Legazpi City

Adventure Time in Legazpi City on a Long Weekend (Travel Guide)

Legazpi City, the gateway to Bicol region, can be a perfect choice for an adventurous long weekend. All the major tourist attractions are accessible there.

As such, I came up with a reasonable guide for those who have a limited time but wants to explore what Legazpi City has to offer.

 

For easier navigation on what you want to read:

 

How to Go There


By Air (Average Travel Time of 1 hour and 10 min.):
  • From Manila, daily flights offered by Cebu Pacific and PAL express. It costs around more or less PHP 5, 000 (or USD 100) per person for a roundtrip airfare depending on the class and airline. Of course, if you plan ahead, you’ll get that for way less that price.
  • Cebu Pacific also offer daily flights from Cebu.

*Note: By 2018, the Bicol International Airport located at Brgy. Alobo, Daraga municipality of Albay will be operational. It is a mere 20 min. away from Legazpi City.

By Land (Average Travel Time of 9 hours): Various bus lines service the Manila-Legazpi City route daily by night and day.
  • DLTB | PHP 810 (or USD 16.01) per way for 2×2 air-conditioned bus at Ali Mall, Cubao, Quezon City bus terminal OR PHP 1, 100 (or USD 21.86) per way for 2×1 air-conditioned bus with CR/ restroom and lazy boy seats at bus terminals LRT-Buendia via EDSA, Pasay City; Ali Mall, Cubao, Quezon City; and EDSA Pasay City.
  • CAGSAWA BUS | PHP 850 (or USD 16.89) per way for Royal class (2×2) air-conditioned bus at Araneta Bus Terminal, Cubao, Quezon City OR PHP 920 (or USD 18.28) per way for Elite class (2×1) air-conditioned bus at Padre Faure Centre, Ermita, Manila bus terminal.
  • PENAFRANCIA | PHP 800 (or USD 15.90) per way for 2×2 air-conditioned bus at Cubao-Shopwise bus terminal OR PHP 950 (USD 18.88) per way for Benz Solo air-conditioned bus at EDSA-Cubao bus terminal.

 

Legazpi City Itinerary

Day 01

9:30AM   – Arrival in Legazpi City
10:00AM – Ligñon Hill Nature Park
11:00AM  – Japanese Tunnel
12:00NN – Lunch
1:30PM   – Cagsawa Ruins Park
2:30PM   – Daraga Church
3:00PM   – Liberty Bell in front of Provincial Capitol
3:30PM   – Embarcadero de Legazpi
4:00PM   – Legazpi Boulevard
6:00PM   – Dinner
7:00PM   – Rest at Accommodation

 

Day 02

07:30AM – Depart for Mayon ATV Adventure
08:30AM – Mayon to Base Camp ATV Tour
10:30AM – Return to Accommodation to freshen up
12:00NN – Check- out and Lunch
1:30PM   –  Souvenir Shopping at Albay Pili Nut Store
3:00PM or 7:00PM –  Return Home OR Travel to Sorsogon City

 

This is a suggested itinerary for those who wants to visit Legazpi City on a weekend. For those who have more time, I highly recommend you to visit Sorsogon City and stay at least one night there. You may also want to treat yourself on an exclusive hideaway for all your hard work.


 

Must Visit Places and/or Must Do Activities

 

Ligñon Hill Nature Park

Entrance Fee: PHP 20 (or USD 0.40)

Lignon Hill Nature Park Legazpi CityA prehistoric cinder cone that is the highest point in the city, Lignon Hill is a nature park that offers a 360-degree view of Mayon Volcano, Legazpi City, Daraga, and Albay Gulf.

Sadly, the clouds hid the Mayon Volcano during our visit since it was nearly noontime. The best time to view the famous volcano in its full glory is early morning.

 

Lignon Hill Nature Park Legazpi City

This side of Ligñon Hill Nature Park offers a wonderful view of the city and the opportunity to see the takeoff and/or landing of planes. I think gazing here at night will also be spectacular with the city lights.

Aside from sightseeing, other activities you may do are the following:

  • Ride a zip line (320 meters).
  • Bike in the area.
  • Go rappelling.
  • Play paintball.
  • Cross the Hanging Bridge.
  • Hike in the steep Kapit Tuko Trail (Lizard Grip Trail).
  •  Enter a 50-foot Japanese Tunnel, an arsenal during World War II. Separate entrance fee of PHP 20 (or USD 0.40). Have a flashlight on hand.

 

Cagsawa Ruins Park

Entrance Fee: PHP 20 (or USD 0.40)

Cagsawa Ruins Legazpi City

The Cagsawa Ruins Park in Daraga offers the best view of the perfectly cone-shaped Mayon Volcano which stands majestically at 2, 462 meters. There was a drizzle during our visit.

With the weather against our odds, we had almost no visibility of Mayon Volcano. I ended up not capturing the iconic image of the Bicol region.

What I did instead was to focus on the belfry tower which is usually shot with the volcano.

 

Cagsawa Ruins Legazpi City

According to history, the town of Cagsawa was buried by the destructive 1814 eruption (the volcano’s strongest record to date). The remnants of the previous town center by 1930s was cleared and developed into a local tourist spot.

You can currently walk around the ruins to learn about the history of Albay. Or if you’re a nature lover, you can just enjoy the lush greenery with the scenic volcano at the backdrop.

Those who are in for a quick visit can hire a local photographer for just PHP 50 (or USD 1). They can easily snap creative shots that are perfect for your Instagram or next Facebook profile photo because of their expertise.

 
Cagsawa Ruins Legazpi City
On your way in or out, don’t forget to snap a photo with this to show some love for the historical landmark.

 

Daraga Church

Daraga Church Legazpi

The Daraga Church is named after where it’s situated which is Daraga in Albay. It is an old Baroque style church  made of volcanic rocks bestowed by the Franciscan missionaries in 1772.

When the Mayon Volcano erupted in 1814, the church goers in Cagsawa transferred there. It also became known as Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Church when it was offered to the patron of the same name.

It also served as a headquarter for the Japanese army during World War II. After receiving damage, it was eventually restored by generous donors and supporters.

Currently, it is recognized both as a National Cultural Treasure and a National Historical Landmark. So whether you’re a Catholic or not, you’ll appreciate its beautiful façade and the vantage point of Mayon Volcano it offers.

 

Legazpi Boulevard

Yummy Magazine

The Legazpi boulevard is known as the longest bay road outside of Metro Manila, Philippines.

 

Legazpi Boulevard

Offering picturesque views, you can enjoy the stunning Mayon Volcano, the Albay Gulf, and the Kapuntukan Hill by simply strolling there. Thus, it’s a great place for sightseeing and practicing one’s photography skills.

It’s also an ideal place for fitness activities such as jogging, running, and more. In fact, bike rentals are offered for PHP 40 to PHP 50 (or USD 0.79 to USD 1).

Those who are more adventurous may engage in watersports such as jetski, kayaking, and diving.

 

ATV at Mayon Lava Trail

Mayon ATV Tour

For me, a visit to Legazpi should have an exploration of the Mayon lava trail aboard an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). It’s a rain or shine activity that can be experienced by everyone (except by babies and toddlers of course). In addition, it’s a safe way to be up close Mayon Volcano as the trail is still at a safe distance from the permanent danger zone.

 

Your Brother Travel and Tours

A reliable ATV tour provider you can avail of is Your Brother Travel and Tours. They have been offering such service since 2008 and they’re the creator of such tour. As a matter of fact, celebrities like Zac Efron, Manny Pacquiao, and more have availed their service.

Plus, they are the only one who provides the Can-Am brand of ATV. The Can-Am ATVs offer superior comfort in any condition; and it’s the choice of both enthusiasts and professionals.

 

Different Trails & Destination are offered by them. Rates depending on the ATV to be used are as follows:

LEgazpi ATV TOUR rates

 

Mayon Adventure to Base Camp

The ATV tour we had was the Mayon to Base Camp and what we used was the Can-Am brand of ATV.  Thus, the value of our tour is PHP 4, 500 (or USD 89). Some may find it pricey but if you want a comfortable ride amidst the rugged terrain, it’s reasonable.

Legazpi City

We were oriented with the do’s and don’ts in operating the ATVs. Our operator stressed that we should always wear our protective gear.

 

Legazpi ATV TOURS

We then proceeded to applying what we learned from the orientation in their practice area. It’s pretty helpful for those who aren’t familiar in operating it.

By the way. if you’re wondering why there’s a police man sitting behind me, he wanted to have a photo with me thats why he’s there. Anything to cheer up our protectors.

 

After all those, the adventure begins!

Legazpi City Tour

We didn’t have to worry about the documentation of our adventure. The tour guides did it for us. We just handed them our cameras and smartphones.

All we did was focus on having the time of our lives.
 
Legazpi City Tour

From the jump off point in Brgy. Pawa, the trail consists of uphill’s and downhill’s with streams. I find it thrilling when we pass by streams. However, there were a few times I’d get stuck in a rut. Good thing our tour guides were quick to help me.

The views were splendid as it interchangeably changes from greenery to blackish-grey rocky area. I also enjoyed passing through the pine trees. You’ll be able to see that in a video we’ll be releasing soon.

 

Short Trek to Lava Front

Legazpi ATV Tour

It takes a short walk then five to ten minutes of clambering through rocks to reach the summit of the lava bed or the helipad (used for emergencies or by important people).

 

Legazpi ATV Tour

When we reached the summit which is at 2, 100 ft elevation, it was drizzling once again so there was no majestic Mayon Volcano in sight. I just pretended instead to wait for a helicopter to pick me up for fun.

 

Legazpi City Tour

Going down, one has a choice of either riding the zipline which costs PHP 300 (or USD 6). I didn’t opt to ride it since I usually ride ziplines and its just 300 meters long.

Overall, the ATV adventure is fun and exciting. Be sure to allocate a budget for it when you visit Legazpi City.

 

Where and What to Eat

Cucina Beatrice Restaurant at Casa Simeon

Built in 1920’s by Done Simeon Alparce and wife Beatrice, the ancestral house has become an iconic landmark in Bacacay for generations. It has been beautifully restored to house both Cucina Beatrice and Casa Simeon with the latter as it’s regarded to as.

 

Cucina Beatrice Restaurant

We certainly took a trip down the memory lane when we dined at Cucina Beatrice which is by reservation.

Almost everything is made of wood and we get to enjoy the soft breeze of fresh air. I personally love the sitting on the traditional Philippine chairs that are now considered antique. Look at how classy it is.

We got word that the house will have a library with books all by Bicolano authors.

 

Dishes to try in Cucina Beatrice:

Paco Salad

PAKO SALAD (or NATIVE FERN SALAD)

 

Cusina Beatrice

KILAWING ISDA (or CEVICHE)

 

Cusina Beatrice

TINUTUNGAN NA MANOK, chicken cooked in smoked coconut milk.

 
Casa Simeon

Cucina Beatrice/ Casa Simeon is conveniently located near a town gymnasium and a market. If you want to go to other places, you can hire an affordable pedicab to take you around.

 

Balay Cena Una

Balay Cena Una

One of Albay’s best kept secrets, Balay Cena Una which is also a beautifully restored ancestral home. They don’t only serve local specialties but they also offer traditional flavors of different cultures.

 

Balay Cena Una

The whole area is air-conditioned with a thick smell of wood.

There are also a lot of miniature displays in different parts of the restaurant which can entertain a customer while waiting for his/her food to arrive.

 

Legazpi City

Don’t let the open looking windows deceive you. It is covered with glass so as not to let the cool air escape.

 

Balay Cena UnaIf you visited Bicol, you may as well stray from dishes you’re already familiar with. So I’m recommending to you still this CHICKEN TINUTUNGAN, PHP 220 (or USD 4.38). Their version is boneless and is cooked with papaya leaves.

 

Other food you should not miss:

Never leave Legazpi City until you have tried these.

Laing

LAING, a classic Bicolano dish of dried taro (gabi) leaves cooked in coconut milk added with shrimp paste and chili peppers.

 

Bicol Express

Named after the train that used to travel between Manila and Bicol, the BICOL EXPRESS is a spicy dish that will make you run. Well, if have an adventurous tastebud, you’ll enjoy these slices of pork meat stewed in coconut milk, chili peppers and shrimp paste.

 

1st Colonial Grill

SILI ICE CREAM and TINUTONG NA BIGAS 

Finally, you shouldn’t miss trying out SILI ICE CREAM, an ice cream made with hot Philippine chillies, even though it can now be tried in Tagaytay City.  The heat of the ice cream is offeren in three different levels to cater to the different tolerances of customers.

Another flavor offered is TINUTONG NA BIGAS. an ice cream made with toasted rice crust.


 

Where to Stay

Casa Simeon

Casa Simeon

Casa Simeon is a bed & breakfast that provides a haven for travelers who want to immerse in Bicolano culture.

 

The Oriental Legazpi

Oriental Legazpi

The Oriental Legazpi offers a beautiful view of Mayon Volcano and the Legazpi cityscape. All with array of conveniences that will please discerning travelers.

 

Misbis Bay Resort

Misibis Bay

A tropical paradise, Misibis Bay Resort has the perfect balance of tranquility and adventure.

 

Where to Buy Pasalubong (or Souvenirs)

Albay Pili Nut Store

Albay Pili Nut Store

When you buy local products to give to your loved ones and friends, you can go to the local market. However, when you want to give them something special, you should proceed to Albay Pili Nut Store.

They have been providing and innovating the delicious pili nuts, Bicol’s local delicacy, since 1963. As such, they are the most trusted seller in Legazpi City for quality products in decent prices.

 
Albay Pili Nut Store

These are what I can recommend for you to bring home. Snack on their tasty pili nuts. Plus, don’t forget to purchase ready to eat Laing and Bicol Express which can save you from hunger.

18 Responses to “Adventure Time in Legazpi City on a Long Weekend (Travel Guide)”

  1. Miranda

    Oh my at the beautiful scenery! Riding ATV’s is one of my favorite things to do. The Baroque style church is amazing, I have never seen anything more beautiful! I have a pic of an old church but it doesn’t even compare to yours! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

    Reply
  2. Huhu! I always wanted to visit and see Mayon Volcano. I grew up in the Middle East and we never had the time to actually roam around the Philippines. This is definitely one of the places I would want to visit! How was the weather there when you visited? I want to know so I know what to bring when we get there at this time of the year. Love how your Itinerary was made. You did A LOT of things!

    Reply
  3. Grabe. This brings back a lot of memories. When I was around 21 years old, I worked for my dad. We used to distribute construction materials all over Bicol. So, my job was to go to the six provinces comprising Bicol region. I stay there for one week, then back to Manila for another week. It’s a cycle that went on for some six years.

    Except for the newer businesses and parks, I have been to the different places you have been to so many times that I could not possibly count. When I think of it that way, I have to be thankful to have seen truly amazing sights.

    P.S. Did you see the museum near the tower at the Cagsawa Ruins… I was sort of expecting to see you post a photo of the large jar with a skeleton inside.

    Reply
    • Sadly, no due to time constraint. The itinerary was organized by the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines 🙂 We have to follow that.

      Reply
  4. I only knew the Mayon Volcano. Never been to this place but I think this is really worth visiting. My plans for the year is to travel more and I will definitely have this on my list. Nakaka-inggit masyado adventures mo Maam.

    Reply
  5. Okay, first of, I’m not an adventurous traveler – so I love living vicariously through other people. Hehehe. I have to admit, that ATV ride looks like a lot of fun! Now I kinda want to try it. Thanks for sharing a detailed itinerary too – it makes things so much easier for first-times. And as always, wonderful, wonderful pictures. 🙂

    Reply
  6. The scenic view of the Mayon Volcano is so beautiful! I want to visit Bicol since my grandmother was born there. I also love looking at the ruins and old buildings. I am a sucker for old architecture! Thank you for sharing this itinerary. It’s a big help!

    Reply
  7. Wow this looks like the perfect spot for adventure travellers. Being the scaredy cat I am I would probably spend more time photographing the ruins and walking on that gorgeous beach!

    Reply
  8. Wow! Looks like they have elaborate preparations and arrangements for these adventure activities. The pictures have captured the thrill in the activities. 🙂
    We have few similar ones in the outskirts of Bangalore so I am getting a fair idea of the fun they promise.

    Reply
  9. Lignon Hill Park looks so beautiful! What an amazing view! Legazpi Boulevard looks so scenic as well. The water looks really inviting. I’ve always wanted to try the zipline. It looks so fun! So does the ATV ride! I should probably go there with my husband since we like doing adventurous things together. Lastly, the sili ice cream — it looks like strawberry ice cream to me! Did you like it? 🙂 Nice meeting you, by the way!

    Reply
  10. Mayon is super beautiful no? We also went there last year. Sorsogon was our main destination then we just had a sidetrip to see Cagsawa and do ATV. To be honest though, the atv was fun but a little bitin. Hehe. The one we’re riding pa always gets knocked off. The food also was the bomb! Legit bicol express. 😀

    Reply
  11. Bicol is honestly one of my bucketlist in Luzon. This is giving me an updated notes on what and where should I go. Sili na Ice cream is one that i also aim to achieve. Yay!

    Reply
  12. Visiting Mayon volcano is on our list of places to go to for our kids’ field trips. I wonder when that will be? I want to see Mayon’s perfect cone while it’s still perfect! hahaha And I want to try the sili ice cream. 🙂

    Reply
  13. This actually made me miss home. Just last April, I brought my partner there and went on an impromptu adventure also. We did not avail of the ATV back then because it was quite hot back then. There are still a lot of places to go there and one blog post isn’t enough to cover all. I can attest to that! I miss home all of a sudden!

    Reply
  14. Wow!! I love the city! If I ever get the chance, I will visit it. I loved the tourist attractions as well as activities. So many interesting things to do there. I could never be bored in Legazpi.

    Reply
  15. Albay is one of the places I would love to visit soon with my boys. These activities and destinations you featured all look fun and exciting. It would be awesome to bond with the family while enjoying your time communing with nature. I would love to go there soon!

    Reply
  16. I’d been to Albay at least twice and haven’t tried the ATV ride yet. My friends all gave good feedback about the experience. I might just do that when we get back. Oriental Legazpi is in my list as well! Can’t believe I haven’t scheduled a trip back yet.

    Reply
  17. Beautiful scenery. And the activities are interesting and fun. I have not traveled much. I did not know Philippines have such amazing tourist spots. How mean I was to think like that. Superb location and sounds like a must visit place.

    Reply

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