Getting up close and personal with volcanoes is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, what with the huge possibility of an eruption. A brave few, however, would rather take a glimpse of such an amazing natural phenomenon and risk it, rather than live their lives just listening to other people’s unforgettable tales of fun and adventure. So which type of traveler are you? The one who plays it safe or someone who would dare to face any challenge?
If you are the latter, you would be glad to know that you need not go far just to spend a day trekking on volcanoes, as the Philippines is known for its amazing volcanoes. But one particular natural attraction you shouldn’t miss is the Mayon Volcano, which is famous for its perfect cone shape. It is also active, which definitely add a hint of extreme to an otherwise boring sightseeing activity. Where would you find it? In Albay, specifically Legazpi City.
How do you get there?
There are more ways than one to get to Albay, but not via sea travel as it is located far from any coast. Some of your options include:
a) By Air with flights provided by some of the Philippines’ prominent airlines. You can travel to Legazpi City from Manila daily aboard Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Airphil Express. The trip would normally last up to one hour. If you are coming from Cebu, there are available direct flights as well serviced by Cebu Pacific and Airphil Express. Be sure to check both airlines’ website, to check whether or not trips are offered daily.
b) By Bus originating from Manila going to Visayas, Mindanao, Sorsogon and back. Some of the bus lines servicing these routes are Philtranco, Superlines, Cagsawa Tours, Amihan, Isarog Line, Goldline Tours and St. Jude Transit. Make sure to plan your land trip wisely as travel can last up to 12 hours, depending on the traffic.
c) By Train through Bicol Express operated by the Philippine National Railways. Trips are available daily from Tutuban, Manila to Naga City at 6:30 in the afternoon. Because the travel would usually last up to 12 hours, the return trip also leaves at 6:30 pm. As of this writing though, operation of the Bicol Express is still suspended due to ongoing repairs.
Why should you visit Albay?
Aside from checking out the Mayon Volcano, the province of Albay is home to several natural and artificial tourist attractions as well. In fact, taking a tour is highly recommended so you can explore the volcano, Cagsawa Church ruins and Lignon Hills Nature Park, among others. You can also do a lot of activities that will surely get your adrenaline rushing like crazy such as zip lining, ATV driving, trekking, kayaking, etc. And at the end of the day, when you’re famished and looking for some grub to replenish your energy, you can feast on sumptuous Bicolano cuisines such as laing, pinangat or ginataang langka. The names may not sound mouthwatering but wait until you get to taste it.
What can you do when in Legazpi City?
Say you want to focus your exploration in Legazpi City alone. It may be just one place but the things you can do here is simply numerous.
Trek up close to Mayon Volcano and up to its crater. Drop by the Mayon Rest House Observatory and soak up more information about the Philippines’ “Perfect Cone”.
Check out the surrounding areas of the volcano in a non-traditional way by zip lining at the Lignon Hill.
Have your fill of amazing wonders by climbing the Kapuntukan Hill, exploring the Japanese Tunnel, strolling at the Bicol Heritage Park and Albay Park and Wildlife, caving at the Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave of Camalig, or diving and snorkeling at some of Albay’s unspoiled dive spots.
The list can go on and on, ensuring that your trip to Albay won’t be boring and idle. If these aren’t enough, you can also plan your tour either on the Magayon or Ibalong Festivals so you’ll have plenty of other things to see, do and enjoy. So whether you want something exhilarating such as trekking up the Mayon Volcano or something relaxing such as taking a dip at the hot springs of Tiwi, Albay is undoubtedly the next place to be.