Lake Danao: Ormoc City’s Most Precious Gem

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City by the bay, this is how most people brand the beautiful city of Ormoc. A port city and is the largest city by land area in Leyte. Overlooking Ormoc Bay, the city’s landscape is mostly of gently rolling plains. Presently, little by little, the tourist attractions in Ormoc City are grasping the attention of travelers from various parts of the world.

The sunset painted the sky with vibrant colors of orange and blue
The sunset painted the sky with vibrant colors of orange and blue

Are you ready to level up your vacation? Well, if you are planning on to have a trip here, this is one of the places you should check out.

WHERE TO GO

Lake Danao is considered as Ormoc City’s main natural attraction. This violin-shaped lake on the mountains of Ormoc was previously named Lake Imelda but was changed to Lake Danao Natural Park afterwards. It is covering an area of 148 hectares and is about 700 meters above sea level. The lake that also includes the Amandawin mountain range is 18 kilometers northeast of Ormoc City, half an hour drive along the Milagro – Lake Danao and San Pablo – Tongonan roads.

Lake_Danao
“Lake Danao” by Brenda Bonjoc from Victoria, Australia – Lake Danao. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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According to experts, this lake is volcanic in origin like the popular Taal Lake in Tagaytay City. It is a depression produced by the Leyte Central Fault, an active fault passing through the lake area in N-S direction. Most rock formations that surrounds the lake are andesitic volcanic rocks. At more or less 700 meters above sea level, Lake Danao lies on an altitude similar to Tagaytay, making the area cooler than the average Philippine temperature.

It's us! Enjoying our banca ride
It’s us! Enjoying our banca ride

HOW TO GET THERE

Via Boat/Fast craft from Cebu City. If you are from Cebu City, you will have to travel to Ormoc City via slow boat for P430/head or fast craft for P800/head. There are 4 companies operating from Cebu City to Ormoc: Cebu Ferries, Weesam Express, Super Shuttle Ferry, Roble Shipping, Supercat.2Go Travels, Lite Shipping, Ocean Jet with a total of more or less 35 trips per week:

1. Cebu Ferries
Cebu Ferries has trips on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu at 08:00 AM
– Leaving from Cebu City Pier 4 wharf at 08:00 AM, and arriving at Ormoc wharf at 12:00 PM
– Leaving from Cebu City Pier 4 wharf at 08:00 AM, and arriving at Ormoc wharf at 12:00 PM
2. Weesam Express
Weesam Express has trips every day
– Leaving from Cebu City Pier 4 wharf at 10:45 AM, and arriving at Ormoc wharf at 12:55 PM
– Leaving from Cebu City Pier 4 wharf at 04:30 PM, and arriving at Ormoc wharf at 06:40 PM
3. Super Shuttle Ferry
Super Shuttle Ferry has trips on Mon, Wed, and Fri at 09:00 PM
– Leaving from Cebu City Pier 8 wharf at 09:00 PM, and arriving at Ormoc wharf at 03:00 AM
4. Roble Shipping
Roble Shipping has trips every day
– Leaving from Cebu City Pier 2 wharf at 10:00 PM, and arriving at Ormoc wharf at 02:00 AM
5. SuperCat (2Go Travels)
Supercat has trips every day.
– Leaving from Cebu City at 05:45 AM, 11:00 AM, 04:40PM.
6. Lite Shipping
M/V Lite Ferry 11 has daily trips. Contact them at Tel # (034) 729-8040.
– Leaving Cebu City at 11:00 AM.
7. Oceanjet
Oceanjet has trips every day.
– Leaving Cebu City at 6:30 PM, 10:30 PM, 1:30 PM and 5 PM. See more at: http://www.oceanjet.net/fare-and-schedule#sthash.15njhRtc.dpuf

Via Airplane from Tacloban City.

To get to Ormoc City by plane, one has to fly to Tacloban Airport and take a bus/ or private van from there to any point in Leyte. There are a lot of van terminals in Tacloban such as Duptours, Van-vanís and Grandtours.

The view of Ormoc City  700 meters above sea level
The view of Ormoc City 700 meters above sea level

Going to Lake Danao from Ormoc City Proper. You will witness the serene and beauty of the lake by traveling for about 30 minutes to one hour from the city proper. A terminal for jeepneys and multicabs bound for Barangay Lake Danao can be found near Ormoc City Public Market, just across Ormoc City Port. If you want more fun and adventure, you may also opt to ride a habal-habal from Ormoc City. The fare is from P25 – P40 pesos.

WHERE TO STAY

You can stay for a night at Lake Danao if you can provide your own tent or sleeping bag. As of the moment, there are no hotels nearby the Lake. But if you want to have more time in discovering the beautiful city of Ormoc, you can stay in these hotels:

1. ORMOC VILLA HOTEL
Obrero Street, Ormoc City
Tel. Nos.: (6353) 255-5003; 255-5006
(6353) 561-9744 to 47
Fax No.: (6353) 561-4065
Website: www.ormocvillahotel.com

2. SABIN RESORT HOTEL
Bantigue, Ormoc City
Tel. Nos.: (6353) 255-3801
(6353) 561-4200
Fax No.: (6353) 255-4906
Email: sabinresorthotel@yahoo.com

3. HOTEL DON FELIPE
Cor. I. Larrazabal & Bonifacio Sts., Ormoc City
Tel. No.: (6353) 255-2460
Fax no.: (6353) 255-4306
Email: hdfelipe@yahoo.com

4. PONGOS HOTEL
Bonifacio St., Ormoc City
Tel. Nos.: (6353) 255-2540; 255-2211
(6353) 561-8860; 561-8863
Email address: pongoshotel@yahoo.com

5. BAYVIEW INN
Brgy. Alegria, Ormoc City
Tel. Nos: (6353) 255-5908; 255-8247
(6353) 561-5041
Email: bayviewinnphils@gmail.com
Website: www.bayviewphils.com

6. SUGARLAND SUITES
J. Rizal St., Ormoc City
Tel. Nos.: (6353) 255-3214
(6353) 561-9640
Fax No.: (6353) 561-0474
Email: sugarlandsuites@yahoo.com
Website:www.sugarlandsuites.com

7. GV HOTEL
CITI Appliance Bldg.
Cor. Real & Solidor Sts., Ormoc City
Tel. No.: (6353) 561-3068

8. JB GARDEN PENSIONE PLAZA
Concepcion St., Can-Adieng
Ormoc City
Tel. No.: (6353) 561-3068

WHAT TO DO

Lake Danao National Park is the #1 tourist destination in Ormoc City according to TripAdvisor and was also proclaimed as one of the eight lakes in the Philippines everyone should visit according to Rappler. So, what some activities you might want to do here?

Enjoying the calm waters of Lake Danao
Enjoying the calm waters of Lake Danao

Aweing to its tranquil and relaxing environment, the lake is a great place for swimming, boating, kayaking, or fishing. A house boat can be rented at 500 pesos for a day and a rowing boat at 150 pesos per hour. You can also check the Lake Danao View Deck and enjoy sight-seeing the breathtaking view of the entire lake.

You may also opt to walk hours and enjoy the fresh air while beholding its totally virgin nature. Have a trip up the mountains and visit plantations of sugar cane and pineapples along the way. Picnic tables and toilets are also available making it an ideal place for camping, trekking, picnics and retreats.

As more people are getting captivated by the beauty of Ormoc City, the services and facilities will soon get better. Too, it will be a lot easier for us to visit this place sooner or later. For now, if you want to witness something wonderful in the Philippines that you may not have seen before, drop by this beautiful place you thought you knew. And roll up your sleeves and get ready for this one of a kind adventure!

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