Bicol 2017 Travel Guide
The Mayon Volcano is one of the many active volcanoes in the Philippines and the most popular spot in Albay. Many tourist and Filipino travelers are all anticipating to perfectly see the view of Mayon.
When I went here last October, I had a few seconds glimpse of this majestic volcano. During October to December rain pours all over Bicol region. There will be sunny days then after few hours/days it will start to rain again. So, if you plan to visit Bicolabd wanting to do a lot of scenic tours, I suggest to come here during Summer, March to June is the nicest month to visit Bicol.
Not only Mayon Volcano will make your Bicol trip memorable, you mall also see/visit these great place in Legazpi.
1. Sumlang Lake
Entrance Fee: 10 PHP / 0.19 USD
Parking lot fee: 20 PHP
Balsa tour: 25 PHP per head
Kayaking: 50 PHP per head for 30 minutes
Aqua Biking: 50 PHP per head for 30 minutes
Floating Cottage: 300 per hour
Sumlang Lake is located in Camalig, Albay. It’s less than 30 minutes drive away from downtown Legazpi via private car. This is one of the best place to see the view of Mayon Volcano plus you are in a picturesque location. Open from Monday to Thursday 8 am to 6 pm and Friday to Sunday 6:30 am to 6 pm. Currently, there is 1 restaurant will be opening soon and will offer Filipino food, Bicol delicacies and coffee as well.
2. Cagsawa Ruins
The bell tower behind me is the remnants of a 16th century old Franciscan church. In the 17th century Mt. Mayon erupted and was reported to be its most deadliest eruption in history (recorded). Not only the church was almost totally destroyed but also the town of Cagsawa was flooded and destoyed by lahars. You also have a perfect view of the Mayon Volcano here, however I was not able to capture it because it’s been covered with thick clouds, just 10 minutes after we came from Sumlang Lake.
3. Church Hopping
One of the many cathedrals you may visit here in Legazpi is St. Gregory Cathedral, situated across the Municipal Hall of Legazpi, Albay.
4. Buy local delicacies and products
Pili is the number 1 delicacy here in Bicol. A variation of nuts that can be eaten raw, boiled and the most popular – coated with glazed sugar. There are other delicacy made from Pili nuts, Pili tart, Pili candy. Also, You may try their famous Sili Ice cream.
5. Dine at Denise de Restaurante
Located in Legazpi Albay, near downtown and the nearest landmark is Petron gas station in Barangay 16 East Washington Legazpi, Albay.
This newly opened restaurant offers top notch Filipino cuisine. One of our favorites are:
Sizzling seafood with coconut milk – I have to say that this is my personal favorite. Home style cooked with a twist. I remember my mom cooking her mixed seafood with coconut milk every Sunday but this version in Denise de Restaurante is more tastier, spicier and it’s cooked with tomato which for me is uncommon but the taste is superb!
Mixed raw veggies topped with vinegrette. I do not eat anything with Vinegar except for Daing na Bangus but surprisingly, I was able to have few bites of these veggies. It doesn’t taste super sour unlike other salad. I guarantee you, vegetarians and non-veggy eaters will like this.
Tinolang Manok – their version of this Filipino staple food is with a mix of little sweetness. I asked Chef what’s in it to have a taste of sweetness but he never tell me what’s their secret ingredient. My hint, they mixed their broth with Coconut juice.
These 2 desert is a must-try here. Leche Flan with a minimal hint of spiciness and super soft Cassava Cake – topped with coconut meat.
You may call 0998-8524906 for reservations and party inquiries as the restaurant can be a venue of your birthday and other celebrations such as Christening and party gathering / meeting venue.
6. Stay at Lotus Blu Hotel
Located at Yashano Mall. Situated few steps away from Legazpi Bus/Van Station, Legazpi Collesium and soon opening SM Mall/Hypermarket.
Most Philippine celebrities stay at Lotus Blu as it is one of the nicest hotel in Legazpi, Albay. Surprisingly, the hotel offers competitive hotel room rates. I also love that the hotel is perfectly located in a grocery mall, local coffee shop and just right outside the hotel, you can ride a public transportation such as jeepney and tricycles.
Currently, the hotel offers breakfast from Figaro Coffee but soon they will open their in-house restaurant.
Room categories and rates:
De Luxe Queen – 3,100 per night with free breakfast for two
De Luxe Twin – 3,300 per night with free breakfast for two
One Bedroom Corner Suite – 3,900 with free breakfast for two.
All rooms uses electroic key card even the hotel lift, all rooms has floor carpet, with huge television, cabinet, en-suite bathroom with complete toiletries, has coffee table area, mini bar and orthopedic bed.
I have been reviewing hotels in the Philippines and abroad but it’s very fee that I stayed in a hotel that uses orthopedic bed. For me, the bed is perfect for my body – not too soft/not too hard to lie down.
What I also love about the hotel is they also offer discounted room rates so I suggest to check their website if they are offering promo/discount in 2018.
For more hotel info and for reservatiions email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or visit www.lotusbluhotel.com
7. Dine at Bigg’s Diner
This local diner/restaurant can only be found around Bicol region. They offer steaks, chicken, sandwiches, salad, barbeque and pasta. Price from 55 to 159 pesos for a meal. It’s affordable and if you are looking for a different taste of chicken and pasta aside from the famous Jolibee, this is your best option when in Bicol.
(will be uploading food photos soon as I am still trying to find a way to recover some corrupted files in my sdcard)
8. Albay Park and Wildlife
Parking fee: 50 pesos
Kids will have a blast here at the park, not only they will see life-sized/mechanical dinosaurs but they’ll see real Lions and others species. This is also a great place to gather families and have picnic and bike around the park for a minimal fee of 50 pesos.
There’s so much to do here in Legazpi, Albay. I opted not to do tours and their famous ATV/Mayon viewing as it will cost me 1,500 to 3,000 pesos. I ended up filling up the gas of my cousin’s car – Ate Melany for 500 pesos and she became my driver/tourist guide around Albay for 3 days. Thanks Ate Mel!
Getting to Albay via plane:
You have an option via Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. Airfare will range from 1,500 to almost 3,000 pesos one-way depending on the month you will book your flight.
It is best to always check airline promos because if you get lucky, you will find an airfare that will only cost 200 pesos one-way!!!
Budget for a 3 day stay
500 to 700 pesos a day will cover your meals, fares and other expenses depending if you will DIY your tour or you will avail tours from a local travel&tours company. Also, it will depend on where you will eat your everyday meal.
This has been a relaxing trip I had before ending my 2017. Can’t wait to be back in Region V and bring along my little travel buddy with me.