The ultimate TRAVEL GUIDE to LAKE  HOLON including the new RATES of FEES and CHARGES. 


I’ve traveled to some of the lakes in the Philippines and Lake Holon has been my favorite lakes of all time. There’s more to experience and see when you get there that even a picture can’t give justice to its innate beauty. I’ve heard a lot of beautiful things about  this Lake way back before and until now I have a little regret that I didn’t go there before. Just this year when I had my 10days solo backpacking in Central Mindanao, I finally take the chance to visit Lake Holon for the first time.  I couldn’t elucidate how I got myself in awe as I’ve viewed the lake like as if, I’m gazing at the beautiful painting executed in fresco. Truly, mother nature never fails to amaze me.

Lake Holon or formerly known as Lake Maughan is marked as the cleanest lake in Region 12 and one of the National finalist in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and ranked first in the 2003 and 2004 search for the inland bodies of water in the whole Philippines archipelago. The crater lake has an area of 304 hectares and more or less at an elevation of 4,700 feet above sea level and had a turquoise clear water, free from trash and dirt and offers panoramic view that will surely give you a pure bliss and tranquility. The place is actually a perfect  spot in wherever angle you want for a photo shoot, it’s like a 3D scene as your backdrop.

An early beautiful scene in Lake Holon during the sunrise.

The scenery in the campsite area during morning.

 

THESE ARE THE IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE DECIDING TO TRAVEL TO LAKE HOLON.

  • Contact the Tboli Tourism office before going there since you require a reservation beforehand. TBOLI TOURISM OFFICE CONTACTS: Website: http://www.facebook.com/LAKEHOLON. Email: tourismtboli@yahoo.com or rodz08dancer@yahoo.com .  Mobile Numbers: +63- 912-4731-515 or +63-912-7204-151
  • In order for you to get to Lake Holon, you have to ride an almost one hour of Motorcycle from the Tboli Tourism Office going to the jump off area. As shortly as you arrived at the jump off area you need to have an orientation by group, conducted by a well dressed and beautiful Tboli girl on her Tboli attire. It is by then the time where they explain the two trails going to Lake Holon, what to see and what to expect.
  • Since you need to pay for a tour guide and if happen you travel solo to Lake Holon, you can join the other group of traveler to save from your travel guide fee. The tour guide for Kule Trail is PHP 600/group 1-10 person and for the SALACAFE trail is PHP 300/group 1-10 person.
  • You better start trekking as early as possible so you won’t meet the heavy rain on the way, especially if you travel to the following months: August, September, October, November and December.
  • Pack light, simply bring the necessary things during your trip or you’ll end up paying 20PHP per kilo if you’re going to request for a porter to bring your things.
  • The Kule trail is really challenging, especially if you don’t have any experience in trekking so you might as well prepare if you’re going to Lake Holon.
  • Lake Holon is not an easy drop by spot where you can go there in the morning and depart in the afternoon. You really have to stay overnight if you desire to experience  the amazing innate beauty of Lake Holon.
  • Bring your own tent, food, water and necessary utensils. Also bring flashlight, power bank for your gadgets, make sure your camera is fully charged, please do not forget to bring your jacket cause you need it badly at night.
  • You need a tarpaulin to cover your tent because it will rain anytime during the nighttime. You can rent when you arrived at Lake Holon for PHP150 good for 2 tents and PHP100 for one tent.
  • During my visit there were actually some who are not responsible for their garbage. Please make certain to bring your garbage bag and be responsible enough. I likewise noticed that there were some campers who left plastics of their shampoo, toothpaste and other garbage near the flowing water which is really a big NO.
  • Please just enjoy whatever our mother nature provides, but never forget to take good care of it.

 

THERE ARE 2 AVAILABLE TRAILS GOING TO LAKE HOLON.

1.  KULE TRAIL 

The Kule trail is the difficult trail, but will surely be a worthy of your choice. You’ll get the chance to see the panoramic vista of Lake Holon.  A 3-4 hour hikes depend on the pace of the traveler’s through the most beautiful parts of the forest going to Lake Holon. You’ll get to pass by on 5 different stations before arriving at the stunning beauty of Lake Holon, and the camping site area. You’ll start to see a bunch of beautiful and well grown trees while the most awaited scenery is resting on its innate state lies ahead of you. You have to reach the 4th station in order for you to have the full view of the Lake which is the viewing deck.

This is what the Kule trail offer, a panoramic view of the Lake Holon.


2. SALACAFE TRAIL

The SALACAFE trail is an easy trail, but you won’t be seeing the panoramic vista of the Lake. The trail will also take you roughly 3-4 hours of hikes depending on the pace of the traveler. You’ll get to see the small portion of the lake leading to the camping site, but not the full wide view of it compared to the Kule trail. You’ll as well see a bunch of big trees and the trail is spacious and a safe choice if you haven’t tried trekking before.


So which trail is the best choice if you go to Lake Holon? 

Personally, I’m not into trekking, but I have various experiences in climbing a mountain. What I did was, I took the Kule trail when I made my way to Lake Holon to see the panoramic vista of the lake and I didn’t regret that I did. On my way back to the Jump off area, I took the SALACAFE trail since I desired to try and experience both trails. This is what other travelers do when they travel to Lake Holon.

 

These are the exciting activities that you should do in Lake Holon.

  • Camping
  • Bonfire
  • Swimming
  • ATV Adventure
  • Water sports lake tour
  • Water sports Kayaking
  • Horseback riding

 

wp-image-92682320jpg.jpg
A bonfire at night is one of the activities in Lake Holon that you should experience.
Swimming in the lake is something you should try, especially in the morning.
A lake tour is another activity in Lake Holon that you shouldn’t dare to miss.

It was two weeks after I visited Lake Holon, the Municipality of Tboli has imposed a new rate of fees and charges of tourism facilities and services.

fotor_148288940818294.jpg
Photo Credit: Tboli Tourism Office

 

ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF MONEY TO PREPARE AND POSSIBLE EXPENSES.

  • General Santos City to Koronadal City- Php 75
  • Koronadal City to Tboli- Php 100
  • Entrance Fee – Php 100
  • Environmental Fee  – Php 50
  • Ground Rental at the Camping Site –Php 100
  • Tourism Office to Jump off point (motorcycle good for 2) – Php 450
  • Food – Php 300
  • Travel Guide Fee (Kule Trail guide good for 10 person) – Php 600
  • Note: If you travel alone, you can join with other travelers to save some money like what I did.
  • Boat rides going to the Camp site – Php 50
  • Receiving area to the Tourism office (motorcycle good for 2)- Php 350
  • Tarpaulin to cover the tent –Php 100

         TOTAL EXPENSES IF YOU TRAVEL ALONE –Php 2,275

         TOTAL EXPENSES IF YOU TRAVEL WITH FRIENDS (8person) Php 1,350 

          NOTE: PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.

 

 

Sample Itinerary from the Tboli tourism Office to Lake Holon and going back to the Tboli Tourism Office.

  • 8:00 AM – ETA at the Tboli Tourism Office
  • 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM – Registration at the Tboli tourism Office and paying of necessary Fees.
  • 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM – Travel time from the Tboli tourism office to the Jump Off Area.
  • 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM – Preparation for the challenging trek and Orientation at the Jump Off area.
  • 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM – An estimated 4 hour trek going to the Camping site of Lake Holon (Depend on the pace of the traveler’s).
  • 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM – Arrival at the Camping site while having some rest and enjoy the stunning innate beauty of Lake Holon.
  • 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM – Setting up of tent and necessary things
  • 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Enjoying the natural beauty of the Lake and making friends with other travelers and campers. This is also the time to do the exciting activities provided in Lake Holon.
  • 5:00 PM – 6: 30 PM – Preparing for Dinner
  • 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM- Dinner Time
  • 7:30 PM – 10: 00 PM – Bonfire and bonding with your friends and other campers.
  • 10:00 PM – 5:30 AM – Rest and let your jaded body fell into a deep slumber.
  • 5:00 AM – 5:30 AM – Wake up call
  • 5:30 AM – 6: 30 AM – Waiting for the sunrise and have your unlimited photographs.
  • 6:30 AM – 7:30 AM – Preparing of breakfast and have your coffee.
  • 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM – Breakfast
  • 8:00 AM – 9-30 AM – Swimming and fixing your thing including your tent and other stuff.
  • 9:30AM – 10:00 AM – Preparing for a trek going to the receiving area (SALACAFE trail)
  • 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Trekking from Lake Holon to the receiving area, taking the SALACAFE trail ( Depend on the pace of the traveler’s)
  • 2:00 PM – 2:30- Arrival at the receiving area and have some rest before going back to the Tboli Tourism office.
  • 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Traveling going back to the Tboli Tourism Office and as soon as you reached there, you’ll be granted a certificate issued by a Tboli Tourism Office as your proof that you have conquered the challenging trek to Lake Holon.

HOW TO GET TO LAKE HOLON FROM GENERAL SANTOS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Major Airlines are flying to General Santos City almost every day.  From General Santos City International Airport, ride a van going to SM for only PHP150 fare. As you reach SM, ride a tricycle going to Bulaong Terminal and  fare is PHP10. From General Santos City’s Bulaong Terminal, ride a nonstop bus (Yellow Bus Line), bound to Marbel (Koronadal City). The travel time is around 1 hour and PHP75 fare. As you arrived in Koronadal City, travel straight to the Van Terminal and take the one that bound to Tboli. Asked the driver to take you directly to the tourism office in Tboli, since it’s a bit close to a Tboli Terminal. The travel time is around 45 minutes to an hour and the fare is PHP100.

57 comments

  1. This is so well researched! Thank you! It’s awful when you show up somewhere not realizing there are reservations required and other necessary plans to be able to really enjoy a place. This has absolutely everything I need to know.

    Like

  2. I can see why it’s your favorite, it looks stunning! Personally my favorite is Kayangan Lake in Coron, which is also dubbed as the cleanest lake in the country. I’d love to see Lake Holon though and I might just ask my friends that we go check it out. I’d love to go camping. God I need to travel soon. I haven’t gone anywhere for months now.

    Like

  3. I’m not much of a trekker either but I would definitely want to take the Kula trail if I am going to do it. Ideally, I would like to do what you did and take both trails. I didn’t realize the Philippines had such beautiful lakes! I only ever see posts about the beaches in the Philippines.

    Like

  4. The lake is so beautiful. I didn’t know of this place at all. I also like the way you have included the details, including the price. really helpful for someone planning a trip here

    Like

  5. Lake Holon is magical… Been there once… so serene and away from the noisy world… i miss camping there as well, you bring me back the memories… by the way, have you made a wish in Lake Holon? 🙂 It’s a must,hehhee… and there’s a superstitious belief to drop some coins in the lake as well….

    Like

  6. What an amazing way to spend time amidst nature. The lake looks very picturesque with all the surrounding greenery. Love the fact that there are many adventure activities and water sports arranged at the lake.

    Like

  7. This is a great in-depth piece. I never heard of Lake halon before, wish I knew before my trip to Philippines. Also, its great that you added a “getting there” section as I found traversing around Ph the most challenging aspect of touring the country.

    Like

  8. You included all the details that someone will need in an article, very good! I wish I could experience one day this kind of trip the way you did it. I like your photos, especially the one with the bonfire! What settings did you use in your camera? I would like to know if you remember!

    Like

  9. This place is so beautiful. I would definitely opt for the more challenging trail with a better view. You only live once, we have to make the most of it! The Philippines has so many natural beauties. Can’t wait to visit one day.

    Like

  10. I’ve heard about Lake Holon, but unfortunately I’ve never been there. It’s on my list such as the Philippines because I do love trekking, and camping, and I think it’s nice and incredible that there are some ressources put into place for us, wanderers, to be able to enjoy those places, you never thought to visit before!

    Liked by 1 person

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