The 4 Lakes of Kabayan, Benguet: Tabeo, Incolos, Latep-ngapos, and Ambulalakaw

Did somebody just say mystical lakes? That sounds really good to me. It’s not everyday that I see even one mystical lake. Seeing the four lakes of Kabayan, Benguet is a marvelous treat!



After our trip to Mt. Timbak and the Timbac Burial Caves, we headed to the camp site for Mt. Tabayoc. The ride was excruciatingly long but the scenic view kept my angst at bay.


scenic view of kabayan benguet
arrival at barangay ballay, kabayan, benguet


Finally, we arrived at our destination after three long hours inside the jeep.


lake tabeo camp site - kabayan, benguet


Arrival at the Camp Site

We arrived at our camp site on Barangay Ballay and got ourselves registered at the Ballay Ranger Station. Moments after, Sir Arlan, Mt. Pulag National Park Forest Ranger, gave us a briefing. He also told us what to expect and yes, never forget safety first and leave no trace.


ballay ranger station, kabayan, benguet
briefing at the ranger station, ballay, kabayan, benguet


Lake Tabeo

Afterwards, we all pitched our tents and settled down. It was then we learned that we’re already at the first mystical lake, Lake Tabeo (or sometimes spelled as Tabeyo).


lake tabeo camp site


According to the locals, the lake never dries even during summer. The farmers sometimes get water from the lake for their crops. Farm animals drink from the lake. It replenishes itself by collecting rainwater. The lake also has fish but I doubt if it’s suitable for human consumption.


lake tabeyo - kabayan, benguet
lake tabeo - kabayan, benguet


The entire Lake Tabeo in a frame:


lake tabeo/lake tabeyo - kabayan, benguet


Now I got more excited to see the other lakes!


Junior Pulag

In order to reach the remaining lakes, taking on Junior Pulag is a challenge I have to take. That’s at least what was on my mind. We went through the mossy forest and had our share of skids and bumps. The thought of being tortured turned to bliss when we reached the top.





Here’s Charlie of Kings and Queens of Wander. Read about his version here.



Others say that Junior Pulag got its name because of the obvious changes in temperature and air pressure, which is similar to that of Mt. Pulag. All I had was gasping for air and sweaty shirt.


hiking towards junior grassland
junior grassland area on junior pulag


From the Junior Grassland point on Junior Pulag, you can already see the 2nd lake, Lake Incolos. Wait, it doesn’t look like a lake, though.


lake incolos seen from junior pulag


Lake Incolos

I could say that Lake Incolos (how Ibalois call it) or Incoloh (for Kalanguyas) is fascinating and unique. Dirt, moss, and grass cover the lake water underneath. Step on it and you will slowly sink. You can even see the water seeping in.


lake incolos/lake incoloh


water underneath lake incolos


Taking a photo on the lake is a risky business. The ground can only hold so much weight. But for the sake of a group picture, these guys are will to go all in.



We went around the lake to go to the next lake, Latep-ngapos.



Beware of the quicksand!


forest quicksand, kabayan, benguet


Lake Latep-ngapos

Speaking of mystical lakes, Lake Latep-ngapos (Ibalois) or Latep-ngapoh (Kalanguyas) lived up to its reputation. The fog and drizzles adds an enchanting beauty of the place along with the driftwood and its clear water.


lake latep-ngapoh, kabayan, benguet

lake latep-ngapos, kabayan, benguet

The next lake is not so far away. After some picture taking sessions, we left for Lake Ambulalakaw.


Lake Ambulalakaw

Lake Ambulalakaw or Ambulalacao (sometimes plainly Bulalacao) is the 4th lake visited thus completing our quest for these mystical lakes. The water is so serene and clear. Unfortunately, the rain clouds seem to be chasing us.


lake ambulalakaw/ambulalacao, kabayan, benguet


So what made this lake extra special? It is regarded as the cleanest in-land lake. The locals preserve it that swimming or any form of similar activity is prohibited.


lake ambulalakaw in kabayan, benguet



We headed back to the road to catch our ride. This wrapped up our trip to these mystical lakes. Back to the camp site we go.


Kabayan, Benguet, as welcoming as the town’s name, could have more unexplored places to go to.


Now Go Forth and Spread the Word!

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