rent a car for 1500 – 2000 pesos per day, and make your own way to this location.
The journey time from Dumaguete to Twin Lakes Natural Park takes approximately 1-hour.
Search All → Car Rentals In Dumaguete
OPENING HOURS & ENTRANCE FEE
Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park is open Monday to Sunday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Lake Balinsasayao entrance fee is 50 pesos for local Filipino’s and 100 pesos for tourists.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT LAKE BALINSASAYAO
The twin lakes of Balinsasayao and Danao formed from a volcanic eruption some 10,000 years ago and the 90-meter deep craters over time have filled up with water from rain and stream deposits, resulting in the two lakes being separated by a narrow mountain ridge.
Hundreds of species of forest trees, fruit-bearing, and flower plants dominate the vegetation around the lakes.
On top of this, Twin Lakes Dumaguete is a famed spot for bird-watching enthusiasts, playing home to many different species of bird, the most popular being the Flaming Sunbird.
Flaming Sun Bird at Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park
Lake Balinsasayao is one of the best Dumaguete tourist spots not to be missed.
There are two main viewing platforms at Twin Lakes Dumaguete, the first is located next to the main car park/restaurant that overlooks Balinsasayao, the larger lake of the two.
The second viewing platform is a 1km hike around the edge of Lake Balinsasayao towards the narrow mountain ridge and this is where you’ll find a 3-tiered watchtower that overlooks the Twin Lakes.
If you prefer not to hike and want to take a paddle boat ride with a local, it’s possible to rent the boat for 250 pesos per hour. Alternatively, you can rent a kayak for 100 pesos and paddle out onto the lake yourself.
Across the lake, you can discover the Olayan Waterfall and rock pools which were the highlight of my adventure to Balinsasayao Twin Lakes.
You will have to take the boat or kayak to get to the falls and then it is a short 10-minute hike through the jungle before you reach the Olayan Falls.
My friends and I swam in the shallow rockpool beneath the falls which we had all to ourselves.
Hiking to the Twin Lakes Dumaguete viewpoint
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
There is a strict No Drone Zone at Lake Balinsasayao. Recently, there was an incident that involved a native bird attacking someone’s drone mid-flight and resulted in the bird being killed and the drone crashing into the lake.
Unfortunately, you cannot swim in the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes as the water from the lakes sources the town of Dumaguete and it needs to stay as clean as possible.
There are also volcanic components in the lake which are not very good for your skin.
The motto at Balinsasayao Twin Lakes is, ‘Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints.”
WHERE TO STAY IN DUMAGUETE
Dumaguete has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: ATLANTIS DIVE RESORT
MID RANGE: SIERRA HOTEL
BUDGET: OPTIMUM PENSION HOUSE
WHAT TO PACK FOR THE PHILIPPINES
When visiting the Philippines, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you;
- Sunscreen – the Philippines sun is very strong, so make sure to pack some high-quality sunscreen.
- Quick-dry travel towel – the most compact and lightweight towel for traveling.
- Reusable water bottle – stay hydrated by bringing along a reusable water bottle.
- Backpack – The Nomatic 30L Travel Pack is the ultimate backpack for everyday adventures.
If you’re interested in taking awesome photos and videos on your travels, this is the camera gear that I use and recommend;
- GoPro HERO10 – the most popular camera on the planet for action-packed adventures.
- Canon EOS R – perfect for traveling, this is the most affordable, compact camera on the market.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro – take your photos and videos to new heights with this user-friendly drone camera.
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about Balinsasayao Lake, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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THANKS FOR READING
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