7 Unmissable Things to Do in Albay: Visiting Mayon Volcano

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The Philippines might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of heavenly natural scenery. However, our country is home to some truly spectacular natural attractions.

Take our white sandy beaches and limestone islands, for instance. Yet, the beauty of the Philippines doesn’t stop at the coastline. Venture inland, and you’ll find majestic mountains and volcanoes, like Mayon. This volcano, located in the province of Albay, is a natural masterpiece. Its perfect cone shape sets it apart. A unique spectacle.

Mayon Volcano’s distinctive shape is one of the reasons why it’s so famous in the Philippines. But there’s more to it than just its appearance. Visiting Mayon is an experience worth having, and I’ll tell you why.

One common mistake I’ve noticed among travelers visiting Mayon is their tendency to leave immediately after seeing the mountain. Often, they head straight to the beaches for a quick selfie with Mayon in the background, or they engage in other activities, like food trips, that aren’t directly related to the mountain.

However, I believe there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to travel; it varies from person to person. But if you’re in Albay, there’s so much more you can do to truly appreciate the beauty of Mayon. Especially for those who have traveled a great distance, it’s worth taking the time to fully immerse yourself in the majesty of this mountain.

Some places that let you see Mayon can make your visit even better! There are spots where you can spend time with friends and family, go on exciting adventures, or just relax. You can also try the local food of the Bicolanos while you’re there.

At the time of writing this post, I haven’t been to Mayon. However, I’ve reached out to friends and other travelers who have visited Albay. They were kind enough to share their experiences and tips with me.

I decided to create this blog post because I was looking for advice and ideas for visiting Mayon Volcano. I thought it would be helpful to share this information on the internet. I believe there are others, like you, who could benefit from these tips.

Getting to Mayon Volcano or Legazpi City

First things first: If you’re not from the Philippines, you might be wondering where Mayon Volcano is located. It’s situated on the eastern part of the country in the region known as Bicol Region.

The nearest city to Mayon is Legazpi City, which is the capital of the province of Albay. If you’re coming from Manila, there are currently three ways to reach Mayon Volcano: by plane, by bus, or by driving a car.

If you’re not already in the vicinity, say in provinces like Samar or Quezon, getting to Mayon Volcano or Albay is best done by flying or taking the bus. This mode of travel is not only more convenient, but it also saves time and is cost-effective.

Driving through the countryside in the Philippines is an adventure in itself, as my French friend often says. The driving conditions there are not as regulated as you might be used to. So, you might want to think twice before deciding to drive.

You can find the best accommodation deals from here.

Learn more: Manila to Legazpi by air

Are you pressed for time? If so, air travel is your best bet to reach Legazpi City. Flights from Manila to Legazpi are typically available daily and the journey usually takes less than an hour.

Interestingly, flights are quite affordable, costing only about 10 to 15 dollars more than a bus ride.

Here’s a tip: If you’re planning your trip in advance, keep an eye out for seat sales from local airlines like Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and Philippine Airlines. These promotions often occur on dates where the day and month digits match, like a 3-3 seat sale on March 3rd.

Learn more: Manila to Legazpi by bus

If you’re a traveler who, like me, enjoys a leisurely journey, a bus ride could be a great option. There are several types of buses to choose from, depending on your budget.

Firstly, there’s the air-conditioned bus, which is the most affordable option. Secondly, there’s an upgraded version of the air-conditioned bus, equipped with a restroom, reclining seats, and extra legroom for added comfort. Lastly, there’s the sleeper bus, perfect for overnight journeys.

Bicol Isarog is the only bus company that offers sleeper buses to the Bicol Region, specifically from Manila to Legazpi.

You can catch these buses at various terminals around Metro Manila, including the Araneta Center bus station, EDSA Cubao, LRT Buendia, EDSA Pasay, PITX in Paranaque, and Alabang.

Do note that the bus ride from Manila to Legazpi typically takes about 10 to 12 hours. Plan accordingly for a comfortable journey.

Tips: getting around in Albay

Here’s a tip for your trip: If you’re a foreigner, I suggest renting a motorbike or a private vehicle when you arrive in Legazpi. Transportation in the Philippines, such as tricycles and jeeps, may not be the most convenient, especially if you’re tall like me.

Importantly, having your own vehicle for getting around Legazpi can be advantageous. It allows you to make the most of your trip, particularly if you’re not comfortable with commuting. However, I do recommend trying out the local tricycles and jeepneys at least once during your trip. It can be a fun and absolutely unique experience.

Things to Do in Legazpi Near Mayon Volcano

One of the great things about visiting Mayon Volcano is the proximity of its amazing tourist attractions. They’re not far from each other and are just a few kilometers away from the city of Legazpi.

In fact, you could visit several attractions around Mayon on your first day in Legazpi if you wish! These include Daraga Church, Mayon Golf Course, Casa Simeon, Tabaco City, Tiwi Pottery, and the Masaraga Volcano camp.

However, if you’re wondering what you shouldn’t miss during your visit to Mayon or how to make your trip unique, I have some recommendations. There are seven attractions and activities that can make your visit memorable. 

1. Cagsawa Ruins

When you find yourself in Legazpi, the first place to set foot in is the Cagsawa Ruins. This iconic site, with its breathtaking view, has been captured on countless postcards, long before the advent of smartphones.

Every time I think back to our social studies classes, the image of Cagsawa Ruins is the first that springs to mind. But behind this picturesque scene lies a tale of a tragic past and the formidable power of Mayon Volcano.

In 1814, Mayon Volcano erupted with a violence that buried and obliterated the entire town of Cagsawa. This included the Cagsawa church, a symbol of the town’s faith and community.

Yet, in an amazing twist of fate, the church’s belfry survived the devastation. Today, it stands as a testament to the town’s resilience and has become a popular tourist attraction.

Wondering how to get to Cagsawa Ruins?

It’s simple. The ruins are situated in Daraga, Albay. From the Legazpi City Grand Terminal, it’s a quick jeepney ride of less than 30 minutes, covering a distance of 8 kilometers.

When is the best time to visit Cagsawa Ruins?

The site tends to be crowded during weekends, which might not be ideal if you’re looking to capture the perfect shot without any photobombers.

Personally, I prefer visiting either early in the morning or at sunset. These times, often referred to as the ‘Golden Hour’, offer the most stunning light conditions. The sunlight strikes the perfect angle with the ground, making your photos truly epic!

2. Mayon ATV ride

Mayon ATV ride, albay, legazpi, philippines

The Cagsawa Ruins will be a brief stop unless you rent ATVs to explore the area. The ATV rentals, such as MayonSkyDrive ATV Adventure, are just a two-minute walk from the ruins’ tower and volcano view.

From there, you can start an incredible adrenaline rush experience with nature and Mayon. It’s the best way to get a close-up view of the Mayon Volcano.

What to expect during the ATV adventure

You can choose between the Green Lava Trail or the Mayon Lava Trail for your ATV adventure. The Green Lava Trail will lead you closer to the Mayon Volcano, up to the 6-kilometer safe radius from the crater. You’ll have fun with river crossings and uphill and downhill tracks in the forest.

On the other hand, the Mayon Lava Trail will offer a more thrilling and exciting experience. With this trail, you’ll follow tracks passing wide rivers, fields of lahar, and hectares of coconut plantations.

The most fantastic part is when you reach the trail’s end. You’ll get an amusing overlooking view of the city, sights of deep gullies, and erupted lava rocks.

The ATV rental service operates from 7 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.

Book in advance here:

3. Lignon Hill Nature Park

Lignon Hill nature park, Albay, Mayon, Legazpi, Philippines
Credit to @kaelish

If you’re a fan of ziplining, Lignon Hill Nature Park is a must-visit. Imagine soaring through the air with a view of Mayon – it’s quite an experience!

Lignon Hill Nature Park isn’t just about the zipline, though. This elevated park offers a variety of activities for a fun-filled day in Legazpi. It’s the perfect spot if you’re looking to see Mount Mayon from a unique perspective or height.

In addition to the zipline, you might also want to try your hand at rappelling. But if you’re looking for a less strenuous adventure, why not take a discovery trip to the observatory, galleries, and view deck?

You could even play a round of mini-golf. And don’t forget to check out the Japanese tunnel – it’s a unique feature of this place.

Lastly, Lignon Hill Nature Park is home to the Mayon Volcano Observatory. This is Phivolcs’ central monitoring station for Mayon Volcano.

When to visit Lignon Hill Nature Park

For the best experience, consider climbing the hill early in the morning. This way, you can avoid the midday heat. Plus, it’s quite a sight to see the sun cast golden hues on the majestic Mayon at sunrise. The park is open from 8 am to 11 pm daily.

Source: Amazing Albay.

How to get to Lignon Hill Nature Park

As for getting to Lignon Hill Nature Park, look for any jeepneys that follow Loop 1. These jeepneys circulate around Legazpi city and pass by the jump-off site of Lignon Hill. If you can’t find Loop 1 Jeeps, you can also hire motorcycle cabs, or tricycles, to take you to Lignon Hill.

4. Quintinday Hills

Quitinday hill, mayon, legazpi, albay, philippines
credits to @erroldamor

Not far from Legazpi City you’ll find an unforgettable natural destination – Quintinday Hills. In my opinion, a visit to these hills is one of the top things to do in Legazpi. Here, you’ll encounter Albay province’s own version of Bohol’s famous Chocolate Hills.

While they may not appear as grand as Bohol’s hills in photos, the presence of Mount Mayon in the background gives Quintinday Hills a unique charm. This balance of elements creates a captivating landscape.

I first learned about Quitinday Hills during a lunch conversation with my French boss at a cafeteria near our office. He shared a photo of him and his Filipina girlfriend at Quitinday Hills.

The image of them embracing on a hilltop under a sky tinged with hues of gold and pink left me in awe. The romantic moment was certainly a highlight, but the main draw was the combination of Mayon Volcano, the hills, and the dramatic clouds.

Wondering how to visit Quintinday Hills?

Start from the Legazpi City Grand Terminal. Take a jeepney or bus to Camalig and get off at Quitinday Junction/Diversion Road. Once you reach the junction, hire a motorcycle cab, also known as a “tricycle”, for a round trip to Quintinday Hills.

As an alternative, you could rent a four-wheeled motorcycle. This allows you to drive yourself via the Cotmon-Solong-Calabidongan and Baligang-Caguiba routes to the hills.

When is the best time to visit Quintinday Hills?

I recommend going in the morning when the heat is not too intense. If you’re interested in photography, aim to be there during the golden hour, which is from 4:30 until sunset. The angle of the sunlight during this time creates beautiful shadows on the hills, making for some stunning photos.

5. FarmPlate

Farm plate, mayon, legazpi, philippines
credits to @justinnnrosss

If you’re seeking a tranquil retreat near Legazpi City, consider visiting Farm Plate. This location offers the opportunity to go camping with your family or friends. You can enjoy a bonfire and there’s a playground for children.

Farm Plate is an ideal spot to unwind near Mayon. You can relax and watch the sunset by a small lake. It’s a peaceful experience that shouldn’t be missed.

For children, Farm Plate offers plenty of activities. They can ride bikes, fly kites, and learn about local traditions. One such tradition is the carabao cart ride, a method used by Filipinos in the past to transport people and goods from farms. It’s a fun way to immerse kids into adventure and a little bit of history.

Wondering how to get to FarmPlate?

If you’re in Legazpi or Daraga, you can easily hire a tricycle to take you there. As per their Facebook page, if you start your journey from Caltex Daraga, a tricycle ride for three people costs only 30 to 50 pesos per person.

When to visit FarmPlate?

As for the best time to visit, FarmPlate is open from 8am to 9pm from Monday to Thursday, and from 8am to 10pm from Friday to Sunday. It’s a good idea to plan your visit to coincide with sunset. Spending the evening there can be a delightful experience. Picture this: you’re sitting around a bonfire, enjoying dinner with your loved ones, all under the beautiful evening sky.

For more information: FarmPlate Facebook page.

6. Sumlang Lake

Sumlang lake, mayon, legazpi, philippines

Sumlang Lake is the place where those stunning mirror images of Mayon Volcano are captured. It’s a tranquil spot where you can unwind and appreciate the beauty of Mayon from a raft. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, a visit to Sumlang Lake is a fantastic choice.

In addition to rafts, the lake offers other rental options. You can choose from kayaks, aqua bikes, or even floating cottages.

For photography enthusiasts, the lake presents a unique opportunity. The shimmering waters and, at times, mirror-like surface of the lake create a beautiful reflection of Mayon Volcano.

How to go to Sumlang Lake?

If you’re commuting from Legazpi City, start by taking a tricycle ride to Bañag. Once there, look for jeepneys with a “Polangui” sign. Board one of these jeepneys and get off at the intersection before Albay Agri Ethno Eco Village. From there, you can either hire a tricycle or walk to Sumlang Lake.

Best time to go to Sumlang Lake?

As for when to visit, Sumlang Lake is open from 8 am to 6 pm from Monday to Thursday, and from 6:30 am to 6 pm from Friday to Sunday. The lake can get quite crowded on weekends, so you might want to consider visiting on a weekday instead. This way, you can avoid the peak tourist times and enjoy a more relaxed visit.

7. Legazpi Boulevard

Legazpi Boulevard, Legazpi, Albay, Mayon, Philippines

To round off your trip around Mayon Volcano, consider a visit to Legazpi Boulevard. You could even take a photo with the large “LEGAZPI” sign. Of course, that’s entirely up to you!

On a more serious note, Legazpi Boulevard is a great spot to connect with the locals. It’s also an ideal location to watch the sun set behind Mayon Volcano, all while listening to the soothing sound of waves crashing nearby.

When to Visit Mayon Volcano & Bicol Region

As you may already know, a trip to Albay wouldn’t be complete without a glimpse of Mayon. While Mayon Volcano is always in Albay, it’s not always visible. There are times when clouds obscure Mayon, preventing visitors from fully appreciating its majestic form.

So, before you plan your visit to Mayon and Albay, consider the time of year. The Bicol Region experiences less rainfall during the dry season, which typically starts in March and ends in May. This is the best time to explore the region.

You might also want to time your visit to coincide with the vibrant Bicolano festivals. These colorful and lively events add a unique cultural dimension to your trip. You’ll learn more about them as we go on.

By the way, if you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, I can recommend visiting the places I’ve visited. These destinations offer a mix of adventure and breathtaking scenery. They might even help you discover new perspectives:

  • Cebu: Known as the adventure capital of the Philippines.
  • Sagada: A mystical town nestled in the mountains of northern Philippines.
  • Maligcong: Home to some of the most beautiful rice terraces in the Philippines.
  • Mount Pulag: Considered the most beautiful mountain in the Philippines, it offers a stunning view of a sea of clouds and a glimpse of what could be described as heaven on earth.

Festivals To Watch While Visiting Mayon Volcano or Bicol

Hundreds of festivals and fiestas happen in the Philippines all year round. There are 19 festivals in the province of Albay alone! But here are the ones that really got my attention:

1. Magayon Festival

The Magayon Festival is a yearly, month-long celebration that is both colorful and lively. It honors the bounty and beauty of the province of Albay. The festival is derived from the legend of Daragang Magayon, whose death gave birth to the majestic Mount Mayon.

At first, I could not believe it was a month-long celebration! That’s epic! In our town in Batangas, our celebration only lasts for two days.

The festival becomes more fantastic when you witness the actual events. The activities during the Magayon Festival are endless! Visitors may see local product exhibitions, workshops, float parades, fireworks displays, concerts, and live bands.

You may also watch drum and lyre competitions, sports tournaments, colorful dance competitions, dance recitals, and job fairs. There are also paragliding experiences, dog marathons, beauty pageants, bodybuilders competitions, and the grand SantaCruzan!

The Magayon Festival occurs every May. 

2. Cagsawa Festival

Here’s the corrected paragraph, broken down into shorter paragraphs:

The Cagsawa Festival is another month-long celebration in Albay. It celebrates the strength and resiliency of the Albayanons. The Cagsawa Festival takes place every February. Although the celebration begins on February 1, most events occur during the third and fourth weeks of February.

3. Ibalong Festival

Like most of the festivals in Albay, the Ibalong Festival features lively synchronized dance parades with vibrant costumes. It is based on the story of Ibalon and three other legendary heroes who destroyed the monsters terrorizing the town and saved the villages from great floods.

The Ibalong Festival is one of the most sociable events in the Philippines. It serves as a way for the Bikolanos to express their hospitality to tourists. During the festival, Bikolanos not only invite visitors to watch the festival but also encourage them to participate!

Aside from dance parades, you can also watch fireworks and festival musical performances. Additionally, you can watch a drag race show during the Ibalong Festival.


When I started looking for places near Mayon, I didn’t know which was the best. There’s no list on the internet that says which place tourists like most. It was hard to choose.

I picked seven places near Mayon Volcano because I think they’re worth visiting. I hope these places will help you learn new things, have fun adventures, and feel excited.

Hopefully, the places on my list gave you ideas for romantic spots or places to hang out with your friends and family. That’s all! Enjoy with your travels.

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mayon, albay, philippines
mayon, albay, philippines

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  1. Thank you so much for this very informative blog. So helpful for travellers without own cars like me. I browsed a lot of articles about tourist destinations in Albay but yours kept me reading up to the end because of useful details and I felt like we have the same way of how to select places to visit and how to prepare itineraries. Thank you so much! Kudos and more power to you!

    1. engr.eljonrdeocampo says:

      Sure thing! I hope you enjoy visiting Albay 🙂

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