In the mountains of southern Negros Island, 12 km west of the town of Sibulan, Negros Oriental peacefully lie the captivating Lake Balinsasayao and its twin lake, equally breathtaking Lake Danao. One of the major tourist attractions in the province, Lake Balinsasayao is a protected Natural Park, home to an expansive ecosystem and great biodiversity.
The lakes are two small but deep crater freshwater lakes rising 1000 feet above sea level and separated by a narrow mountain ridge, situated in a hollow between four mountains, Mount Mahungot to the south, Mount Kalbasan to the north, Mount Balinsasayao to the east and Mount Guidabon to the west. Lake Balinsasayao lies to the northwest of the ridge and Lake Danao to the southeast.
The Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao is also the habitat of many birds and animals, some of which are also rare. Activities include swimming, fishing, boating, trekking and kayaking. There is a clean restroom and a small canteen selling beverages and light snacks
The area is surrounded by lush tropical greens and vegetation. Age old trees, giant ferns and other exotic plants and orchids are among its natural inhabitants. Wild rare vines freely cling to the barks of the trees. The Almagica Tree, the tallest tree of the Philippines growing up to 60 meters tall, can still be found here. It is also the habitat of many rare species like the Japanese Night Heron whose presence in the vicinity was recorded in the 1970s. The dipterocarp forest is rich in bird life.
The lake is teeming with fish making it an ideal fishing ground. The calm waters also make it perfect for swimming, boating and kayaking or just sitting under one of the small huts to take in the view and the fresh mountain air. Most people bring their own packed meals for a lunch picnic in one of the cottages that may be rented. There is a canteen selling drinks, bottled water and light snacks. A small restroom is also available.
In recent years, there has been a threat by the local cut and burn farmers known as kaingeros. Uncontrolled cutting of timber in the Balinsasayao area has resulted to a reduction of the inflow of water to the lake which has in turn, caused a fall in its water level.
From the capital city of Negros Oriental, Dumaguete, the town of Sibulan is 6 kilometers away and about 20 minutes road travel time. From a certain point you head up to the mountains, a steep and winding path, until you reach the area for disembarking. Finally you make a short descent to the lake by way of a man-made stairway made from flat stones. The majestic and serene lake slowly unfolds before your eyes as with the silhouette of the mountains behind it.
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