SORSOGON | At Peace in Bulusan Lake

Bulusan Lake, Sorsogon

We reached Bulusan Volcano Natural Park hours before sunset. From the park entrance, a 10-minute ride aboard the park's shuttle service brought us to the gates of Bulusan Lake; the short ride passed along a 1.7-kilometer pavement that cuts through a forest. Few meters past the lake's welcome signage, the sight of the 27-hectare lake immediately ensued. It did not demand even a slight trekking effort in order to see its beauty—a freshwater lagoon surrounded by thick foliage at the foot of an active volcano, the lake's eponym Mount Bulusan.

Bulusan Lake welcome signage

Bulusan is one of the three lakes nestled within the national park's 3,673 hectares of protected area—composed of a virgin forest, the lakes, the volcano itself, and a thriving flora and fauna—whose borders stretch around the foot of the volcano and cut across the towns of Casiguran, Irosin, Bulusan, Juban, and Barcelona.

The other two lakes are Lakes Aguingay and Black Bird. Aguingay, located halfway to the mountaintop and accessible via an established trail, serves as a campsite for mountaineers trying to summit Mount Bulusan. Black Bird is at the summit, a 30-meter wide volcanic crater where sulfuric steams emanate from.

Bulusan Lake, presumably the park's most picturesque body of water, is the easiest to reach and the most tourist-friendly. It offers light activities like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and canoeing around the lake's expanse of calm, dark-green waters.

Kayaks along the lakeside
Peaceful Bulusan Lake
Several kayakers on the lake

Those not in the mood to paddle and the drenching it may entail, the lakeside view deck that resembles a concrete urban footbridge, albeit wider and more pleasant, is a platform where they can relish a calming vista of the lake and, if in proper time, the sunset.

With TPB and other travel bloggers at Bulusan Lake
With Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and other travel bloggers at Bulusan Lake | via Noel Amata

On a kayak, I cruised the lake at a perfect time of the day—when the scorching sun had already receded and all I could hear were the rustling trees, the burbling water as I paddle, and the crickets that had just began chirping. It reminded me of the time when I was amidst the hushed environs of Balinsasayao Twin Lakes in Negros Oriental years back. Their only difference was that Balinsasayao requires a short jungle trek before the serene lake.

Kayaking across the lake

That 30-minute kayak was a solid 30 minutes of quietness. A visit to this lake-forest, especially if one paddles farther away from the lakeside where human speeches can be heard, is how Sorsogon defines "peace of mind."

Bulusan Lake's shuttle service
Bulusan Lake's shuttle service | via Noel Amata
A park ranger explaining the park's topography through a 3D model
A park ranger explaining the park's topography through a 3D model

Park Fees (Updated as of May 2022)

  • Entrance Fee: Php 50 (regular) / Php 25 (students, Bulusan residents, PWDs, senior citizens, children below 7)
  • Environmental fee: Php 10
  • Parking fees: Php 20 (motorcycle) / Php 30 (tricycle) / Php 50 (cars, SUV) / Php 60 (jeepney) / Php 70 (truck) / Php 150 (bus)
  • Shuttle service (two-way): Php 35
  • Kayaking: Php 100/person (for 30 minutes)
  • Stand-up paddle boarding: Php 200/person (for 30 minutes)
  • Boat rental: Php 600 good for 5
  • Fishing: Php 20/person
  • Trekking: Php 10/person


DJ Rivera is an I.T. professional, entrepreneur, travel blogger, writer and the online publisher of based in Rizal province, Philippines. Click here to know more.

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