Breathtaking natural wonders are sometimes products of natural calamities. From Taal Volcano’s scenic view to Lake Holon’s undeniable charm, these are pieces of evidence that nature has its own way of sculpting a paradise-like world.
Another one sits in a heavily mined province south of the Philippines, and it’s a seemingly impossible travel destination to believe.
Wedged between the mining town of Maco and the agricultural municipality of Mabini, Mt. Leonard Kniazeff cradles a 200-hectare caldera lake surrounded by all things green.
Introducing Lake Leonard
While not as popular as Mayon Volcano, Mt. Leonard sits in the pacific ring of fire and is identified by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) as one of the 22 active volcanoes in the Philippines. It stands proudly at 1,190 meters or 3,904 feet above sea level.
Located at New Leyte, Maco, Davao de Oro, Lake Leonard has a colorful and rich history before it got its name. According to history, this majestic caldera lake was called Crocodile Lake by the Mansaka natives from time immemorial.
As what’s spoken in the Mansaka’s oral literature, the menacing presence of this dreaded reptilian species sowed fears to the tribal communities in Maco. In addition, Mansaka natives also highlighted the heroism of a notorious crocodile hunter named Habana, whose adventures proved the existence of crocodiles on the banks of Lake Leonard’s pristine lake waters.
After generations of Maco’s original settlers, Leonard Kniazeff, a mining prospector of Samico that later became the first general superintendent of the company, discovered the serene and clean waters of the caldera lake by his own so in the later years, the caldera lake was named after him in honor of his economic contribution to the Municipality of Maco.
It was also believed that the mining activities around the area annihilated all the crocodiles in the lake. As of today, Mt. Leonard’s 200-hectare caldera lake is a flourishing tilapia fishing ground.
Lake Leonard Eco-Tourism Park
Lake Leonard is one of the must-visit tourist destinations in Davao de Oro. To oversee and manage tourists visiting the lake, the local government unit of Maco, Davao de Oro, established the Lake Leonard Eco-Tourism Park.
Aside from experiencing the serenity of the lake, there are many activities you can do here. Here is what to expect at Lake Leonard.
One must spend a night or two at Lake Leonard to commune with nature entirely. You can set up your tent beneath the lake banks or hang your hammock on tree trunks or branches. By doing this, you are making the most of your trip because this caldera lake offers a whole new vibe and scenery at the break of dawn.
Lake Leonard will be enveloped by fog before the sun rises combined with resonant sounds of nature. Truly, a camping trip of a lifetime!
Explore Lake Leonard with a bamboo raft paddled by no other than yourself. Feast your eyes with scenic and picturesque views anywhere you lay your eyes on. This majestic lake is covered with lush greenery and its water is crystal-clear.
Aside from bamboo rafting, you can also enjoy kayaking on Lake Leonard’s clean and serene waters. You can encircle the lake to appreciate the area’s rich biodiversity and experience the lake’s coveted calmness that soothes tired souls.
Over the years, Lake Leonard became a frequently visited tourist destination by locals. This became a famous picnic spot where families with diverse backgrounds and cultures spend quality time with their families. Picnicking is still allowed these days but with the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is strictly maintained.
How to get to Lake Leonard
Lake Leonard is a 2-hour drive away from Davao City. To get there, you can either take public transportation or rent a car from us.
If you opt to take public transportation, head first to Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCTTO). Once you’re there, go to the ticketing booth and ask for a bus bound for Maco.
Keep in mind that even though we are under the COVID-19 pandemic, you are going to have close contact with strangers during the whole duration of your travel. The bus conductor collecting bus tickets, vendors and co-passengers are a few of these.
Make sure to wear your face mask at all times, sanitize your hands using alcohol and maintain social distancing to prevent getting the virus. Although troublesome, you are obliged to wear a face shield inside the bus as mandated by the local government units in Davao Region. If you really want to experience the thrill of public transportation, get vaccinated to protect yourself against the deadly COVID-19 virus.
The bus will take you to Maco. Upon arrival, look for a habal-habal or a tricycle. Make sure to negotiate or haggle with the driver for the fare price first to avoid extra charges.
Once you are at Lake Leonard, the lush valley surrounding Mt. Leonard Kniazeff, the breeze of fresh air and sounds of nature will welcome you.
The most convenient way to get to Lake Leonard
Make your trip worry-free by renting a car from us. By doing this, you can avoid all the hassles and health risks caused by public transportation.
Have peace of mind and confidence with our excellent car rental service. On top of that, renting a vehicle ensures yourself and your family’s safety, which we all want.
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Car Rental Davao provides high-quality and affordable rental cars for solo or group travelers. From Sedans to vans, we have all the rental units you are looking for in a car rental agency.
For tourists outside Mindanao, we also offer airport car rental pickup. Plus, we have great and special deals for long-term car rentals and 24/7 roadside assistance.
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