Mayon volcano eruption: where to photograph from a safe distance

Photo: Renato Jao

Ready to capture a historic photo, photography buffs?*

For those living under a rock, the ever-volatile Mayon volcano has been spewing pyroclastic flow (fragment, ash and volcanic gas) and — most recently — fiery lava, prompting the alert level to a whopping four on a scale of five. It’s been relentless since then and could last up to a month, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). The provincial authority prohibits anyone from entering the permanent danger zones but the undeterred can still watch the raging volcano from a safe distance. Curious? Here are our top 7 spots in Legazpi city to get that perfect shot.

Photo: Hubert Thomas

Legazpi Boulevard (16km away)

This coastal road near the Legazpi port has a designated pedestrian lane and is popular for walking, running and biking. 

How to get there

From the city proper, catch a jeepney at the 7-Eleven across LCC Mall, bound for Embarcadero de Legazpi. From Embarcadero, take a tricycle to the boulevard.

Eztanza Highlands (15.6km away)

This elevated viewpoint along Eztanza Road is also part of an alternate route for Sorsogon-bound vehicles. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the neighboring towns of Daraga and Manito with Mayon towering in the horizon. 

How to get there

From the city proper, board a jeepney bound for the town of Daraga. Alight at Albay Pilinut Candy store and cross the street to enter the intersection where you’ll find passenger motorbikes or habal-habal (motorbike). Rent one for ₱20, roundtrip.

Oriental Hotel in Taysan Hills (15km away)

Several vantage points at this luxe hotel include the infinity pool, the outdoor dining area and, of course, the rooms with a view.

How to get there

From Bigg’s Diner in Old Albay (across Jolibee), hail a tricycle to the Oriental Hotel. Ride a Daraga-bound jeepney to get to Bigg’s. You may also make an arrangement with the hotel for a service pick-up.

Daraga Church (12.5km away)

The church is one of Albay’s three National Cultural Treasures for its façade sculptures made of volcanic rock common to Daraga. These were engraved with archeological relics of saints and rare religious seals. 

How to get there

Ride a Daraga-bound jeepney and alight at LCC Mall across Petron. Walk straight ahead along the main road (the road between Mercury Drug and LCC). Turn right at the corner of Bigg’s Diner. The stairway between the Muncipal Hall and a hardware store leads to the church.

Ligñon Hill (11.6km away)

The 156m hill in Bogtong, Legazpi has a great view of Mayon, the city and Albay Gulf. Its paved trail starts from the drop-off point along the Daraga-Legazpi Diversion Road. There are tables for snacks and rice meals sold by the sole canteen there. Entrance fee: ₱20.

How to get there

Wait for Loop 1 jeepney in front of LCC Mall’s parking area. Alight at the foot of the hill, which is near the Legazpi City Jail and Albay Park and Wildlife.

Cagsawa Ruins (10.5km away)

The main parts of this 17th Century Franciscan church were destroyed by the 1814 volcanic eruption. Only the belfry remains and has been declared a National Cultural Treasure. The area is now managed as a park. Entrance Fee: ₱10

How to get there

From the city proper, ride any of these jeepney routes: Camalig, Ligao, Guinobatan or Polangui.

Quituinan Hills (9.8km)

The morning view of Mayon from this roadside viewpoint, atop a hill in Camalig, is breathtaking. Note that the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office has extended the danger zones to 9km.

How to get there

Ride a Camalig-bound jeepney. Alight at town proper. Hail a tricycle and rent it for ₱200, roundtrip.

Planning a trip to Legazpi? Take note of these hotlines:

Albay Police Provincial Office: 821-6474

Bureau of Fire Protection: 742-1806

Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH): 483-0016

BRTTH-HEMS: 437-8055

Philippine National Red Cross: 790-2300

Provincial Health Office: 480-4545

Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO): 480-3772


*we recommend checking Cebu Pacific’s travel advisory page for the latest flight status updates

Written by

Mavic Conde

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