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View of Mayon Volcano from a nearby field

Albay Bicol Travel Guide: Tourist Spots, Where to Stay, Delicacies, Itinerary

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Mayon Volcano and Misbis Bay ResortThe province of Albay in the Bicol region is known for being home to the iconic Mayon Volcano, one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the Philippines and the most active one as well. Its capital, Legazpi City, is the gateway to the top tourist attractions in the province of Albay and other tourist spots in the Bicol region including destinations like Sorsogon, known for the whale shark watching activity in Donsol. 

Most travelers come to Albay to witness the breathtaking view of Mayon Volcano while on a Mayon ATV ride. However, there are more reasons why you should plan a longer vacation to this Bicol province. 

View of Mayon Volcano from the Quitinday Green HillsAlbay, the second largest province in the Bicol region, is located at the southern tip of the Luzon island region, about 500KM from Manila, the capital of the Philippines. On the Philippine map, Albay is located on the eastern coast of the Philippines, facing the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean. This mountainous province with vast farming lands is one of the most visited tourist spots in Luzon because of the beautiful view of Mayon Volcano. 

Albay was added to the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere in 2016. It is also home to underrated nature tourist attractions like an underground river, island hopping attractions, a luxury beach resort, stunning waterfalls, historic churches, rich heritage and culture that you can experience in its Albay Philippine festivals, and delicious Bicolano Filipino cuisine that you can try in the best Albay restaurants.

This Albay Bicol travel guide will help you plan your Albay itinerary to visit its top attractions, find out which Albay hotels to stay in, where to eat in Albay, and other travel tips you need to know for a hassle-free vacation in the #PerfectDestination, Albay Bicol. 

Best Time to Go to Albay

Backpacker by Mayon VolcanoSince most of Albay’s top tourist attractions are outdoors, it’s important to know when is the best time to visit Legazpi Albay for lesser chances of tour cancellations because of the weather.

Summer Season | March to May

Albay province has a tropical rainforest climate. Travelers will usually experience very warm, humid, and scattered rainy days during their visit. While December to May are the best months to visit Albay for dry and clear weather on most days, the hottest and driest months in Albay weather are usually from March to May. The coldest month in Albay is usually January. 

When is the best time to see Mayon Volcano?

Mayon Volcano and a field of flowers

Mayon Volcano tours like Mayon ATV rides are recommended to be done in the morning for a higher chance of a clear view of Mayon Volcano. Do note however that an unobstructed view of Mayon Volcano isn’t guaranteed even on sunny days during Legazpi tours.

The clouds covering Mayon Volcano sometimes clear up even on rainy days. Part of the experience of an Albay trip is waiting for the rare chance of seeing Mayon Volcano in its entirety. 

 

Albay Festivals

The province of Albay, Bicol, has a rich heritage and culture that is evident in its many festivals. When planning an Albay travel itinerary, it’s best to plan around these notable annual festivals in the province for an enjoyable experience: 

  • Magayon Festival in Albay (May) - A month-long colorful festival in the province of Albay to honor the beauty of Mayon Volcano. Magayon translates to “always beautiful to look at.” One of the festival’s highlight events is the retelling of the Mayon Volcano legend called “Daragang Magayon” (Beautiful Maiden). 

  • Cagsawa Festival in Daraga, Albay (February) - This month-long festival celebrates the resiliency of Albayanos and not the horrors of the disasters that the province has been through over the years. This festival kicks off at Cagsawa Ruins, a reminder of one of the deadliest eruptions of Mayon Volcano and now one of the top attractions of Albay. 

  • Ibalong Festival in Legazpi, Albay (August) - A non-religious festival in the city of Legazpi that is based on the Ibalong epic. This week-long festival showcases street parades with locals wearing masks and costumes to imitate the heroes and villains of the Bicolano story. 

Climate and Weather

The highest average temperature in Albay is 32 degrees Celsius usually from April to June. The lowest average temperature in Albay is 27 to 29 degrees Celsius in the months of December to February. The wettest months in Albay are usually around November to December. 

Albay has been given the nickname the “Vatican of Disasters” of the Philippines. Due to its geographical location, the province is plagued with various weather and natural calamities such as typhoons, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis.  

Albay Bicol Travel Guide: Tourist Spots, Where to Stay, Delicacies, Itinerary

Source: NOAA
 

What to Wear

Due to the hot and humid climate in Albay, it’s advisable to wear breathable clothes, hats, and sunglasses especially if you’re going on Albay tours outdoors. Expect scattered rain showers especially on the wet months or if there’s a tropical storm or typhoon so make sure to pack your jackets, umbrella, and appropriate footwear. 

How to Go to Albay

Plane in Legazpi airportAlbay is easily accessible by land and air travel because of its location. Depending on where you’re coming from (e.g. Manila to Albay Bicol), the travel time that you prefer, and your budget, you can choose from these transportation options when going to Albay: 

Flight to Bicol International Airport from Manila and Cebu

Air travel to Albay is the fastest and most convenient way to reach the province. The Bicol International Airport (LGP) is located in the municipality of Daraga, around 10KM or 20-30 mins away by land vehicle from Legazpi City. The now-defunct Legazpi Airport, which used to accommodate flights to Albay, was located in Legazpi City. 

There are daily flights servicing Manila to Albay Bicol via Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific with around 1 hour and 20 minutes long travel time. There are also 1-hour flights from Cebu going to Bicol International Airport. 

Airfare for Manila to Legazpi Bicol flights is usually around PHP2500 (USD47). 

Bus to Albay from Manila and other parts of Luzon

If you’re not in a hurry to go to Albay Bicol or Legazpi and want a more budget-friendly transportation option, you can ride a bus instead. There are air-conditioned and non-airconditioned buses from Manila to Legazpi Albay and vice versa serviced by several bus liners, scheduled daily. 

From Manila, you can board a bus going to Legazpi Grand Center Terminal in Albay at Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange, Araneta Center Bus Station Quezon City, EDSA-Cubao Quezon City, LRT-Buendia in Pasay, Ermita in Manila, or Alabang in Muntinlupa. 

Bus trips from Manila to Legazpi Albay travel time is around 9-12 hours depending on the traffic conditions. Bus fares for Manila to Legazpi Albay start at around PHP800 (15USD). 

How to Get Around Albay 

Jeepney passing by Mayon VolcanoIf you’re traveling around the province of Albay on your own, you will have to be familiarized with the local transportation vehicles available. 

Jeepney and Vans

Riding a Philippine jeepney or air-conditioned vans are the best ways to get around Albay province and Legazpi City. These land vehicles usually follow a designated route so it’s best to know first where you’re traveling to and which route to take.

Jeepneys have signboards on the front window or at the side of the vehicle to find out which route they’re heading. You can also ask the jeepney driver or locals to help you figure out which route to take to reach your destination. 

There are terminals in the city center where you can find jeepneys and vans, including the LKY Metro Transport and Lifestyle Hub, a commercial center located across the Legazpi Grand Central Terminal.

Taxi

If you’re traveling within Legazpi City, the best way to get around is by riding a taxi. Taxi cabs are usually found at the airport or outside of shopping malls. 

Tour Van or Bus 

For a more convenient vacation, we recommend booking Albay tours that include a tour van or bus. These can take you around the entire province of Albay on an air-conditioned vehicle driven by a local and accompanied by a travel guide. 

Bus

If you’re exploring farther municipalities outside of Legazpi City that are not serviced by jeepneys, vans, or taxis, you have the option to ride a bus. 

Tricycle

For shorter distances within Legazpi City or municipalities, you can ride a tricycle. Tricycles are three-wheeled motorcycle cabs. They are usually queued in a terminal or you can hail one if you see them on the road. 

Where to Stay in Albay

The Oriental Legazpi's poolsidePhoto by The Oriental Legazpi

As one of the top tourist destinations in Luzon that has its own airport, Albay has a number of accommodations that travelers can choose from regardless of their budget. Albay visitors can choose from modern hotels in Legazpi, beach resorts, and camping and glamping spots in the mountains, with most having a view of Mayon Volcano. 

Choosing where to stay in Albay is important if you want to make the most of your vacation and maximize your Albay itinerary to explore top tourist spots. 

Hotels

The Oriental Legazpi's exteriorPhoto by The Oriental Legazpi

Albay has a variety of hotels ranging from budget-friendly to mid-range and luxury hotels. The majority of these are located in Legazpi City, the capital of the Albay province. 

Beach Resorts

Drone shot of Misibis Bay ResortPhoto by Misibis Bay Resort

Outside Legazpi City, Albay has a number of coastline towns where visitors can enjoy the beaches of the province or go diving. There are many beach resorts and diving resorts in Albay that travelers can stay in during their trip. 

Camping/Glamping Sites

Huts at The Campsite Mt. MasaragaAs a mountainous province, camping and glamping sites have been developed in different parts of Albay over recent years. Travelers can stay in traditional huts or pitch tents. The best camping and glamping sites in Albay offer a view of Mayon Volcano. 

Accommodation Highlights in Albay

Albay has various accommodations for every budget. You can choose from luxury hotels and resorts, mid-range hotels located in the city center, or stay at camping or glamping sites. 

Luxury

For the best views and facilities, check out these luxury and 5-star hotels in the Philippines and resorts in Albay: 

The Oriental Legazpi

The 4-star The Oriental Legazpi offers gorgeous views of either the Mayon Volcano or the Legazpi cityscape. It has hundreds of rooms and suites and is known for its excellent facilities and high-quality services.

The Marison Hotel

Another upscale hotel in Legazpi City is The Marison Hotel located in the downtown area. It provides easy access to businesses and entertainment establishments in Legazpi City. 

Misibis Bay Resort

The 5-hectare luxury accommodation Misibis Bay Resort is located on Cagraray Island in Albay. It’s one of the best beach resorts and honeymoon resorts in the Philippines that offers beachfront villas. Check out our Misibis Bay package for the best deals!

Mid-Range

If you’re looking for the most comfortable stay without spending too much, here are some of our recommended mid-range hotels in Albay:

PROXY by The Oriental Albay

A more budget-friendly hotel by The Oriental Albay is the top-rated PROXY hotel located in Legazpi City. Perfect for an Albay vacation with families or for business trips. 

Hotel St. Ellis

The 4-star Hotel St. Ellis is close to shopping centers in Legazpi. It’s an ideal home base for Albay tourists who want to explore the city center. 

Pepperland Hotel

Located near the old Legazpi Domestic Airport, Pepperland Hotel is a 3-star accommodation that offers contemporary and cozy rooms and amenities. 

Hotel Sentro

If you’re looking for affordable but quality accommodations, check out Hotel Sentro, with a strategic location at the heart of Legazpi City. 

Camping & Glamping sites

For a more unique experience and to immerse yourself in the beautiful natural attractions of Albay, you should check out these camping and glamping sites that offer a stunning view of Mayon Volcano:

Your Brother House Tribal Village

This accommodation offers Filipino tribal-village-inspired design rooms with a view of Mayon Volcano. Your Brother House Tribal Village’s rooms may look traditional on the outside but they have modern amenities like air conditioning and TV. 

The Campsite Mt. Masaraga

The CampsiteThis camping site at Mt. Masaraga has a stunning view of Mayon Volcano. They have teepee-style rooms and private small rooms. Guests can also pitch tents (rent or bring your own). 

What to See and Do in Albay 

Woman riding an ATV through a riverAlbay has become synonymous to Mayon Volcano, but there’s more to explore in this province than just the iconic Philippine volcano. Here’s a summary of what activities and Albay tourist spots you should add to your Albay itinerary. 

See the Best Mayon Volcano Views from These Tourist Spots

Sumlang LakeContrary to popular belief, Mayon Volcano isn’t just located in Legazpi City. It’s geographically shared by multiple municipalities in Albay including Legazpi, Daraga, Camalig, Tabaco, and more. This is why there are various attractions in Albay where you can get a view of Mayon Volcano, included in an Albay 360 Tour or Best Views of Mayon Volcano Tour. Here are some top Albay tourist spots you can add to your itinerary if you want to see the iconic volcano:

  • Mayon ATV Ride

This adrenaline-pumping activity is one of the best ways to get an up-close view of Mayon Volcano. You will drive a 4x4 ATV along the lahar trails, grasslands, and more. You can choose from different Mayon ATV trails depending on your preferred trail, difficulty, and duration. 

  • Cagsawa Ruins

This Daraga, Albay, tourist spot is just as iconic as Mayon Volcano, often times they’re included in postcard photos together.  in Albay, but is also one of the top Bicol Region tourist spots. This declared National Cultural Treasure is a reminder of Mayon Volcano’s recorded eruption in 1814, which buried and destroyed the entire town of Cagsawa. What stands now is the remains of a 17th-century church. 

  • Daraga Church

Also known as the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria, this church is a declared National Cultural Treasure by the National Historical Institute. It’s nestled on top of a hill in Daraga overlooking the town with a view of Mayon Volcano. This is usually a part of the an Albay Mayon Volcano tour itinerary. 

  • Sumlang Lake

Located in Camalig, you can ride a bamboo raft floating on a lake in this 14-hectare property while marveling at the view of Mayon Volcano. It’s recommended to go here during the early morning when the Mayon Volcano is reflected on the lake’s calm waters. You can visit this attraction by joining an Albay Mayon Volcano tour

  • Quitinday Green Hills

If Bohol has the Chocolate Hills, Albay offers the Quitinday Green Hills, but with an added view of the Mayon Volcano. This 400-hectare Albay attraction is located in Camalig, near the Jovellar Underground River and is usually included in a Jovellar Underground River tour.

Explore Albay’s Natural Attractions

Jovellar Underground RiverPhoto by Photo by Provincial Tourism, Culture and Arts Office - Albay

Aside from tourist spots that feature the view of Mayon Volcano, Albay has a number of underrated natural wonders that are worth adding to your itinerary. 

  • Jovellar Underground River

Also known as Quitinday Underground River, this natural wonder in Jovellar is Albay’s answer to Palawan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Puerto Princesa Underground River. You can ride a bamboo raft to explore the rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. At the end of the Jovellar underground river tour is a natural jacuzzi where you can dip in the refreshing cool water. 

  • Vera Falls 

Located at the foot of Mount Malinao in Malinao, Albay, Vera Falls can reached be after a short trek. Enjoy the stunning view of Vera Falls’ cascading water and take a refreshing swim in the natural pool. Book an Albay waterfalls tour to visit this attraction. 

  • Lake Danao Natural Park

Found in Polangui, Albay, this crater lake is surrounded by lush and verdant vegetation. Danao Lake is home to the smallest fish in the world called “sinarapan” or “tabios”. 

 

Lounge on Albay’s Beaches and Islands

Corangon ShoalPhoto by Photo by Provincial Tourism, Culture and Arts Office - Albay

Check out some of the underrated beaches and islands in the coastline towns of Albay:

  • Corangon Shoal

The small islet of Corangon is located in Tiwi, Albay. It’s also called the Egg Folk Island because it looks like a giant egg yolk on the water. 

  • Vanishing Island 

Off the coast of Malilipot, Albay is an emerging tourist destination that only appears during low tide. You can relax in the floating cottages on Vanishing Island and enjoy the view of the sea. 

  • Trinity Islands

The three islands that form a lagoon, thus the name Trinity Islands, is located in the town of Oas, Albay. 

  • Muladbucad White Beach

One of the few white sand beaches in Albay, Muladbucad White Beach is found in the municipality of Manito. 

 

Learn About Albay’s Local Products

Man making a vase in PhilCeramics Arts and Crafts Center

Watch how local products of Albay is made and shop for souvenirs:

  • PhilCeramics Arts & Crafts Center (Putsan Pottery)

Brgy. Putsan in Tiwi, Albay is abundant in red clay which the locals use to make stoneware pottery at the PhilCeramics Arts and Crafts Center. You can visit this by joining an Albay day tour. Here you can watch artisans create pots, vases, and lamps from scratch and buy their finished products. 

  • Albay Farmer’s Bounty Village

A 15-hectare land in Camalig, Albay, where you can learn about the products that they make from cacao, pili nuts, and more. This tourist spot is part of the Albay farm tour. It’s one of the must-visit destinations for agritourism in the Philippines.

What to Eat in Albay 

Part of the travel experience when going to Albay is tasting the local dishes and delicacies of the province. The Bicol region is known for Bicolano cuisine, distinguished by three main ingredients: coconut milk, hot chili peppers, and pili nuts which are abundant in the region. 

Before you visit the best Legazpi restaurants, it’s important that you know the must-try dishes and snacks in Albay. These are usually included in the menu of the best restaurants in Albay. 

Local Cuisine and Products of Albay

Here are some of the must-try local famous food in Albay, Bicol that is the highlight of Albay Bicol tours and a must-buy for your souvenirs: 

Pinangat and Laing

PinangatA product of Camalig, Albay, pinangat and laing are both vegetable dishes made with shredded taro leaves (gabi) cooked in coconut milk. Laing doesn’t have a filling like Pinangat. Fillings of Pinangat include chili, shrimps, fish, or meat. Both can be eaten as an appetizer or viand with rice or pandesal (bread). 

Pili nut

Pili nutsThe province of Albay is known for its premium pili nuts. These are available in different variations including crispy candied pili nuts, roasted, salted. Other Albay delicacies that use pili nuts include mazapan, butternuts, caramelitos, pastillas, peanut butter and more. 

Sili Ice Cream

Sili Ice CreamThis ice cream with a kick is infused with sili (hot chili peppers) and is made famous by Albay restaurant 1st Colonial Grill. You can choose from four levels of spiciness. Book an Albay tour with lunch at 1st Colonial Grill to taste the sili ice cream.

Guinobatan Longganisa

Guinobatan LongganisaNamed after the town of Guinobatan where it originated, Guinobatan longganisa is a pork sausage with a distinct salty and sour flavor. Instead of being processed in a grinding machine, the pork is chopped into small chunks. Guinobatan Lonnganisa recipes are passed down through generations in this town. It’s best eaten for breakfast with a sunny-side-up egg and garlic fried rice. Some Albay restaurants also offer fusion dishes featuring the Guinobatan Longganisa in pasta or pizza. Book an Albay Guinobatan longganisa making and food tour to sample this local dish. 

Kalamay

A product of Polangui, Albay, Kalamay is hardened sugar cane juice molded in a coconut shell and is used as a sugar substitute. The powdered sugar rocks version, Muscovado, is used for sweetening chocolate or coffee. 

Puto Macapuno

Puto macapunoOn the busy highway of Paulog Ligao in Albay, make sure to stop by one of the many shops that cook and sell this tasty snack. Puto Macapuno is a sweet rice cake filled with sweet macapuno (soft coconut meat) filling.  

Puto de Oas

A product of Oas, Albay, the Puto de Oas is a toasted rice puto (rice cake) traditionally made from rice, sugar, milk, egg, and other ingredients. 

Practical Tips and Information

Peso bills in a walletBefore you pack for Albay, make sure to read up on some important travel information especially if you’re an international traveler:

Currency

Hotels and some restaurants in Legazpi City and Albay municipalities accept cash in Philippine Peso (PHP) only. Most hotels, restaurants, and bars in Legazpi City accept credit card payments but it’s best to always bring enough cash with you. ATMs are also accessible in the city and the town centers.

Language

Albay locals speak the Bicol dialect but they are also fluent in Tagalog and English.

Smoking

Legazpi City is a tobacco-free city. Smoking in all public places, including malls and parks, is prohibited. 

Sample Albay Itinerary: Mayon Volcano + ATV + Nature & Heritage Attractions

Mayon Volcano towers behind Cagsawa RuinsTo make the most out of your vacation in Albay province, here is a suggested itinerary for 6 days and 5 nights for a Bicol tour package from Manila

Day 1: Travel to Legazpi City

Board your flight to Bicol International Airport, or bus/car to Albay and check in at your Legazpi City hotel

Day 2:Albay Best Views of Mayon Sightseeing & Culture Tour

  • 8:00 AM - Departure at Legazpi City hotel

  • 8:30 -10:30 AM - Sumlang Lake bamboo raft ride

  • 11:00 -11:30 AM - Sightseeing at Quituinan Hill 

  • 12:00 -1:00 PM - Lunch at Guinobatan for Guinobatan longganisa

  • 1:30 - 2:30 PM - Sightseeing at The Campsite with a view of Mayon Volcano

  • 3:00 - 3:30 PM  - Sightseeing at Mayon Skyline

  • 4:00 - 4:30 PM - Halo-Halo snack at DJC Restaurant in Tiwi 

  • 5:00 - 5:30 PM - Souvenir shopping at PhilCeramics in Tiwi 

  • 6:00 PM - Drop-off at Legazpi City hotel

Day 3:Albay Mayon ATV Exclusive Trail, Church & Farm Village Tour

  • 6:00 AM - Departure at Legazpi City hotel

  • 6:30 - 11:30 AM - Mayon ATV ride

  • 11:30 - 12:00 PM - Cagsawa Ruins

  • 12:30 - 1:30 PM - Lunch at 1st Colonial Grill and try sili ice cream

  • 2:00 - 2:30 PM - Daraga Church with a view of Mayon Volcano

  • 3:00 - 4:00 PM - Albay Farmers Bounty Village (Cacao, Pili, Bee Farm, Dairy)

  • 4:30 PM - Drop-off at Legazpi City hotel

Day 4:Albay Jovellar Underground River & Quitinday Green Hills Tour

  • 7:30 AM - Departure at Legazpi City hotel

  • 8:30 - 11:30 AM - Quitinday Green Hills

  • 11:30 - 1:00 PM - Lunch 

  • 1:30 - 3:30 PM - Jovellar Underground River

  • 4:30 - 5:00 PM Bascaran Pasalubong Shopping

  • 6:00 PM - Drop-off at Legazpi City hotel

Day 5:Albay Busay & Vera Waterfalls Tour 

  • 8:00 AM - Departure at Legazpi City hotel

  • 9:00 - 11:00 AM - Trekking and swimming at Busay Falls

  • 11:30 - 12:30 PM -  Lunch

  • 1:00 - 4:00 PM - Trekking and swimming at Vera Falls

  • 5:00 PM - Drop-off at Legazpi City hotel

Day 6: Departure

Before or after checking out of your Legazpi City hotel, you can do your souvenir shopping
 

Plan Your Albay Trip Now!

View of Mayon Volcano from a nearby field

From stunning views of Mayon Volcano, exciting Mayon ATV rides, enchanting waterfalls, underrated islands and beaches, unspoiled underground river, and verdant hills - there’s so much to explore and to do in the province of Albay, Bicol! 

With so many fun activities and beautiful outdoor tourist spots in Albay, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the best places to visit in the Philippines, especially for travelers booking family vacation packages and honeymoon packages looking for new adventures. 

Make sure to check out our Legazpi travel guide for the COVID-19 Albay Bicol Philippines travel requirements for a hassle-free vacation. Book all-inclusive Albay tour packages for a hassle-free vacation in the home of Mayon Volcano. 

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