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Travel Guide to Albay: Home to the World’s Sexiest Volcano Edit

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Michelle Tobias  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

Cover photo by Kim Maynard Go. Graphics by Manel Solsoloy.

At a Glance

The massive and majestic Mayon Volcano is slenderly cone-shaped from any vantage point. Surrounding Albay’s beautiful centerpiece are dramatic ruins brought about by volcanic eruptions. Off-road tours, island hopping, and whaleshark watching are some of the most memorable activities nearby.

Overview

Albay’s top tourist drawer is a miracle of nature’s design: Mayon Volcano is perfectly and symmetrically cone-shaped whichever way you view it. The Philippines’ most active volcano, this beauty of a landmass attracts even more tourists, photographers, and media people when there is an impending volcanic eruption. While it is currently closed for trekking expeditions, travelers can jump into a series of wholesome activities in the area.


Off-road tours, four-wheel drives, and all-terrain vehicles are an exciting way to explore the rough roads and cool streams around the volcano. Cagsawa Ruins Park and Daraga Church are some of the best photographed vantage points. The former features the remaining belfry from the volcano’s eruption in 1814, while the latter is a 17th century Spanish church notable for its renaissance gothic design and distinct white color.


Three other unforgettable activities with spectacular volcano views are bamboo rafting in the tranquil Sumlang Lake, climbing and sunset watching at the pilgrimage site Kawa-Kawa Hill, and trekking to the breezy rolling hills of Quitinday Green Hills. To the east of Albay lies Misibis Bay and its pristine stretch of white beach. Snorkeling and island hopping adventures await nearby at Guinanayan Island and San Miguel Island.


Meanwhile, just an hour away from the airport is the country’s most impressive underwater activity. In Donsol, Sorsogon, Albay’s next-door province, you can experience wild encounters with the world’s largest school of whale sharks! Two other things that should not be missed when in Albay are tasting the fiery Sili Ice Cream at 1st Colonial Grill and reveling in the grand Magayon Festival every May in honor of the magnificent Mayon Volcano.

8 Impressive Vantage Points and Activities around the World’s Sexiest volcano

Words by Colleen Cabili

Cagsawa Ruins

The Cagsawa Ruins is what was left of a 17th century Franciscan Church after Mt. Mayon’s infamous 1814 eruption. In 2015, the site was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum.

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Photo by Joemarie Escovilla Jr.

Daraga Church

This cultural treasure was built in 1773 and served as a refuge for the victims of the 1814 Mayon Volcano eruption.

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Photo by Angel Juarez.

ATV Tour

If you’re not contented by seeing the world’s most perfect cone from afar, worry not—the Mayon ATV Tour is for you! This adventure-filled trip entails choosing your own all-terrain vehicle from a wide selection of Can-Am ATVs and learning how to drive it yourself through the rocky and muddy trail. 

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Photo by Melo Villareal.

Sumlang Lake

The enchanting Sumlang Lake offers an unobstructed view of the majestic cone-shaped volcano, which is best enjoyed on a bamboo raft.

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Photo by Cristian Page.

Kawa-Kawa Hill

Thousands of devotees flock Kawa-Kawa Hill during Lent for the life-sized sculptures that depict the 14 Stations of the Cross.

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Photo from Legazpi City Albay Facebook page.

Quitinday Green Hills

Quitinday Green Hills is Bicol’s answer to Bohol’s Chocolate Hills. Unlike its more famous counterpart, this emerging tourist destination has three summits suitable for trekking.

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Photo by Lester Suarez.

Ligñon Hill Nature Park

The 156-meter-high Ligñon Hill Nature Park doubles as the observation site of Mt. Mayon’s activity. 

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Photo from wowlegazpi.com

Legazpi Boulevard

This extensive seaside road with stunning views of Albay’s naturescape runs through the central business district and the towns in the southern portion of the city. 

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Photo by Tom Falcon.

Where is Albay

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Albay is part of Bicol Region located in east central Philippines. Graphics by Manel Solsoloy.

How to get to Albay

From Manila or Cebu, the fastest way to get to Albay is by plane to Legazpi City via Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific Airlines. Travel time is about 45 minutes. A more affordable way to get to Albay from Manila is by taking a bus from Cubao, LRT Buendia, or Ermita. Travel time is 9 to 12 hours at P800 or more each, depending on the bus company. Traveling in a group within the province is best done by renting a van. Otherwise you can easily commute by tricycle, bus, or jeepney.


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