Bicol is truly home to the most beautiful natural wonders of the country. Slowly, its wonders are explored as more people start to engage with traveling. Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte, and Caramoan in Camarines are some of the popular weekend travel destination among tourists. Aside from these beautiful places in Camarines, you can go further down south of Bicol and explore the wonders of Albay and Sorsogon.
Day 1: Albay
Albay is a province located south of Naga. From Manila, you can fly directly to Legazpi City, or take a 10 to 12-hour bus ride. If you arrive in the morning, you can have a tour on some of the wonders in Albay in the afternoon. Of course, you can’t visit Albay without seeing the majestic Mayon Volcano. The perfectly cone-shaped volcano can be seen basically from all areas in Albay. It can be seen even from the plane on the flight to Legazpi.
Beautiful photo of Mt. Mayon taken by Tods Armena
No photo can capture the absolute beauty of the Mayon Volcano. Regardless of how many photos you’ve seen of the Mayon Volcano, you will still feel a complete awestruck on the first time you see it in person. It’s truly a natural wonder of the Philippines that we should be proud of!
The Cagsawa Ruins is the most popular point for viewing the Mayon Volcano. From here, you can see the magnificent tandem of the ruins and the volcano. However, clouds could block the view of the volcano depending on the weather conditions. The best viewing time is in the morning for a perfectly clear sky.
Here’s some trivia about the Cagsawa Ruins:
The Cagsawa Church was built in 1724 and was abandoned in 1814. Folklore states that originally the term “Cagsawa” was derived from the word “KAG” meaning owner, and “SAWA” meaning python. So basically, “Cagsawa” means owner of a python. (Source)
The Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church, also known as Daraga Church was built in 1772 atop a hill in barangay Santa Maria overlooking the Mayon Volcano. It was built by Franciscan priests as a settlement for people relocating from Cagsawa in fear of an impending eruption from Mayon Volcano. Parts of this church were declared as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines in 2007.
Legazpi established a nature park atop Lignon Hill that has become an attraction for tourists. From the top of the hill, you can see a 360 view of Legazpi City. In the park, there’s also a zipline for the adrenaline junkies.
Mayon Rest House and Planetarium
Located halfway the slope on Mount Mayon is the Mayon Rest House. Here you can visit the skyline viewdeck where tourists can see the volcano up close, and the Mayon Planetarium and Science Park where visitors can enjoy educational documentary film watching about volcanoes and other land forms.
View of Mt. Mayon from outside the Mayon Planetarium
Day 2: Sorsogon
Sorsogon is the southernmost province of Luzon. Located 2 hours away from Legazpi, your weekend in Bicol continues with the wonders that Sorsogon can offer.
Meet the gentle giants of the ocean, the butandings! Donsol is known as one of the best spots in the world for whale shark interaction. It’s often visited by foreign tourists who went here in the Philippines in the hopes of seeing and swimming with whale sharks. The ideal time for butanding interaction is early morning. The whole activity takes about 2-4 hours.
Read more about whale shark interaction in Donsol.
Another breathtaking attraction in Sorsogon is the lake of Mount Bulusan. With the overwhelming sight of lush green, the Bulusan Lake must be one of the most calming places you could visit. Aside from the relaxing view, there are several activities you can do when visiting Bulusan Lake. You can go kayaking along the calm waters, you can trek around the lake, or you can sit back and enjoy a cup of hot tablea chocolate from a nearby local restaurant.
Day 3: More of Sorsogon
Lola Sayong Surf Camp
Surely, you would want to extend your stay because 2 days can’t even cover half of the wonders of Albay and Sorsogon. For a day or half, I highly suggest you visit this underrated spot in Sorsogon — Lola Sayong Surf Camp. At Lola Sayong Surf Camp, you can spend an entire day surfing, relaxing, and bonding with the resident surfers. It’s a really awesome experience!
Before Weekend in Bicol even suggested this place for our trip, I didn’t even know that there’s a good surfing spot in Sorsogon. This province practically has the best wonders of our tropical country — whale shark interaction, diving activities, island hopping, and even surfing!
There are a lot more destinations and activities in Albay and Sorsogon that you may visit such as Island Hopping at Subic Beach, Juag Fish Sanctuary, Mayon ATV Adventure, Sumlang Lake, Quitinday Hills, and so much more.
When you want to visit Bicol, may it be in Camarines, Catanduanes, Albay, or Sorsogon, make sure you book your trip with Weekend in Bicol, the travel and tours company that’s surely an expert with the finest attractions in Bicol. They’ll take care of everything so you can focus on having fun. Book a trip to Bicol today and enjoy our natural wonders with Weekend in Bicol!
Weekend in Bicol Travel and Tours
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Hyacinth Maniquis is a food and travel blogger, a photographer, and a graphic designer. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication, major in Speech and minor in Broadcasting from the University of the Philippines Baguio. She enjoys reading books and watching documentaries about animals, wildlife, nature, and different cultures. She can endlessly talk about art films and good music. She strives everyday to keep being the best person she looks up to.
TagsAlbayBicolbulusan lakebutanding. whale sharkcagsawa ruinsmayonmayon volcanomount bulusansorsogonsurfingTravel
By Nathan Allen
About a year ago, the media posted my letter to a Polish blogger: "In defense of Filipino food". At the top of my list of favorites? Bicolano cuisine, and "pinangat" from Albay, to be exact. However, originally I didn't come here for the food...that was just a bonus. I had come for a glimpse of the world's most "perfect cone" volcano - awe-inspiring Mt. Mayon!
Seriously, I think everybody should see Mt. Mayon at least once in their lifetime.
Albay is part of the Bicol region, in the eastern Philippines. Along with English and Filipino (Tagalog), people here speak their own language called Bicol. "Magayon" is the Bicol word for "beautiful", and it is the word from which "Mayon" is derived.
As you can see below, there was no shortage of things for me to experience here...people come from all over the world to photograph and climb Mt. Mayon, but you can also take a thrilling ATV ride up as far as half way! Lignon Hill and Cagsawa Ruins (below) are popular tourist destinations to take pictures of Mayon as well.
(Assortment of Albay Photos - click them for more info)
Albay is a very progressive and forward-thinking province, with many environmental, tourism, and safety awards under its belt. It is the first place I visited in the Philippines where people seemed to be proud of their government officials. They talk about Governor Joey Salceda as if he was a close friend of theirs!
"Gov" (as they call him), seems to have done a great job bridging the gap between the people and the government - no easy feat in the Philippines!
Need to cool off? Vera Falls in Malinao is the perfect place to swim and take photos. I was impressed by the local caretaker's dedication to keeping the area clean and safe. If waterfalls are your thing, also be sure to check out Busay Falls in Malilipot! (ABS-CBN did some promotion for Albay and interviewed me here. Thanks Jose, Jonathan + team!)
In Albay I saw how some local products are made: “Manila Hemp” from Abaca (in Camalig), Ceramics (in Tiwi), pinangat (@ Zeny’s in Camalig), and Guinobatan longganisa (@ Yangmatt’s in Guinobatan)
You can get “hands on” experience by making them all yourself!