Albay Province: Things to see and do in Bicolandia
Bicolandia is Bicolandia because of its natural landscape and warm people. One of the provinces I love visiting the most is Albay Province. This place is more than just the Mayon Volcano but is more than meets the eye! Here are some of the places you can see and explore when visiting Bicol’s Adventure getaway!
Read also: Albay Travel Guide
Places to See and Things to Do in Albay Province
With the 15 municipalities and 3 cities of Albay Province, you can definitely do more in exploring the place. Here are some of the places I have explored with my friends during our short but sweet stay!
Bacacay Municipal Hall
This unexpected town of Bacacay is one of the farther municipalities of Albay province. We reached Bacacay town in almost a 45-minute drive from Legazpi City. One of the notable structures in the town is its Town Hall that is reminiscent of an old spanish house and its simplicity just caught me in awe.
St. Rose of Lima (Bacacay) Church
Right across the Bacacay Municipal Hall is the church of St. Rose of Lima. This volcanic rock church is said to be built around 1660 when Bacacay became a separate town from Tabaco.
When exploring the town of Bacacay in Albay Province, you get to encounter several islands that are connected by iconic bridges. One of the most photographed bridges in Bacacay, Albay is the Sula bridge which is also the gateway to Cagraray Eco-Park. This bridge connects Cagraray Island to mainland Albay Province. To get to this modular steel bridge, it is better if you have your own vehicle or you can hire a habal-habal around Bacacay town proper. 🙂
Cagraray Eco-Park and Amphitheater
One of the main attractions in Bacacay that I long to visit is the Cagraray Eco-Park and Amphitheater! This park in Albay province can be reached in around 1.5 hours via habal-habal and when we reached the park, everything was worth it. The eco-park features a hilltop chapel (Stella Maris Chapel) and its famed Amphitheater. The park is open daily, as early as 0500 H. Entrance fee to the park is ₱ 25.00 / pax.
If you want to visit one of the nearest tourist attractions from Daraga town, I recommend that you visit Sumlang Lake as well. This lake has a good vantage point when viewing the Mayon Volcano (but unfortunately, when we visited, Mayon was too shy to show up!) The entrance fee to Sumlang Lake is at ₱ 100.00 / pax and you can opt to walk or ride a tricycle going to the property. You can also take photos in bamboo rafts for a fee. There is also an in-house restaurant inside the lake complex.
Bicol International Airport (DRP)
Bicol International Airport (IATA: DRP) is the newest gateway to Albay Province by air. It replaces the old Legazpi Airport in Legazpi City. Its modern structure is at par with its sister airports such as Mactan-Cebu (CEB) and Clark (CRK). Its imposing ceiling features a pili nut-like design and offers a generous view of Mayon Volcano from afar! It will also be offering international flights soon!
Cagsawa Ruins + ATV
One of the best things to do in Albay Province is to go ATV-ing around Cagsawa until the foot of Mayon Volcano. Several ATV establishments offer different routes and packages going to and from the foot of Mayon Volcano. Price range of ATV activities start from ₱ 500.00 up to ₱ 2000.00.
The Nuesta Señora de la Porteria or commonly known as Daraga Church is one of the most scenic tourist attractions in Albay Province. Situated on top of a hill, Daraga Church also has a generous view of Mayon Volcano. Historically, this has been the new site of a church after the church in Cagsawa was destroyed due to Mayon’s eruption. To reach Daraga church, just tell the driver to drop you off at Daraga Municipal Hall, look for the stairs beside the municipal hall and you will find your way to the church. Minimum jeepney fare is at ₱ 12.00.
One of the newest attractions in Albay that I got lucky to visit is FarmPlate. Located on a higher part of Legazpi City, FarmPlate is a “variety” mountain resort that offers food and scenic spots to see Mayon on a clear day. This is also where you will find the smallest chapel in the Philippines. To get there, it is best that you have your own vehicle. You can also hire tricycles in downtown Daraga or Legazpi to take you to the farm. There is ample space for parking in the area. The Farm Hours are from 0700 – 2100 H (Monday – Thursday) and 0700 – 2200 H (Friday – Sunday). Entrance fee is ₱ 60 for kids below 12 years old and ₱ 85 for adults.
Embarcadero de Legazpi
Embarcadero de Legazpi is one of the premier waterfront promenades in Legazpi City. It offers various shops and restaurants while you look at a nice view of Mayon from afar. Embarcadero is also near Legazpi Port.
Legazpi Boulevard (Poro)
Legazpi Boulevard in Poro is definitely one of the must-go places in Legazpi City. This is where you will find the letters of “Legazpi” nicely placed with Mayon Volcano as its background. The boulevard is also a nice place to have recreation such as sunrise watching, jogging, or just strolling in the park. There are also a lot of local eateries and restaurants in the area.
Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno (Legazpi Cathedral)
The Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno is the seat of the Diocese of Legazpi and is situated along the city’s central business district. This can be easily spotted when coming from Peñaranda Park or the Albay Provincial Capitol
Legazpi Grand Terminal
This is the main transport terminal in Legazpi City. Located beside SM City Legazpi, this integrated terminal houses buses, vans, and jeepneys going in and around Albay, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, and Manila.
Albay Provincial Capitol and Legazpi City Hall
This is the seat of government of Albay Province. Situated at the heart of Legazpi City, this roadside building can be best seen from adjacent Peñaranda Park. Legazpi City Hall is also located within the vicinity of the provincial capitol. They are both located along the busy streets of Legazpi City.
Also known as “Freedom Park,” the Peñaranda Park is devoted to Albay’s first governor, Jose Ma. Peñaranda. This is one of the largest recreational spaces found in Albay.
Where to Eat in Albay Province
1st Colonial Grill
Claimed to be the home of the original “Sili Ice Cream,” 1st Colonial Grill is one of the more known restaurants in Albay Province. Interestingly, I have tried their famous dessert but I only ordered the 1st level of chili! (there are three levels of spiciness in total). Though they also serve authentic Bicol dishes such as Bikol Express, Pinangat, and Tinutungang Manok. They can be found in several locations in Albay.
Other cafes and restaurants:
– Small Talk Cafe (dubbed as one of the best cafes in Legazpi CIty)
– Socorro’s Lakeside Restaurant and Grill (inside Sumlang Lake Complex)
– Bigg’s Diner
– Waway’s Restaurant
– Casa Simeon’s Cusina Beatrice
– DJC Halo Halo and Snack Inn
– Four Seasons Restaurant
– Sibid-Sibid Food Park
– Layag Restaurant and Grill
Where to Stay in Albay
Mayon Backpackers Hostel
This is one of the cheaper options in Legazpi City’s Central Business District. If you are a solo backpacker and want the confines of a safe space for your travels, this is the place I would recommend. The Mayon Backpackers Hostel is also group- and family-friendly. Prices start at ₱ 400 – 500 / pax.
Mayon Lodging House
This is the place we spent our nights when we visited Albay. If you want to have a closer look of the Mayon Volcano, this is the place to be. It can be seen from their wide and al fresco rooftop. It is also a few meters away from the famous Cagsawa Ruins.
Other cafes and restaurants:
– The Oriental Legazpi
– The Marison Hotel
– The Proxy by The Oriental Albay
– Hotel St. Ellis
– Pepperland Hotel
– Lotus Blu Hotel
– Hotel Sentro Legazpi
– Hotel Venezia
– Ninong’s Hotel
– Your Brother House Tribal Village
– Casablanca Suites
– Emerald Boutique Hotel
– Ellis Ecotel
Sample Itinerary when visiting Albay Province
This itinerary is just a guide whenever you will be visiting Albay. There is so much to discover and visit in Albay Province and you can design your itinerary according to your liking.
|0500 – 0600 H||Manila – Bicol International Airport|
|0700 – 0800 H||Check-in / Freshen Up|
|0900 – 1100 H||Cagsawa Ruins + ATV|
|1200 – 1330 H||Sumlang Lake (brunch)|
|1400 – 1430 H||Daraga Church|
|1500 – 1600 H||Quituinan Hills|
|1700 – 1900 H||FarmPlate|
|2000 – 2100 H||Dinner at Legazpi Boulevard|
|0700 – 0800 H||Breakfast|
|0800 – 0830 H||Legazpi Cathedral|
|0900 – 1000 H||Albay Provincial Capitol / Legazpi City Hall / Peñaranda Park|
|1030 – 1545 H||Bacacay Municipal Hall + Bacacay Church|
|1700 – 1800 H||Sunset at Embarcadero de Legazpi|
|Photo ops at Legazpi Boulevard|
|1830 – 2000 H||Dinner at 1st Colonial Grill|
*Note that the places, prices, and information written as of publication date and time are true and are given best during my visit. Changes may occur without prior notice. If you notice any changes to the information given above, you can e-mail me here so we can dish things up!*
We’re born to travel!