A DIY Albay Day Tour

Saturday, December 03, 2016

what to do in albay

Albay has always been known as the home of the Perfect Cone – Mayon Volcano – but this province in the Bicol region, recently declared as a Biosphere no less, has much, much more to offer. Here are three underrated destinations you should definitely include in your itinerary the next time you’re heading to Albay:

Quitinday Green Hills
Quitinday Green Hills in Camalig is slowly gaining popularity and it’s not hard to see why. The verdant landscape rolls to as far as the eyes can see and is dubbed as Region 5's Chocolate Hills. But the beautiful terrain has its own character and can easily hold its own against Bohol’s more popular counterpart. For one thing, on a cloudless day, it gives a glorious vantage point of the Mayon Volcano (you can never really go anywhere in Albay without this giant showing up in the background). The trek to here is short and easy too, so no problem if you haven’t tried mountaineering yet. 
top tourist destinations in albay

Related Adventure: A Discerning Afternoon in Sorsogon City

Getting to the Green Hills only takes about an hour from Legazpi City. Entrance fee, as of August 2016, is only Php20 per person.

Jovellar Underground River, Falls, and Caves
About 30 minutes from the Green Hills is the underground river in Jovellar. This pristine subterranean waterway may not be as long as that of Puerto Prinsesa but is as majestic nevertheless. A bamboo raft will take you through the length of the cavern, glimmering stalactites jutting from the darkness and an occasional bat zipping out of sight. At the other end is an underground falls where you can bathe. The water is raging, but cool, and extremely invigorating! You can also (very carefully) explore upstream where the water is less vehement but as refreshing
top tourist destinations in albay


The entrance fee here is, again, Php20 per head, but you have to pay Php100 for the balsa to take you to-and-fro the river, plus a non-standard amount for your tour guide (which is mandatory).

Sumlang Lake
If you want a different perspective of the Mayon, head to Sumlang Lake in Camalig. This place, with its calm glittering surface, inspires a relaxing afternoon wading out in a bamboo raft outfitted with a stylish set of chairs made from abaca. Cruise down the lake, or rent out a paddle board or kayak, while marveling at the grandeur that is the Mayon Volcano.
top tourist destinations in albay

An entrance fee of a mere Php10 is required to access Sumlang Lake. A balsa ride is only Php25 per head!

SAMPLE ITINERARY
Dayhike (from Sorsogon City)
06:10 to 07:15 - Sorsogon Town Proper to Legazpi, Albay via van
07:15 to 07:30 - Legazpi to Bañag via tricycle
07:30 to 08:10 - Bañag to Quitinday Intersection via jeepney
08:10 to 08:40 - Quitinday Junction to Quitinday Green Hills via rented tricycle
08:40 to 09:15 - Register, pay fees, trek, picture-taking
<Sidetrips>
09:15 to 09:50 - Quitinday Green Hills to Jovellar Underground River and Cave via rented tricycle
09:50 to 12:10 - Register, explore underground river and cave
12:10 to 12:45 - Wash up
12:45 to 13:10 - to Rayben's for lunch via rented tricycle
13:10 to 14:00 - Lunch
14:20 to 14:50 - Rayben's to Sumlang Lake via rented tricycle
14:50 to 16:00 - Balsa ride across Sumlang Lake, picture-taking
16:00 to 16:10 - Sumlang Lake to Highway via rented tricycle
16:10 to 16:30 - Sumlang to Legazpi via jeepney
16:30 to 17:45 - Legazpi to Sorsogon town proper via bus

Related Adventure: DIY Guide to Paguriran Island in Sorsogon

BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES
(Per pax unless otherwise stated)
UV Van Fare (Sorsogon to Legazpi) - Php95
Tricycle Fare (Legazpi drop-off to Bañag; good for 2 pax) - Php20
Jeepney Fare (Bañag to Quitinday Intersection) - Php15
Tricycle Rent (Quitinday Intersection to Quitinday Green Hills, Jovellar Underground River and Cave, Sumlang Lake, and to Highway; good for 2 pax) - Php750
Entrance Fee (Quitinday Green Hills) - Php20
Entrance Fee (Underground River and Cave) - Php20
Parking Fee (Tricycle) - Php15
Bamboo Raft Fare (two-way)- Php100
Tour guide fee (no standard fee) - Php200
CR (Jovellar; with shower) - Php10
Lunch (Rayben's; good for 3) - Php250
Entrance Fee (Sumlang Lake) - Php10
Balsa Fee - Php25
CR (Sumlang Lake, with shower) - Php5
Jeepney Fare (Sumlang Highway to Legazpi) - Php18
Bus Fare (Legazpi to Sorsogon Town Proper) - Php74

HOW TO GET THERE
From Sorsogon town proper, take a tricycle or walk to the municipal hall where there is a UV van terminal. Get on a van bound to Daraga or Legazpi. Once in Legazpi City, take a jeepney. Once there, ride a jeepney with “Polangui” signage and alight at the Quitinday junction. Then, rent a tricycle for take you to these destinations. 


OTHER CONCERNS AND REMINDERS
- Practice the LNT Principles at all times (Read: 8 Basic Etiquette Rules Every Modern Traveler Should Know)
- Wear appropriate clothing to avoid injury and wounds, put on some sunscreen too
- Bring enough water to hydrate, too. However, if you run out, there’s a sari-sari store at the foot of the Quitinday Green Hills, along with a clean restroom. There are also plenty of food stalls in Sumlang Lake.
- - Mobile Reception (all networks) is stable all throughout the three destinations
- Make sure to waterproof your belongings if you're going to the underground river, but you can leave your things at the registration area
- You may park your vehicles around the registration areas in Quitinday Green Hills, and Sumlang Lake for free; for a fee in Jovellar Underground River and Cave
- Camping is allowed in the Quitinday Green Hills, but you have to secure a permit from the Camalig local government at least three days before your intended overnight stay. Contact number below.

CONTACT DETAILS
Jed Villanueva
Camalig Tourism Officer
+63 927 621 3315

Lourdes Boreta
Jovellar Tourism Officer
+63 998 552 5715

Eddie Pedrajeta
Brgy. Captain
+63 907 025 0211 or +63 926 476 2092

Ma. Aileen Morales
In-charge of Collection, Cashier
+63 975 356 3211 or +63 950 440 6626

Aubert Iglesia
Assistant Tourism Officer / Tourist Area Supervisor
+63 929 216 7422 or +63 926 356 6809 or +63 905 630 6703

Jemar Moral
Tricycle Driver/Tour Guide
+ 63 930 086 7210


Into DIY travel? Check out these other DIY Travel Guides.


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