Wanna see Albay tourist spots and attractions, but you only have three days? Here’s my detailed guide to Albay tour itinerary for this side of Bicol!
Albay makes for a great city tour destination because many great attractions are situated very near each other. Commuting within Legazpi City to the satellite towns are also easy, and the entrance fees are not so expensive. I think people who love adventures but prefer to do so in an urban setting will love Albay — my mom did!
I highly recommend staying for 3 days to experience most of what Albay has to offer. This will provide you enough time to go on city tours, ATV adventures, do minor hikes, and even go on an Albay food trip. The city makes traveling more convenient, but at the same time, you get a glimpse of the Bicolano pride from the food to the omnipresence of Mayon Volcano.
Here’s my detailed 3-day Albay tour itinerary that will help you navigate and enjoy everything this side of Bicol has to offer:
Albay Tourist Spots Day 1: Legazpi City Tour
Since you’ve just arrived in Legazpi City via air or bus, you might want to take it slow and go on more mellow tours on Albay tourist spots. You can go around the city easily via tricycles and jeepneys that go around in loops. Better yet, do some walking and sightseeing to get to know more about the city in Bicol with highest purchasing power!
Peñaranda Park. An Albay City tour is not complete without going to the so-called Freedom Park, a wide and mostly abandoned plaza in the heart of the capital. Peñaranda Park is a tribute to its first and visionary governor, Jose Ma. Peñaranda. You can find his statue here, along with the Liberty Bell (awfully vandalized), and a view of Mayon on a clear day. It’s bordered by other landmarks such as the Legazpi City Hall and Cathedral of St. Gregory the Great.
Albay Astrodome. You can find the Tourist Information Office here, although all we did find were high school regional intramurals.
Embarcadero de Legazpi. We’ve heard of the old glories of Embarcadero, with its sprawling mall and shopping centers. Unfortunately, it looks run-down now and I can’t vouch for your safety by nightfall. Still, you can enjoy sea breeze from the nearby Legazpi City Port and buy from some souvenirs. Plus, the e-jeep ride going to and from here is free!
Cathedral of St. Gregory the Great. Also known as Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno or simply Albay Cathedral, is one of the Philippine churches that stood through time, wars, fire, raids, and natural disasters. It is the most prominent landmark in Legazpi City, being near Peñaranda Park, Albay Capitol, and the Legazpi City Hall.
Albay Tourist Spots Day 2: Outside-the-City Adventures
For this trip, we rented a motorcycle of PHP 800 a day (not including gas) to take us to these remote locations outside of Legazpi City. Otherwise, you can rent a tour guide (for solo travelers) or a tricycle (for small groups or couples) for convenience. Each of these Albay tourist spots is a bit scattered on more remote areas of Albay. Be sure to be armed with maps or Waze so you won’t get lost!
Sumlang Lake. One of my favorite stops on our Albay tour. We enjoyed the view of Mayon reflected by the glassy Sumlang Lake, riding through balsa (bamboo raft) with modern chairs. The PHP 20 entrance is worth the highly Instagrammable spot.
Quitinday Green Hills Formation Reserve. Famously dubbed as the Chocolate Hills of Bicol and resembles the Osmeña Peak in Cebu. Quitinday Green Hills has a beauty of its own. You’ll need to ride through rocky roads and do a 10-minute hike to get to the top of the grassy hills. From afar, you can see other curved slopes and contours that are worth breathing in.
Jovellar Underground River. Unfortunately, we were unable to go here because of the recent typhoon that filled the caves and washed off the balsa and bridge that carries tourists.
Getting there: Take a bus or jeep going to Guinobatan. The, ride jeeps or single motorcycles (habal-habal) to take you to Jovellar.
Albay Park and Wildlife. If you want a different flavor of “wild”, meaning wildlife, try visiting Albay Park and Wildlife. You’ll find the Philippine Hawk Eagle and the Philippine Deer here. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of zoos or seeing caged animals, but I’m sure kids and families will enjoy having a picnic here. It makes for a good stopover before heading to watch the sunset in Ligñon Hill. Entrance fee is at PHP 50.
Ligñon Hill. On your way back, just before twilight, be sure to drop by Ligñon Hill. Here you can enjoy a 360-degree overlooking view of Albay as the sun sets and the city lights come on. From here you can also spot Kapuntukan Hill, which looks like a sleeping lion, the Legazpi City airport, and various famous landmarks. Other attractions within Ligñon Hill include zip line rides, Kapit-Tuko, the Hanging Bridge, and the secret tunnel used by the Japanese during World War II.
Albay Tourist Spots Day 3: Cagsawa ATV Tour
For your last day in the City of Fun and Adventure, be sure to drop by Cagsawa. You can find various ATV rides, souvenirs, and picturesque view of Mayon here.
Mayon Volcano ATV adventure. Get as close as you can to the famous perfect cone volcano, going on various rough rides via all-terrain vehicles. Various trails are available and can be finished within 3 hours at most, which includes rivers and lahar. I highly recommend Mayon SkyDrive because they make their own trails. But for starters, try Combo Trail (6 in 1: forest trail, snake trail, Cagsawa trail, grassland, short trail, and their exclusive SkyDrive trail!). You can also go on long trails to Black Lava, Green Lava, and Summit.
Cagsawa Ruins. Walking distance from the ATV spots is Cagsawa Ruins — the famous landmark of Albay. The remaining bell tower is surrounded by souvenir shops (much to my dismay) with an entrance fee of PHP 20 per person. On a clear day, you’ll get a good shot of Mt. Mayon alongside the fallen church. A reminder of how its volcanic eruption in 1814, the strongest recorded in its history, buried an entire town.
Daraga Church. A story of redemption lies in the farther town of Daraga, where inhabitants of the Cagsawa Town relocated after the eruption that buried their homes. The elevated stone church in Daraga is carved with various religious images from volcanic rocks coated with limestone, now artfully eroded by time and the elements. What makes it worth visiting is how Mayon Volcano, ever-omnipresent, lies unobstructed in its midst.
Pasalubong Center. On your way back to Manila, be sure to drop by the Pasalubong Center across the bus terminal. Their goods are cheaper than those in Cagsawa Ruins and even than the malls.
Tips for your Albay Tour
- Best time to visit. Albay, especially Legazpi City, is one of those rare cities in the Philippines that you can have fun with rain or shine. Cagsawa Ruins, Lignon Hill, and the churches are easily doable even amidst some light rain. However, take note of weather forecasts still, as attractions like Jovellar Underground River is highly dependent on rainfall and rise of the tide.
- Where to eat and chill. Going on an Albay food trip is one of the best things you can do on this side of Bicol. There are many awesome restaurants that spell “Bicolano pride”. Just read my detailed guide.
- What to wear. Again, since it’s less weather-sensitive, wearing breezy clothes is ideal for doing a Legazpi City tour. For the ATV adventure, I advise you wear light clothes, but with coverage to protect your skin from the sun (try The HeadWare). Caps, umbrellas, scarves, and sunglasses come in handy for open trails. Sandals also are ideal for the adventurous activities that involve getting wet! *Get 20% discount from Tribu using promo code: fyr*tribu
- Where to stay. I highly recommend Lotus Blu Hotel because of its accessibility, reasonable price, and overall great service and rooms. Read my detailed review if you’re looking for Legazpi City hotels.
- What to bring. Again, sun protection through clothes and lotions are essential!
- How long the Albay tour lasts. You can usually visit most of the Albay tourist spots in 3 days.
How to commute to Legazpi City, Albay
By air. There are daily flights to Legazpi City Airport from Manila from 6AM to 2PM. Flights from Cebu are also available.
By land. Air-condition buses depart regularly from Pasay and Cubao. Travel time is 10-12 hours. Regular air-conditioned buses are typically priced at PHP 800, Greyhound buses at PHP 900, and La-Z Boy chair buses with restrooms at PHP 1,100. Advanced bookings going to Legazpi City are recommended, simply visit the Araneta Center Bus Port in Cubao.
By sea. Shipping lines have regular trips from Visayas to Pilar, Bulan, and Matnog ports via roro (roll-on, roll-off). Afterwards, land travel to Legazpi takes 1-2 hours. Regular trips are also available from Virac, Catanduanes to Tabaco Port. Then, land travel takes 3-4 hours.
More from Albay, Bicol
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