Albay is a province located in the Bicol Region of the Philippines, known for its breathtaking natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and fiery cuisine. Whether you’re an adventurer, a foodie, or a history buff, Albay has something to offer. Let’s explore the top things to do in Albay, from exploring the majestic Mayon Volcano to indulging in local delicacies.
CLIMB THE MAYON VOLCANO
No trip to Albay is complete without a visit to the iconic Mayon Volcano. This active stratovolcano is known for its near-perfect symmetrical cone shape, making it one of the most photogenic volcanoes in the world. Visitors can opt to trek to the summit or take a leisurely hike up the Lignon Hill Nature Park for stunning panoramic views of the volcano and the surrounding landscape.
VISIT THE CAGSAWA RUINS
Located in the town of Daraga, the Cagsawa Ruins is a must-visit destination for history buffs. These ruins are all that remain of the Cagsawa Church, which was destroyed during the 1814 eruption of the Mayon Volcano. Visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the tragic history of the area.
GO ISLAND HOPPING IN THE BACACAY ISLANDS
Albay is home to a cluster of beautiful islands just off the coast of Bacacay town. Island hopping tours are available, allowing visitors to explore the pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and coral reefs of the islands. Some popular islands to visit include Pinamuntugan Island and Rapu-Rapu Island.
THE LOCAL CUISINE
Albay is known for its spicy cuisine, with dishes such as Bicol Express, Laing, and Pinangat being must-tries for any foodie. These dishes are made with local ingredients such as coconut milk, chili peppers, and taro leaves, giving them a unique and flavorful taste. You can find these dishes in local eateries and restaurants throughout the province.
EXPLORE THE QUITUINAN HILLS
The Quituinan Hills in Camalig offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, with rolling hills, verdant forests, and the majestic Mayon Volcano in the distance. Visitors can take a scenic hike up the hills and enjoy the stunning scenery, or opt for a guided tour to learn more about the local flora and fauna.
VISIT THE HOYOP-HOYOPAN CAVE
The Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave in Camalig is a unique destination for adventurous travelers. This cave system features stalactites, stalagmites, and underground streams, making for a fascinating and otherworldly experience. Visitors can explore the cave system with a guide and marvel at the natural wonders hidden beneath the earth.
TAKE A DIP IN THE HOT SPRINGS OF TIWI
The town of Tiwi is home to several hot springs, which are believed to have therapeutic properties. Visitors can soak in the warm waters and relax amidst the beautiful natural surroundings. Some popular hot springs to visit include Tiwi Hot Springs Resort and Joroan Hot Springs.
EXPLORE THE MAYON SKYLINE VIEW DECK
Located in the town of Tabaco, the Mayon Skyline View Deck offers panoramic views of the Mayon Volcano and the surrounding landscape. Visitors can hike up to the view deck or take a scenic drive through the winding roads. The view deck is also a great spot for stargazing at night.
VISIT THE EMBARCADERO DE LEGAZPI
The Embarcadero de Legazpi is a waterfront complex in Legazpi City that features restaurants, shops, and entertainment options. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk, enjoy a meal with a view, or catch a movie at the cinema. The complex also hosts events such as concerts and festivals.
GO WHALE SHARK WATCHING IN DONSOL
Donsol, a town located in the southern part of Albay, is known as the whale shark capital of the Philippines. Visitors can go on a whale shark-watching tour and witness these gentle giants up close. The tours are conducted with strict guidelines to ensure the safety and conservation of whale sharks.
VISIT THE ALBAY PARK AND WILDLIFE
The Albay Park and Wildlife is a zoo and botanical garden located in Legazpi City. Visitors can see a variety of animals such as tigers, crocodiles, and monkeys, as well as exotic plants and flowers. The park also features a butterfly garden and a mini zoo for children.
The Donsol River is a peaceful and scenic waterway that is perfect for kayaking. Visitors can rent kayaks and paddle through the mangrove forests, spotting wildlife such as birds and monkeys along the way. The river also offers a great opportunity for birdwatching.
LEARN ABOUT LOCAL HISTORY AT THE LEGAZPI CITY MUSEUM
The Legazpi City Museum is a small but informative museum that showcases the history and culture of Albay. Visitors can learn about the pre-colonial era, the Spanish colonial period, and the local industries such as abaca weaving and pili nut farming. The museum also has a collection of vintage photographs and artifacts.
TAKE A DIP IN THE COLD SPRINGS OF CAMALIG
While Tiwi is known for its hot springs, Camalig has its own unique attraction – the cold springs. These natural springs offer a refreshing respite from the hot and humid weather of Albay. Visitors can swim in the clear waters and relax in the shade of the surrounding trees.
HIKE TO THE KAWA-KAWA HILL AND NATURAL PARK
The Kawa-Kawa Hill and Natural Park is a protected area located in the town of Ligao. Visitors can hike up to the top of the hill and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The park also features a large cross and a replica of the Holy Sepulchre, making it a popular pilgrimage site.
ATTEND THE MAGAYON FESTIVAL
The Magayon Festival is a week-long celebration held in May to honor the Mayon Volcano and the mythical princess Daragang Magayon. The festival features cultural performances, street parties, and a beauty pageant. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture and join in the festivities.
SHOP FOR SOUVENIRS AT THE LEGAZPI CITY MARKET
The Legazpi City Market is a bustling and colorful marketplace that offers a variety of souvenirs and local products. Visitors can shop for handicrafts such as abaca bags and pili nut sweets, as well as fresh produce and seafood. The market is a great place to experience the local culture and interact with the friendly vendors.