Travel Date: February 13 – 17, 2017 (1st Blog: Albay & 2nd Blog Caramoan Islands)
NOTES: This is a one-week journey to Albay Province with side trip to Caramoan Islands within 5 days. The Caramoan Islands will be featured on the next blog article.
Point of Origin: Davao-Cebu-Manila-Legazpi and vice versa.
Number of Pax: One (1): Solo Travel
SUMMARY OF ITINERARY:
- Day 1: Arrival in Legazpi City (8PM)
- Day 2: Legazpi City Day Tour (Travel to Naga at 5PM onwards); Arrival in Naga at night
On my next Travel Blog:
- Day 3: From Naga City (7AM), travel to San Jose and Caramoan Islands, Town Tour
- Day 4: Whole Day Island Tour to CARAMOAN Islands (Manlawi Group of Islands); travel back to Naga at 4PM -onwards , Overnight at Naga
- Day 5: From Naga (6AM), travel back to Legazpi to catch up my CEBU Flight.
It has been part of my bucket list to visit ALBAY Region specifically Legazpi City. Legazpi City can be both accessible by land from Manila or anywhere in Luzon and by air as well. My journey started with a series of connecting flights from Davao City. In just one day, I was in 3 cities and rode 3 airplanes just to get to Legazpi City at around 8PM on February 13th. Upon arrival at the airport, the main affordable transportation available is a Tricycle which will cost you P50.00. Since I find the tricycle driver very friendly, I also got the chance to hire him for a Day tour. After negotiations, I got Manong Driver at P600.00 which includes pick-up from my Mt. Mayon ATV Drop-off point, Cagsawa Ruins, Daraga Church, Lignon Hill, Embarcador de Legazpi and Legazpi City Bus Terminal since I will be off to Naga City afterwards.
Being a budget traveler since Solo Travels can be generally expensive, I settled at DREAMS INN AND CAFE located at F. Imperial St, Barangay Capantawan in Legazpi City. The Inn is very accessible and close to major malls in the city which is somehow a very strategic location.
Being a local Google Reviewer (LOCAL GUIDES), I was actually warned with Dreams Inn and Cafe. But for the sake of enduring only one night in this budget-friendly accommodation, I think it wouldn’t hurt a lot. The reviews are true. I got my Single Room (with Aircon, TV 7 CR) for only P500.00 Since I made reservations ahead and via the phone, I was required for a full payment. In all fairness, I had a smooth check-in since I brought with me the Deposit slip already. Well, the attendant is really not so friendly. The room and the whole hotel is a bit old too. Somehow, it is just right for the price. Nevertheless, its just ONE NIGHT Mike! Well, before sleeping, I booked my Mayon ATV Tour via the most reliable agency in town – Your Brother Travel & Tours. They can be reached via their website HERE. I contacted them via text and I am glad that I still got a reply from them confirming my booking for tomorrow.
Day 2: (February 14, 2017)
I took my breakfast from a nearby Jollibee a few steps away from Dreams Inn and Cafe. Call-time for my Mt. Mayon ATV Tour is at 8AM. The good thing about Your Brother and Travel & Tours is that all their Packages include Hotel Pick-up and Drop Off. The driver picked me up and brought me to their Orientation area which is 10 minutes away from my hotel.
I didn’t have any regrets in booking with Your Brother Travel & Tours since their service is really great and their equipment are really new and very trust-worthy. I commend their staff and crew as well. Here are there updated RATES as of February 2017 (Rates may change without prior notice):
In as much as I wanted to go on budget, I still went for the MAYON TO LAVA FRONT TRAIL which cost me P1,800 aboard a 150 CC Single Rider ATV. The whole trip will consume 2-3 hours to and from the base camp. Before the actual ATV ride, you will be undergoing a beginner’s course within the camp. The good thing is that the ATV is very easy to use and ride with. After completing the warm-up course, we started the trail to the Lava Front.
The ATV trail is roughly an hour. Generally, the trail is friendly though some parts are really a challenge especially those with big rocks along the way. The Trail going to the Lava Font don’t have rivers or water yet. After an hour, we arrived at the Lava Font Area. We parked our ATV here and paid additional P50.00 for the Entrance Fee and Guide. The fee is not included in the ATV Package.
After resting for a while, we started our trek to the famous Lava Font that will give us a wonderful view of Mount Mayon and the amazing Lava Rock formations which was formed after the previous eruption of the volcano. The trail will take us 10-15 minutes until the top. Climbing up is a bit of a challenge since the rocks are sharp and some are very steep as well.
I was amazed by the Lava formation in the area. It was so great to finally see Mt. Mayon in flesh too. By the way, the Lava Font also has a Helipad which was donated by Misibis Bay. That time, Mt. Mayon was a little bit shy.
Aside from a breath-taking view of Mayon Volcano and the Lava Front, the area offers a wonderful and panoramic view of the whole Legazpi City as well. After some sight-seeing and mandatory picture-taking activities, we went down the Lava Front and prepared for our ATV Trail back to base.
The ATV Trail going back to camp is much exciting since it gave us the chance to finally have a beautiful picture. Also, we passed by rivers which is the most exciting part of the whole trail.
After a safe trip back to base, Manong Tricycle Driver (which I chartered yesterday) met me at the outside of the camp. We strated our Tricycle Diaries in ALBAY at around 10AM. Our first stop, DARAGA CHURCH in Daraga, Albay.
DARAGA CHURCH is more or less 20-30 minutes away from the Mt. Mayon ATV Camp of Your Brother Travel & Tours. Its actually outside of Legazpi City already. The church is located uphill and is also one of the best place to take a great view of Mount Mayon. Since my tricycle cant survive uphill, I had to take a walk while going up. Well, its just a short walk so it won’t hurt so much. Built in 1774, the church became the temporary shelter of the locals during the 1814 eruption. Its an old Spanish Colonial church which is also known as the Church of Nuestra Senora de la Porteria. Our next stop, CAGSAWA RUINS.
Cagsawa Ruins is still located in Daraga, Albay. The place is where you could find the remains of a 17th century church built by the Franciscans. Cagsawa ruins has withstood the test of time and became one of the most recognizable landmarks of Albay Province and the most visited tourist spots as well in the area. The place has been declared a NATIONAL CULTURAL TREASURE in 2015. Entrance Fee in the area is P15.00.
Finally, I was able to set foot here. Despite Mt. Mayon being shy, I still enjoyed the whole place. Before we leave the place, I was drawn and curious to try their CHILI ICE CREAM. The Ice Cream costs P50.00. Upon Tasting it, its actually refreshing as an ice cream but the after taste was pure chili. Its was weird-tasting actually but for the sake of the experience, this CHILI ICE CREAM is a must-try.
After Cagsawa Ruins, we decided to have our lunch with the tricycle driver. Since I am not a fan of very spicy foods, I told the driver to find the nearest eatery with Bicol delicacies. We stopped by a certain carenderia near the highway. So glad to have spent P250.00 for lunch together with Manong Driver. This includes 3 cups of rice and 1 Liter of Soft drink.
Our next stop is LIGNON HILL in Legazpi City. This is a 156-meter high hill in the city that is now converted as Legazpi’s top adventure destination. Entrance Fee is at P20.00. After paying, I have to endure an uphill walk towards the top.
In as much as I wanted to finish walking until the top, but the heat is killing me. Also, I am pressed for time since I wanted to catch an earlier Bus schedule to NAGA City on the same day since I will be having my side trip to Caramoan Islands (Up Next on my Blog). After Lignon Hill, my last stop was EMBARCADERO DE LEGAZPI which is the famous boulevard in the City.
It was truly a perfect spot to end my quick tour of ALBAY for today. I ended my tour here. I advised my tricycle driver to drop me off LEGAZPI CITY BUS TERMINAL since I will be travelling to Naga City within the day. Arrived at the bus terminal at 5PM and left Legazpi via bus at around 5:30PM. There are several bus lines offering trips to Naga. Mine cost me P180.00 via an aircon bus liner. Travel time is 2 hours.
My Caramoan Island Trip (from Naga City) will be published on a separate article.
Meanwhile, here’s my breakdown of expenses for the whole trip. (This excludes Airfare and Airport expenses in Davao, Cebu & Manila), Duration: February 13 – 14, 2017
- Tricycle from Legazpi Airport to Hotel: P50.00
- Hotel (Overnight in Legazpi) at Dreams Inn and Cafe: P500.00
- Breakfast on February 14th (Jollibee): P150.00
- Snacks and Water for the day trip: P150.00
- Mt. Mayon ATV Trail (Mayon & Lava Front): P1,800.00 (Your Brother Travel & Tours)
- Tricycle Rental (10AM-5PM, chartered): P600.00
- Entrance Fee in Cagsawa Ruins: P20.00
- Chili Ice Cream in Cagsawa Ruins: P50.00
- Lunch in an eatery: P250.00
- Lignon Hill Entrance Fee: P20.00
GRAND TOTAL: P3,590.00
Legazpi City and Albay Province is truly a wonderful place to visit. I will be back here next time to fully enjoy all other places the Province has to offer.
Watch out for the continuation of this travel blog as I embark my quick journey as well to Caramoan Islands from Naga City.