A lot of people are now plucking up the courage to travel to one of the world’s most notorious destinations: Mindanao. Why? Some come out of curiosity but most seek the thrills offered by the island’s treasured attractions.
Take the Lake Sebu Seven Falls as an example. This popular attraction is well-hidden in the highlands of South Cotabato, a place whose name normally sends chills down a hesitant traveler’s spine. Yet despite the bad rep Cotabato has, hundreds still visit the eco-attraction not just for the adventure but also the food. More on the food later though.
We traveled south of Davao City to experience the Sarangani Bay Festival in Gumasa, Glan. You can read about it in a separate post. Since we had plenty of time to kill after the festival, we decided to take the 2-hour drive to Lake Sebu Seven Falls.
The best way to get to Lake Sebu Seven Falls is flying into General Santos City. From there you can take a bus from the Bulaong Bus Terminal to Koronadal City. Once there, take another bus to Surallah then a jeepney or van to Lake Sebu. Lake Sebu is actually a town named after the serene lake at its center. Once you arrive in Lake Sebu, you can hire a motorcycle to take you up to the Seven Falls eco-park. Travel time if you commute is three hours tops.
Another option is renting a car in General Santos City and driving it to Lake Sebu. If you’re up to it, you can even take the car up to Lake Sebu Seven Falls Eco-Park’s entrance. The ride can be rough though so the motorcycle (aka habal-habal) is recommended. We were able to reach Lake Sebu in a little over 2 hours driving; we would have arrived sooner is we didn’t make frequent stops to take photos along the way.
The Beautiful Lake
The prominent sign that welcomed us as we entered Lake Sebu made me feel giddy with anticipation. I knew the lake was just around the next bend but nothing could have prepared me for the sight of it. Lake Sebu was as serene and breathtaking as bloggers have described it in countless websites. It looked small from my vantage point but it was beautiful: surrounded by rolling green hills and mirroring in the bright blue sky.
We parked close to the sari-sari store by the access road to Lake Sebu Seven Falls. From there we rode a motorcycle to the eco-park. I’m not a huge fan of motorcycles but I was easily distracted by the view to my left side which was breathtaking and scary at the same time.
The Seven Falls and Zipline
The first of the Lake Sebu Seven Falls called Hikong Alo is accessible from the eco-park’s starting point. Close to it are several spots offering staged zipline photos, bungee trampolines, monkey bridges and of course, the famous zipline itself.
We are able to get as close as possible to Hikong Alo without getting ourselves wet. I was even able to interact with some members of the T’boli tribe who were picking up some shellfish by the banks. One of them explained that the shellfish were edible and are costly when bought at the town center.
Hikong Bente, also known as Falls No. 2 is the tallest of the Lake Sebu Seven Falls. It’s so tall that it is considered immeasurable. We couldn’t see its base from the viewing decks close to Hikong Alo; one of the eco-park staff informed us that the best views of the falls could be seen from a spot accessible via a steep trail or by riding the zipline.
The five other falls are accessible by trekking but we were not up to a hike nor were we dressed for such activity. The only other way to see the Falls Nos. 3-5 is to ride the zipline. So we went for it.
If you’re coming to Lake Sebu Seven Falls with kids and they want to ride the zipline, it is totally possible. We were with our 2-year-old child who was very game about “flying” but I chickened out. One of the guides informed me that the youngest rider they allowed was only a year and three months old. But still… I rode with my brother instead.
The zipline is known as one of the longest in Asia and it was an exhilarating ride. I’m no stranger to heights but this one was a whole new different experience. The first ride afforded a better view of the tallest falls but it was over before I was able to take a photo from up there.
The second ride gave us a better view of the third, fourth and fifth falls, commencing at the parking area close to Hikong Bente. The falls (Hikong B’Lebel, Hikong Lowig, and Hikong K’Fo-I) looked a lot like a staircase from above.
I thoroughly enjoyed the zipline ride and I’d do it over and over again if it was for free. It was the most thrilling ride of my life, followed by the Edge Coaster at Crown Regency Sky Adventure in Cebu City. If you’re a thrill-seeker like me, this ride is definitely one for the books!
Here are some practical information about Lake Sebu Seven Falls:
- Lake Sebu is located about 100 feet above sea level and it feeds the seven falls along with Lake Siloton
- Entrance to the eco-park costs P20 for adults and P5 for children. Discounts are offered for senior citizens and students with ID
- The zipline ride costs P300 per person on weekends and P250 on weekdays. You can ride along, in a tandem or trio.
- There are several photo booths where you can pick out your best shots and have them printed or saved in a CD or USB drive.
- A motorcycle ride costs P25 per person per way. You can negotiate the rate if you hire the driver for the entire tour.
- Food, refreshments and souvenirs are available around the park.