• Philippines

15 Best BICOL TOURIST SPOTS (Heritage, Islands & Nature)

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Are you ready for another adrenaline-filled adventure with me? Ah, our next destination will surely hype you up because it’s considered one of the hottest destinations in the country. And I mean that literally! Bicol Region is known to be the Chili and Lava Capital of the Philippines. Well, for one, it is where the most iconic volcano in the world can be found, the perfect cone itself, Mayon Volcano .

Another reason is that the Bicol Region has been known to be the home of the most delicious spicy dishes and delicacies in the Philippines. That’s why aside from exploring Bicol’s beautiful attractions and natural landmarks, you should also prepare yourself for a gastronomical feast featuring the region’s famous dishes like Bicol Express, Laing , Pancit Bato, and many more! The specialty of Bicol’s cuisines is their prominent use of chilies and gata (coconut milk) in their dishes. So be ready for more extra rice!

Bicol really is a special place to visit in the Philippines because it features everything that every tourist and adventurer wants. From breathtaking beach and island destinations, and exciting activities, to its extraordinary cuisine, religious attractions, and cultural and historical landmarks, your adventure in Bicol will definitely be one for the books.

So, let me ask you again. Are you ready? Pack your bags and prepare yourselves because here are the 15 Best Tourist Spots in Bicol Region!

1. Cagsawa Ruins (Mayon View)

I’d say that there’s no better way to start our Bicol adventure than by visiting one of the country’s oldest and most famous attractions, the iconic Cagsawa Ruins. This historical landmark has been in every textbook and postcard since we were kids, so being able to finally step foot on it and glance at the breathtaking view of Mayon Volcano, is undeniably a dream come true for many.

Cagsawa Ruins Albay Bicol

Oh hello there.

Apart from the astounding beauty of Cagsawa Ruins, what makes it even more special is the story behind its fame. The legendary bell tower is actually the remains of Cagsawa Church, a Franciscan church that was rebuilt in the year 1636. It was destroyed and buried underground after Mayon Volcano’s most violent eruption in history in 1814 when more than 1,200 people died.

READ THE BLOG POST: Cagsawa Ruins Experience in Albay

Today, Cagsawa serves as a significant tourist attraction in Bicol where thousands of visitors gather and take pictures at the iconic site. Oh, and it’s also a popular jump-off point for several ATV ride adventures so be sure to take on the challenge!

2. Calaguas Island

Next on our list is no other than Calaguas Island, which is a group of beautiful islands known for its pristine beaches. It is located in Camarines Norte and takes roughly about 12 hours of travel time from Metro Manila. Calaguas is a perfect spot for a serene getaway where you can get to enjoy the white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and thriving marine animals of the island.

Calaguas

This is life…

Calaguas Islands

Aside from chilling and relaxing by the beach, you can also engage in some exciting activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, island hopping, camping, swimming, and a whole lot more! Of course, you shouldn’t miss watching the mesmerizing sunset and taking lots of memorable pictures with your favorite people, right?

READ THE BLOG POST: Calaguas Island Experience and Story

3. Daraga Church

Taking time to visit Daraga Church should also be a part of your tour especially if you’re a catholic because it is one of the most significant historical and religious landmarks in the Bicol Region.

Daraga Church Daraga Albay Bicol

It was built in the year 1772 by Franciscan priests and was famously made out of volcanic rocks. Yup! It is also one of the places with the most astonishing view of Mayon Volcano, making it a popular attraction in Daraga, Albay. So don’t forget to drop by Daraga Church to offer prayers and also enjoy the view of Mayon when you visit!

READ THE BLOG POST: Daraga Church Experience in Albay

4. Binurong Point

Binurong Point is one of the newest attractions in Bicol that’s quickly gaining popularity in social media and being hailed as the Batanes of the Bicol Region because of its scenic views. The rolling hills, the towering cliffs, and the strong waves of turquoise waters crashing to the massive boulders will definitely remind you of Batanes and even Ireland, for some.

Binurong point

It is located in Baras, Catanduanes, and it actually has an interesting history about the origins of its name. Binurong Point was derived from the word “buro” which refers to the process of preserving food with the use of salt and vinegar. It is said that Binurong Point was traditionally the place where locals go to preserve the fishes that they caught. Now, it is a breathtaking paradise where tourists can go to simply relax and admire one of God’s greatest creations.

Oh, and just a friendly reminder! Reaching the top of Binurong Point requires a little bit of trekking, so be sure that you and your companions are prepared, alright? Don’t worry though, because it will all be worth it once you reach the top!

READ THE BLOG POST: 20 Best Catanduanes Tourist Spots

5. Paguriran Island and Lagoon

Next up, we’ll be exploring the beautiful Paguriran Island and Lagoon of Sorsogon! The island is known for its world-class white sand beach where tourists can freely swim and relax all they want. And not only that, there’s a sandbar connecting the beach all the way to the famous lagoon that gives out the amazing vibes of Palawan!

Paguriran Island Lagoon Bacon Sorsogon

picture Picture! Credit: Nhel Montuya

While walking along the sandbar, you can really feel the refreshing ocean breeze as you see the turquoise waters, the beautiful rock formations, and oh, even the view of Mayon Volcano on a clear and sunny day. You can also have fun at the lagoon by doing exciting activities like kayaking, cliff diving, snorkeling, and a whole lot more.

READ THE BLOG POST: Paguriran Island and Lagoon Trip in Sorsogon

6. Burias Island 

Ah, and there it is. If you really want to see the unspoiled beauty of nature at its finest, then I suggest you visit Burias Island. This scenic getaway spot is one of the three (3) major islands in Masbate and features a majestic beachscape with white sands and turquoise waters.

Tinalisayan Isalnd Burias Island Masbate

Sombrero Island

What makes Burias Island stand out from the rest are the unique rock formations along the coast. Trust me, they are indeed the major attractions of Burias Island because you won’t be able to see many of these kinds of rock formations elsewhere. Oh, and aside from enjoying the world-class beach of Burias Island, you can also go on an amazing adventure of island hopping around the area! You’ll get to witness the astonishing beauty of some of Bicol Region’s famous tropical islands like Animasola Island, Tinalisayan Sandbar, Sombrero Island, and more.

READ THE BLOG POST: Burias Island Island Hopping in Masbate

7. Ligñon Hill Nature Park

Of course, since we’re here at Bicol, we obviously shouldn’t waste the chance to enjoy and admire the beauty of the Mayon Volcano. Another must-visit and rising tourist attraction here is the Ligñon Hill Nature Park. It is one of the best places to simply embrace the cool mountain breeze, enjoy a breath of fresh air, and be mesmerized by Mayon.

Ligñon Hill Nature Park Legazpi Albay Bicol

Ligñon Hill is a perfect place to watch the sunrise over the scenic Albay Gulf or the sunset with Mayon Volcano’s majestic peak at its highlight. This park operates from 5 AM to 9 PM so whether you’re in the mood for a morning hike or simply want to enjoy an evening walk, I’m sure that you will have an amazing time!

Oh, and there’s a famous lighthouse on top of the hill as well so if you really want to make your trip even more memorable, which I always recommend you do, take on the challenge of hiking atop the 156-meter high Ligñon Hill! There, I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed by the breathtaking view of Legazpi City, Albay Gulf, and of course, the Mayon Volcano.

READ THE BLOG POST: Ligñon Hill Nature Park Experience 

8. Tikling Island

Have you ever seen or even heard about a pink-colored beach? Well, you’re not alone because I was also intrigued by one of Sorsogon’s most popular tourist spots, Tikling Island! The fine sands of the island are pinkish-white in color because of the scattered red corals all over the beach.

Tikling Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol

Jump Shot!!!

This unique color, combined with the crystalline turquoise waters of the island, is definitely a sight to remember. Aside from relaxing by the beach, you can also explore the whole island and stumble upon beautiful rock formations. So once you get there, be sure to maximize your time and enjoy swimming, snorkeling, trekking, and exploring its entire beauty while you can!

READ THE FULLS TORY: Tikling Island: The Pinkish Beach of Sorsogon

9. Caramoan Islands

Ah, yes. This list certainly wouldn’t be complete without including one of the country’s sought-after beach and island destinations, Camarines Sur’s secret paradise itself, the Caramoan Islands. Covering an extremely huge area of 4,000 hectares composed of beautiful limestone forests, white sand beaches, and crystal clear waters, Caramoan Island is indeed up there with Palawan, Siargao, and Boracay as some of the Philippines’ finest beach destinations.

Caramoan Islands

Photo: Caramoan Islands

Here, you can discover lots of pristine tropical wonders such as lakes, lagoons, swamplands, and even caves that are all in their unspoiled conditions. Oh, and this is also where multiple seasons of the renowned international TV series “Survivor” filmed their episodes! So expect to try a lot of fun and exciting activities here such as swimming, snorkeling, cliff diving, trekking, spelunking, boating, and a whole lot more.

10. Donsol Whale Shark Interaction Center

Aside from Bicol’s amazing tropical wonders and historical landmarks, it is also home to some of nature’s extraordinary creations. A great example of these is the legendary whale sharks also known as butanding. These beautiful creatures are the largest known fish in the world and the best part? One of the best places to interact with whale sharks can be found in the Bicol Region.

Donsol Bay

Photo from Bicol Tourism

Yup! The Donsol Whale Shark Interaction Center is the perfect spot to swim and snorkel with whale sharks because it is believed that the largest school of whale sharks migrate here every year during the months from November to May. Moreover, you will be assisted by professional trainers and divers as you experience one of the best moments of your life! So if you’re visiting Bicol during the whale shark season, make sure to drop by Dansol and swim with whale sharks!

11. Subic Beach

Another fantastic white-sand beach destination in Bicol can be found in Matnog, Sorsogon which is the famous Subic Beach. It is located in the southernmost part of the Bicol Region and is already almost at the coast of Visayas. This is why Matnog is hailed as the gateway to the Visayas, making it an absolutely must-visit destination for you!

Subic Beach Calintaan Island Matnog Sorsogon Bicol

Here, you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful pinkish-white sands of the beach as you swim with the surrounding crystal clear waters of the island. Subic Beach is actually divided into two (2) parts, namely the Subic Laki and Subic Liit. If you want to spend the night at this beautiful wonder, you can opt to stay at Subic Laki, the bigger one, where most of the recent developments can be found.

READ THE FULL STORY: Subic Beach in Sorsogon 

12. Bulusan Lake

Aside from Mayon Volcano, the Bicol Region is also home to another one of the country’s most active volcanoes, Bulusan Volcano. And I assure you, your trip will feel incomplete if you’re unable to explore “The Little Switzerland of the Philippines” itself, Bulusan Lake.

Bulusan lake Sorsogon Bicol Philippines

The emerald waters and the surrounding trees of lush green color in the lake will truly make you fall in love with the peace and tranquility of the place. It’s located right at the heart of the Bulusan Volcano National Park which covers a huge area of more than 3,600 hectares! The best thing about this lake is that you can rent kayaks and proceed to explore the entire lake all you want. I’m sure that you’ll appreciate this amazing activity because it will really bring you closer to nature.

READ THE BLOG POST: Bulusan Lake in Sorsogon

13. Ticao Island (Masbate)

Ah, another tropical wonder you shouldn’t miss is the fantastic Ticao Island of Masbate. If you’re looking for something different and at the same time be able to witness a lot of great sceneries at once, then this is absolutely the best choice for you!

Ticao Island

Photo: Tripadvisor

Aside from Ticao Island’s crystalline waters, white sand beaches, and beautiful rock formations, it’s also the perfect place to admire the breathtaking views of both Mt. Mayon and Mt. Bulusan. Oh, and it’s a popular takeoff spot for everyone going on an island-hopping adventure around Masbate as well. Finally, and probably one of the unique things you’ll see in the Philippines is the iconic seaside waterfall of Ticao Island! Yup, a waterfall that flows straight to the ocean. Isn’t that an extraordinary sight to see?

14. Pulong Guijanlo 

Pulong Guijanlo is undoubtedly one of the newest and most underrated attractions in the Bicol Region that you definitely shouldn’t miss. This heavenly white sandbar located at Capalonga, Camarines Norte gives you a chance to experience peace and serenity with nature’s most wonderful features.

Pulong Guijanlo (2)

#PogiProblems Photo Credit: HeyitsJacque

It is truly relaxing to simply walk along the white sandbar as you feel the turquoise waters crash to your feet, breathe the fresh ocean breeze, and just embrace the heat of the sunlight as it touches your skin. Pulong Guijanlo is indeed an untouched beauty that’s worth preserving. I would love to cast myself away on this island and just forget all about the stress and noise of the city!

READ THE FULL STORY: Capalonga Travel Guide

15. Barcelona Church and Ruins

Finally, the best way to end our Bicol adventures is by dropping by the famous Barcelona Church and Ruins of Sorsogon. It is one of the main attractions in Sorsogon that allows tourists to take a look back at our country’s rich and colorful history. The park is located in the coastal town of Barcelona, Sorsogon, also giving visitors a breathtaking view of the ocean.

Barcelona Ruins Park Church Sorsogon

Yeah! Photo Credit: Nhel Montuya

Barcelona Ruins Park Church Sorsogon

Barcelona Church

According to history, the Spaniards claimed this entire community in the 1800s and named it Barcelona, in honor of the capital town of Spain. Now, the park features several Spanish Colonial Era buildings that all beautifully commemorate our country’s history. Some of the other landmarks you should visit are the Presidencia Building and the St. Joseph Parish Church.

READ THE FULL STORY: Barcelona Sorsogon Experience and Story

FAQ: Best Tourist Spots in Bicol

1. What are the top must-visit spots in Bicol for first-time visitors? If it’s your first time in Bicol, don’t miss the Cagsawa Ruins, Calaguas Island, and Daraga Church. These spots offer a mix of history, natural beauty, and a taste of Bicol’s culture.

2. I love nature and adventure. Which spots in Bicol should I visit? For nature and adventure enthusiasts, Binurong Point, Bulusan Lake, and Ligñon Hill Nature Park are perfect. They offer stunning views, hiking opportunities, and a chance to connect with nature.

3. Are there any good spots in Bicol for beach lovers? Absolutely! Calaguas Island, Subic Beach, and Tikling Island are some of the best beaches in Bicol. They boast pristine sands and clear waters, ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

4. Where can I have unique wildlife experiences in Bicol? Head to Donsol Whale Shark Interaction Center to swim with whale sharks. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see these gentle giants up close.

5. Can you recommend any historical or cultural spots in Bicol? Daraga Church, Barcelona Church and Ruins, and the Cagsawa Ruins are not just historical landmarks but also offer insights into Bicol’s rich history and culture.

6. What are some less crowded tourist spots in Bicol? Pulong Guijanlo, Ticao Island, and Burias Island are relatively less crowded. They are perfect for travelers looking for a more serene and off-the-beaten-path experience.

7. Are there any family-friendly destinations in Bicol? Ligñon Hill Nature Park and Bulusan Lake are great for families. They offer activities and sights that people of all ages can enjoy.

8. How do I travel between these tourist spots in Bicol? The Bicol Region is huge. The most convenient way to travel between these spots is by car or local transportation like jeepneys and tricycles. Some islands require boat rides, so plan accordingly.

9. What’s the best time of year to visit Bicol? The best time to visit Bicol is during the dry season, from March to May, when you can fully enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities without the worry of rain.

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Discover the Top 30 Tourist Spots in Bicol Region - A Place of Natural Wonders and Rich Cultural Heritage

Bicol tourist spot - calaguas island

Welcome to Bicol Region, a paradise nestled in the Philippines that boasts a harmonious blend of natural wonders and rich cultural heritage. Situated in the southern part of Luzon, this region offers a plethora (literally!) of tourist spots that will leave you in awe. Join us on a journey as we unveil the top 30 must-visit attractions in Bicol Region, ensuring an unforgettable travel experience.

If you plan to visit any of the places in the region, better read my blog on how I developed the FREE ITINERARY BUILDER.

Mayon Volcano

Marvel at the perfect cone shape of Mayon Volcano, one of the most iconic landmarks in the Philippines. Visit Legazpi City in Albay to witness its majestic beauty up close.

Caramoan Islands

Explore the captivating islands of Caramoan, known for their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and limestone cliffs. Embark on island-hopping tours to discover its hidden gems.

Dive into the waters of Donsol in Sorsogon, the "Whale Shark Capital of the World." Swim alongside these gentle giants, the largest fish in the world, for an awe-inspiring experience. II’m actually proud to flex that I was a part of the team that helped formulate the whale shark interaction program as a way to provide the locals with a sustainable alternative livelihood.

Quitinday Hills

Hike up the scenic Quitinday Hills in Camalig, Albay, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including the picturesque Mayon Volcano.

Cagsawa Ruins

Visit the ruins of Cagsawa Church in Daraga, Albay, which stand as a haunting reminder of the destructive eruption of Mayon Volcano in the 18th century. Capture stunning photos of the volcano framed by the ruins.

Calaguas Islands

Escape to the pristine beaches of Calaguas Islands in Camarines Norte. Relax on its powdery white sand, swim in turquoise waters, and camp under the starry night sky.

Mount Isarog

Embark on a thrilling adventure by hiking Mount Isarog in Camarines Sur. Explore its lush forests, encounter unique wildlife, and enjoy panoramic views from the summit. There are waterfalls in the mountain that are easy walks from the parking station. Bring extra clothing!

Matnog Pink Beach

Discover the enchanting pink sand beach in Matnog, Sorsogon. Enjoy the stunning coastline, go snorkeling to see vibrant marine life, and witness the unique pink hues created by crushed red corals.

Trek through the rainforest in Malinao, Albay, to reach Vera Falls. Take a refreshing dip in its cool waters, surrounded by lush greenery and cascading falls.

Atulayan Island

Visit the picturesque Atulayan Island in Bacacay, Albay. Take a boat ride to the island and bask in the beauty of its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and serene atmosphere.

Ligñon Hill Nature Park

Enjoy panoramic views of Legazpi City and Mayon Volcano from Ligñon Hill Nature Park. Take a leisurely hike, zipline through the lush landscapes, or simply relax in the park's serene ambiance.

CamSur Watersports Complex

Experience thrilling water sports at CamSur Watersports Complex in Camarines Sur. Try wakeboarding, wakesurfing, and waterskiing in this world-class facility.

Malabsay Falls

Explore the natural beauty of Malabsay Falls in Naga City, Camarines Sur. Take a refreshing swim in its clear waters and immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings.

Mount Iriga

Conquer the challenging trails of Mount Iriga in Camarines Sur. Trek through lush forests, witness stunning views, and enjoy the exhilaration of reaching the summit.

Bagasbas Beach

Surfing enthusiasts will love Bagasbas Beach in Daet, Camarines Norte. Ride the waves or take surf lessons in this popular surfing destination.

Paniman Beach

Discover the pristine beauty of Paniman Beach in Caramoan, Camarines Sur. Enjoy its white sand, turquoise waters, and tranquil atmosphere away from the crowds.

Mount Mayon ATV Adventure

Experience an adrenaline rush with an ATV adventure around the foothills of Mayon Volcano. Explore the rugged terrain and marvel at the volcano's grandeur. There would be times when Mt. Mayon would be erupting and a danger zone where no one can enter will be established. Ask first your ATV operator if the activity can be done in a safe zone.

Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave

Journey into the captivating underground world of Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave in Camalig, Albay. Admire its stunning rock formations and learn about the cave's cultural and historical significance.

Calabidongan Cave

Explore the natural wonders of Calabidongan Cave in Jovellar, Albay. Traverse its chambers, navigate through narrow passages, and marvel at the unique rock formations.

Malinao Volcano Natural Park

Discover the pristine wilderness of Malinao Volcano Natural Park in Albay. Trek through its lush forests, soak in hot springs, and revel in the serenity of nature.

Panicuason Hot Springs Resort

Indulge in relaxation at Panicuason Hot Springs Resort in Naga City, Camarines Sur. Soak in natural hot springs, enjoy therapeutic spa treatments, and rejuvenate your mind and body.

Lignon Hill ATV Adventure

Embark on an exhilarating ATV adventure through the scenic trails of Lignon Hill in Legazpi City. Enjoy breathtaking views of Mayon Volcano and the surrounding landscapes.

Quitinday Underground River

Explore the underground river system of Quitinday in Albay. Traverse the dark caves, witness unique rock formations, and marvel at the beauty of this hidden gem.

Malilipot Clay Pottery

Experience the art of pottery-making in Malilipot, Albay. Visit local pottery workshops, learn about the traditional techniques, and create your own clay masterpiece.

Bagumbayan Beach

Unwind on the serene shores of Bagumbayan Beach in Matnog, Sorsogon. Relax on its golden sand, swim in its inviting waters, and savor the tranquility of this hidden gem.

Visit Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur, famous for its picturesque landscapes and abundant harvest of delicious freshwater fish. Explore the lake by boat and enjoy the scenic beauty of its surroundings.

Basilica Minore de Peñafrancia

Pay homage to the patroness of Bicol, Our Lady of Peñafrancia, at the Basilica Minore de Peñafrancia in Naga City. Admire the grandeur of the church and witness religious processions and festivals.

Itbog Twin Falls

Journey to Tinambac, Camarines Sur, and witness the majestic Itbog Twin Falls. Marvel at the two-tiered waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery and tranquil pools.

Mercedes Islands

Embark on a picturesque island-hopping adventure to the Mercedes Islands in Camarines Norte. Discover a cluster of stunning islands with white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. Enjoy snorkeling, swimming, and beachcombing in this hidden gem of Bicol Region.

Sumlang Lake

Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Sumlang Lake in Camalig, Albay. Take a bamboo raft ride, enjoy the panoramic views, and witness the stunning sunset over the lake.

With these top 30 tourist spots in Bicol Region, the Philippines, your journey through this captivating region will be nothing short of extraordinary. From majestic volcanoes to pristine beaches, Bicol Region offers a diverse range of attractions that showcase the region's natural wonders and rich cultural heritage.

Remember to plan your itinerary carefully and immerse yourself in the unique experiences each destination has to offer. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or cultural exploration, Bicol Region will exceed your expectations. Get ready to create unforgettable memories as you explore the breathtaking beauty of this remarkable part of the Philippines.

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The Sneaky Traveller

The 16 Best Bicol Tourist Spots – A Tourist’s Guide to Breathtaking Spots

Bicol tourist spots located in the southeastern part of the Philippines, boasts a wealth of natural wonders, historical landmarks, and cultural treasures that make it a must-visit destination for tourists. From the iconic Mayon Volcano to the pristine beaches of Calaguas Island, Bicol offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural enrichment. In this article, we will explore 16 enchanting Bicol tourist spots, providing a comprehensive guide to each destination.

Table of Contents

1. Mayon Volcano – Bicol Tourist Spot

Mayon Volcano - Bicol Tourist Spot

Bicol’s crowning jewel, Mayon Volcano, is an active stratovolcano renowned for its near-perfect cone shape. Standing majestically in Albay, this iconic landmark offers a stunning backdrop for any adventure seeker. Visitors can enjoy activities like trekking, ATV rides, and ziplining while marveling at the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. No visit to Bicol tourist spots are complete if you didn’t get the chance to witness this majestic volcano.

2. Caramoan Islands

Caramoan Islands - Bicol Tourist Spot

For those in search of pristine beaches and unspoiled natural beauty, the Caramoan Islands are a tropical paradise. Located in the province of Camarines Sur, these islands are renowned for their crystal-clear waters, powdery white sand beaches, and diverse marine life. Caramoan is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, offering opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and island hopping. Don’t forget to add this Bicol tourist spot on your travel list!

3. Donsol Whale Sharks

Donsol Whale Shark

The town of Donsol in Sorsogon is a haven for nature enthusiasts, particularly those eager to encounter the majestic whale sharks. This Bicol tourist spot is worth a visit for divers. Donsol with these gentle giants as you embark on a thrilling but eco-friendly whale shark interaction. Donsol is committed to responsible tourism, ensuring that these magnificent creatures are protected and their natural habitat preserved.

4.Bulusan Lake

Bulusan Lake

Nestled at the foot of Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon, Bulusan Lake is a serene freshwater lake surrounded by lush greenery. Visitors can enjoy a tranquil boat ride, bird watching, or a leisurely picnic along its banks. The volcano as a backdrop adds to the picturesque setting, making Bulusan Lake a perfect retreat for nature lovers. An instagrammable Bicol tourist spot for everyone.

5. Subic Beach

Subic Beach - Matnog, Sorsogon

Situated in Matnog, Sorsogon, Subic Beach captivates visitors with its pinkish-white sand and crystal-clear waters. The vibrant coral reefs provide excellent snorkeling opportunities, allowing you to explore the underwater wonders of Bicol. Subic Beach is an idyllic Bicol tourist spot for those seeking a peaceful escape and a touch of paradise.

6. Binurong Point

Binurong Point - Bicol Tourist Spot

Found in Catanduanes, Binurong Point is a hidden Bicol tourist spot offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. A relatively undiscovered destination, it is perfect for hiking enthusiasts who can explore the picturesque trail leading to the cliffside viewpoint. The landscape is dotted with rock formations and lush vegetation, creating a surreal and captivating atmosphere.

7. Cagsawa Ruins

Cagsawa Ruins - Bicol Tourist Spots

A testament to the region’s volcanic activity, the Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay, stand as a haunting reminder of the destructive power of Mayon Volcano. The skeletal remains of the Cagsawa Church provide a poignant backdrop for photography enthusiasts and history buffs alike, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich past.

8. Daraga Church

Daraga Church - Bicol Tourist Spots

Also known as the Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church, Daraga Church is an architectural marvel located atop a hill in Daraga, Albay. This centuries-old church features intricate designs and a commanding view of Mayon Volcano. Visitors can explore its historic charm and religious significance while enjoying the panoramic vistas.

9. Sumlang Lake

Sumlang Lake ft. Mayon Volcano

Nestled in the town of Camalig, Albay, Sumlang Lake is a serene and picturesque Bicol tourist spot surrounded by lush landscapes. Visitors can experience a relaxing boat ride on the lake while enjoying the tranquility and spotting migratory birds. The area is also known for its floating cottages, providing a unique dining experience amid nature’s beauty.

10. Ligñon Hill Nature Park

Ligñon Hill Nature Park

For panoramic views of Legazpi City and Mayon Volcano, head to Ligñon Hill Nature Park. This eco-park offers various activities such as ziplining, hiking, and even rappelling for adventure enthusiasts. The lush greenery and well-maintained trails make it a perfect Bicol tourist spot for nature lovers and those seeking an adrenaline rush.

11. Basilica of Our Lady Of Peñafrancia

Basilica of Our Lady Of Peñafrancia

Located in Naga City, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is a revered pilgrimage site dedicated to the Virgin of Peñafrancia, the patroness of the Bicol Region. The basilica’s stunning architecture and religious significance attract both devotees and tourists alike, making it a must-visit cultural landmark.

12. CamSur Watersports Complex

CamSur Watersports Complex

Known as CWC, the CamSur Watersports Complex in Pili, Camarines Sur, is a world-renowned destination for wakeboarding and water sports enthusiasts. With state-of-the-art facilities and a vibrant atmosphere, CWC offers a thrilling experience for beginners and professionals alike, making it a hub for adrenaline-pumping activities.

13. Calaguas Island

Calaguas Island

For those seeking an untouched paradise, Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte is an ideal destination. Known for its powdery white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Calaguas offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Camping on the beach under the starry sky is a popular activity for nature enthusiasts.

14. Matnog Pink Beach

Matnog Pink Beach

Matnog in Sorsogon is home to another natural wonder – the Pink Beach. The unique pinkish hue of the sand, attributed to crushed red corals mixed with the white sand, sets this beach apart. Visitors can relax, swim, and enjoy the stunning coastal scenery, making Matnog Pink Beach a picturesque stop on any Bicol tourist spots adventure.

15. Hayop-Hayopan Cave

Hayop-Hayopan Cave

Explore the intriguing underground world of Bicol by visiting Hayop-Hayopan Cave in Jovellar, Albay. This cave system features stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations, creating a mystical atmosphere. Guided tours ensure a safe and informative exploration of this natural wonder, providing an unforgettable experience for spelunking enthusiasts.

16. Quitinday Hills

Quitinday Hills

For a panoramic view of Mayon Volcano and the surrounding landscapes, visit Quitinday Hills in Camalig, Albay. The rolling hills and vibrant greenery make it a perfect spot for hiking and photography. The iconic “Hapay na Buntag” viewpoint provides an unobstructed view of the majestic Mayon Volcano, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers.

In conclusion, Bicol tourist spots offer a diverse range of experiences, from the awe-inspiring Mayon Volcano to the tranquil beaches of Calaguas Island. Whether you seek adventure, cultural immersion, or relaxation, Bicol has something for everyone. Embrace the natural beauty, historical significance, and warm hospitality of this captivating region, and let Bicol be your next unforgettable travel destination.

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15 Best Bicol Tourist Spots And Things to do in Bicol (Travel Guide)

By: Author Ruben Arribas

Posted on Published: July 17, 2020  - Last updated: August 7, 2022

Categories Asia , Philippines , Travel Advice

Last updated on August 7th, 2022 at 05:37 am

We will write about the best Bicol tourist spots and things to do in Bicol. There are beautiful beaches in Camarines Norte and Catanduanes . If you like adventure Mt Mayon in Bicol Region and the whale sharks in Donsol are the best plans for you in this region in the Philippines .

Read here  how to get to Calaguas ,  Manila to Naga and Albay tourist spots .

Table of Contents

BEST TIME TO VISIT BICOL

Like any other place in the Philippines there are two kinds of seasons-  the dry season from November to April  and the  wet season from May to October.  

The best time to visit Bicol tourist spots is during dry season, especially from  December  to  February  when temperatures are much cooler and touring will most likely not be interrupted by rains and will not be really hot going around.

Click here to know more about the weather in Bicol !

Bicol Tourist Spots And Things to do in Bicol

We will start our list with our favorite one in the list of Bicol tourist spots Calaguas Island in North of Bicol Province. We will continue with Naga, Caramoan and going to the South of Bicol.

1. CALAGUAS ISLAND, CAMARINES DEL NORTE

Calaguas Island is called the little Boracay. You just get to Calaguas Beach and you feel in paradise. Those colors in the water a long beach with white sand.

Avoiding high season and weekends you will be calm and quiet in Calaguas Beach. Enjoying Calaguas Beach was our favorite in the list of things to do in Calaguas Island.

Read here Calaguas itinerary and  things to do in Calaguas Island !

2. Naga City

Naga City is located in  Camarines Sur  and it’s usually a stopover before going to Caramoan since there are daily flights coming from Manila to  Naga Airport .

We passed by coming from Calaguas Island and after visiting Burias Island. We will discover our favorite Naga tourist spots . We really loved the place and it reminded us to Angeles City in Pampanga where we are based.

3. CARAMOAN

Caramoan has an amazing island hopping. You can choose whole day trip visiting 4 islands for  2500 PHP . Or short trip  1500 PHP  enjoying beaches with huge rock cliffs similar to  El Nido , in Palawan.

Read here  Caramoan tourist spots and where to stay in Caramoan !

We just stayed swimming, taking pictures for long time since we loved it. And we only saw 2-3 boats doing island hopping in Caramoan that day. Beautiful beaches, sand bar and the amazing limestones.

4. SUBIC BEACH IN SORSOGON

Subic Beach is popular because of the Pink colors in the sand with blue waters. You can get there in the island hopping in Matnog . And we totally recommend to spend the day in this beach for us is one of the best beaches in Sorsogon .

Read here  Sorsogon tourist spots and how to get from Manila to Sorsogon !

5. DONSOL, SORSOGON

Donsol is one of the most popular Bicol tourist spots because of the Whale Sharks. In South Luzon in Bicol Province and close to Legazpi you can do this activity.

When you visit Donsol, you shouldn’t miss diving and swimming with the whale sharks. Don’t worry because they are friendly creatures. Just don’t do anything that will stress or scare them.

Read here beach resorts in Sorsogon !

6. MAYON VOLCANO, LEGAZPI

Mayon volcano is one of the best things to do in Bicol. It is an active, perfect-cone volcano that is famous to tourists. Aside from the Mayon Volcano, don’t forget to taste the delicacy of the Bicolanos- spicy foods. You can go around with an ATV for adventure.

7. CAGSAWA RUINS PARK, LEGAZPI

Cagsawa Ruins Park are remnants of a 16th-century Franciscan church, Cagsawa church. It was built in 1587 but was burned down by Dutch pirates in 1636 and rebuilt in 1724 by Fr. Francisco Blanco. But it destroyed in 1814 with the eruption of the Mayon Volcano.

8. GUINANAYAN ISLAND

Guinanayan Island is a white sand surrounding the island. A perfect place for practicing snorkeling, scuba-diving and relax swimming. There is a beach resort and you can even camping. To get to Guinanayan Island there is one daily boat going from Tabaco to Guinanayan.

9. LAKE BULUSAN

Bulusan Lake is a natural beauty located in Sorsogon. The vibrant lake back grounded by the lush forest is a great scenery to bask in. The lake is part of the 4th most active Volcano in the Philippines, Bulusan Volcano. No wonder it’s one of the famous Bicol tourist spots!

10. Surfing in Gubat

Try surfing in Buenavista Beach in Gubat Sorsogon one of the best things to do in Bicol. The place isn’t fully developed yet that’s why the place is a charm. The accomodation around the are well ventilated nipa huts. If you want to learn about surfing, you can learn it here for only  350 PHP . 

11. TINALISAYAN ISLAND, BURIAS ISLAND

Tinalisayan Island is 30 minutes boat ride from San Pascual Port. One of the most beautiful islands with a small sand bar, clear water and white sand. There is an entrance fee of  50 PHP  per adult and Tinalisayan Island was very clean.

You can get an open cottage for  300 PHP  to have lunch. There are no cottages for sleeping in Tinalisayan Island. You can pitch your tent if you are bringing and you talk to the owner in the island.

We enjoyed a few hours taking pictures, flying the drone, swimming, snorkeling, taking under watershots before coming back to San Pascual. There are no cottages in this island but there are tables if you are planning to have your lunch there. It was our favorite one in our Burias Island Tour .

Read here how to go to Burias Island !

12. SOMBRERO ISLAND, BURIAS ISLAND

Sombrero Island takes an hour to reach there from San Pascual Port. There are cottages in Sombrero Island to stay overnight and you can also rent or pitch a tent if you like it. It’s called Sombrero Island because of the shape of the island next to it as you can see in the picture.

There is an entrance  30 PHP  per adult. And  700 PHP  if you want to rent a cottage during the day. Expect to pay around  1500-3000 PHP  to stay overnight in the cottages.

13. Ticlao Island, Masbate

Ticlao Island is located in Masbate is a perfect pacae for island hopping in the Philippines. You can rent a boat for 2500 PHP good enough for 6-8 people in Monreal North part of the island. From Ticlao Island you can continue in Masbate or going to Bulan in Sorsogon or you can also visit Burias Island.

14. Catanduanes, Virac

Catanduanes is one of the beaten path destinations in the Philippines located in Bicol. You can go by plane from Manila to Virac. The popular activities to do in Catanduanes are surfing and island hopping.

After Catanduanes you can go to Legazpi City to visit Mayon Volcano or you can head to Caramoan by ferry.

15. TRY BICOL EXPRESS

Bicol Express is the most popular dish in Bicol Province and for sere it’s one of the best things to do in Bicol trying this traditional dish. Bicol Express is made of tofu with green beans and it’s creamy and spicy.

It can be cooked with coconut milk. You can have a Vegetarian version or you can eat with pork belly and fish sauce.

Hotels in Bicol

There are a few rooms and B&Bs,  Airbnb  available all over Bicol that cost around  1000 PHP  per night. That’s just  $19 USD ! Most of the places are close to city center and Bus Terminal.

For more luxury accommodation rates are starting at 2500 PHP for hotels in Bicol.

HOTEL VENEZIA

Hotel Venezia is located just two minutes far from the airport and provides easy access to the downtown attractions. Hotel Venezia includes a room service, a coffee shop, a family room, and meeting rooms. One of the best options for hotels in Bicol.

Prices are starting at  3500 PHP  and it’s one of the best Legazpi hotels in the list.

Address: Renaissance Gardens, Washington Drive, Cruzada, Legazpi, Philippines, 4500

Click here to check prices and availability !

THE MARISON HOTEL

The Marison Hotel is located in the heart of Legazpi City just a quick five-minute drive from the Legazpi Airport. The Marison Hotel has 118 huge and elegantly-furnished rooms one of the biggest hotels in Bicol and the biggest in Legazpi City. All guest rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV, a desk, free WiFi, and a private bathroom.

There are three dining options inside The Marison Hotel: IL Morso Italian Restaurant, The Sans Cafe & Bar and Chilo Bar for cocktails, wines, beers and non-alcoholic beverages. Prices are starting from  3800 PHP .

Address: Corner Imelda Roces Avenue, Barangay 38- Gogon, Legazpi City, Cruzada, Legazpi, Philippines, 4500

ZEN ROOMS YOUR BROTHERS HOUSE LEGAZPI

ZEN Rooms Your Brothers House Legazpi is located in the Rawis area in Mayon Tribal Village only 5 kilometers away from city center. Your Brother House with 18 rooms offers impeccable service and all the essential top-class facilities like 24-hour security, 24-hour front desk, express check-in/check-out and luggage storage.

Prices for the room starts at  1300 PHP . It’s one of the most beautiful hotels in Bicol.

Address: Brgy. Pawa Legazpi City Albay Philippines, Rawis, Legazpi, Philippines, 4500

MAYON LODGING HOUSE

Mayon Lodging House is located 10 kilometers far from the city center. Mayon Lodging House has 20 rooms and provides kitchen, 24-hour front desk towels, fan, air conditioning, balcony/terrace, satellite/cable TV. Prices are starting at  800 PHP  for a room for two people.

Address: Pan-Philippine Highway (AH26) Purok 6 Brgy. Busay Daraga, Albay, Daraga, Legazpi, Philippines, 4105 

Trip Inn is located in Oro Site area and ideal point of departure for your excursions in Legazpi. Trip Inn offers 24-hour front desk, Wi-Fi in public areas, airport transfer and safety deposit boxes. Prices are starting from  1200 PHP .

Address: F Imperial St., Oro Site, Legazpi, Philippines, 4500

If you want to sign up for Airbnb,  we give you $30 USD credit with your first booking!

Read more about all the places to stay in Bicol and book your staying with  Booking  and  Agoda !

Click here if you want to get your discount booking activities in the Philippines with Klook !

Having  insurance while you are traveling outside your home country  is very important. Make sure that you have one too, to keep you safe in your trips around the world.

Feel free to use our links with discounts for  Booking, Agoda, Airbnb and Klook . Using our links you will help us to continue with the maintenance of the website and it will not cost you anything. Thanks for the love guys

Happy Travels!

Ruben Arribas

About the Author : Ruben , co-founder of Gamintraveler.com since 2014, is a seasoned traveler from Spain who has explored over 100 countries since 2009. Known for his extensive travel adventures across South America, Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Africa, Ruben combines his passion for adventurous yet sustainable living with his love for cycling, highlighted by his remarkable 5-month bicycle journey from Spain to Norway. He currently resides in Spain, where he continues sharing his travel experiences with his partner, Rachel, and their son, Han.

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Bicol Philippines: Ultimate Travel Guide 2024

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Bicol is the adventure capital of the Philippines, and is well known for its active volcanoes, tranquil whale sharks, secret beaches and spicy food. The destination is popular with Filipinos but fairly unknown to foreign tourists, so this travel guide acts as an introduction to the beautiful region of Bicol Philippines.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to yourself. This helps towards the upkeep of this website for which I am grateful.

Where is Bicol located in the Philippines

The Bicol region is based in the southern part of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippine archipelago.

Bicol is a region made up of six provinces , Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon and the island provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate, and has its own language, Bikol , which is highly influenced by Spanish.

The largest city is  Legazpi , the capital of Albay and the Bicol Region is bounded by the Lamon Bay to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east, and the Sibuyan Sea and Ragay Gulf to the west.

The northernmost Bicol provinces of Camarines Norte and  Camarines Sur , are bordered to the west by the province of Quezon Philippines.

Map of Bicol Region Philippines

How to get to Bicol Philippines

Bicol can be reached by road or air. There are two main airports in Bicol, one in Naga, Naga Airport (WNP) and the other in Legazpi City, Legazpi Airport (LGP).

Both of these airports are serviced by major domestic carriers, including Philippines Airlines , Cebu Pacific and Cebgo airlines .

There are multiple flights a day between Bicol and other parts of the Philippines such as Cebu and Manila which is only a one hour flight away.

The distance by road from Bicol to Manila is 293 kilometres or 182 miles. The journey takes 8 to 10 hours by public transport from Manila, Cubao and Sampaloc. 

Travel by private car takes about 6 to 7 hours from Manila to Legazpi City Philippines.

Best Time to Visit Bicol Region

As the provinces in Bicol Philippines are an underrated tourist destination there is no peak season (yet!) so it’s there’s no need to worry about avoiding the crowds.

Bicol Philippines has an all year round tropical climate , however the wet season is from July to January, when typhoons can be common.

April is the driest month of the year so a great time to visit, especially if you want to go island hopping in the Caramoan Islands .

If you would like to experience the festival culture that Bicol tourist spot is famous for, then check out the calendar here and plan your visit to fall during these times of the year.

Best Places to Visit in Bicol Philippines

Legazpi city in albay philippines.

The best tourist spot in Bicol is the majestic  Mount Mayon , which is found in Legazpi City , the capital of Albay. 

Mt Mayon is 2,462 meters high and is the  world’s most perfectly formed volcano .

The active volcano can be seen from nearly anywhere in the city and most activities in Legazpi revolve around Mayon Volcano. Including hiking , ziplining and quad biking down the volcano !

Legazpi City is also home to Cagsawa Ruins , a 16th century church tower, and  Sumlang Lake , a water-sports haven with incredible views of Mount Mayon, both the ruins and the lake are popular Bicol tourist attractions.

Donsol in Bicol

Donsol is famous for being the whale shark capital of the world, and these huge fish can be seen all year round.

Boats leave daily from the Donsol Whale Shark Interaction Center, so if swimming with whale sharks is on your bucket list Donsol is the place to do it.

Other popular activities in Donsol include a firefly river tour , and scuba diving fun dives .

Naga City Camarines Sur Philippines

Whilst the rest of Bicol is famed for its nature and adventure, Naga City Philippines is the religious centre of Bicol.

Home to one of the most popular shrines in the Philippines, the Penafrancia Basilica Minore, is patterned after the Spanish shrine and is often visited by pilgrims and devotees.

Caramoan Island in Camarines Sur

The Caramoan Islands are the Philippines secret paradise.

This Asian hidden gem in Camarines Sur is often dubbed the next El Nido .

Spend your days, island hopping around the peninsula in search of white sand coves and limestone rocks and even look out for the filming location of the hit US TV show, Survivor .

Camarines Norte Philippines

The most popular spot in the Camarines Norte, is the  Catanduanes Islands , north of Luzon, which are a favourite amongst local surfers.

They are home to some of the most beautiful Bicol beaches, including Mamangal Beach , a completely untouched spot of paradise in the Catanduanes.

Another popular spot in the Camarines Norte is the city of Daet .

A cultural hotspot, home to numerous churches, monuments, and historical sites such as Parroquia de San Juan Bautista – one of the oldest churches in Bicol.

Where to Stay in Bicol Province

There are several good places to stay in Bicol, here are my recommendations for the different Bicol places to visit.

What is Bicol known for? Bicolano Food

The Bicol province is renowned for its spicy cuisine. Most Bicolano dishes contain, sili (hot chilli pepper) and gata (coconut milk) such as the most popular savoury dish, Bicol Express .

Locally, the Bicol Express is known as gulay na lada , and is made from ground pork, sili , baby shrimp, onion, garlic and other spices cooked in coconut milk.

Another popular Bicolano food dish is Pinangat , made from green  gabi  (taro) leaves wrapped around small pieces of fish, shrimp and/or pork.

Both dishes can be served with a vegetarian Bicol favourite, Laing, which is a chopped leafy green vegetable.

As for deserts, Legazpi is famous for its hot pink Chilli ice cream and Pili nut candies.

Festivals in Bicol City Philippines

Bicol is known for having some of the best festivals in the whole of the Philippines.

Some are religious, but others showcase the uniqueness of the Bicol Region.

  • In April, Masbate City holds the only rodeo in Asia, Rodeo Masbateño .
  • For the duration of May, Albay celebrates, Magayon Festival a month long festival which honours the beauty of Mount Mayon Volcano, which overlooks the city of Legazpi.
  • Also in May, is the 8 day long Sarung Banggi Festival , a colourful religious celebration dedicated to Potenciano V Gregorio’s love song ‘Sarung Banggi’.
  • During August, Legazpi City holds the Ibalong Festival, decidated to the folk story of Ibalong, where people dance in the streets wearing masks and costumes that represent the heroes and villains in the story.
  • In September, Naga City holds one of the busiest festivals in Bicol, attracting more than six million people a year. The Peñafrancia Festival is held to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
  • During Christmas, Naga Bicol also holds the Kamundagan Festival which includes lighting the Plaza Quezon Grandstand’s Christmas Village, and includes different fantasy themed Christmas shows held each night until Christmas Eve.

Read More about the Province of Bicol

I hope this travel guide to Bicol Philippines has been helpful.

If you’re interested in exploring more Bicol destinations check out the below:

  • Legazpi City is the largest city in the region of Bicol, and one of the Philippine’s adventure tourism capitals
  • Caramoan Islands is a collection of deserted tropical islands likened to El Nido, but with hardly any tourists.

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Top 24 Bicol Region Tourist Spots & Things to Do in Mayon Volcano, Caramoan Islands, Donsol Whale Sharks

Seema Hazell

Updated on: February 2, 2024

Bicol Region Tourist Spots

The Mayon Volcano is a prime Bicol tourist spot, known for its perfect cone shape. Donsol offers world-renowned whale shark interactions, captivating visitors.

Bicol is a region in the Philippines, beckons travelers with its unique blend of natural wonders and cultural heritage. At the heart of its attractions, Mayon Volcano dominates the landscape with its near-symmetrical profile, providing a backdrop for adventure and photography.

In contrast, Donsol serves as a natural habitat for whale sharks, offering tourists an unforgettable opportunity to swim with these gentle giants. Beyond these, Bicol’s white-sand beaches, such as those in Caramoan, provide a tropical paradise for sun-seekers and island hoppers. The region’s rich gastronomy, featuring the spicy and creamy Bicol Express, complements the travel experience. Cultural enthusiasts revel in the local festivals, where the colorful history of the area comes alive through dance and music. With its array of attractions, tourist spots in Bicol a must-visit destination for those exploring the natural and cultural tapestry of the Philippines.

Top 24 Things to Do in Bicol Region Tourist Spots

1. mayon volcano view at cagsawa ruins park.

The iconic Mayon Volcano offers a majestic backdrop to the Cagsawa Ruins Park, a site of both historical and scenic value. Visitors to this popular destination are greeted with the picturesque sight of the volcano’s perfect cone, which stands in stark contrast to the remains of the 16th-century Cagsawa Church.

Destroyed by an eruption in 1814, these ruins now serve as a poignant reminder of nature’s power and the resilience of the local community. Tourists can immerse themselves in the natural beauty and cultural significance of this area, capturing moments amidst the lush landscapes and the volcanic marvel, which continue to draw photographers and nature enthusiasts from around the globe.

2. Donsol Whale Shark Interaction Center

Donsol offers an unforgettable encounter with the largest fish in the world—the whale shark. Known locally as “butanding,” these gentle giants frequent the coastal waters from November to June, providing tourists with an awe-inspiring experience.

The Donsol Whale Shark Interaction Center serves as a hub for education and conservation, ensuring that both visitors and these majestic creatures can enjoy a safe and sustainable environment. Visitors are encouraged to partake in the ethical snorkeling tours, guided by knowledgeable locals who ensure that human interaction leaves no negative impact on the whale sharks.

Embarking on this aquatic adventure not only thrills but also enlightens, emphasizing the importance of marine life preservation in this lush corner of the Philippines.

3. Caramoan

Caramoan remains an enchanting secret gem waiting to be explored. Revered for its pristine beaches and untouched natural beauty, this hidden paradise offers tranquility away from the tourist trails. Adventure seekers will revel in the area’s diverse landscapes, from limestone karsts jutting out of turquoise waters to lush jungles teeming with wildlife.

If you’re kayaking through the serene lagoons or sunbathing on the unspoiled sands of Lahos Island, Caramoan provides an idyllic escape to reinvigorate the soul. Its local charm and distinctive culture, fused with the stunning scenery, make it a must-visit tourist spots in Bicol.

4. Calaguas

Calaguas boasts an archipelago of pristine islands that provide an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. White sandy beaches marry the clear azure waters, offering a picture-perfect view that rivals the more famous tropical destinations.

Nature enthusiasts revel in the unspoilt beauty of these islands, finding solace in their peaceful ambiance. Calaguas invites travelers to its uncharted territories, promising an experience that enchants both the eyes and the soul. Accessible via boat ride from the mainland, the journey to these hidden gems is as thrilling as the destination itself, with panoramic views and tranquil waters accompanying you all the way.

Visitors can indulge in various water activities or simply bask in the serenity of undisturbed nature, making Calaguas a must-visit for anyone seeking a genuine reprieve amidst the natural wonders of the Bicol region.

5. Camsur Watersports Complex (cwc)

The CamSur Watersports Complex invites thrill-seekers and water enthusiasts to a haven of aquatic sports. This world-renowned facility, often referred to simply as CWC, boasts top-notch amenities for wakeboarding, wakeskating, and waterskiing. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, the complex offers a unique blend of adrenaline-pumping activities and the serene beauty of Bicol’s natural environment.

Visitors of all skill levels can learn from expert instructors or showcase their talent on the water. The complex also features accommodations, dining options, and a nightlife, ensuring an unforgettable experience for everyone who steps onto its grounds.

6. Basilica Of Our Lady Of Peñafrancia

Situated in the heart of Naga City, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia stands as an architectural testament to the Bicolanos’ deep religious fervor. This historical church draws pilgrims and tourists alike, who come to bask in its serene ambiance and marvel at the iconic image of the region’s patron saint.

Every September, the Basilica becomes the focal point of the Peñafrancia Festival, an event teeming with processions and heartfelt prayers. Visitors are also treated to the surrounding verdant landscapes and the classic Bicolano hospitality, making their spiritual journey a holistic and enriching experience.

The basilica’s grandeur and the deep cultural resonance it holds are just one of the many facets that make a visit to Bicol a truly captivating encounter.

7. Ligñon Hill Nature Park

Ligñon Hill Nature Park offers a scenic escape with panoramic views of the Mayon Volcano and the surrounding landscape. A haven for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, this park is much more than just a vantage point.

Several activities, such as zip-lining, rappelling, and hiking, provide visitors with plenty of thrills, while the observatory allows for a closer look at the natural beauty of the region. The park also provides educational experiences with its lava trail, through which one can learn more about the volcanic history of the area.

Whether seeking leisurely walks along the lush trails or simply wanting to relish the tranquility and breathtaking views, Ligñon Hill Nature Park is a must-visit destination for any Bicol itinerary.

8. Sumlang Lake

Sumlang Lake in the province of Camarines Sur stands as a testament to Bicol’s serene beauty and its gentle embrace of nature’s artistry. This picturesque body of water offers visitors a tranquil escape, with opportunities to engage in laid-back activities like bamboo rafting while admiring the majestic backdrop of Mount Mayon.

Ample photo opportunities abound as the calm waters reflect the sky and landscape, creating a perfect setting for those seeking a moment of peace. Known for its commitment to sustainability, the community around Sumlang Lake has worked diligently to cultivate an environment that respects local traditions and eco-friendly practices, making it a model destination for eco-tourists and culture enthusiasts alike.

The charm of Sumlang Lake lies not just in its scenic views, but also in its ability to connect travelers with the authentic Bicolano way of life.

9. Daraga Church

The Daraga Church is a striking embodiment of Baroque architecture with a twist of local flair. Officially known as the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria, this historical treasure dates back to the 18th century and stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of the Bicolano people.

Its unique facade, adorned with intricate carvings and volcanic rocks, presents a stunning sight against the backdrop of the iconic volcano. Visitors to Daraga Church are swept away by its rich history and the mesmerizing panoramic views it offers, making it a must-visit when exploring the Bicol region.

The church’s elevated location not only provides spiritual elevation but also a vantage point for photographers and sightseers alike, seeking to capture the beauty of Albay’s landscape.

10. Binurong Point

This relatively unspoiled destination with its rolling grasslands and dramatic cliffs that drop off into the stunning azure ocean.

A modest hike through local farmland and over gentle slopes leads adventurers to the spot, where the fresh sea breeze and the sound of the waves create a serene ambiance. As one stands at the edge, the view of the Pacific horizon juxtaposed with the rugged terrain affords a moment of pure awe, making Binurong Point an unforgettable stop in any Bicol tourist spots.

Its allure is magnified at sunrise when the sky canvases a masterpiece of colors, promising those who make the early trek an experience that’s well worth the effort.

11. Subic Beach

Subic Beach stands out with its unique, pink-hued sand, a rare natural spectacle gifted by pulverized red corals mixing with the white sand. Its pristine waters, stretching towards a horizon dotted with rugged islands, invite travelers to a serene escape from the tumult of everyday life.

Suitable for both the lone wanderer seeking solitude and the gregarious group chasing a memorable adventure, the beach offers various activities from snorkeling amidst marine life to simply lounging under the gentle sun. Accessible by a scenic boat ride, Subic Beach visitors with its tranquil ambiance, promising an indelible experience in the Bicol region’s treasure trove of natural wonders.

If it’s the allure of the cerulean sea or the charm of the local culture, this coastal gem promises an enchanting getaway, embodying the unspoiled beauty that the Philippines is renowned for.

12. Bulusan Lake

Bulusan Lake offers a serene escape for nature lovers and adventurers alike. This hidden gem, cradled by the formidable Bulusan Volcano, is a sanctuary of tranquility with its crystal-clear waters reflecting the sky’s ever-changing hues.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the natural beauty by taking a leisurely kayak ride, or for those who prefer dry land, a picturesque trek along the lake’s edge reveals the rich biodiversity of the area. The symphony of bird calls and the gentle rustling of leaves create an enchanting atmosphere, making Bulusan Lake a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the bountiful Bicol region.

If you’re drawn by the call of the wild or seeking a peaceful retreat, the mesmerizing charm of this spot is sure to leave a lasting impression.

13. Quitinday Hills

Quitinday Hills offers a breathtaking view that rivals the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol. These majestic mounds lure both avid photographers seeking to capture their unique beauty and nature enthusiasts longing for a serene escape.

Ascending the hills requires a bit of exertion, but the reward is a panoramic vista of Albay’s countryside, making the climb well worth the effort. Visit during the early morning hours to witness a mesmerizing sunrise, or arrive late in the afternoon to bask in the golden hues of the sunset.

The experience at Quitinday Hills is not simply a visual feast; it’s a chance to commune with nature and create lasting memories in one of hidden Bicol tourist spot.

14. Matnog Pink Beach

Matnog Pink Beach offers travelers a unique coastal getaway with its rose-tinted sands and crystalline waters. The hue of the beach comes from the crushed red corals blending with the white sand, giving it a distinct pinkish glow, especially during the sunrise and sunset.

With its tranquil surroundings and picturesque views, visitors are encouraged to bask in the sun or take a refreshing dip in the ocean. The beach remains relatively untouched by commercial tourism, making it a perfect spot for those seeking a peaceful retreat in nature.

Lush greenery and the occasional local fishermen add to the beach’s charm, providing an authentic Bicolano experience. If you’re in for a quick escape or an extended holiday, Matnog Pink Beach stands as a must-visit destination, promising an unforgettable addition to your Bicol adventure.

15. Vera Falls

Vera Falls presents an awe-inspiring spectacle of natural beauty that captures the hearts of adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. This hidden gem in the Bicol region offers a refreshing retreat with its crystal-clear cascading waters plunging into a serene basin.

Travelers seeking an invigorating dip will find the pool at the base of the falls both mesmerizing and rejuvenating. Surrounded by lush foliage and the melodious symphony of birds, the journey to Vera Falls is as captivating as the destination itself, making it a must-visit for anyone touring the province.

If you’re an avid photographer in search of the perfect shot or simply yearning for peace and tranquility, Vera Falls delivers an unforgettable experience.

16. Atulayan Island

Atulayan Island stands as an unspoiled gem awaiting discovery. This secluded paradise, accessible via a short boat ride from the mainland, offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Visitors can soak in the sun on its pristine beaches, take a dip in the clear turquoise waters, or simply enjoy the soothing sound of the waves while lounging on the sand. The island’s rich marine life also makes it a perfect spot for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts eager to explore coral reefs.

Embracing the laid-back atmosphere, guests are encouraged to disconnect and immerse themselves in the natural beauty that Atulayan Island generously offers.

17. Malabsay Falls

Malabsay Falls is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers and nature enthusiasts alike. This natural wonder with its cascading waters that plunge into a crystalline pool, ideal for a refreshing swim.

Surrounded by greenery, the falls offer a serene escape from the bustle of city life. For adventurers, a trek through the picturesque trails leading to Malabsay promises an exhilarating experience. The sound of the waterfall harmonizes with the forest whispers, creating an enchanting ambiance that seems to echo the essence of Bicol’s majestic landscape.

If you’re a seasoned hiker or someone who simply appreciates the beauty of nature, a visit to this tranquil spot will leave you awestruck and with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

18. Mount Iriga

Mount Iriga stands as an inviting destination for adventurous souls seeking to explore the less trodden paths of the Philippines. Often overshadowed by its more famous neighboring peak, Mount Mayon, Mount Iriga boasts its own unique charm with craggy terrains and picturesque vistas that leave visitors in awe.

Enthusiasts of outdoor activities find solace in its trails, which are suitable for hikers across various skill levels, offering both challenging and more accessible routes. The summit rewards the tenacious with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, etching memories that endure long after the descent.

Rich in biodiversity, the area is also a haven for nature lovers, where the symphony of endemic wildlife delights the senses, truly a gem deserving recognition among the idyllic Bicol tourist spots.

19. Bagasbas Beach

Bagasbas Beach boasts of rolling waves perfect for avid surfers and beachcombers alike. This lengthy stretch of soft, sandy shores provides an exhilarating destination for those seeking to ride the crest of the Pacific or to simply indulge in the tranquil beauty of sunrise and sunsets.

As a haven for both novice and experienced wave riders, Bagasbas serves as an ideal spot to learn the art of surfing with its consistent surf conditions throughout the year. The beach is not just about surfing; kite flying and beach volleyball also captivate visitors, while the local cuisine offers a tantalizing treat after a day spent in the sun and sea.

This slice of paradise in the Bicol region remains a magnetic pull for tourists seeking serene shores and exciting aquatic pursuits.

20. Paniman Beach

Paniman Beach serves as a picturesque gateway to the glistening waters of the Pacific Ocean. With its powdery white sands embracing the sea’s azure embrace, this hidden gem in Bicol provides an idyllic retreat for travelers seeking tranquility away from the bustle of mainstream tourist spots.

Visitors are treated to a breathtaking view of majestic limestone cliffs, which stand as silent sentinels to the beach’s unspoiled beauty. Whether one longs for a lazy afternoon under the sun or an invigorating encounter with the region’s marine life through snorkeling, Paniman Beach offers a slice of paradise with its pristine surroundings and laid-back charm.

This beach, a jewel in the crown of Bicol’s tourism, exemplifies the raw beauty and adventure that the region has to offer.

21. Hoyop-hoyopan Cave

Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave beckons spelunkers and history buffs alike. This natural wonder, whose name translates to ‘blow-blow’ from the way the wind whistles through its caverns, offers a spellbinding journey through its limestone corridors.

Illuminated by the flickering lights of tour guides, the intricate formations within tell a geologic tale of millennia. Thrill-seekers will revel in the cave’s echoing chambers and serpentine tunnels, while cultural enthusiasts will appreciate its historical significance, playing host to a myriad of prehistoric artifacts and remnants from World War II.

The Hoyop-Hoyopan experience serves as a testament to Bicol’s diverse tourist attractions, delivering an adventure that is both educational and exhilarating.

22. Calabidongan Cave

Calabidongan Cave beckons the intrepid traveler. Its cavernous mouth opens to reveal a natural chamber adorned with remarkable stalactites and stalagmites, each telling a unique geological story. The cave’s ethereal beauty is amplified by the play of light and shadow, making it a photographer’s delight.

Those venturing inside are treated to an awe-inspiring display of nature’s artistry, a hidden treasure not widely spoken about in travel circles. Gentle echoes within its walls hint at the cave’s mysterious past, inviting visitors to ponder the narratives that have unfolded in the silent depths.

Calabidongan Cave remains one of Bicol’s best-kept secrets, awaiting those willing to stray off the beaten path and explore the wonders that lie beneath.

23. Malinao Volcano Natural Park

This serene destination is a haven for nature lovers, offering an exhilarating blend of adventure and tranquility.

As hikers ascend its lush pathways, they’re greeted by the symphony of exotic birds and the rustling of ancient trees. Visitors can immerse themselves in the untouched beauty of its surroundings and be captivated by panoramic views that are both majestic and inspiring.

The park serves as an idyllic escape for those eager to explore the richness of the Philippine’s natural offerings, from the vivid greenery carpeting the massive volcano to the crystal-clear springs that invite a moment of reflection. Malinao Volcano Natural Park is truly a testament to the Philippines’ and diverse ecological tapestry.

24. Malilipot Clay Pottery

Venture into the heart of Bicol’s artisan scene at Malilipot, where the age-old craft of clay pottery offers a unique glimpse into the region’s cultural heritage. Artistry melds with practicality as local potters shape earth into timeless pieces, an experience that not only enriches your visit but also supports the community’s living traditions.

Witness the meticulous process of molding, firing, and glazing, which transforms the rich Bicol soil into exquisite earthenware – a testament to the skilled hands that have perfected this craft through generations. Each piece, from simple pots to intricate decorative items, tells a story of the land and its people, making Malilipot’s pottery an unmissable stop on your Bicol adventure.

Discover the magic of Bicol tourist spots with your next adventure. This region beckons with its majestic Mayon Volcano, entrancing waterfalls, and pristine beaches. Whether a history enthusiast or a nature lover, Bicol’s splendor awaits.

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tourist spot in bicol region

TRAVEL GUIDE: DISCOVER THE TOP 10 TOURIST SPOTS IN BICOL 2023

  • February 26, 2023

bicol tourist spots 2023

If you’re planning to explore Bicol, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 tourist spots that you should visit. From the majestic Mayon Volcano to the breathtaking Calaguas Islands, we’ve got you covered. In this travel guide, we’ll give you all the information you need to plan your trip, including transportation options, accommodation recommendations, and tips on what to do and see in each destination. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the beauty of Bicol!

hello bicol - travel guide

Bicol Region, also known as Region V, is a peninsula located in the southeastern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines. It is comprised of six provinces: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon. The region is known for its stunning natural beauty, including lush mountains, verdant forests, pristine beaches, and active volcanoes. It boasts a vast array of tourist spots that attract visitors from all over the world. 

HOW TO GET TO BICOL 2023 FROM NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (NAIA)

bicol map - bicol travel guide

  • By Air : The most convenient way to get to Bicol Region from NAIA is by air. There are several airlines that offer daily flights to Legazpi City, the capital of Albay province, which is a gateway to Bicol Region. The flight time is about an hour. Some airlines that fly to Legazpi City include Philippine Airlines , Cebu Pacific , and AirAsia .
  • By Land : If you prefer to travel by land, you can take a bus from Manila to Bicol Region. Several bus companies offer daily trips to Bicol from various terminals in Metro Manila, such as Cubao and Pasay. The travel time is about 10-12 hours, depending on traffic and the destination in Bicol. Popular bus companies that serve Bicol include Philtranco, DLTB, and Isarog Lines.
  • By Car : Another option is to rent a car and drive to Bicol Region from Manila. The travel time is about 10-12 hours, depending on traffic and the destination in Bicol. You can take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and continue on the Pan-Philippine Highway until you reach Bicol.

TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS IN BICOL 2023

Travel requirements for Bicol depend on your point of origin and the purpose of the visit. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Domestic Travel : If you are traveling from within the Philippines, you do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test result or undergo mandatory quarantine. However, it is recommended that you check with your local government unit for any specific requirements or restrictions.
  • International Travel : If you are traveling from abroad, you must follow the guidelines set by the Philippine government. This includes presenting a negative COVID-19 test result, undergoing mandatory quarantine, and completing the necessary health declaration forms. You are required to register individually to the eTravel platform and show proof of eTravel registration upon check-in/boarding and on arrival in the Philippines. It is important to check the latest guidelines before booking your trip. 
  • Health Protocols : Regardless of your point of origin, it is important to follow health protocols during your visit to Bicol. This includes wearing a face mask and face shield in public areas, practicing physical distancing, and washing your hands regularly.
  • Tourism-related Requirements : Some tourist attractions in Bicol may require reservations, advanced booking, or other requirements. Check with the specific attraction or tour provider for any specific requirements before visiting.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a safe and hassle-free trip to Bicol.

BEST TIME TO VISIT BICOL

The best time to visit Bicol Region in the Philippines is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. This is when you can expect sunny and warm weather with low chances of rain, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

In contrast, the rainy season in Bicol Region occurs from May to October, which can bring heavy rain and typhoons. This can lead to flooding and landslides, making it difficult to travel and explore the region.

TOP 10 MUST-VISIT TOURIST SPOTS IN BICOL

1 | mayon volcano – travel guide.

mayon volcano - bicol travel guide

Mayon Volcano, located in the province of Albay, is one of the most iconic landmarks of the Philippines. It is renowned for its perfectly conical shape and is considered one of the most active volcanoes in the country. Here is a travel guide to help you plan your visit to Mayon Volcano:

How to Get There: The nearest airport to Mayon Volcano is the Legazpi City Domestic Airport, around 10 km away. You can take a taxi or a tricycle from the airport to reach Mayon Volcano. Alternatively, you can also hire a private car or join a tour.

Where to Stay : There are several accommodations available near Mayon Volcano, ranging from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. Some of the popular ones are Oriental Hotel Legazpi , Emerald Boutique Hotel, and Balay de la Rama Bed and Breakfast .

  • Hiking : Mayon Volcano is famous for its perfect cone shape and is a favorite destination among hikers and mountaineers. You can hike to the summit of the volcano, which takes about 4-5 hours, depending on your fitness level. The view from the top is spectacular, with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  • ATV Ride : If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to explore Mayon Volcano, you can take an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) ride around the base of the volcano. This is a thrilling way to experience the rugged terrain and get up close to the volcano.
  • Zipline : For an adrenaline rush, you can try the zipline that runs across the lush greenery around Mayon Volcano. This is a fun and exciting way to take in the breathtaking views of the volcano and the surrounding landscape.
  • Hot Spring Soaking : After a long day of exploring the Mayon Volcano, you can relax and unwind in nearby hot springs. There are several hot spring resorts located in the area, where you can soak in the warm waters and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  • Visit Cagsawa Ruins : The Cagsawa Ruins is a popular tourist spot located at the foot of Mayon Volcano. It is a historical site that showcases the remains of an 18th-century church destroyed by the volcano’s eruption. You can stroll around the ruins and learn about the area’s history.

TRAVEL GUIDE – TIPS! Remember to check the weather forecast before visiting Mayon Volcano and always follow the instructions of local authorities to ensure your safety.

2 | CARAMOAN ISLANDS – TRAVEL GUIDE

caramoan islands - bicol travel guide

Caramoan Islands is a group of islands located in the province of Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region, Philippines. It is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking limestone cliffs, making it a popular destination for beach lovers, adventurers, and nature enthusiasts.

How to Get There : The nearest airport to Caramoan Islands is Naga Airport, which is approximately 80 km away. From the airport, you can hire a private car or van to reach Caramoan. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Naga City to Sabang Port and then take a boat to Caramoan.

Where to Stay : There are many accommodations in Caramoan, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Some of the popular ones are Gota Village Resort , Caramoan Haven , and Rex Tourist Inn .

  • Island Hopping : Caramoan Islands boasts more than 10 stunning islands, each with its unique beauty and charm. You can hire a boat and explore the different islands, including Matukad Island, Lahos Island, and Sabitang Laya Island. You can swim, snorkel, and take in the stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
  • Rock Climbing : Caramoan Islands is also known for its towering limestone cliffs, which offer a challenging and thrilling rock climbing experience. The limestone formations are ideal for beginners and experienced climbers alike, with several routes available for different levels of difficulty.
  • Beach Activities : With its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, Caramoan Islands is a perfect destination for beach activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. You can also try kayaking or paddleboarding to explore the surrounding waters.
  • Camping : If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, you can camp on one of the many islands in Caramoan. You can rent a tent and enjoy a night under the stars, listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.
  • Visit Gota Village : Gota Village is a popular destination in Caramoan Islands, known for its traditional thatched huts and crystal-clear waters. You can take a stroll around the village, interact with the friendly locals, and learn about their way of life.

TRAVEL GUIDE – TIPS! Remember to bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and appropriate beachwear. Always follow the instructions of your tour guide and respect the local culture and traditions of the area.

3 | CAMSUR WATERSPORTS COMPLEX – TRAVEL GUIDE

camsur watersports complex - bicol travel guide

Camsur Watersports Complex, also known as CWC, is a world-class water sports park located in the province of Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region, Philippines. It is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities and facilities for both beginners and experienced athletes.

How to Get There : The nearest airport to Camsur Watersports Complex is Naga Airport, which is approximately 20 km away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a van to reach CWC. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Manila or other major cities to Naga City and then take a taxi to CWC.

Where to Stay : Camsur Watersports Complex has its own accommodations, including villas, cabanas, and dormitories. You can also find other nearby hotels and resorts in the city of Naga.

  • Wakeboarding : Camsur Watersports Complex is known for its world-class wakeboarding facilities, featuring a 6-point cable system and several ramps, sliders, and kickers. You can rent equipment and take lessons from experienced instructors to learn or improve your wakeboarding skills.
  • Stand-up Paddleboarding : If you’re looking for more laid-back water activity, you can try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) at Camsur Watersports Complex. You can rent a paddleboard and explore the tranquil waters of the complex, taking in the beautiful scenery and wildlife.
  • Kayaking : Camsur Watersports Complex also offers kayaking activities, allowing you to explore the surrounding mangrove forests and lagoons. You can rent a kayak and paddle your way through the lush greenery, spotting different species of birds and marine life.
  • Swimming and Relaxing : Camsur Watersports Complex features several swimming pools and a man-made beach, where you can swim, sunbathe, and relax. You can also enjoy the facilities’ restaurants and bars, serving local and international cuisine and refreshing drinks.
  • Events and Competitions : Camsur Watersports Complex is also known for hosting local and international events and competitions, such as the Wakeboarding World Championships and the Camsur Marathon. You can watch these events and competitions and support your favorite athletes.

TRAVEL GUIDE – TIPS! Remember to bring appropriate water sports gear, sunscreen, and appropriate beachwear. Always follow the instructions of your instructors and respect the local culture and traditions of the area.

4 | DONSOL WHALE SHARK INTERACTION – TRAVEL GUIDE

donsol whale shark - bicol travel guide

Donsol Whale Shark Interaction is a unique and unforgettable experience located in the province of Sorsogon in the Bicol Region, Philippines. It is a popular destination for tourists looking to witness the gentle giants of the ocean, the whale sharks, in their natural habitat.

How to Get There : The nearest airport to Donsol is Legazpi Airport, approximately 70 km away. From the airport, you can take a taxi or van to Donsol. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Manila or other major cities to Legazpi City and then take a taxi or van to Donsol.

Where to Stay : Donsol, Sorsogon is known for its whale shark interaction tours, so many visitors prefer to stay in accommodations near the beach. Some popular options include: Dancalan Beach Resort , Elysia Beach Resort , and Vitton Beach Resort .

  • Whale Shark Season : The best time to visit Donsol for whale shark interaction is from December to May when the gentle giants migrate to the area. However, the peak season is from February to May, when the water is clearer and the whale sharks are more abundant.
  • Whale Shark Interaction : During your tour, you will board a boat with a trained guide who will take you to the whale shark hotspot. Once a whale shark is spotted, you will have the opportunity to snorkel and swim alongside the majestic creature, while maintaining a safe distance.
  • Other Activities : Apart from whale-shark interaction, Donsol offers other activities such as firefly watching, river cruising, and exploring the mangrove forest. You can also visit the local market to experience the local culture and try out the local delicacies.

TRAVEL GUIDE – TIPS! Remember to follow the rules and regulations set by the Donsol Ecotourism Office to protect the whale sharks and their natural habitat. Enjoy your whale shark interaction tour and have a memorable experience in Donsol!

5 | CALAGUAS ISLANDS – TRAVEL GUIDE

calaguas islands - bicol travel guide

Calaguas Islands is a hidden gem located in the province of Camarines Norte in the Bicol Region, Philippines. It is a group of stunning, secluded islands that offer a pristine and peaceful beach getaway. The crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand make it a perfect destination for beach lovers. Some of the popular beaches in Calaguas are Mahabang Buhangin, Tinaga Beach, and Balagbag Beach.

How to Get There : The easiest way to get to Calaguas Islands is to take a bus from Manila to Daet, Camarines Norte, which takes around 8-10 hours. From Daet, you can take a van or a tricycle to Vinzons port, where you can catch a boat to the islands. The boat ride takes around 2-3 hours, depending on the weather conditions.

Where to Stay : Camping is the most common accommodation option. Some locals also offer homestay accommodations.mThere are a few options for accommodations on the islands, including: Calaguas White Sand Resort , Calaguas Paradise Resort , and I Love Calaguas Island Resort .

  • Camping : Camping is the best way to experience the beauty and tranquility of Calaguas Islands. You can rent tents and other camping equipment on the islands, or you can bring your own gear. Camping is allowed on Mahabang Buhangin Beach, which has basic facilities such as restrooms and showers.
  • Island Hopping : Calaguas Islands also offer island hopping tours, where you can visit nearby islands and explore their beauty. Some of the popular islands to visit are Maculabo Island, Guintinua Island, and Pulang Daga Beach.
  • Local Culture : Calaguas Islands are also home to a small fishing village where you can experience the local culture and interact with the locals. You can try out the local delicacies, such as fresh seafood and coconut-based dishes, and learn about the local way of life.

TRAVEL GUIDE – TIPS! Remember to bring enough cash, as there are no ATMs or banks on the island. Also, make sure to bring enough food and water, as there are limited stores and restaurants on the island. Lastly, practice responsible tourism by leaving no trace and respecting the environment and the local community.

6 | LIGÑON HILL NATURE PARK – TRAVEL GUIDE

lignon hill - bicol travel guide

Ligñon Hill Nature Park is a popular attraction located in Legazpi City, Albay in Bicol Region, Philippines. It is a 156-meter-high hill that offers a stunning view of Mayon Volcano, Legazpi City, and the surrounding areas.

How to Get There : Ligñon Hill is easily accessible by private car or public transportation. From Legazpi City, you can take a tricycle or jeepney to the base of the hill, and then hike or take a zipline up to the summit.

Where to Stay : There are no accommodations within Ligñon Hill Nature Park, but there are plenty of hotels and guesthouses in Legazpi City. Some popular options include The Oriental Legazpi , Hotel Venezia , and Casablanca Suites .

  • Hiking : The park has a hiking trail that leads to the summit, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Legazpi City, Albay Gulf, and Mayon Volcano.
  • Zipline : Experience an exhilarating ride on the zipline, which offers a breathtaking view of Mayon Volcano and the surrounding area.
  • ATV Adventure : Explore the park and nearby areas on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) tour.
  • Sightseeing : Take a leisurely walk around the park and enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air.

TRAVEL GUIDE – TIPS! Wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, and water as it can get hot during the day. Also, be mindful of your belongings, as there have been reports of theft in the area.

7 | DARAGA CHURCH – TRAVEL GUIDE

daraga church - bicol travel guide

Daraga Church, also known as Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church, is a popular landmark and tourist attraction located in Daraga, Albay, Philippines. The church is situated on a hill overlooking the Mayon Volcano, making it a popular spot for tourists and photographers.

How to Get There : Daraga Church is located in the town proper of Daraga, just a few minutes away from Legazpi City. You can take a tricycle or jeepney from Legazpi City to Daraga town proper, where the church is located. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or rent a car to get to the church.

Where to Stay : There are several hotels and guesthouses in Legazpi City, which is just a few minutes away from Daraga Church. Some popular options include The Oriental Legazpi, Hotel Venezia , and Casablanca Suites .

  • Explore the Church : Daraga Church is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture, and it has been declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. Explore the church’s interior and admire its intricate details and artwork.
  • Climb the Bell Tower : Climb the church’s bell tower for a stunning view of Mayon Volcano and the surrounding area. The tower is accessible via a narrow spiral staircase, and the climb can be challenging for some visitors.
  • Attend Mass : If you’re Catholic, attend a mass at Daraga Church and experience the local community’s religious traditions.

TRAVEL GUIDE – TIPS! Daraga Church is a sacred place, so be respectful of the local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, and refrain from taking photos during mass or other religious ceremonies.

8 | VERA FALLS – TRAVEL GUIDE

tourist spot in bicol region

Vera Falls is a breathtaking waterfall located in the municipality of Malinao, in the province of Albay, Philippines. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region, offering visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

How to Get There : Vera Falls is located in Barangay Bulang, Malinao, Albay. From Legazpi City, you can take a jeepney or van to Malinao town proper. From there, you can hire a tricycle to take you to Vera Falls. The road leading to the falls is rough and bumpy, so it’s recommended to hire a local guide or driver who knows the area well.

Where to Stay : There are several hotels and guesthouses in Legazpi City, which is just a few hours away from Vera Falls. Some popular options include The Oriental Legazpi , Hotel Venezia , and Casablanca Suites . You can also stay in Malinao town proper if you prefer a more rural setting.

  • Swim : The falls have natural pools where you can swim and cool off from the heat. The water is cold and refreshing, perfect for a hot day.
  • Hike : There’s a short hiking trail that leads to the falls. The trail is relatively easy, but it can be slippery when wet, so wear proper shoes and be careful.
  • Picnic : There are picnic tables and cottages available for rent near the falls. You can bring your own food or buy snacks and drinks from the local vendors.

TRAVEL GUIDE – TIPS! Bring swimwear, towels, and extra sets of clothes. Wear comfortable shoes and bring insect repellent, as there may be mosquitoes and other insects in the area. Follow the instructions of your guide or driver, especially when crossing the river or hiking to the falls.

8 | QUITINDAY HILLS – TRAVEL GUIDE

quitinday hills - bicol travel guide

Quitinday Hills is a natural attraction located in the town of Camalig, in the province of Albay, Philippines. It is known for its unique formation of chocolate hills-like hills, limestone formations, and picturesque views. 

How to Get There : Quitinday Hills is located in Camalig, Albay, which is approximately a one-hour drive from Legazpi City. You can take a jeepney or van from Legazpi City to Camalig, then hire a tricycle to take you to Quitinday Hills. The tricycle ride takes around 20 minutes and can be bumpy, so be prepared.

Where to Stay : If you plan to stay overnight, there are several accommodations available in Camalig and nearby towns. Some popular options include the Mayon Backpackers Hostel , Balay de la Rama Bed and Breakfast , and Balay Cena Una .

  • Trekking : There is a trekking trail that leads to the top of the hills, which takes around 30 minutes to an hour. The trail can be steep and challenging, so wear proper shoes and bring water.
  • Zipline : There is a zipline available that offers an exciting ride over the hills and the nearby rice fields.
  • Photography : The hills offer stunning views, making them a great spot for taking photos and capturing the beauty of the surroundings.

TRAVEL GUIDE – TIPS! Wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for trekking. Bring water, sunscreen, and a hat or umbrella, as there is little shade on the hills. Follow the instructions of your guide or tricycle driver, especially when trekking or using the zipline.

10 | SUMLANG LAKE – TRAVEL GUIDE

sumlang lake - bicol travel guide

Sumlang Lake is a picturesque crater lake located in the town of Camalig in the province of Albay, Philippines. It is a hidden gem that is worth visiting for those who want to relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature. Here is a travel guide to help you plan your visit to Sumlang Lake:

How to Get There : Sumlang Lake is located in Camalig, Albay, which is approximately a one-hour drive from Legazpi City. You can take a jeepney or van from Legazpi City to Camalig, then hire a tricycle to take you to Sumlang Lake. The tricycle ride takes around 10 minutes and can be bumpy, so be prepared.

Where to Stay : If you plan to stay overnight, there are several accommodations available in Camalig and nearby towns. Some popular options include the Mayon Backpackers Hostel , Balay de la Rama Bed and Breakfas t, and Balay Cena Una .

  • Boating : You can rent a bamboo raft or paddle boat to explore the lake and enjoy the serene surroundings.
  • Fishing : Sumlang Lake is known for its tilapia and catfish, making it a great spot for fishing. You can rent a fishing rod and bait from the locals or bring your own.
  • Picnicking : There are several picnic tables and huts available for visitors to use, making it a great spot for a relaxing picnic with family and friends.

TRAVEL GUIDE – TIPS! Wear comfortable clothing and shoes suited for walking around the lake. Bring insect repellent and sunscreen, as the area can be quite hot and humid. Respect the natural surroundings and do not litter.

MUST-EAT IN BICOL

Bicol is not just known for its natural beauty and tourist destinations, but also for its delicious food. The region has a distinct cuisine that is characterized by the use of spicy and coconut-based ingredients. Here are some of the must-try Bicol food delicacies:

must-eat - bicol travel guide

  • Bicol Express – This dish is named after the train that travels from Manila to Bicol, and it is a spicy stew made with pork, coconut milk, shrimp paste, and chili peppers.
  • Pinangat – This dish is made of taro leaves and gabi (taro) cooked in coconut milk, vinegar, and spices. It can be stuffed with meat, seafood, or vegetables.
  • Laing – Another dish made with taro leaves cooked in coconut milk, chili, and spices. It can be given as a side dish or as a main course.
  • Pili Nuts – These nuts are native to Bicol and are often used in desserts, candies, and pastries. They have a distinctly rich, buttery flavor and are a good source of protein and healthy fats.
  • Sili Ice Cream – A unique dessert made with chili peppers and coconut milk. It has a spicy kick that is balanced by the sweetness of the coconut milk.
  • Toasted Siopao – A popular street food in Bicol, toasted siopao is a steamed bun filled with pork or chicken and toasted until crispy. It is usually served with spicy vinegar dipping sauce.

Overall, Bicol food delicacies are a must-try for any food lover visiting the region. The combination of spicy and coconut-based flavors creates a unique taste that is truly unforgettable.

FESTIVALS IN BICOL

Bicol region is home to several colorful and vibrant festivals that showcase the rich culture and traditions of the people. Here are some of the most popular festivals in Bicol:

festivals - bicol travel guide

  • Penafrancia Festival – held every September in Naga City, this festival honors the patroness of Bicol, Our Lady of Penafrancia. The highlight of the festival is the fluvial procession where the image of the Virgin Mary is carried along the Bicol River.
  • Magayon Festival – celebrated every May in Legazpi City, this festival honors the Mayon Volcano, which is considered a symbol of beauty and strength. The festival features street dancing, cultural shows, and various competitions.
  • Ibalong Festival – held every August in Legazpi City, this festival is inspired by the ancient Bicolano epic “Ibalong”. It showcases the different heroes and mythical creatures featured in the epic through various activities such as street dancing, cultural presentations, and food fairs.
  • Kaogma Festival – celebrated every May in Camarines Sur, this festival is a showcase of the province’s culture and tourism offerings. It features a variety of events such as concerts, beauty pageants, and sports competitions.
  • Daragang Magayon Festival – held every April in Albay, this festival celebrates the beauty and charm of Albayanas or the women of Albay. It features street dancing, beauty pageants, and various cultural shows.

These festivals are a great way to experience the vibrant and colorful culture of Bicol and should not be missed by anyone visiting the region.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BICOL

The Bicol region in the Philippines is known for its natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the majestic Mayon Volcano to the idyllic islands of Calaguas, there are many reasons to visit Bicol. If you’re planning a trip to this region, here are some of the best places to stay:

  • Hotel St. Ellis – Located in the heart of Legazpi City, Hotel St. Ellis offers modern amenities and comfortable rooms with views of Mayon Volcano.
  • Misibis Bay Resort – This luxury resort is situated on the picturesque Cagraray Island and offers stunning views of the surrounding waters and landscapes.
  • Casa Blanca Hotel – A budget-friendly option in Legazpi City, Casa Blanca Hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi and a restaurant on-site.
  • Villa Caceres Hotel – This hotel in Naga City offers spacious rooms and suites with modern amenities and a rooftop bar with panoramic views.
  • Tugawe Cove Resort – Located on Caramoan Island, this resort offers stunning views of the beach and surrounding cliffs, as well as access to nearby islands and lagoons.
  • The Oriental Legazpi – Situated along Legazpi Boulevard, The Oriental Legazpi offers stylish accommodations with stunning views of Mayon Volcano and Albay Gulf.
  • Avenue Plaza Hotel – A luxury hotel in Naga City, Avenue Plaza Hotel offers elegant rooms and suites with access to an outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurants.
  • Balay de la Rama Bed and Breakfast – A charming and cozy bed and breakfast in Daraga, Balay de la Rama offers comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi and a garden for relaxing.

These are just a few of the best places to stay in Bicol. Depending on your budget and preferred location, there are many other options available, including budget-friendly guesthouses, homestays, and hostels.

Thank you for choosing our travel guide website as your go-to source for information on the beautiful region of Bicol. We hope that our comprehensive guides have helped you plan your trip and make the most out of your visit to this stunning destination. Whether you’re here to see the magnificent Mayon Volcano, experience the thrill of watersports, or indulge in Bicol’s delectable cuisine, we are honored to be part of your journey. May you travel safely and we hope to see you return to Bicol soon!

“DISCOVER THE HIDDEN TREASURES OF BICOL – WHERE ADVENTURE AND BEAUTY COLLIDE!”

Article written by: Glaiza Bongares

  • bicol , bicol tourist spots , bicol travel guide , festivals in bicol , must-eat in bicol , philippines , philippines tourist destination , philippines tourist spots , tourist spots , where to stay in bicol

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22 Jul 2023 - 5 min read

Exploring the Best of Bicol: A Guide to the Most Spectacular Tourist Spots in the Philippines

Embark on an unforgettable adventure in Bicol, Philippines! Discover breathtaking tourist spots, from majestic volcanoes to pristine beaches.

If you're looking for an adventurous getaway, Bicol is the place to be! With many fascinating places to explore, a trip to any Bicol tourist spotpromises to be an exhilarating adventure that will leave you spellbound.

Be captivated by majestic volcanoes and unspoiled beaches brimming with diverse marine life. Swim with friendly butanding or uncover the mysteries of mountains, caves, and cliffs.

Are you ready to explore the breathtaking beauty of Bicol? Keep reading to unveil its best-kept secrets.

What Makes Bicol a Must-Visit Destination?

Amazing Climate

tourist spot in bicol region

It is pleasant year-round in Bicol, with no dry or wet season in the western and southern areas and minimal rainfall from March to May. The weather is also warm, from 27°C to 30°C, so you can enjoy Bicol tourist attractions to their fullest.

Rich Culture and Food

tourist spot in bicol region

Bicol Philippines tourismis booming thanks to its tasty dishes and vibrant heritage. In fact, it's a cultural melting pot, blending Chinese, Arab, and Spanish influences. It's also known for its spicy cuisine with chili and coconut milk.

Natural Wonders

tourist spot in bicol region

The best Bicol tourist spots allow you to marvel at Mount Mayon, check out dazzling diving sites, and lounge along pristine beaches. Don't forget to snorkel with whale sharks for the ultimate experience!

Outdoor Activities

tourist spot in bicol region

Experience top Bicol destinations by swimming in turquoise waters, surfing iconic waves, and hiking through lush forests. Whether you take a walking tour or zip line, Bicol promises adventure to the fullest.

Read more : Exploring the Best Beach Resorts in Quezon, Philippines

Top 5 Must-See Tourist Spots in Bicol

1. Mayon Volcano

tourist spot in bicol region

The Mayon Volcano in Albay is known as the "world's most perfect volcano" because of its beautiful cone shape. It is also one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. And because of its magnificent view, getting a Mayon Volcano tour package with ATV rides has become one of the most popular tourist activities in the area.

2. Caramoan Islands

tourist spot in bicol region

The Caramoan Islands Philippines is a first-class municipality known for its 4,000-hectare limestone forest, pristine azure waters, tantalizing caves, hidden coves, and a wide variety of marine life. The beaches are also known for their alluring white and pink sands, making them the Emerging Paradise of the Pacific.

3. Naga City

tourist spot in bicol region

From the beautiful old churches built during the Spanish colonial era to pristine Mt. Isarog Natural Park, Naga City Camsur tourist spotsnever fail to amaze its visitors. The city also offers mountain trekking, wakeboarding, and access to Bicol's natural attractions, such as Caramoan's white sand beaches, Donsol's whale sharks, and Calaguas' picturesque islands.

4. Catanduanes

tourist spot in bicol region

Catanduanes Island has it all - Spanish Colonial churches, waterfalls perfect for hiking or camping, waves ideal for surfing, and beaches still untouched even by most locals. It's also known as "Isla de Cobos" by Spanish conquistadors who visited here long ago; "Land of Howling Winds" because typhoons are frequent visitors every year; and "Happy Island" because of all the beautiful places it has to offer!. For your safety, while exploring the island, hire aCatanduanes travel guide .

The Top Activities to Do in Bicol for an Unforgettable Experience

Snorkel with the whale sharks

tourist spot in bicol region

Have you ever wanted to snorkel with whale sharks? You can! In Donsol, Sorsogon! It's a wild experience. You can see these gentle giants up close as they swim around you—and maybe even have one give you a little bump!

Surf in Catanduanes

tourist spot in bicol region

If you like the ocean and palm trees, you'll love Catanduanes Island. This island is a paradise for surfing and swimming, with white sand beaches and right offshore waves. The water is also crystal clear, so you'll feel like floating on air while you're in the waves.

Take an ATV ride to Mayon Volcano

tourist spot in bicol region

Explore Legazpi, Albay's iconic Mount Mayon, and challenge yourself with an exhilarating ATV ride on private tours. Get close to the perfectly cone-shaped volcano and feel the rush of excitement along the lava wall.

Visit Cagsawa Ruins

tourist spot in bicol region

Discover the rich history and culture of the Philippines by visiting the Cagsawa Ruins, a symbol of the strength and perseverance of the Filipino people amidst natural disasters. With the magnificent Mayon Volcano as its backdrop, this attraction in Albay offers a breathtaking view and a unique experience you'll love.

Zip-line at Lignon Hill Nature Park

tourist spot in bicol region

Zip-lining at Lignon Hill Nature Park is a must-try activity for thrill-seekers visiting downtown Legazpi. Not only will you experience the adrenaline rush of soaring through the air, but you'll also enjoy the upscale view deck, well-manicured lawns, and strategically placed benches that offer the best view of the glorious Mayon Volcano.

Read more : Exploring the Beauty and Wonders of Luzon, Philippines

Alright, adventurous souls, it's time to pack your bags and get ready for the ultimate escapade in captivating Bicol!. Whether you're a thrill-seeker, a nature enthusiast, or a foodie craving bold flavors, Bicol has something special in store for you.

Remember, Traveloka is your one-stop platform for all your travel needs. From flight tickets to hotel bookings and even attractions and activities with Traveloka Xperience , we've got you covered!. Booking is a breeze, and with all these exciting options at your fingertips, planning your dream holiday or staycation has never been easier.

With Traveloka, your adventure awaits! Book now and let the magic of Bicol sweep you off your feet. Embrace the thrill, soak in the beauty, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Your epic Bicol adventure starts here! Happy travels!

tourist spot in bicol region

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Travel Experience Guide | The Exodoers

Bicol: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About This Magnificent Region

by Mernel | May 12, 2022 | Albay , Cam Sur , Destinations , Itineraries , Tips

Mayon Volcano and a Carabao

Bicol Region or commonly known as ‘Bicolandia’ is the Philippines’ best destination for outdoor lovers. It is a wonderland for lovers of tremendous adventure, with church-lined historic pathways, active volcanoes, mountains, caverns and cliffs, as well as peaceful hideaway beaches, tranquil whale sharks, coral reefs, perfect diving places, stunning fiestas and festivals, and coconut-rich spicy food. Bicol is indeed the perfect destination for countless itineraries!

Key Takeaway

Bicol consists of six provinces that evidently differ from each other. These provinces are Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Albay. Each province offers a spectacular eXperience that every traveler will never forget. Let us guide you to what these provinces can offer by providing you with some information about them.

Camarines Sur

Caramoan in Camarines Sur

Camarines Sur, also known as CamSur, is the largest of the Bicol peninsula’s six provinces. The province, which was discovered on March 19, 1919 and was known for centuries as Tierra de Camarines, is a distinctly Spanish-founded settlement. Its name comes from camaronchones or camarines, a Spanish word for kamalig, which refers to the natives’ little nipa or bamboo-made homes. . From the heritage churches of certain tiny towns to the tiniest commercially produced fish to the pink and black sand beaches of the Partido region, Camarines Sur is rich in nature, history, and culture. It is home to the sinarapan, the world’s tiniest fish, as well as native delicacies such as pili nuts and tarts, masa podrida, tableas, pandecillos, and santan.

CamSur has a lot to offer in terms of outdoor activities! You can go island hopping in the Caramoan Islands, try wakeboarding at Camsur Water Park, go canyoneering and waterfall rappelling, climb or bike up mountain trails, relax on the beaches, soak in hot springs, relax in adventure and nature parks, or embark on an extreme food excursion. In Camarines Sur, you’ll never be bored! Depends on the activity, the best time of the year to visit CamSur is most likely summer. The hottest months are April, May, and June.

The province received the Best PESO Regional Winner Award: Component City/Individual Component City Category from the Department of Labor and Employment, Region V via Zoom awarding ceremonies on September 14, 2020, and a commendation from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Region V during the 2019 National Absnet Consultation (CSWD) – Vulcan Award on March 6, 2020. It was also featured in the movies Return of Xander Cage (2017), and Supravietuitorul Filipine (2016).

Camarines Norte

Calaguas Beach, Camarines Norte

Camarines Norte shares boundaries with Quezon and Camarines Sur provinces. The Philippine Sea could be seen to its north. The existence of Camarines Norte was influenced by Juan de Salcedo, who was sent by Legazpi to survey the island in 1571. Camarines Norte was established by Act 2809 of the Philippine Legislature on March 3, 1919. The towns of Daet, Talisay, Indan (Vinzons), Labo, Paracale, Mambulao (Jose Panganiban), Capalonga, Ragay, Lupi, and Sipocot were assigned to Camarines Norte when it was divided from Ambos Camarines in 1829.

Camarines Norte is noted for its gold, silver, iron, zinc, and bull quartz mineral reserves, as well as non-metallic minerals such as sand, limestone, clay, and kaolin. Fish and other marine goods abound in the province’s seas. Coconut, banan, corn, palay, rootcrops, and the famous Formosa Pineapple are all grown on the island’s farmlands. It also features a lot of waterfalls, clean rivers, and creeks where you can relax and cool down. Hikes to various waterfalls in the province are also available for nature lovers.

The most cost-effective way to travel from Manila to the Province of Camarines Norte is by bus, which costs between 800 and 1,200 pesos and takes about 9 to 10 hours. Summer is the greatest time to visit the province, especially if you wish to visit their most famous beach, Calaguas.

Local vibe

Sorsogon is on the northeastern shore of Sorsogon Bay, near the southernmost tip of the Bicol Peninsula. Republic Act 8806 established Sorsogon City, which was brought into law on August 16, 2000 and ratified in a plebiscite on December 16, 2000. The Cityhood Law, or Republic Act 8806, proposed merging the municipalities of Sorsogon and Bacon into a component city of the province of Sorsogon.

As a tourist destination, Sorsogon is known for its stunning beaches and cultural attractions in the Philippines. Some other things that you can explore here are:

  • Swim with the whale sharks
  • Get in touch with mother nature at Bulusan Volcano National Park
  • Watch fireflies along Donsol River
  • Chase waterfalls
  • Dive with manta rays
  • Get a tan at Subic Beach
  • Take a dip at Paguiriran Island
  • Go underground with Sorsogon’s wartime tunnels

The best time to go to Sorsogon province is also during the summer season or March to May. And the best time to see the whale sharks in Donsol are from November to May.

Sorsogon won BFAR’s environment award for 2020. They also got The Prieto Diaz Mangrove Ecosystem in Diaz, the first prize of the Best Mangrove Award in the Bicol region and won top prize in the Best Online Story category at the PMFTC.

Here are the movies or TV shows that featured Sorsogon province:

  • I Left My Heart in Sorsogon (2021)
  • Ikaw (2021)
  • Kailangan Kita (2002)
  • Donsol (2006)

Catanduanes

Caramoan in Camarines Sur

Catanduanes is the Philippines’ 12th largest island, located east of Camarines Sur and across the Maqueda Channel. When Juan de Salcedo landed in Catanduanes in search of pirates in 1573, he conquered the inhabitants. House Bill No. 301, introduced by Congressman Francisco Perfecto, split the province from Albay on September 26, 1945, and was signed into law by President Sergio Osmeña on October 24, 1945.

Because of its stunning sights and nice inhabitants, Catanduanes is progressively becoming known as “The Happy Island.” Apart from its outstanding surfing waves, Catanduanes, also known as “An Eco-Adventure Paradise,” is a haven for environment lovers. This pearly Pacific island’s entire strip is virtually unspoilt, untamed, and unexplored. It features a lengthy stretch of palm-fringed beaches, which are backed by jungle-covered mountains and crowned with jewel-like islets. Abaca, coconut, rice, peanuts, and lowland vegetables are among the province’s products.

Recreational options that Catanduanes can offer:

  • Hike Up to Binurong Point
  • Enjoy the White Sand at Marilima Beach
  • Take a Break at Batag Beach
  • Contemplate at Bato Church
  • Marvel at the Beauty of Nahulugan Falls
  • Swim in the Tranquil Waters of Mamangal Beach
  • Take a Leisurely Walk Along Amenia Beach
  • Find Solitude in Balite Beach
  • Pray at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
  • Fall in Love with Maribina Falls

The cheapest way to get from Manila to Catanduanes is to bus which costs ₱1,800 – ₱2,100 and takes 15h 28m and the best time to visit the province is surf season, from the month of July to October. March to June is good for beginner surfers though.

In terms of recognition, Catanduanes bags 2017 Magayagaya Award.

Fact: The island is battered by typhoons that roll in from July to November, which are in part responsible for the world-class waves.

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Masbate is located at the intersection of two island groups: Visayas and Luzon, but is politically part of the latter’s Bicol Region. It was constituted a distinct province from Albay in 1846 and became a separate politico-military command province. Masbate was annexed to the province of Sorsogon after a catastrophic storm in 1908. By virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 2934, it was eventually recognized as a separate province on December 15, 1920. Masbate, Ticao, and Burias are the three primary islands that make up the province.

Masbate is a must-visit destination because of its spectacular hills, unique islands, sandbars, and spotless white sandy beaches. It is the Rodeo Capital of the Southeast. You can buy dried fish, crabs, fish, prawn, bangus, and livestock here and bring home as a ‘pasalubong’.

Recreational Activities to be considered:

  • Enjoy the sandbar of Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary
  • Discover a hidden paradise at Palani White Beach
  • Wander around the city
  • Wild wild west with Rodeo Festival
  • Be amazed with the Aroroy Lighthouse
  • Feel like a castaway at Burias Island
  • Relish the solitude at Ticao Island
  • Have the best adventure at Halea Nature Park
  • Be amazed by Catandayagan Falls
  • Taste local cuisines

The cheapest way to get from Manila to Masbate is to bus and ferry which costs ₱1,300 – ₱1,500 and takes 21h 16m. The best months for good weather are from February to May.

Albay's Mayon Volcano

Albay is mostly on the southeastern part of the island of Luzon composed of 15 municipalities and 3 cities where the famous perfect-cone-shaped Mayon Volcano is situated. The province is mostly mountainous, with lush plains and valleys strewn about. It has two other major peaks: Mount Masaraga and Mount Malinao, in addition to Mayon Volcano. It now includes a variety of new tourist attractions, including both man-made and natural beauties.

Albay is famed for its lush volcanic terrain, sun-drenched beaches, and fiery cuisine. Albay’s people, on the other hand, are extremely welcoming. Albayanos is known for welcoming travelers with the greatest accommodations available. Albay’s land and marine ecosystems are both diverse.

Pili nut candies and munchies, mazapan, butternuts, caramelitos, pastillas, and putos are just a few of the delicacies Albay can offer to every traveler who visits Albay. When it comes to outdoor adventures, the province promises various activities such as hiking, swimming, interacting with wildlife animals, exploration of underground river and caves, ATV riding, tasting spicy Albay cuisines, and more!

The cheapest way to get from Manila to Legazpi, Albay is to bus via Superlines Cubao which costs ₱600 – ₱950 and takes 14h 16m. The best time to visit Albay is from January until November, when you will have a warm temperature and limited till mediocre rainfall.

Albay is also featured in the movies Ikaw, Kailangan Kita, and She’s Dating the Gangster and was awarded 3rd placer by Galing Pook Award 2015.

Frequently Ask Questions

What are the must-visit tourist spots in bicol.

Bicol is home to many natural wonders and cultural landmarks. Some of the must-visit tourist spots in the region include Mayon Volcano, Caramoan Islands, Donsol Whale Shark Interaction, CamSur Watersports Complex, and the Cagsawa Ruins.

What is the best time to visit Bicol?

The best time to visit Bicol is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. The weather is generally pleasant during this time, and there are fewer chances of typhoons and heavy rains.

What are the popular dishes in Bicol?

Bicol is known for its spicy cuisine, with many dishes featuring the region’s famous chili peppers. Some popular dishes include Bicol Express (pork cooked in coconut milk and chili peppers), laing (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk), and kinunot (shark meat cooked in coconut milk and spices).

How do I get to Bicol?

There are several ways to get to Bicol, depending on your location. The most common way is by taking a flight to Legazpi or Naga City, which have airports that serve domestic flights from Manila and other major cities in the Philippines. You can also take a bus or drive from Manila to Bicol, which takes around 8-10 hours.

What are the available accommodations in Bicol?

There are various types of accommodations in Bicol, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts. Some popular options include hotels in Legazpi City, beach resorts in Caramoan, and eco-lodges in Donsol. It is best to book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak season.

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tourist spot in bicol region

Famous Products in Bicol Region that You Should Buy

You can read in this blog that Bicol has a lot to offer. From foods, to drinks, to unique items, you can find something that would make unique gifts or perfect souvenirs for your loved ones. In a nutshell, here is the list of the Bicol Products that you should buy when you visit the region.

tourist spot in bicol region

Must-Try Albay Delicacies

The local food in Albay province is rich and flavorful. There are many food fanatics who flock to the province to experience the local flavor. Here are some native delicacies you should try when you visit the province:

Mernel

The team’s jack of all trades. An eXtreme introvert but loves nature adventure. She’s afraid of traveling solo though.

Customizable Travel Itinerary

Our itinerary is designed to make your travel planning a breeze, whether you’re planning a solo adventure, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation.

  • Includes all the essential details you need to make your trip a success. From flights and accommodations to activities and dining options, we’ve got you covered. We’ve handpicked the best experiences and hidden gems to ensure that you have an unforgettable trip.
  • Fully customizable, so you can add or remove activities and make changes as needed to suit your preferences. We also provide helpful tips and recommendations to help you make the most of your time at each destination.
  • Our itinerary is available in both digital and print formats, making it easy to access and share with your travel companions. With our itinerary, you’ll have everything you need to make your trip stress-free and enjoyable.

Top 22 Sorsogon Bicol Tourist Spots: Beaches, Islands, Hot Springs, Falls

Top 22 Sorsogon Bicol Tourist Spots: Beaches, Islands, Hot Springs, Falls

Pat Cybulskie

22. World War II Japanese Tunnel

21. pili haven, 20. museo sorsogon, 19. bigaho ecopark, 18. botong twin falls, 17. palogtoc falls, 16. dancalan beach, 15. san bernardino island, 14. st. joseph parish (barcelona church), 13. panumbagan sandbar, 12. mt. pulog, 11. bahay na bato (juban), 10. juag lagoon marine sanctuary, 9. irosin hot springs, 8. prieto diaz mangrove ecopark, 7. paguriran island and lagoon, 6. ogod river (firefly watching), 5. rizal beach, 4. subic beach in calintaan island, 3. tikling island, 2. donsol whale sharks, 1. bulusan volcano natural park.

Paguriran Island and Bulusan Crater Lake

Sorsogon province lies in the Bicol Region of the Philippines and Luzon island’s southernmost province. The provincial capital, Sorsogon City, is a center of trade and commerce in the region. As a tourist destination, Sorsogon is lesser known than other neighboring Luzon tourist spots and provinces. However, people who explore it are amazed by its gorgeous attractions, natural sceneries, and laidback vibe. 

Sorsogon is located around 60KM from Legazpi City in Albay, which is home to the famous Mount Mayon  and other Legazpi tourist spots . A look at a Sorsogon map will tell you that this province is mostly surrounded by water. This geographical location is the reason why Sorsogon is blessed with numerous beaches, coves, and lagoons. There are also beautiful islands just off the province’s coast.

  • Read our article on the best Sorsogon hotels and resorts

If you venture inland, you will discover plenty of natural attractions like Mount Bulusan, Manual Falls, Bayugin Waterfalls, as well as a collection of hot and cold spring resorts. You can explore some of these attractions with the help of Sorsogon tours . The province also hosts several colorful Philippine festivals that celebrate its strong culture and heritage. Some of the prominent Sorsogon festivals worth experiencing are the Pili Festival and Kasanggayahan Festival. 

  • Check out the best Bicol region tourist spots that you should visit

To help you start planning a memorable trip, here are the top tourist spots in Sorsogon to check out:

See our popular Sorsogon Tours and Activities

Donsol whale shark watching and interaction tour in sorsogon with transfers, sorsogon donsol firefly tour with transfers, sorsogon matnog island hopping tour with lunch & transfers | tikling island, juag marine sanctuary.

During World War 2, the Japanese soldiers forced Filipinos to dig up tunnels and air-raid shelters in Bulan, Sorsogon. These tunnels were assigned as places of safety and ammunition storage areas for the Japanese forces. Today, these tunnels are still intact and well-preserved. You will find elevated sections and a chapel inside. The entrance is so small that only one person can enter at a given time. You also need to bend and crawl to reach the main areas of this cave system. 

  • Read our article on the best historical tourist spots in the Philippines

The Bulan tunnels are now important historical sites that remind people of how much the Philippines had to endure to fight for freedom. You can find the tunnels in Barangay San Francisco and Sta Remedios Bulan, Sorsogon. Visiting them is free of charge. Visiting hours are from 9 AM to 8 PM daily. 

Pili nuts and coconuts harvested from Pili Haven

Photo by Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Office

Just like its name suggests, Pili Haven is a pili farm with lots of trees and other plants. But unlike most farms, in Pili Haven, not only will you be surrounded by nature, but you’ll also find bamboo bridges, a restaurant that serves delicious local food, and several photo spots specially created to brighten up your feed. 

Container of Pili Haven's pili nuts

You’ll see giant man-made nests, colorful flower gardens, and even a windmill made out of bamboo. Don’t miss the chance to take a photo with the red jeepney! More than just a photo nook, the jeepney was actually used in the 1990s to deliver pili nuts to different areas in the province.

  • Read our article on the best farm tour destinations in the Philippines

Apart from touring the property, visitors can also hold special events like birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries or take part in workshops about how to turn pili nut shells into furniture, accessories, and decorations. Of course, you can also buy and take home different kinds of pili delicacies from the farm.

Museo Sorsogon's facade

Museo Sorsogon was once an Old Provincial Jail but it was restored by the local government to become a place that showcases the history and culture of Sorsogon. The Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Culture and Arts Office manages this museum and the office aims to make it a prominent Sorsogon tourist spot.

An exhibit in Museo Sorsogon

The building has two floors and ten galleries, which are converted jail cells. The galleries feature exhibitions that tell the origins of Sorsogon, the province’s participation in the Philippine Revolution, and the state of the region during the American occupation. Paintings made by jail inmates are also on display. 

Museo Sorsogon also has a large amphitheater in its yard alongside two coffee shops where visitors can relax and have snacks. The museum is tucked within the Provincial Capitol grounds in Alegre, Sorsogon City and you can visit it as part of a Sorsogon sightseeing tour . If you want more time to explore it, you can book a Museo Sorsogon tour with dinner and a cultural show .

Located in Barangay Talisay in Prieto Diaz, Bigaho Ecopark is named after a grass family that locals use to create handicrafts. To get to the ecopark, visitors must cross a 750-meter long bamboo bridge that leads to an islet. It’s not a short walk, but the journey is made easier with the several species of mangroves along the bridge. These protected species help keep the path to the ecopark cool.

Once you reach Bigaho Ecopark, you will be rewarded with fresh air, calming lagoons, rocky caves, and beautiful views of Mayon Volcano and Albay Gulf. Apart from taking in the gorgeous scenery, a visit here will also allow you to hike, trek, camp, and commune with nature. If you can’t stay overnight, at least stay until late afternoon as the ecopark also boasts stunning sunset views. Don’t worry if you suddenly feel hungry during your visit, as the park offers meals that are cooked with fresh local ingredients.  

Botong Twin Falls

Photo by @gojunfew on Instagram

Botong Twin Falls is situated in Osiao, Bacon District of Sorsogon City. The falls are considered one of the top eco-tourism spots in the city area. The site is considered a natural wonder as it features two waterfalls standing close to each other but they give out two different watercolors. 

  • Check out our list of the best waterfalls in the Philippines

The first waterfall has green-colored water while the other one reflects blue. This phenomenon is the reason why the Botong Twin Falls are fondly called Blue and Green Falls. 

Botong Twin Falls is a great place to swim and have a picnic with family and friends. There are picnic huts and tables set up around the falls for visitors to use. These waterfalls stand within the compounds of the PNOC-BACMAN Geothermal Plant. Although the site is open to the public, you need to coordinate with the PNOC before visiting the falls. 

Palogtoc Falls (Palogtok Falls) resides in San Roque, Bulusan Municipality, and is one of the more low-key Bicol tourist spots you can find. Palogtoc Falls is a natural grotto that features a small cascade that falls into an artificial pool. Visitors tend to love the spring water in this pool because it is clean, clear, and refreshing.  

The Palagtok area exudes a tranquil atmosphere. It has a lush landscape, surrounded by coconut and pili nut trees. There is a nearby river and some nipa and bamboo huts where visitors can enjoy some shade. 

You can access Palogtoc Falls from the Mount Bulusan trailhead between the Bulusan park entrance and San Roque. You need to walk about 500 meters from this trailhead to reach the falls. 

Dancalan Beach

Dancalan Beach is nestled on the shoreline of Bulusan Municipality. This beach is clean, wide, and has gray/off-white colored sand. Dancalan can easily get overlooked by tourists, but it is popular among locals.

Dancalan has a rustic look and feel. It features pleasant countryside scenery. Just right in front of this Sorsogon beach lies a vast rice field. Towering mountains in the distance serve as a picturesque backdrop to Dancalan. 

Dancalan Beach is an excellent swimming beach for children as it remains shallow (1-2 feet) even at about 40 meters from the shoreline. There is a minimal entrance fee to the beach, and you can also rent open-air nipa huts for a reasonable price. It is also quite common for visitors to pitch a tent on the beach. 

Aerial view of San Bernardino Island's coast

Photo by Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Culture and the Arts Office

San Bernardino Island lies off the coast of Bulusan, Sorsogon, and across the San Bernardino Strait. The island is mostly undeveloped and has maintained its natural beauty. 

San Bernardino has beautiful hills, a lush landscape, and ocean panoramas. Its other main attraction is an old lighthouse built more than a century ago. This structure ( El Faro De Islote De San Bernardino in Spanish) was one of the most important lighthouses in the Spanish colonial era. It used to guide boats into the Philippine capital,  Manila , from the Pacific Ocean and vice versa. The San Bernardino Strait is well-known for its treacherous waters. 

Most visitors to the island sign up for a pre-arranged San Bernardino Island guided tour to truly understand its history and heritage. Tourists have the option to stay overnight as there are a few homestays on the island. Even though these accommodations are not 4-star, they are operated by local families known to be friendly and hospitable. 

See our popular Bicol Tours and Activities

Mayon volcano legazpi atv ride black lava wall trail with guide & transfers, albay best views of mayon sightseeing & culture tour with snacks & transfers from legazpi.

Aerial view of St. Joseph Parish

The St. Joseph Parish Church sits at the heart of Barcelona town, Sorsogon. According to local stories, homesick Spanish soldiers named this town after the renowned Barcelona in Spain. Thus, St. Joseph Parish is also commonly referred to as Barcelona Church.  

Interior of Barcelona Church in Sorsogon

St. Joseph was built in 1874 by the Franciscan priests. It is the oldest of all churches in the Bicol region and is considered to be one of the most beautiful. Some of St Joseph Church's original structures like the facade, walls, and bell tower have remained intact. However, administrators needed to renovate the church interiors and reinforce the windows with glass and steel. If you walk from the church and across the streets, you will find some century-old building ruins. 

Aerial view of Panumbagan Sandbar

The gorgeous Panumbagan Sandbar stands off the shoreline of Barangay Bantayan Pilar, Sorsogon. For a sandbar, Panumbagan is big and long and can pass off as an islet. It stretches to more than 5-kilometers and features white pebbly sand. Aside from having ocean views, the sandbar also offers panoramas of the Mayon and Bulusan Volcanoes. 

The surrounding waters Panumbagan Sandbar is a marine sanctuary, so this area is a great spot to snorkel. Even if you decide not to go underwater, you can still find sea urchins, sea grapes, and starfish close to shore. To reach Panumbagan Sandbar, you need to take a 50-minute boat ride from Pilar port. The sandbar is a popular stop for boat tours exploring the area. 

Mt. Pulog stands high in the municipality of Bacon, Sorsogon. It is a different mountain from Mt. Pulag in North Luzon, which is the highest peak in Luzon and one of the best hiking spots in the Philippines . Although Mt. Pulog is the lesser-known peak, it is an excellent mountaineering destination for compelling reasons. 

Mt. Pulog features lush scenery and offers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. It is a relatively easy hike that most people can finish in less than a day. Thus, you don’t have to be an expert hiker to take on Mt. Pulog. The mountain trail begins with hiking through the rural woodlands, where you will encounter native plants and trees like pili and abaca. The steeper part of the trail brings you through a thick forest and green fields. At the summit sits a scenic round-shaped lake. 

The gateway to Mt. Pulog is Barangay San Cruz, which is about 9KM away from Sorsogon City. Once you arrive in Sta. Cruz, it’s easy to find a guide to take you to the peak. 

Guard stands infront of a bahay na bato in Juban

Photo by Juban Provincial Police Office

Bahay na Bato refers to the collection of Spanish colonial houses nestled in the town of Juban, Sorsogon. Constructed in 1898, the centuries-old houses are called “Bahay na Bato” (house of stone) because of their stone brick foundation. 

These stone bricks formed the base of the houses while the upper structure is made of wood. Another striking feature of the houses is their large sliding windows that are made of hardwood and embellished with capiz shells. The "Bahay na Bato" structures have collectively become the pride of Juban and a major Sorsogon tourist spot.

Because they are unique, well-preserved and a reminder of the Spanish colonial period. Most of these stone homes stand alongside the Maharlika Highway in the town proper of Juban.

Staff feeding fish at the Juag Lagoon Marine Sanctuary

Photo by Juag Lagoon Marine Sanctuary

The Geneblazo family established the Juag Lagoon Fish Sanctuary to become a safe and healthy habitat for aquatic animals and plants to thrive. Today, this privately owned sanctuary is open to the public who wish to learn about marine biodiversity and conservation. 

The fish sanctuary is set up like a fish farm, as it is enclosed with bamboo structures to protect the marine life in it. However, the owners do not harvest these sea creatures and make money from them. 

While here, visitors can swim/snorkel underwater and enter the bamboo enclosures to view sea creatures, reefs, and plants up close. Examples of marine species in the sanctuary include giant clams, marine turtles, lobsters, sea cucumbers, and oysters. 

The Juag Lagoon Fish Sanctuary lies off the coast of the Matnog town port. It is one of the usual stops of a standard Matnog island hopping tour itinerary. 

Natural spring pool in Tropical Hot Spring Paradise

Photo by Tropical Hot Spring Paradise

Sitting at the foothills of Bulusan Volcano, Irosin is a town blessed with geothermally heated groundwater. It is also a valley town that has access to an abundant supply of cold spring water. Because of these properties, Irosin became home to several cold and spring resorts. Today, people refer to this town as the springs resort capital of Sorsogon and the Bicol Region. 

Some of the prominent resorts in the area include Tropical Hot Spring Paradise, Nature Hot Spring Resort, Aramaru Resort, and 401K Resort. Locals believe that the cold and hot springs in Irosin have healing qualities. Whether this claim is accurate or not, the spring resorts still attract a lot of people. Guests find it relaxing and refreshing to dip in the resorts' natural spring pools. 

Tour guide in Prieto Diaz Mangrove Ecopark

Photo by @mohannaaah on Instagram

Prieto Diaz Mangrove Ecopark is the ultimate eco-tourism destination in Sorsogon. As its name suggests, this eco-park consists of over 300 hectares of extensive mangrove forest and mangrove plantation. It is home to 19 species of mangrove, fish sanctuaries, and protected coral reefs. You can visit this mangrove sanctuary as part of a Sorsogon countryside tour .

The social welfare group Semancor, manages the activities in this eco-park. This group is composed of women, the elderly, out-of-school youth, and fishermen.

Visitors to Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon can engage in many outdoor activities such as bird watching, river cruising along the mangrove forest, and planting mangrove propagules. Another highlight within the park is the Halabang Lapis sandbar, visible during low tide and is admired for its powder white sand. While hiking Halabang Lapis, visitors can get views of the Albay Gulf and Mayon Volcano.  

Aside from fun outdoor adventures, Prieto Diaz Park also serves freshly cooked Filippino food and sells products made from homegrown ingredients. 

Paguriran Island and Lagoon in Sorsogon

Paguriran Island and Lagoon is one of the natural wonders of Sorsogon. Travel guides best describe it as a lagoon in the middle of the ocean. Strictly speaking, Paguriran is not an island but more like a large rocky formation out in the sea. Despite being surrounded by water, Paguriran is within walking distance from a sandy shore. You can walk to it during low tide or even high tide when the water level is usually waist-high.

The tourism highlight of Paguriran is its lagoon that occupies the hollow middle portion of the rocky islet. The water in this lagoon reflects a clear aquamarine color, which is considered world-class. The jumping point to Paguriran Island is Barangay Sawangga, Bacon. From Sorsogon City, you can ride a jeepney or a tricycle to the town of Bacon. 

A firefly on a long blade of grass

Ogod River is one of the natural attractions found in Donsol, Sorsogon. Tourists make their way to Ogod for a special type of river cruising. This cruising happens at night so passengers can view hundreds of magical fireflies light up the dark skies. 

This firefly watching tour consists of riding on a small boat that will sail through the Donsol River and its main artery, the Ogod River. These scenic rivers are surrounded by forests and mangroves. The Donsol firefly tour comes with an expert guide who will give you insights into the fireflies and surroundings. 

Firefly watching in Ogod River is a relaxing and rewarding experience. After all, it is not easy to find a large congregation of fireflies just anywhere. These elusive creatures tend to stay in forests and around bodies of water where the air is clean and clear. 

Sunset over Rizal Beach

Situated in the municipality of Gubat, Rizal is one of the gorgeous Sorsogon beach sites that have remained underdeveloped. This beach is admired for its clear blue waters and golden-colored sand. 

Rizal Beach is nestled right at the center of a cove, about 5 kilometers from the main town of Gubat. It is a wide beach with a long shoreline. Rizal is often clean and well-maintained. During your visit, you can rent out wooden cottages or stay under the surrounding trees for some shade.

Many people consider Rizal Beach Sorsogon one of the best beaches in the Bicol region because of its raw beauty. Locals love to swim and hang out on this beach, especially in the afternoon. 

Aerial view of Subic Beach, Sorsogon

Subic Beach is a gorgeous and unspoiled 300-meter sandy stretch on Calintaan Island, Sorsogon. The beach is known for its powdery sand, which features a pinkish-white color. This rare color is due to the presence of tiny red corals around the shoreline. Complementing the unique sand color is the clear turquoise waters, which make Subic Beach very photogenic.  

  • Read our article on the best beaches in the Philippines

Subic Beach gives off a laid-back vibe and is seldom busy with crowds. It is not ideal for beginner swimmers because the tides are often high, and the water level near the shore is deep. However, it is an excellent place to relax, sunbathe, and read a book. If you like a shaded spot to have a picnic, the beach has small huts available for rent at an affordable fee. 

You can also explore other spots in Calintaan Island, including the Calintaan Cave, which can be found on the other side of the island. 

Matnog Municipality is the gateway to Subic Beach, Sorsogon. You need to take a 15 to 20-minute boat ride from Matnog to reach Calintaan Island or join a Sorsogon Subic Beach tour .

Aerial view of Tikling Island, Sorsogon

Tikling Island is located off the coast of the town of Matnog, Sorsogon. It is named after a bird species that frequent the area. The privately-owned island exudes a serene ambiance as it does not have a resort or any commercial structure on it. You can visit it as part of a Sorsogon island hopping tour .

Visitors come to Tikling Island Sorsogon to enjoy its powdery sand beach, which features a white and pinkish color. Pink beaches are rare to find, and Tikling has managed to maintain the raw beauty. Forests and lush vegetation fringe Tikling Island. The surrounding water here reflects an aquamarine color. It remains clear even if you go several meters from the shoreline. Another outstanding feature of Tikling is its rock formations located at the other end of the island. 

A whale shark swimming near the surface

Donsol is Sorsogon’s most popular destination as it is world-famous for swimming with whale sharks. It's one of the best places where you can swim with whale sharks in the Philippines . Several whale sharks (locally called butanding) naturally congregate around Donsol waters from December to May. Donsol practices responsible eco-tourism that does not alter the behavior of whale sharks. The local guides do not feed these animals for the sake of attracting them to the shore. 

Usually, tourists need to sign up for a snorkeling boat tour to see the whale sharks in action. This Donsol whale shark tour  boat will take passengers to the whale shark interaction area. The whale shark tour guide will teach you how to jump into the water and interact with the whale sharks. Swimming with whale sharks is considered a safe activity as these sea animals are known to be friendly and gentle.

See our popular Donsol Tours

Bulusan Lake

Bulusan Volcano Natural Park is a treasured natural wonder and one of the most recognized Bicol tourist spots. This protected natural park covers rainforests, grassland, hot springs gardens, and farmland. The park is also home to the famous Bulusan Volcano, a popular trekking destination in Luzon. 

Viewing platform at Bulusan Volcano Natural Park

Aside from the Bulusan Volcano, the park consists of other mountains like Sharp Peak Mountain and Hormahan Mountain. Within the park, you will also find the beautiful Lake Aguinay and Bulusan Lake. Bulusan Lake is a well-known kayaking spot because of its relaxing atmosphere, fresh air, and gorgeous views of the lush landscapes and mountains in the distance. 

You can find the Bulusan Natural Park entrance just off the Pan-Philippine Highway, between Bulusan and Irosin town.

Plan Your Trip to Sorsogon in Bicol

Drone shot of Tikling Island

Sorsogon is quite accessible from Manila via public transport. Several companies operate buses traveling between the metropolis and this province daily. Legazpi City in Albay is also a popular gateway to Sorsogon. 

As an emerging tourist destination, more and more Sorsogon hotels and resorts are now opening up for travelers. The coastal areas have beachfront resorts, the inland areas have mountain resorts, while Sorsogon City has many Philippine hotels and guesthouses, which are popular among those traveling on a tighter budget. 

Sorsogon City is a transport hub in the region and home to an adequate number of commercial facilities like supermarkets, banks, and restaurants. This city is a convenient base for exploring the attractions in the province. 

Like other Philippine provinces, Sorsogon can offer the traveler pristine beaches, lush scenery, and natural attractions. But what makes Sorsogon appealing is its off-the-beaten-path characteristic. It is a great place to get away from the crowd and enjoy Filipino beauty without the bells and whistles. 

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Bicol tourist spots.

tourist spot in bicol region

For those wanting to get out of Manila and can only do land travel, people explore many of the favorite Bicol tourist spots. These places never get old, especially if you get the scenic view of the world’s most perfectly cone-shaped volcano, Mt. Mayon.

Bicol has served as a beautiful travel escape for many Filipinos starting out to explore the stunning country. You may have a limited budget or time but you don’t have to worry about them when visiting Bicol tourist spots. The region is comprised of six provinces namely Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon. Bicolanos, as the locals are called, speak their own dialect (referred to as Bikol) but Filipino is widely spoken, too.

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Metro Manila to Bicol

You have several options to get to Bicol from Metro Manila. Depending on where you are going, land travel takes around 10 hours or more. You can opt to drive and traverse South Luzon Express Way (SLEX) to Pan-Philippine Highway. There are also several bus lines going to the different parts of the region. You can go to Cubao or Pasay to take the bus.

If you can spend a little more for your Bicol travel, you can also fly to the province. You can take a plane to Legazpi, Masbate, or Naga.

Mt. Mayon is definitely the most famous landmark of the region and may be enough reason for you to spend some time in the place. But if you want more, there are definitely several Bicol tourist spots that will leave you in awe. Each of the provinces has something to offer for every type of explorer. We’re not even discussing yet the mouthwatering dishes of the location which is certainly another big reason for you to explore the largest island in the Philippine archipelago that is Bicol.

Most travelers enter Bicol through Albay. The capital of the province is Legazpi City. If it’s your first time in the region, it is recommended that you tour Albay first.

Mayon Volcano

When you mention Bicol tourist spots, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely the majestic Mayon Volcano. Not only is this natural grandeur visible in the municipalities of Albay, it can also be sighted from Masbate, Sorsogon, and Catanduanes. Mayon Volcano is famous for its symmetric conical shape, the only one in the world. But behind its alluring glory is also a beautiful yet heartbreaking story – one that is celebrated in Philippine mythology..

View of Mayon Volcano

When you’re in Albay, you can simply pull over the side of the road and take a stunning shot of Mt. Mayon. If you want a closer glimpse, you can also ride an ATV and navigate the trails around it.

Cagsawa Ruins

Part of the Cagsawa Park, Cagsawa Ruins is a Bicol tourist spot you should not miss, especially if it’s your first time in Albay. These are the remnants of the Cagsawa church that was destroyed during the most violent eruption of Mayon volcano. The bell tower is the only structure left but the site provides a mesmerizing view of Mayon.

Bicol Tourist Spots- Cagsawa Ruins

Quitinday Green Hills

There are several places to visit in Bicol if you want to get a stunning view of Mt. Mayon. But Quitinday Green Hills is probably one of the best spots as it gives you a unique sight of Mayon with lush hills in the view.

Quitinday Green Hills

Jovellar Underground River

When you think that Albay is all about Mayon volcano, here comes Jovellar Underground River. As the name implies, the underground river is located at the town of Jovellar in Albay. You can ride a bamboo raft to enter the cave and navigate the underground river. Fascinating stalactites and stalagmites adorn the cave. This is certainly a tourist attraction in Bicol you will not expect.

Palale Falls

From a volcano to an underground river, Albay also has its share of beautiful waterfalls. One of them is Palale falls. With just a short trek, you can take a plunge in its cold waters.

Jovellar Underground River

You will really never get tired of Mayon’s alluring sight. Aside from adorable hobbit houses, Hobbit Hill gives you an impressive glimpse of Mt. Mayon as well. The best part? You don’t need to hike Hobbit Hill to reach the viewing site. It’s one of the new Bicol tourist spots that is recently gaining attention.

Hobbit Hill

Camarines Norte

Camarines Norte is the crescent-shaped province of the Bicol region that also borders Quezon province to the west. Daet is the capital city. The destination can give you a nice weekend getaway from the city.

Calaguas Island

If you haven’t been to Boracay and can’t visit it anytime soon for some reason, Calaguas Island is one of the closest ones you can treat yourself into. It’s certainly among the Bicol beaches you have to explore.

Calaguas Island

Camarines Sur

Also referred to as CamSur, Camarines Norte is the largest of the six provinces of Bicol.

Caramoan Islands

Caramoan is one of the municipalities of Camarines Sur. The place is home to several exquisite and isolated islands and it was featured in the famous television show, Survivor. If you want that castaway vibe in a ravishing destination, go on Caramoan island hopping . The pristine islands here are among the favorite Bicol tourist spots.

tourist spot in bicol region

CAMSUR Watersports Complex

Camarines Sur Watersports Complex is a watersports park where you can enjoy watersports including wakeskating and wakeboarding. It is considered as the largest wakeboaridng complex in Asia. You don’t need to be a professional or an expert because you can take hour long lessons to be able to try wakeboarding. It’s also fun to watch other wakeboarders perform different tricks. Don’t forget to also try the laing pizza in their restaurant.

CAMSUR Watersports Complex

Tugawe Cove Resort

Being the only 4-star hotel in Caramoan, Tugawe Cove Resort offers that combination of luxury and island getaway. It’s not just your ordinary resort, the place is an attraction in itself.

Tugawe Cove Resort

Catanduanes

Catanduanes is one of the mesmerizing island provinces of Bicol. There are so may beautiful places to explore here and to make the most of them, allot at least three days. It’s often compared to Batanes but for sure, Catanduanes has a charm of its own. This is definitely among the Bicol tourist spots you should not miss.

tourist spot in bicol region

Masbate is the other island province in the Bicol region. It is in turn consists of three major islands: Masbate island proper, Ticao, and Burias. You’d definitely have a variety of destinations to see here.

Catandayagan Falls

Probably only one if its kind in the Philippines, Catandayagan Falls is a bewitching cascade that flows directly to the open sea. The lengthy boat ride is worth it especially if you jump in the cold waters. Catandayagan Falls must be included in your list of must-see Bicol tourist spots.

Catandayagan Falls

Halea Nature Park

Halea Nature Park is a privately owned resort in Monreal, Ticao Island. Not only is the turquoise waters of Halea inviting, there is actually a marine sanctuary just near the beach area. It’s quite pleasant to snorkel or even freedive here with all the corals and fish to sight. If you’re lucky, you can even spot baby black tip sharks.

Halea Nature Park

Burobancaso Rock Formation

Fancy some rock formations? You may then want to see Burobancaso Rock Formation located in a small island in Ticao. You can easily climb the rock formation to get a scenic 360-degree view of the island. It’s also nice to take a dip or stroll along the white sand beach.

Burobancaso Rock Formation

With a variety of destinations to visit, you will find so many things to do in Bicol. And one thing is for sure, you’ll come explore the region more than once.

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Arrianne Guzman

Arrianne Guzman is the founder of Go Travel First. She has explored 71/82 Philippine provinces and 4/7 continents. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Computer Science degree but her love for writing never died. Combining her passion for traveling and photography, she writes her adventures to inspire people to see the world despite of a busy life. If not doing her IT related job, she wants to be a barista or a safari tour guide.

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tourist spot in bicol region

The Top Five Hidden Gems Of The Philippines

H idden gems are like the unsung heroes of any given travel destination. With the threat of over-tourism and increasing crowds in the most popular attractions, travelers should try to explore more than tourist brochure sites. Visiting hidden gems can illuminate the unique charm and distinct culture available to visitors. If chosen correctly, exploring a lesser-known site or area can be the highlight of an entire trip.  

The Philippines is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. The country is well known for its stunning beaches, thriving wildlife, and majestic landscapes. Tourists are typically attracted to the country for its breathtaking natural beauty, rich culture , and countless things to do. While this is all still true of the country, there have been issues with overtourism. Overtourism is certainly not sustainable, so travelers can do their part by practicing sustainable tourism. Visiting hidden gems can help distribute tourism profit and relieve areas overwhelmed with regular influxes of visitors. These are our favorite picks for discovering the hidden gems of the Philippines. 

Samar   

Samar is a province on the island of Samar. It is located in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines and is the third largest island of the Philippines. This hidden gem is the unofficial cave capital of the Philippines and nature lovers will enjoy checking out the area. The Calbiga Caves have one of the largest cave systems in Asia. Spelunkers and rugged explorers can explore this underrated destination. Some of the most popular sites that Samar offers are Sohoton Cave, Lobo Cave, and Tarangban Falls. Visit this lush island for more than the natural environment though. Samar has a vibrant culture and rich history that’s worth learning more about while visiting. 

Palaui Island 

Palaui Island is a protected area in the municipality of Santa Ana in Cagayan, Philippines. This paradise on the northern tip of the Philippines is a serene place to visit. The island has limited accommodation options on the mainland so visitors can immerse themselves into the local culture. Because the island is well protected, the cliffs have vibrant greenery. Some of the most interesting parts of Palaui Island are the healthy coral, white sand beaches, camping sites, and the old lighthouse. The Cape Engaño Lighthouse is a historic site in Santa Ana that highlights the Spanish colonial period and architecture. If history is not an interest, visitors can also get active and go snorkeling or capture aquatic nature with a waterproof camera. 

Taal  

Taal is a stratovolcano and caldera lake in the Philippines that is located in the province of Batangas. It is in the southwestern part of Luzon, the country’s largest island. Taal Volcano is a 984-foot structure that is considered one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes. It is located inside Taal Lake which is the third largest lake in the Philippines. The caldera that Taal volcano created in prehistoric times is complex and is one of the world’s greatest volcano-tectonic depressions. Even if visitors are not interested in geography or volcanology, Taal is an incredibly impressive site. 

Sleeping Dinosaur Island 

Sleeping Dinosaur Island is named that because of its peculiar shape which looks like a resting prehistoric creature. The land formation is located in Mati, Davao Oriental in Mindanao which is at the southern edge of the Philippines. It is a very popular hiking area since it has such vibrant and lush nature which looks more striking against the bright blue waters. Most visitors go on a trek to explore the island up close and personal. However, to see all the island has to offer, plane tours are also available.  

Caramoan Islands

The Caramoan Islands are located in the province of Camarines Sur, in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. These islands are a bit isolated from the rest of the province so this pick is intended for privacy and serenity. The Caramoan Islands are so tranquil that two seasons of the reality show Survivor were filmed there. Although these islands are known for their untouched beauty, there are things to do there as well. Travelers can take their adventures at their own pace as they explore deserted islands, hike, and try out aquatic activities.

These are the top five hidden gems of the Philippines. pictured: the Philippines

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The Department of Tourism in Bicol (DOT-5) is now pushing for the development of golf and dive tourism as additional tourist drawers in the region.

During Tuesday’s “Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas” held in this city, DOT-Bicol Regional Director Herbie Aguas said they have conducted several dive assessments for potential diving spots in the six provinces in the region.

“There have been dive assessments in Masbate, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, and recently in Catanduanes and Rapu-Rapu in Albay. The money brought in by diving is big; last year our country generated PHP73 billion in revenue from this industry. For the Bicol Region, at least we can see PHP1 billion additional revenue, so this is going to be big. Our ocean is beautiful, and with two island provinces and coastal areas, it has great potential for our economy,” Aguas said in Filipino.

He said the Bicol region has many destinations to offer tourists aside from Mayon Volcano, the beautiful beaches and coral reefs for underwater enthusiasts.

He cited beautiful diving sites in Barangay San Bernardino in Bulusan, Sorsogon; Rapu-Rapu, Bacacay, Sto. Domingo and Tiwi in Albay; and Monreal, San Jacinto, and Batuan towns in Masbate.

Also, the towns of Paracale, Mercedes, and Vinzons in Camarines Norte, as well as parts of Camarines Sur are known for having beautiful coral reefs.

Aguas added that to ensure the sustainability of dive tourism, their office also promotes and implements the Coral Reef Restoration Program.

“While we are promoting this dive tourism, we are also conducting programs that preserve marine protection. We are also collaborating and conducting meetings and dialogue with our local government units to declare marine protected areas for the sustainability of our marine diversity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aguas said various golf sites in Camarines Sur and Masbate are now being developed, along with the existing golf site in Albay.

He also said at least three tourist rest areas will be constructed in emerging tourist destinations in Tabaco City in Albay, Lagonoy, and San Jose-Partido in Camarines Sur this year.

DOT data shows that in 2023, more than 4.1 million domestic and foreign tourists visited the region. (PNA)

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    We will write about the best Bicol tourist spots and things to do in Bicol. There are beautiful beaches in Camarines Norte and Catanduanes. If you like adventure Mt Mayon in Bicol Region and the whale sharks in Donsol are the best plans for you in this region in the Philippines.

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