No doubt, the most iconic picture of Bicol is still the Mayon Volcano. Over the years, so many tourist attractions have sprung around the region but this landmark, as long as it exists will forever be the most vivid memory in anybody’s Bicol travel diary.
Mayon rests in magnificence at the heart of Bicolandia in Daraga, Albay. It towers at about 2,462 meters with a steep slope of 30-45 degrees. Its symmetrical triangular form makes it the most perfect cone-shaped volcano in the world. It is surrounded by the towns of Camalig, Daraga, Tabaco and Legazpi City. Mayon, derived from Bicolano word for “beautiful”, Magayon is an active volcano with over 40 eruptions recorded from1616-2008.
Today, journeying to Mayon Volcano is more than just marveling it from afar. More attractions have been added putting Mayon in the background to complete that Bicol experience.
Cagsawa Ruins Tour
The ruins of Cagsawa Church is the best vantage point to get amazed by the beauty of Mayon Volcano. It is a baroque church built in 1724 but was destroyed by the 1814 eruption of Mayon. Today, only the belfry and some parts of the convent are left standing.
The Cagsawa Ruins and the Mayon Volcano provide great backdrop to various trick shots done by almost every visitor here. It is best to come at around 6-7AM when the clouds do not yet hide the Mayon. After all the snapshots, try Bicolano delicacies for breakfast in the food stalls around the complex. Souvenir items from hand-loomed decorative pieces to volcanic rock sculptures may also be bought at bargain prices.
Riding on an All Terrain Vehicle can best be enjoyed when you really experience all kinds of terrain conditions.The Mayon trail is one of those adrenaline-pumping experiences maneuvering on simple grasslands, shallow river beds, dusty uphill tricks, rocky downhill controls and never-ending potholes.
The ride begins in Pawa leading up to the 2006 eruption lava trail. The pitstop is on the foot of Mayon. After a refreshing treat of fresh buko juice is another challenge making a steepclimb on a pile of huge volcanic rocks and hardened lava spewed by the volcano.The best way to get down from a scenic treat of Legazpi City & the Mayon is through a short zipline.
Although a bit pricey at P1,800per person, this 18-kilometer ride is worth the money. Contact Francis Chan at +639054557594.
Lignon Hill Zipline
If you can’t get enough of the excitement, try climbing the Lignon Hill in Legazpi City and do the tree top zipline adventure. The climb may be a cardio challenge but a delightful treat of Legazpi’s panorama awaits the finishers on top. Experience an exhilarating zipline rush with Mayon as your background. For P250, your mid-air pose hanging from a cable will surely gather the most “likes” on your Facebook page.
Daragang Magayon or beautiful lady as she is called, is truly a splendid sight. She holds her every visitorin awe and never fails.
How To Get There
Fly from Manila to Legazpi City. Daily flights on commercial airlines are available.
Take the Jeepney to Cagsawa Ruins (about P15).
Drive 10 hours from Manila to Legazpi City (passing by Quezon Province & Naga City, Camsur).
Just before exiting from Daraga, Albay is the entrance to the Cagsawa Ruins.
Public transport is easy in Albay. To get around town, jeepneys and tricycles plying to popular destinations are available.
Pepperland Hotel – Airport Drive, Legazpi City / (052) 4818000
Neuhaus Inn – MagayonDrive, Daraga Albay / (052) 8200453
Hotel Venezia – LegazpiCity / (052) 4810877
Casablanca Hotel – Penaranda St., Legazpi City / (052) 4808334
Betwixt and between the arthritic 40 and a horrendous body mass index of positive 30, escapism and yummyeology are my real-life double post-graduate degrees conferred with the highest honors.
I lived nearly half of my life in fancy suitcases, jetsetting between reality and fantasy... read more