Aside from Mayon Volcano, Bicolandia seems to offer new things with each visit. Call it the ‘Bicol magic,’ but the more you savor what the place has to offer, the more you want to come back. We list these compelling reasons in an ultimate guide on what adventures await you in the Bicol region.
1) Climb Mount Mayon in Legazpi
A Bicol adventure list would not be complete without mentioning Mount Mayon. However, some tourists want to marvel at the beauty of Mayon from afar. For others, they need to see it up close. There are many ways to do this.
Although the hike towards the midpoint of the mountain depends on the activities of the volcano, it is still possible. If climbing it is not permitted by the local government, you may still go on a hike on the lava trail to the top of the lava base or, ride an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) and cruise along the lahar-covered roads and lava beds around the volcano. The ride is comprised of crossing over shallow rivers and rocky roads. To get to the base, you need to climb the jagged rocks.
2) Cross the hanging bridge in Ligñon Hill in Legazpi
Ligñon Hill Nature Park offers a host of exciting activities such as hiking, rappelling, climbing and zipping. The hanging bridge and the Spider man-style zipline are the two of the park’s most popular attractions for Php100 and Php250, respectively.
If you want to see Mount Mayon is all its glory, the best route is via a zipline ride at Ligñon Hill or Mayon Adventure Land. Whichever you choose, you’ll be able to view Mount Mayon in its perfect cone shape.
3) Take a trick shot of Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga
Local guides are often asked to take a picture of a tourist leaning on the ruins (like the way they do with the Leaning Tower of Pisa). Taking the well-timed picture is an adventure in itself.
4) Ride a go-kart in Embarcadero de Legazpi
Embarcadero de Legazpi is an urban mall that features a huge playground and an arcade. The main activity is the go-kart ride . Another increasingly popular attraction is the over-the-water zipline .
5) Wake board in Camarines Sur
With its CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC), Camarines Sur is really the spot for thrillseekers. An hour of wake boarding costs Php225. The world-recognized wake-boarding park is near Amaia Scapes CamSur.
After wake boarding, you may go to the deer breeding farm in Ocampo. It only takes two hours to go there from the complex. In there, you’ll get to watch more than 300 deers roaming freely in the fields. Guests are also allowed to pet and feed them. The farm is actually located in the foothills of Mount Isarog.
6) Watch whale shark at Donsol
The local government of Donsol offers butanding (whale shark) interaction tours for Php3,500 per boat ride. The best time to go is from March to May when the friendly whale sharks are swimming here and there. After this period, the sightings will be rare. While in Donsol, arrange a firefly watching activity near the river.
8) Island hop in Caramoan
Caramoan Island features islets such as Matukad and Lajos as well as Manlawi Sand Bar. After island hopping, embark on a 500-step challenge upward one of the biggest structures of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the country. From there, you may see the vastness of the Caramoan Peninsula.
9) Hike to Busay Falls in Malilipot
One of the most famous waterfalls in the region is Busay Falls. The reason is its seven cascades. On the other hand, you need to trek to see the other cascades from the first one. The first cascade is 40meters high and its basin is small and shallow. Other cascades are higher and the pools are deeper and clearer than the first. A local guide might be needed if you want to explore the seven falls. The entrance to the falls in Php10.
10) Camp at Calaguas
Calaguas Island is considered as Bicol’s last frontiers. Mahabang Buhangin is the main reason people are enduring the 2-hour boat ride. Its beauty is untouched. In fact, there are no resorts in the island.
11) Taste authentic Bicolano dishes
Gata (coconut milk) and siling labuyo are the two main ingredients of anyBicol cuisine. If you’ve eaten laing here in Manila, wait until you taste the locals’ version of laing. The taste and spiciness are very different. Some restaurants also offer laing pizza. Then, there’s another well-loved dish called pinangat, pork wrapped in gabi (taro) leaves slow-cooked in coconut milk. Don’t forget eating the local version of Bicol express.
It’s clearer now. There are so many reasons people keep coming back to Bicol. It’s truly a haven for adventure junkies!