Bicol Region Tourist Destinations
The Bicol Region of southeastern Luzon is made up of the Provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate. Legazpi City, capital of Albay, is centrally located in the region and is accessible from Manila in less than a hour by plane or in a few hours by bus.
Mayon VolcanoMOUNT MAYON is the central feature and natural attraction of the region. Just north of Legazpi City it's symmetrical slopes dominate the view for miles around. If you dare to scale it, read the Climbing Guide first then contact the Mayon Mountaineers through the Department of Tourism Office. If you change your mind you can ride to the Mayon Resthouse one-third of the way up. Nearby is the PHILVOCS Observatory and Museum which showcases Mayon's violent volcanic past.
Mts. Isarog, Iriga and BulusanMayon's "little sisters" these mountain areas are designated National Parks protecting native plants and animals. Take a look at the Climbing Guide then contact the experts at the DOT office prior to planning any trek.
Tiwi Hot Springs National ParkA highly active thermal area, Tiwi has long been a popular place to "take the medicinal waters" and bathhouses abound. The waters are hottest in Naglagbong Lake, a boiling sulfur pool. Tiwi is also the site of the mammoth Geothermal Electric Power Plant, which harnesses steam to generate electricity, and a salt making industry.
Caves and SpelunkingHoyop-Hoyopan Caves - about 15-km from Legazpi, the name means "blow-blow" in the local dialect from the sound of the wind whistling through the main entrance. Archeological artifacts dating from 50 B.C. were excavated by a Franciscan priest and are now housed at the National Museum in Manila and nearby Camalig Church.
Calabidongan Caves - 2-km from Hoyop-Hoyopan, these caves feature an underground stream and a population of bats. Pottery, human bones, beadwork and other artifacts believed to be 4,000 years old have been found and can be seen at Camalig Church.
Del Rosario Caves - located near Jovellar, a grotto-like cavern on a hillside.
Minaroso Caves - on Batan Island located close to the sea and is a haven for seabirds and swallows.
Waterfalls and LakesBusay Falls - one of the highest in the country, it cascades down in seven tiers from a height of 800 feet into two catchbasins. Accessible by foot trail.
Mataginting Falls - in Jovellar near the Naglaus Underground River.
Palale Falls - in Malinao.
Lake Danao - located 15-km northeast of Polangui, it's nestled in a lovely setting between Mts. Malinao and Masaraga.
Beaches and IslandsSogod Beach - in Bacaycay it's adjacent to the highway and is popular for its white sand enclaves.
Buhatan Beach - in Santo Domingo are the remains of a Spanish Galleon five fathoms deep in clear water. Scuba divers can explore the wreck, though its relics are now kept at the National Museum in Manila.
Cagraray Island - off the east coast of Albay, it offers many pristine white sand beaches.
Batan Island - in the same area, it's a sanctuary for many types of wildlife including monkeys, hornbills, mallards and huge pigeons.
San Lorenzo Beach - commands a panoramic view of Tabaco Bay and the bucolic San Miguel Island.
Putsan Beach - has black volcanic sands and its local people produce beautiful pottery using ancient methods.
Kilayukay Beach - echoes the South Pacific islands.
Ilologan Beach - excellent for skindiving and fishing it has a long stretch of coral sands.
Roca Baluarte - a fort-like formation which has been converted to a beach resort.
Rizal Beach - about an hour from Legaspi in Sorsogon, pristine white sands beckon.
Cultural AttractionsCagsawa Ruins - in 1814, Mayon Volcano erupted and sent lava flows cascading down its sides. The townspeople of Cagsawa fled to the church where they perished when it was engulfed in the fiery flows. Today, only the church tower remains as a memorial.
Daraga Church - an 18th century baroque church poised on a hill with commanding views of the sea and Mayon Volcano. Its stone masons suffused the facade with statuary, carvings, alcoves and niches at different levels.
Camalig Church - built entirely out of volcanic rocks it has a small museum which houses archeological artifacts extracted from local caves.
Budiao Ruins - like Cagsawa, this town is thought to have been destroyed in the 1814 Mayon eruption.
Sinimbahan Ruins - The remains of a seaside church leveled by a tidal wave.
Japanese Garden - built by Japanese Peace Corps volunteers.
[INDEX] - for /mayon directory
Note - Thanks to Mr. Jun Marquez, Camalig, for some spelling corrections.