Exactly like any other travelers, when owning a chance to have an extra time and explore some other beautiful scenery, you get to grab and own it like it’s your last day in the certain place. Yes, visiting Lake Danao was actually included in our itinerary, but scarcely an option since we don’t have much time. It was definitely a side trip, simply a chance to traipse my feet in its innate beauty means a chance to commune with mother nature.
It was a long journey for us, from conquering the tough track of the highest mountain in Biliran Province, which is the majestic Mt. Tres Marias to the stunning view of Sambawan Island. I have enjoyed the semi-curved beach view and the interconnecting stony islets with the towering beautiful rock formations and covered with green grass where you get to watch them moving like as if dancing when the wind blows. Truly, it was challenging, tiring but really an awe-inspiring experience.
The Lake Danao Natural Park is almost an hour away from Ormoc city proper if you commute, but only around 30 minutes of travel time if you travel with a private vehicle. Peacefully situated in the lush scenery green forest which makes the place cold when you get there. It is stunningly hiding at 650 MASL and known for having a guitar-shaped lake when you try to capture an aerial view of it. The lake actually serves as a source of water to at least 7 towns in Eastern Leyte, and also an irrigation to some of the rice lands in some of the Municipalities of the Province of Leyte. The Lake naturally owns a cool environment, stunning view and clean waters which makes it a postcard perfect picture of serenity and peace.
We made it to Ormoc City around 1:20 PM and we immediately secure our boat ticket back to Cebu City and the departure time was around 10:00 pm. Since we still have enough time to explore and amble around, we decided to hire a Jeepney going to the stunning beauty of Lake Danao. We truly have forgotten that we didn’t have our lunch. And to make certain that we won’t faint because of our famished stomach, we then bought our lunch too quickly, then ride on a Jeepney straight to the astonishing natural beauty of Lake Danao. It may sound awkward, but while we were inside the Jeepney and while it’s passing through the National road, we had our late lunch. Laughing at each other while struggling to have our lunch. We didn’t take care about our stilted situation inside the Jeepney as long as we can fill our empty stomach.
The weather suddenly changes as we get to the higher elevation. The cold wind hugging us tight, filling our longing to embrace the comforting Provincial breeze. The green fields along the highway has been unselfishly showing its natural beauty with us. It was truly a stunning natural landscape that we all have enjoyed while on our way to Lake Danao. We really have embraced the peaceful moment and the comforting cold breeze that we own while we were inside the Jeepney and has made us so relaxed.
While enjoying the scenic vistas along the way, and hearing some funny jokes and stories with friends. There was this cloud of smoke somewhere in the mountain that really caught my attention. I then asked my friend who is actually from Leyte and told us that it is a Geothermal Power Plant that serves roughly 10 million of household in the Visayas Region. I was merely staring at her and said, it is really cool. I was actually speechless cause It was truly amazing since I have barely heard about it.
Then the defining moment came, as we nearly reached the Lake, the cold breeze is even more colder, which have actually caused us to look for a jacket. I’ve viewed the mountain range with a lush scenery green forest and the leaves are dancing like as if waving to us and welcome us. Then the partial view of the Lake slowly divulges to us and have made us dumb. We then decided to go first to the viewing deck to view the lake at a different vantage point. Soon enough we reached the well constructed view deck that have given us a panoramic view, which we actually have expected to see. At the top of the viewing deck, one must experience the cold breeze and the panoramic view of the guitar-shaped lake. From the viewing deck, you’ll see how serene and stunning it is which will surely capture not only your attention, but your heart as well.
After we truly have enjoyed the view and have taken pictures of the lake. The rain is starting to let us experience its presence for a while. We immediately went down and ride the Jeepney that we have rented to get close to the Lake. Then, as went closer to the entrance of the Lake, there were these stalls along the way where they are selling food, veggies, flowers, orchids and a lot more. And just adjacent to the lake, there is this natural pool as well, which is actually for little kids that love to swim since the Lake Danao is deep and not advisable for kids to swim. Truly, before entering to the sensational beauty of Lake Danao, you’ll get to mesmerize with all what you can see outside as these will surely interest you.
We then pay around Php 25.00 for the entrance fee, then rented a floating cottage which is only Php 150.00 for an hour. We also rented a boat for only Php 100.00 and a life buoy for only Php 50.00. The rate that we got was actually cheaper than the usual rate, since we made it late in the afternoon like around 3:00 PM. The floating cottage is actually has a grill area where people can cook some fish or meat, but since we didn’t have adequate time during our visit, we actually truly have not made use of the freebies of the floating cottage. Upon getting at the floating cottage, there’s actually a long and sturdy rope that looks like being used to take control of the floating cottage so it won’t get anywhere. And in order for us to go to the middle of the Lake so we can fully enjoy our Lake Danao experience, we need to have a team work and start pulling the rope. It was really a tiring task, but it was fun.
I was not feeling well during that time, what I did was simply watching my friends while enjoying Lake Danao. Some of them were hooking a fish, swimming, boating and even enjoying the life buoy. I couldn’t deny the fact that I wanted to swim as well, since my friends told me that the water was very cold. I strained to suppress myself from doing some Lake activities to elude from accident, since I’m really not feeling well that time. Truly, my friends, has truly enjoyed and hence I am. But before we leave the floating cottage and Lake Danao, I tried to experience boating and it was really funny cause I was really struggling. I couldn’t even get to where I really desired to go, and going back to the floating cottage was a real struggle. The good thing was, my friends were kind enough to help me.
There’s actually more to experience in Lake Danao and a lot of exciting water sports activities. Aside from fishing, swimming, boating that we have experienced during our visit. They also offer kayaking, paddle boarding and a lot more. Lake Danao Natural Park is truly an awesome place to stay not just during summer, but anytime of the year. If you’re a nature lover like us, then definitely Lake Danao is really worth a visit. It is only around 30 minutes of travel time from Ormoc City if you’re traveling with a private Car and almost an hour if you commute. Though, Lake Danao has been spreading its name and its innate beauty to a lot of nature lovers, the Local Government is still maintaining its innate beauty.
We may didn’t own a leisure time during our visit, but during our stay, we truly have enjoyed Lake Danao. It was very peaceful and a pure nature at its best. Our visit in the Lake Danao Natural Park was one of those travel journeys that came to be unexpected, but really amazing and worth it. It was nearly dark when leave Lake Danao and our Jeepney driver was waiting for us, cause we need to go back to Ormorc City. When we reach in Ormoc City, it was already dark, and ambling around the City was actually what we have made. We had our dinner then we began to stroll around the busy street of Ormoc City before going back to Cebu City.
- Ulan Ulan Falls: Enjoying Its Cold and fine Cloudy Water Droplets while gazing to its Natural Beauty
- Recoletos Falls: A quick douse in its cold natural pool before going up to Mt. Tres Marias
- Mt. Tres Marias: Reaching the summit means overcoming my doubts about my first major climb
- Sambawan Island: A reward after successfully climbing Mt. Tres Marias (Summit to Sea)
THINGS TO DO IN LAKE DANAO NATURAL PARK
- Paddle boarding
- If you’re traveling with a group of friends, I suggest that you just rent the whole Jeepney near the Ormoc Public Terminal. Price starts at Php 1,500.00. You can also rent a Motorcycle or Habal-Habal going to the Lake Danao. The rate is ranging from Php 150.00 to Php 200.00 and that includes the waiting time. You can also ride a public Jeepney bound for Brgy. Lake Danao which can be found near Ormoc City Public Market. The fare is around Php 40.00 and travel time is less than an hour.
- If you hold a leisure time, I suggest that you try all their water sports activities and I’m sure that you’ll surely enjoy.
- There are land and floating cottages available. The rate depends on the area where the cottage is located, usually ranging from PHP 150.00 to PHP 500.00.
- Don’t forget to get to the viewing deck to really take a look of the lake which is just a few meters away from the Entrance of the Lake.
- You might probably be tempted to swim because the water is very cold and very clean. Hence, I suggest that you bring an extra T’shirt.
- There’s actually food available like seafood and a lot more near the Entrance of the Lake, just ask the locals.
- Bring your drinking water with you and food, especially if you prefer to stay in the floating cottage.
- Please remember to leave no trace behind. Take good care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough.
HOW TO GET TO LAKE DANAO NATURAL PARK
From Ormoc City
There are daily schedule of boat and fast craft trip from Cebu City to Ormoc City. You can take a fast craft for 2 hours or a boat via Roble Shipping Line and travel by night for 6 hours. The moment you arrived at the port area, simply walk a little bit going to the outside of the port and you’ll be seeing the Public Terminal, or go near the Ormoc City Public Market and ask the locals where to ride a Jepneey going to Brgy. Lake Danao. You can also rent a Motorcycle or Habal-Habal going to the Lake Danao.
From Tacloban City
There is no airport in Ormoc City and the only nearby airport is in Tacloban City. Most travelers from Luzon and Mindanao and other part of the Visayas are flying to Tacloban City to get to Lake Danao Natural Park. From Tacloban Airport, ride a jeep to the downtown area, then ride a Grand Tours Van or any Van that for Ormoc City. From Ormoc City Proper, go to the Public Terminal, or go near the Ormoc City Public Market and ask the locals where to ride a Jepneey going to the Brgy. Lake Danao. You can also rent a Motorcycle or Habal-Habal going to the Lake Danao.
Note: This is part of our Independence adventure that happened last June 9-12, 2017 from summit to sea. Trekking to Mt. Tres Marias and exploring Sambawan Island and Lake Danao.
POSSIBLE TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE WHOLE TRIP
- Boat fare from Cebu to Ormoc via Roble – Php 510.00
- Cebu Port Terminal Fee – Php 25.00
- Ormoc to Naval via Van- Php 130.00
- Breakfast – Php 60.00
- Ormoc to jump off area via Van – Php 70.00
- Lunch – Php 50.00
- Entrance Fee (Mt. Tres Marias)- Php 50.00
- Fare from the Drop off area of Tres Marias – Kawayan – Php 100.00
- Food, Guide Fee and Boat going to Sambawan Island (Food – Php 289, Boat (2,500÷12) = Php 208, Guide (1500÷12) = Php 125) = Php 622.00
- Entrance Fee Sambawan Island – Php 100.00
- Kawayan to Ormoc City – Php 250.00
- Snacks – Php 75.00
- Ormoc to Cebu – Php 420.00 (sitting)
- Jeep rental from Ormoc to Danao Lake (Php 1,500÷9) = Php 167.00
- Lunch – Php 115.00
- Lake Danao Environmental Fee – Php 5.00
- Lake Danao Entrance Fee- Php 25.00
- Lake Danao Cottage, mini Boat and Life buoy, (Cottage – Php150, Boat Php 100, Salbabida or Life buoy Php 50 = Php 300 ÷ 9 = Php58) – Php 58.00
- Dinner in Ormoc – Php 55.00
- TOTAL – Php 2,987
Note: All expenses are split up into a number of people who joined during the entire trip. We are around 12 excluding our 1 guide to Mt. Tres Marias during this trip.
ITINERARY FOR THE WHOLE TRIP
- 10:00 PM – Boat ride going to Ormoc City
- 04:30 AM – ETA Ormoc City
- 04:40 AM – Depart for Naval, Biliran
- 06:30 AM – ETA Naval, Biliran
- 07:00 AM – Breakfast
- 08:00 AM – Buying food for Lunch
- 08:20 AM – Depart for Tres Marias Drop off area.
- 08:50 AM – ETA Drop off area
- 09:00 AM – Registration and Stretching
- 09:30 AM – Start trek
- 10:00 AM – ETA Ulan Ulan Falls
- 11:00 AM – ETA Recoletos Falls
- 11:40 AM – Depart for Lunch site
- 01:30 PM – Lunch
- 02:30 PM – Depart to Camping site
- 04:30 PM – ETA Camping site
- 05:30 PM – Prepare for dinner
- 07:00 PM – Dinner
- 09:00 PM lights off
- 05:00 AM – Prepare breakfast
- 06:00 AM – Breakfast
- 06:45 AM – Trek to Tres Marias Summit
- 09:00 AM – ETA Mt. Tres Marias Summit
- 09:30 AM – Depart for Camping site
- 11:00 AM – ETA Camping site
- 11:20 AM – Prepare for Lunch
- 12:20 PM – Lunch
- 12:45 PM – Depart from Camping site
- 05:20 PM – ETA Jump Off Area
- 05:30 PM – Depart for Kawayan
- 06:30 PM – ETA Kawayan Port
- 07:00 PM – Depart for Sambawan Island
- 07:45 PM – ETA Sambawan Island
- 08:00 PM – Prepare for dinner
- 09:30 PM – Dinner
- 10:30 PM – Socials and swimming time
- 05:00 AM – Waiting for Sunrise
- 09:00 AM – Breakfast
- 10:00 AM – Depart for Kawayan Port
- 11:00 AM – ETA Kawayan Port
- 11:10 AM – Depart for Ormoc City
- 01:20 PM – ETA Ormoc City
- 02:00 PM – Depart for Lake Danao
- 02:30 PM – ETA Lake Danao
- 05:45 PM – Depart for Ormoc City
- 06:30 PM – ETA Ormoc City
- 07:20 PM – Dinner
- 08:10 PM – Strolling around Ormoc City
- 09:20 PM – Ormoc Port
- 10:00 PM – Depart for Cebu City
- 04:00 AM – ETA Cebu City