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The Hidden Lake Of Poneas Island, Siargao: Complete Guide

The Hidden Lake Of Poneas Island, Siargao: Complete Guide

The hidden lake on Poneas Island is one of the true treasures of Siargao. Enjoy a day of island hopping from San Benito and see what you discover!


We rode our bicycles up from General Luna in the morning, taking a couple of hours, and then did the island hopping tour including Poneas Island and the ‘hidden lake’. It’s far away from the crowds of the regular Siargao Island Hopping experiences so it could be worth a visit if you are looking for something unique. In this blog post, I’ll give you all the details about the island-hopping experience and how you can book a trip for yourself.

a large body of water surrounded by green trees.


Poneas Island is west of the popular surf island Siargao in the south of the Philippines. There are a number of smaller islands nearby Siargao that are popular for island hopping, the most popular route is the day-trip to Daku, Guyam, and Naked Island.

However, to reach Poneas Island from General Luna, you will drive up to the small town of San Benito on the west coast and take the boat from there out to the docking point on Poneas Island. Once docking, you will follow a dirt, rock path up the hill and down towards the hidden lake inside Poneas Island. There is a map with the pin-point direction at the bottom of this blog post.


  • Siargao Island Hopping – The classic 3-ISLAND day trip. Daku, Naked and Guyam Island Tour including Boodle Fight lunch.
  • Siargao Land Tour (BEST PRICE): The classic tour for all the top spots on Siargao. Number one most booked activity in Siargao!
  • Sohoton Cove Tour – Amazing lagoons, islands, caves & cliff jumps.

Click the orange button below to view the top-rated Klook tours.


To reach Poneas Island and visit the hidden lake you will need to drive to San Benito, which is the launch off-site for tours to Poneas Island. We rode up on our mountain bikes from General Luna in just under two hours but most people, including our friends, rode their motorbikes up in under an hour.

Once at San Benito, you can visit the tourism office, which is a small building next to the basketball court at the docks. It’s smart to organize your trip the day before or several days before because it isn’t super busy like General Luna and there isn’t just a boatman and crew waiting every day for tourists. We were the only tourists at all on the day we went and there were no other boats on the water in the region all day.

To help you book in advance without having to drive down to San Benito in person, I’m going to add our tour guide’s details below. Our tour guide was Blessieann Roculas, who is a local of San Benito and Siargao, currently studying environmental science as of 2019. We were able to message her before the trip to organize times, prices and vegetarian meals (notify 1-2 days before so she can prepare depending on the size of the group. I also took a photo inside the tourism office with the different trips and prices available so you know the exact prices as of December 2019.


I’ve written detailed guides about the Best Regions to Stay in Siargao, Best Resorts in Siargao and Best Hostels in Siargao. If you just want me three favorites right now…. here they are!

a view of a beach with a thatched hut and palm trees.
a pool with a flamingo in the middle of it.


After our long mountain bike ride to San Benito from General Luna, we made our way into the Tourism Office. We decided to choose the Poneas Hidden Lake and Island Hopping tour for 3000 pesos as of 2019 (plus a few hundred in entrance fees).

On the day we went, a typhoon was scheduled to hit the next day. This meant it was pretty wavy and there was literally not another tourist in sight all day. The rain never came (but boy did it hit hard the following day), so we got lucky to enjoy all of the locations to ourselves.

We boarded onto the boat and headed off to Poneas Island first, taking advantage of the tide conditions, which are necessary to dock the boat at the small wooden wharf in the mangroves at Poneas Island. It was about a 20-minute boat trip from the San Benito docks to the Poneas Island dock.

There is a homestay out near the wharf but I can’t imagine there’s too much to do out there in the middle of nowhere. I guess that might be the point, to relax and switch off.

Anyhow, we docked the boat and then began to follow the path up the hill to the hidden lake on Poneas Island.

The trail is short but steep and sweaty in the tropical humidity. Through palm trees, rocks and dense forest, you ply your way up the hill. It will challenge many, but the reality is that it’s a 15-minute walk so slow and steady if you are out of shape and you will still have no troubles in reaching the lake.

The downhill section is quite slippery and it is definitely suggested to wear shoes as the rocks are very sharp. You can just bring flip-flops/slippers but I promise you if you are not Filipino (does everything in slippers) you will wish you had sneakers on… like us.


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  • Waterproof for snorkeling, island-hopping and canyoneering and beach days.
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Once we arrived it was time for a swim to cool off. We jumped into the huge lake and swam around, refreshed from our mini-hike up and over the hill. The water was surprisingly warm and a little bit salty.

The lake is truly incredible. Hidden from the ocean and the outside world, you are truly in a secret paradise it feels. As I took to the air to get a better understanding of the region it was quite impressive to see the small mountains of Poneas Island, which had a resemblance to the terrain of the nearby Caob Island.

It seems like the lake was busy at some point in time because there is a lot of infrastructure and a lot of activities. At the hidden lake you will find:

  • A rope swing
  • A small diving board
  • Rowboats
  • A floating hammock
  • A floating hut
  • Numerous rafts
  • Lots of benches and seating
  • Hammocks

After Poneas Island, we visited Kangkangon Island, which was a quiet little patch of paradise in the middle of the ocean. Just one caretaker was on the island in a little hut as we played about in the sand and took a short walk around the entire island. This island-hopping experience won’t be as busy as visits to the islands near General Luna. We didn’t see any other tourists for the entire day.


The final stop of the day was Pagbasayan Island, which had a lot more going on. A number of cottages, a bar and play equipment for children were scattered amongst the several hundred coconut palms that are tightly packed onto this small island.

We sat on the beach and enjoyed a coconut before setting off to explore the rest of the island. There is one really unique feature of this island that many probably don’t know. Pagbasayan Island has its own natural, private swimming pool amidst the reef that surrounds most of the island.


On the map below you can see Poneas Island with a pin on it. However, the pin is just on a random spot. The lake is actually further north than the pin and is the big lake you see further north on the map.

Read More of my Siargao Guides

siargao island pictures photo gallery


  • Siargao Island Hopping – The classic 3-ISLAND day trip. Daku, Naked and Guyam Island Tour including Boodle Fight lunch.
  • Siargao Land Tour (BEST PRICE): The classic tour for all the top spots on Siargao. Number one most booked activity in Siargao!
  • Sohoton Cove Tour – Amazing lagoons, islands, caves & cliff jumps.

Click the orange button below to view all of the top-rated tours on Klook


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an aerial view of a resort in the middle of the ocean.

JR Photo Brussels

Wednesday 4th of December 2019

Whaouh, what a wonderfull place!

Don't you miss a fixed lens in your combo?