The first stop on our itinerary in Southcentral Mindanao was Lake Holon, a volcanic crater lake perched on Mount Parker in South Cotabato Province.
The journey getting there involved a flight to General Santos City, overnight transit in Koronadal City, local transport on rough roads from T’Boli town, and a 4-hour trek from Kule Village, one of the jump-off points to the lake.
It was quite a long journey just to get to our first stop, but seeing the magical views at Lake Holon was well worth the effort.
Lake Holon is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Philippines!
We spent two nights on the lakeside camping grounds before setting off to nearby Lake Sebu. This highland resort town is home to the 7 Falls Zipline, the highest zipline in Asia, and well-preserved cultural traditions of the T’Boli mountain tribe.
While in town, we enjoyed a sunrise paddle boat cruise at nearby Lake Seloton’s lily fields.
Then, we enjoyed the famous 7 Falls Zipline. And, even dared to venture on foot from the 7th to 4th falls.
Highlights: Lake Holon, Lake Sebu & South Cotabato
General Santos Airport
Kule Trail Receiving Area
Lake Holon-Kule Hot Spring
Marcos at Lake Holon viewpoint
Kule trail forest view
Kule trail mossy forest
Marcos at Lake Holon
Lake Holon traditional fishing
Lake Holon fish spa
Marcos at Lake Holon campsite
Sunset at Lake Holon campsite
Tent at Lake Holon campsite
Lake Holon view
Lake Seloton lily fields
Hikong Alu (1st) Falls
Lake Sebu 7 Falls Zipline view
Lake Sebu 7 Falls Zipline
Hikong Tonok (7th) Falls
Foot of Hikong Tonok (7th) Falls
Hikong Tonok - 6th & 5th Falls trek
Hikong Bente Waterfall (2nd Falls)
Punta Isla Resort
School of Living Traditions (SLT) & Homestay
Lion's Beach (Queen Tuna Park)
General Santos public market
SM City General Santos (shopping mall)
Tuna trading at General Santos Fish Port
Places — General Santos (South Cotabato) » Koronadal » T’Boli » Kule village » Lake Holon » Salacafe village » T’Boli
4:20AM — Iloilo to General Santos flight on Cebu Pacific — 1 hour.
General Santos Airport to Bus Terminal taxi — 20 minutes; P350.
General Santos to Koronadal City on Husky bus — 1 hour; P75.
Rest at Koronadal City.
7AM — Koronadal to T’Boli shuttle — 1 hour; Board from Husky shuttle/bus terminal.
8AM — Registration at T’Boli tourism center.
9:30AM — T’Boli to Kule village habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) — 1.5 hours; P300 per person.
11AM — Briefing at Kule receiving area.
1PM — Lake Holon trek via Kule Trail.
2PM — Hot spring.
3PM — Lake-Holon Kule trail viewdeck.
4:20PM — Transport to Lake Holon campsite on boat charter — 10 minutes; P150 per boat.
4:30PM — Sightseeing & set up camp at Lake Holon campsite.
Rest at Lake Holon campsite.
Sightseeing at Lake Holon campsite.
8:30AM — Start trek back via Salacafe trail.
11:30AM — Log out at Salacafe receiving area.
Salacafe to T’boli habal-habal.
Other expenses on Lake Holon trek:
Tent — P150 per tent per day
Guide — P600 per guide per day.
Porter — P580 for two big bags. They charged by the kilo.
Places — T’boli » Lake Seloton » Lake Sebu
12:30NN — T’boli to Lake Sebu transport via Surallah.
Lake Seloton sightseeing.
Rest at Sunrise Garden Lake Resort, in Lake Seloton.
5:30AM — Lake Seloton lotus fields & sunrise cruise — I previously blogged about my amazing morning cruise at Lake Sebu. Just FYI, one of the commenters pointed out, the pink flowers are actually indigenous water lilies, not lotuses.
10:30AM — Lake Seloton to Hikong Alu (1st Falls) habal-habal.
11AM — Trek to Hikong Alu (1st Falls).
11:30AM — Lake Sebu Seven Falls Zipline — 1st falls to 3rd falls.
View of Hikong B’lebel (3rd Falls).
11:45AM — Start 7th to 4th Falls trek — This trek was something that I had wanted to do since I first knew about it. The trail was in really bad shape and I don’t recommend most people to do it, save for the most adventurous kind. Especially because the 2nd falls is the most impressive anyways, and the way getting to the base is a lot easier.
12:15NN — Arrive at Hikong Tonok (7th Falls).
1PM — View of Hikong K’fo-i (6th Falls).
View of Hikong Ukol (5th Falls).
View of Hikong Lowig (4th Falls).
1:30PM — Continue Lake Sebu Seven Falls Zipline — 3rd falls to 2nd falls.
View of Hikong Bente (2nd Falls).
4PM — Sightseeing at Punta Isla Lake Resort.
Rest at Lake Sebu.
Places — Lake Sebu » General Santos
11PM — Lake Sebu to General Santos transport.
1:30PM — General Santos stopover while waiting for the boat departure to Balut Island— SM City General Santos, Queen Tuna Park, General Santos Public Market.
5:30AM — Arrival at Puting Bato port.
6AM — General Santos Fish Port sunrise tour.
This trip is part of Marcos’ Southcentral Mindanao & 2016 trips.
Series: 3 Days in Balut & Sarangani Islands
Series: 3 Days in Sarangani, Davao City & Cebu
This trip is part of Marcos’ 12 Days Southcentral Mindanao Highlands & Islands & 2016 Detours series.
Places featured on this trip:
Get FREE updates on the latest travel blogs and guides on Detourista:
Don’t forget to follow on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest.
Discover travel guides and blogs about the Philippines and beyond.