Lake Sebu Travel Guide: Where to Stay, What to Do and Sights to See
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Lake Sebu is a first-class municipality in South Cotabato with a population of 87,442. It’s where the indigenous T’boli tribe is located and where you’ll find bountiful forests and refreshing bodies of water. It’s the cultural center of the region and where you can immerse yourself in a plethora of demos for local handicrafts.
The place is gifted with lush forests and bodies of water that draws an increasing number of crowds. It’s the perfect place to take photos and find some species of birds.
Get to know the place where enchantment is not impossible and have your own piece of paradise for a while at Lake Sebu.
In this Lake Sebu Travel Guide blog, we listed helpful DIY Lake Sebu travel tips and advice on how to get there, get around, itinerary, restaurants, best hotels, tour packages and more.
Best Time to Visit and How to Dress
Lake Sebu’s driest times are from late November to May which makes it the best times to visit.
The best clothes to bring are lightweight clothes which aren’t only perfect for your luggage but also to help you feel comfortable while touring Lake Sebu.
Currency and Accessibility to ATM Machines
All the establishments in Lake Sebu only accept cash so you got to bring extra as there are no ATMs there yet.
Not all accommodations in Lake Sebu offer free WIFI but there are some which does. You can bring your pocket WIFI or use your mobile data if you’re staying at a hotel which doesn’t offer that.
How to Get There
From Manila (by air and land)
There’s no direct flight to Lake Sebu from Manila but you can fly to General Santos through PAL and Cebu Pacific and ride a taxi going to Bulaong Terminal. When you get to the terminal, you must then ride the van going directly to Lake Sebu. Everyone coming from Cebu must also go through General Santos and take that same route to Lake Sebu.
From Davao (by land)
Ride the bus from Davao Ecoland Terminal going to South Cotabato then ride a direct van trip to Lake Sebu.
Tourists spend an average of USD68++ per day when getting around Lake Sebu. This includes accommodations, meals, transportation and entrance fees to some attractions. Take note that you should bring extra if you want to buy souvenirs and join tours of the Lake, etc.
Things to Do
Learn the T’boli Way of Living
T’boli or Tagabili are the ethnic group of people in South Cotabato. In Lake Sebu, these people are the ones who master their crafts and share them to their visitors. They have a rich culture and have mastered the art of weaving which tourists are very fond of. If you’re in Lake Sebu, you can watch how they make their woven products and can even join in their festivities where they dance and imitate the movements of animal-like monkeys and birds.
Go to Lake Sebu’s Nature Spots
There are three lakes in Sebu. The biggest is also named Lake Sebu while the deepest is Lake Seloton and Lake Lahit as the smallest. There are 12 small islands in Lake Sebu and 7 waterfalls that you can visit and swim in respectively. Trek your way to T’daan Kini Waterfalls and cold spring where you can see a small rock formation and swim to your heart’s content. Some of the other waterfalls in Lake Sebu are taller than T’daan Kini and have stronger currents.
Watch Cultural Performances
Lake Sebu gives bountiful harvest to its locals and they celebrate that through Helobung Festival which honors the abundance of tilapia in the lake. Each year, people gather exhibit their gifts through arts, culture and sports. They also traditional horse fight during that celebration. Go to November to so you can witness the occasion.
Buy Local Crafts
There are several crafts that the locals of Lake Sebu engage in. The T’boli women are experts in bead making and this is a means of livelihood for them. Another craft they sell are wood carvings that feature indigenous designs. Their weaving crafts are popular and they make brass belts, brass bells, bracelet and anklets. You can buy these items at souvenir shops.
Where to Eat
Location: Purok Rosas, Barangay Poblacion, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato 9512
If you want to have your tummy full without breaking the bank then you must visit this restaurant. For Php149, you can eat all you can every Saturdays at lunch and dinner time. They serve Singaporean Shrimp, Asian Spicy Chicken, and other tasty dishes at inexpensive prices.
Punta Isla Lake Resort
Location: Sitio Toku-ful, Barangay Poblacion, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
The abundance of tilapia in Lake Sebu has resulted to several restaurants serving them and Punta Isla Lake Resort is one of those but what sets the restaurant apart is their countless versions of tilapia dishes like sweet and sour, kinilaw and spicy tilapia. If you’re not too keen on eating tilapia, you can eat their meat and hito.
Where to Stay
Sunrise Garden Lake Resort
Location: Barangay Lake Seloton, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Price for Bedroom with Private Bathroom starts at USD17++ via Agoda
This lake resort offers the simplest accommodations with their 15 rooms with your own bath, air-conditioning and TV. Their rates may be cheap but you can enjoy their swimming pool, fishing pond, garden, and karaoke. They have a souvenir shop in the vicinity and offers free WIFI in public areas and car park.
Lake Sebu Mountain Log Resort
Location: Purok Pag-asa, Surallah, South Cotabato 2020
Price for Single Room with Bathroom starts at USD18++ via Agoda
Enjoy the chirping birds as you stay in this hotel which is made of native materials. You can take advantage of the glorious nature around you and take as many photos as you can because it’s located in a scenic location. They have standard accommodations with free WIFI for every guest.
Tours and Activities in Lake Sebu
Go on a cave exploration in a thousand-year-old cave glistening with stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and other formations. It measures up to 550 meters inside and have some interesting rock formations you can’t find in other caves.
Lake Sebu has its fair share of bird spectators because some extraordinary birds like raptors and ordinary species of birds can be found there.
Rivers and Streams
You’ll also find some streams and rivers with clear waters in Lake Sebu. Go on a group tour to enjoy sightseeing, swimming and picture taking.
This place isn’t famous for nothing so a boat trip around the lake is a must. The trip will take around 45 minutes where you can take part in familiarization with the marine life of the lake, fish cages and its 12 islets.
Climb the 3 Kings Mountain which is the highest part of Lake Sebu. Visit its virgin forests and who knows, you might just find some amazing plants and birds.
Aside from bringing enough cash, you also need to bring enough clothes because you’re bound for many activities. Do try eating at the public market to experience the best Lake Sebu has to offer.
Photography Tips (sights to take the best photos)
The majority of the places in Lake Sebu are Instagram-worthy because it’s still untouched. The lake itself is already breathtaking and there are still other places to go to like the Divine Mercy Shrine & Retreat House.
Find Best Hotels in Lake Sebu, Philippines according to your budget via Agoda.
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