Legazpi Travel Guide and Itinerary

Mount Mayon, Albay (Photo: Lester Ledesma)

The gateway to Bicolandia comes with various just-as-famous perspectives to an iconic volcano — but travelers can find other charms, from the adventurous to the quiet.

About Legazpi City 

Legazpi is the capital city of Albay, one of the six provinces of the Bicol region (Region V) in southern Luzon. While it’s possible to make the 495km trip via a 10-hour-plus road trip from Metro Manila, a plane ride dramatically cuts travel time down to just about an hour.  

Whether viewed from land or from up in the air, world-famous Mount Mayon (also known as Mayon Volcano) in Legazpi City is quite a sight. Forming a perfect cone, this active volcano is a prime example of just how gloriously symmetrical nature can be in its designs. The church ruins in the foreground add to the allure of this mountain. But the charms of Legazpi don’t end at this peak; instead, the city offers over 20,000 hectares of land on which to play — plenty of room for adventure.  

  

Highlights for the Traveler 

The main attraction is Mount Mayon, a great beauty that has also wreaked plenty of havoc: As one of the world’s most active volcanoes, it has erupted 51 times over the last four centuries. The most recent eruption was in 2018, while the most destructive was in 1814, when it destroyed five surrounding towns. The Cagsawa Ruins, the belfry of a 17th-century church found in Daraga, 7km away from Legazpi, is a grim reminder of that catastrophic eruption but also serves as an iconic part of practically every Mayon Volcano snapshot. At the same time, the ruins have become a symbol of the Bicolanos’ resilience despite the challenges of time and disasters, their spirit remains unyielding.  

After checking out this national cultural treasure, drop by the Cagsawa branch of the National Museum, which showcases photos of the volcanic eruptions, a geological collection, porcelain, earthenware, stoneware and other materials excavated from the region. 

You can get up close and personal with Mount Mayon at the Mayon Volcano Natural Park, about 47km away from Legazpi City. A number of tour outfits offer a half-day all-terrain vehicle (ATV) tour. Hop on an ATV and ride through water crossings, rocky terrains and steep inclines. Enjoy zipping through a combination of lush forests and volcanic rocky terrains in the park. Then finish off your adrenaline-filled day by ziplining 300m down, starting from a lava wall.  

Though Legazpi is known as a place for adventure, you can find other quieter pursuits within the city. Go on a pilgrimage to the Nuestra Senora de la Porteria Church, more popularly known as Daraga Church. Recognized as one of the country’s historical treasures, the baroque-inspired church was built in 1773 and has gone through rehabilitation over the years. If art is more of your religion, check out the works of local artists and photographers at the Albay Capitol Atrium Art Gallery within the Capitol compound.  

End the day with a stunning sunset view of Mayon while having a meal along Legazpi Boulevard, located on the eastern side of town, a couple of kilometers out of the city center. This stretch of road is popular among joggers and sightseers, offering picturesque views of the bay, the surrounding mountains and, of course, Mount Mayon. Go for a stroll and grab a snack from the vendors selling cheap street food or head to one of the restaurants lining the road: Zoe’s Kitchen & Fat Wacky’s along the boulevard is a popular food hub that serves Filipino, Asian and Western favorites. The Rockport Cottage Restobar offers a unique dining experience on a floating restaurant. Pizza and pasta lovers can check out the Seadog Diner, a pet-friendly restaurant.  

Other attractions are Sumlang Lake in Camalig, around 11km from Legazpi City. Here, you can have lunch on a raft with a view of Mayon. If you haven’t had your fill of volcanoes, you can head 60km out of the city to Mount Malinao, where you can go on a hike to see Vera Falls. The pristine water and gorgeous waterfall are enough to make anyone forget about the arduous trip. 

 

By Raymond Maymay, as of January 2020.


Recommendations to be updated.

Recommendations to be updated.

Recommendations to be updated.

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