12 Days Southcentral Mindanao Highlands & Islands

Marcos ventures deep in Southcentral Mindanao, Philippines. On a 12-day trip, he goes trekking in Lake Holon & Lake Sebu, hops around the Sarangani Islands, and explores the cityscapes of General Santos, Davao & Cebu.
<span><noscript><img decoding=

I crossed off two places high on my bucketlist during this trip — Lake Holon and the Sarangani Islands — found in the southcentral Mindanao.

Both were remote and very pristine. Getting to Lake Holon involved a road trip to a highland village in T'Boli, South Cotabato. Then, a 4-hour trek in dense jungle.

While the journey to Sarangani Islands needed an 8-hour boat ride from General Santos. We were so far south that we could see faint views of the islands of east Indonesia.

This 12-day adventure with trip buddy, Regine, brought me to many other scenic spots in this corner of the Philippines including Lake Sebu and Gumasa Beach.

Along the way, we also made sure to go on detours in the cities of General Santos and Davao.

We even got to go on a surprise stopover tour in Mactan as our flight got re-routed via Cebu.

Route Map


Trip Itinerary

Make sure to click on the series/trip pages posted below to see more details.

Leg 1

Route General Santos (South Cotabato) » Koronadal » T'Boli » Lake Holon » Lake Sebu.

Day 1 to 6 — Lake Holon, Lake Sebu & South Cotabato

Iloilo to General Santos flight on Cebu Pacific

General Santos to Kule-T’boli transport with overnight in Koronadal City

Lake Holon crater lake trek (traverse) via Kule & Salacafe trail.

Salacafe-T’boli to Lake Sebu transport.

Lake Sebu & Lake Seloton tour.

Lake Sebu to General Santos transport.

General Santos stopover.

See more

Leg 2

Route — General Santos » Balut Island (Sarangani Islands, Davao Occidental) » Olanivan Island » Sarangani Island

Day 7 to 9 — Balut and Sarangani Islands

General Santos to Balut Island ferry.

Balut Volcano summit trek.

Sarangani Islands boat tour — Olanivan Island & Sarangani Island.

Balut Island inland tour.

Balut Island to General Santos ferry.

See more

Leg 3

Route — General Santos » Gumasa Beach (Glan, Sarangani) » Davao City » Mactan (Cebu).

Day 10 to 12 — Sarangani, Davao & Cebu

General Santos to Glan, Sarangani transport.

Gumasa & Glan beaches tour

Glan to Davao City transport.

Davao city tour.

Davao to Cebu flight.

Mactan, Cebu stopover.

Cebu to Iloilo flight.

See more

This trip is part of Marcos' 2016 Detours  travel series.

This trip is part of Marcos’ 2016 Detours series.

Places featured on this trip:

Latest Updates

Ready to go on your epic Asian adventure? Here's a list of my favorite countries to visit in this massively diverse continent.
Here’s a detailed Cebu travel guide with sample itinerary, budget, spots to visit, places to stay & more.
IN PHOTOS: Marcos explores the sacred waters of Lake Holon & Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, Philippines.
IN PHOTOS: Marcos journeys to Balut Islands, one of the Philippines’ most remote islands, in Sarangani, Davao Occidental.
IN PHOTOS: Marcos re-visits the white sand beaches in Glan, Sarangani and enjoys stopovers in Davao and Mactan, Cebu.