Itinerary: 6 Days in Bicol

This is a detailed itinerary for a 6 day tour of the Bicol region. Approximate budget for touring Bicol is at Php 6,500 per person.

9:00 AM          –    Arrival at Legazpi International Airport. Ride a bus going to Naga City with P150 fare. It will take about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

12:00 NN        –   Arrival in Naga City. Check in at Sampaguita Inn located at Panganiban Drive. (Of course you can choose the place where you want to stay, but this is the cheapest one we got.)

12:30 PM        –    Take late lunch at SM City Naga.

2:00 PM          –   Church hopping around Naga. It is home to several historical and heritage churches such as Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia (don’t miss the Jubilee Pavilion at the Basilica Minore Compound), Penafrancia Shrine, Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, San Francisco Church and Porta Mariae. (Don’t forget to try the ‘puto de coco’ being sold on the right side of the
San Francisco Church. It’s one of our favorite. Eat it while still hot though.)

7:00 PM          –   Dinner at Magsaysay Avenue (see map). Buy dinailan and pancit bato at the market.

9:00 PM          –   Go back to the hotel.

Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia with the Jubilee Pavilion

San Francisco Church

Mount Isarog National Park and Museo Conciliar del Seminario de Nueva Caceres

7:00 AM          –    Breakfast at the inn. But we tried the famous ‘kinalas’ as it was recommended by many of my friends from the region. It’s a soup with the meat taken from the face of pig. Don’t imagine the face of the pig, imagine the hot, spicy, delicious soup.

9:00 AM          –   Go to Mount Isarog National Park (entrance fee is P20). Take a P30 jeepney ride from Naga City proper to Barangay Panicuason. Then, ride habal habal (A 20-minute motorcycle ride with 2 passengers, 3 including the driver. It’s fun!)From there, it’s a 30-minute, slightly uphill trek to the Mount Isarog National Park. Make sure to wear trekking shoes.

Once you’re there, take a dip in the Malabsay Falls (admission fee P20 for locals and P40 for foreigners)

1:00 PM          –  Lunch at Plaza de Rizal – Budget: P20-50 (street food) Take a tricycle to Plaza de Rizal in the afternoon for a budget merienda. Try the ihaw-ihaw and ‘bulastog,’ the Bicolano version of kwek-kwek.

2:00 PM          –  Visit the Museo Conciliar del Seminario de Nueva Caceres  (admission is P45) Located inside the Holy Rosary Minor seminary along Elias Angeles Street, Naga City. The museum is divided into two parts: the Ecclesiastical Exhibit which features Roman Catholic relics from the Spanish era, and the Archeological Exhibit which features artifacts from pre-colonial life.

3:00 PM          –  Haciendas de Naga  – Admission: P200 Carolina, Uptown Naga City. For the past 10 years, Naga has been growing its eco-tourism efforts. Their landmark project is the Hacienda de Naga, where you can try outdoor activities like wall climbing and zip line, and even pick your own pili nuts in Pili Park. It’s also a good place for team building as relay activities are available for the guests. You can also play golf, they have caddies on stand-by to assist the guests. To get to the park, rent a tricycle or take a jeepney to Carolina in Uptown Naga City.

If not Haciendas de Naga, go to 2 plazas in Naga City: the Rizal Plaza and the Quince Martires Plaza. The trees help in making the place airy, the gardens and benches provide ideal resting places for people.

6:00 PM          –  Go back to the hotel and take some rest (that is, if you want to).

7:00 PM          –  Have dinner at Bigg’s Diner, Naga’s famous resto located at Magsasay Avenue (P150-P300 per person). If you want to go local, Geewan is also highly recommended for Bicolano dishes at P100-P200 per person located at P. Burgos St., Naga City.

9:00 PM          – Go back to the hotel.

Haciendas de Naga

The famous ‘Kinalas’
Note: In the whole of our Bicol Region Tour, Naga was our special favorite. The people are very accommodating, friendly and honest. They never tried to take advantage of tourists, both local and foreign.

Legazpi City

6:00 AM          –  Breakfast at the lodge.

7:00 AM          –  Departure from Naga city to Legazpi. Take a bus going to Legazpi City for P150 (The ride will take about 2 hours and 43 minutes.)

10:00 AM        –  Check-in at Balai Tinay located at 70 Gapo Brgy 16, St East Washington  Drive, Legaspi, Luzon, Philippines

11:00 AM        –  From Legazpi, ride a jeepney bound for Camalig, Guinobatan or Polanqui (P8 fare) These will all pass by Cagsawa Junction where you may either walk or hire a tricycle to the ruins. Cagsawa Ruins (P10entrance fee). From Cagsawa, ride a tricycle parked just in front of the Park’s main entrance and tell the driver to bring you directly to Ligñon Hill (P20 entrance fee). After that, ride a jeepney going to Daraga Church.  Then ride a jeepney to Embarcadero (It’s a 5km ride).

If there’s still time, visit the Sleeping Lion or Kapuntukan Hill located at Legazpi Blvd.

8:00 PM          –  Dinner at Legazpi baywalk or at Embarcadero. Or if you want to go local, have your dinner on the open street of Legazpi, banchetto style. Then walk around Legazpi baywalk and enjoy the night view of the Mayon volcano (if you could still see it).

10:00 PM        –  Back at the hotel.

Bicol Express and Pinangat (fish wrapped in yam leaf and boiled on coconut milk)

Fruit shakes with sili (chili)
Black sand beaches of Bacacay, Albay And Busay Falls in Malilipot (Whole day)

6:00 AM          –  Breakfast anywhere cheap and near. Try one of their carinderias, it’s cheap and delicious (that is, if you’re not a picky eater). At P35 you can have your meal minus the softdrinks.

7:00 AM          –  Take a jeepney or bus bound to Tabaco City. Tell the driver to drop you off at the turnout of Busay Falls located at the left side of the road heading to Legazpi or at Malilipot Municipal Hall if you missed the turnout (It will take around 21 minute-ride at 22.5 km distance). But I tell you, you won’t miss it because the local passengers will tell you that it’s your stop when you get there (they might have noticed that we were tourists as we had the map, so they were very kind to give us directions). Take a tricycle going to Busay Falls (haggle with the driver for a cheaper fare). Entrance fee to the falls is P10 for adults and P5 for kids. Small nipa hut cottages are available for rent at P100. If you want to hike all the way to the 7th falls, a guide is needed. (Dropping by at Malilipot Fire Station and looking for Untos to help find a guide is recommended) Enjoy the falls for a couple of hours (taking a dip would be fun). Sadly we didn’t get to the 7th falls, and we didn’t get to take a dip as we didn’t have the budget for the tour and the guide.

11:00 AM        –  Early lunch at a nearby carinderia or at a local cafeteria..

12:00 NN        –  Proceed to Bacacay black sand beaches. Ride a jeepney and tell the driver to drop you off at San Jose Junction in Malilipot (It will take around 37 minute-ride at 31.9 km distance). Then ride a tricycle and tell the driver that you want to go to Bacacay black sand beaches. (The one recommended are the beaches in Brgy. Sogod. Again, never forget to haggle with the driver. Always!). We had the beach all for ourselves as we were the only tourists there that day. Indeed, that was fun!!

4:00 PM          –  Head back to Legazpi following the same route you take, this time backwards. But before going directly to Legazpi, drop-by at Mayon Skyline View Deck for a closer and clearer view of the majestic Mayon Volcano. Go back to Tabaco, Albay and ride a habal-habal going to the view deck (haggling skills is needed again here). After that, and if there’s still time, take a peek at Dhio Endheka Spring Resort nestled at the fringes of the majestic mountain. Entrance is P70. (We didn’t do this. Again, for having a tight budget.)

7:00 PM          –  Go back to Legazpi for dinner.

8:00 PM          –  Dinner at Colonial Grill famous for its sili ice cream (my friends were not so keen on anything spicy, so I ate most of the spicy ice cream) located at Albay 1/F Pacific Mall, F. Imperial St. Cor. Circumferential Rd. Legazpi City.

The night is still young, so take the time to walk around town for some picture taking.

10:00 PM        –  Back at the hotel.

Black Sand Beach, Bacacay, Albay

Legazpi Boulevard: Mayon and Me
Sorsogon (Whole day)

6:00 AM          –  Breakfast somewhere local (but we ended up at KFC).

7:00 AM          –  After breakfast, ride a tricycle going to grand terminal (that would cost about P50). From there, ride a van or a bus going to Sorsogon City (60.3 km distance). It would take about 54 minutes going there with P60 fare.

8:00 AM          –  Visit Mt. Bulusan Natural Park & Bulusan Mountain Lake. Entrance fee is P10. (From Sorsogon City, take a jeepney bound for Gubat.  Travel time is 30-45  minutes at P10 fare. From there, take a Balusan-bound jeepney and get off at Bulusan public market. Travel time is about 30 minutes at P25 fare.  PNOC / Inang Maharang Eco-Park, Sorsogon
Covering 25,000 hectares of a forest reservation, it is the site of the Bacon- Manito Geothermal Plants of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC). The eco-park itself offers a lot of eco-tour delights and adventures including mountain falls, hot and cold springs, boiling water lakes, and exotic flora and fauna.

12:00 NN        –  Lunch at Tia Tanay Restaurant (famous for native delicacies at an affordable price. Make sure to try their coffee). The only location stated is in downtown, Sorsogon.

1:00 PM          –  Visit the old Barcelona church and ruins. From Gubat, take a jeepney to Barcelona. Travel time is about 15 minutes at P8 fare. Have a stopover at Juban’s old houses and travel back in time (take a jeepney bound for Juban or Irosin. Travel time is about 20-30 minutes at P20 fare). Ride a jeepney back to Sorsogon and take a walking tour around the capital city and visit the Provincial Capitol Complex, the Sorsogon Baywalk, the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral and the Centro Shopping Mall.

6:00 PM          –  Head back to Legazpi.

7:00 PM          –  Have dinner at Sibid-sibid famous for local Bicol taste. It is located at 328 Penaranda Extension (North side of town, opposite Waway restaurant), Legaspi. Walk around town and enjoy the night.

9:00 PM          –  Back at the hotel.

Note: Sadly, we get to visit only the churches in Sorsogon as the weather was not very friendly that day. We had to brave the strong winds and rain just to have pictures with the churches and the Barcelona Ruins Park. On hindsight, that gives us the reason to go back and visit the places that remains unexplored.

Getting familiar around Legazpi City, buying pasalubong (if you still have the budget)http://travelhooked.com/build-travel-fund-3-ways

7:00 AM          –  Breakfast at the nearest local eatery. With a heavy heart because it means the end of a wonderful trip, and going back to the daily humdrum of our routine.

8:00 AM          –  Visit the Albay Parks and Wildlife for one last trip in Albay. Walk around Legazpi for one last time and look for affordable pasalubong at Legazpi public market or at Embarcadero.

12:00 PM        –  Lunch at DJC Halo-halo before checking-out at Balai Tinay. For P100 pesos, you can have that creamy and sumptuous halo-halo. It’s good for 2 persons, by the way! Then head back to the airport for the 2 o’clock flight, and back home to reality.

2:00 PM          –  Flight back home at Legazpi International Airport. Till we meet again, Bicol!

Halo-halo at DJC (We forgot to ask what it stands for, sorry!)

Roselle Lunas is a licensed teacher, a certified bookworm and an animal lover. She loves to travel, but has yet to explore foreign land.
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