Planning your Legazpi Itinerary and seeking all of the best things to do? Great, we have got you covered. After spending some time exploring Legazpi, we can share what we got up to, and what we consider to be the top things to do in Legazpi. We also include the best places to eat, where you should stay, and all of our top tips.
Legazpi is an underated destination in the eastern part of the Philippines. Until recently, many travellers disregarded this city in favour of paradise islands and breathtaking beaches. However, with more and more travellers seeking an off-the-beaten path experience, backpacking in Legazpi has well and truly caught on.
At first glance Legazpi appears to be a sleepy beachside town with not much to do, when in fact, it is a city steeped in rich history and wild adventure. The main attraction is the prodigious Mount Mayon – The Philippines most active & perfectly symmetrical volcano. This colossal event of Mother Nature towers over the city with alluring mystery, and most adventures in Legazpi revolve around getting a closer look.
Located just a short flight from Manila and boasting everything you need to have a truly fantastic time, we highly recommend adding Legazpi to your Philippines Itinerary.
8 ADVENTUROUS THINGS TO DO IN LEGAZPI, PHILIPPINES
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8 Adventurous Things to do in Legazpi
How to get to Legazpi
By Air – You can fly to Legazpi from Manila or Cebu, using Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines.
By Bus – Buses run daily to Legazpi from Cubao Bus Terminal in Manila. There are several per day and you can easily book online using 12go Asia. The journey time is approximately 15 hours.
8 Things to do in Legazpi
From ziplines and ATV rides, to ethically swimming with whale sharks, here are the top things to do in Legazpi.
1. Mayon Volcano National Park
We had seen pictures of Mayon before arriving in Legazpi, however, it was quite surreal to see the perfectly coned shape with our own eyes. The view of Mount Mayon is so picturesque that it almost feels like an illusion.
Adventures in Legazpi revolve around getting up close and personal to this tremendous event of mother nature. Often it’s a race against the clock, as 80% of the time you’ll find the volcano cloaked in thick clouds. The best time of day to see Mayon unobstructed is first thing in the morning, although it’s not a guarantee. With this in mind, I suggest spending 2-3 nights in Legazpi to increase your chances of getting a clear view.
On the other hand, while Mother Nature can be beautiful, you certainly do not want to feel her wrath. Mayon has reportedly erupted 47 times since 1616, killing thousands of natives and wiping out entire villages in its path. Most recently was in January 2018 when alert levels reached their highest and tens of thousands of people had to be evacuated.
While Mayon dominates the landscapes in Legazpi, for the best view we suggest heading to Lignon Hill, Cagsawa Park, or the Boulevard.
2. ATV & Hiking Tours
ATV & Hiking Tours around Mayon are the most popular things to do in Legazpi. And an absolute must for adventure-seeking backpackers. There are many companies in the town offering different options to suit all interests and capabilities. We can personally recommend Bicolandia Outdoor Adventures who offered competitive prices & a challenging, yet exhilarating route towards Mayon.
We did the ATV Tour and it did not disappoint – Within 5 minutes of setting off we were crashing our way through rivers and treacherous paths, surrounded by the most incredible scenery. It definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted but if you don’t feel confident to drive, then they will find a way to accommodate you. Unfortunately we chose a really cloudy day to do the tour, so we could barely see the volcano; however, the ATV experience alone was an incredible experience…
ATV Rides in Legazpi are by no means a cheap activity; however, there are a couple of ways to help keep the costs down. First of all, there are a number of different trails to choose from, so be realistic about what you want from the experience and stick to your guns as they will always try to upsell you. Also, if you are in groups of 2, you can opt to share a bike and take it in turns to drive. As fun as it is to drive, it’s nice to be able to sit back and enjoy the beautiful surroundings as well.
Price: We opted for the 2006 Black Lava Trail – A 21km round trip, and paid 3500PHP for a 350cc Double Seater. You can find more information on the prices and routes here.
*Tip – For the best chance to see Mayon in all it’s glory, opt for an early morning ATV ride. It didn’t work out for us on this occasion, but hopefully, you will have better luck.
3. Cagsawa Park
Cagsawa Park is home to the Cagsawa ruins – A 16th-century Franciscan church which seems was always destined to meet a tragic end. Shortly after being built, Legazpi was invaded by Dutch Pirates and the church was destroyed. It was later restored in the 1700s, only to be obliterated again in 1814 during a catastrophic eruption of Mount Mayon. Today, only the church tower remains, but it is one of the historical points of interest in the city and well worth a visit.
If the ruins aren’t enough to convince you, perhaps the spectacular view of Mount Mayon will. On a clear day you can get an unobstructed view of Mayon, and the lush surrounding landscapes make for some epic photo opportunities. Other features in the park are the Cagsawa Museum and a selection of food & souvenir stalls. You could easily spend a few hours here on a nice day enjoying the view and peaceful environment.
Entrance Fee: Entrance to Cagsawa Park is 20 php/pax.
4. Lignon Hill Nature Park
Lignon Hill is considered to be the city’s protector. Standing at a height of 156-metres between Mayon and Legazpi, it has been known to block the flow of lava and protect the city from unimaginable devastation. 183,000 people reside in the city of Legazpi, so it’s easy to understand why the hill has come to have such a prodigious reputation.
On the contrary, a trip to Lignon Hill is one of the most adventurous things to do in Legazpi. Boasting a 320m zipline, paintballing, cycling, hiking and more, there are enough activities to keep you occupied for hours on end. At the same time, you can expect awe-inspiring views over the city, and of course, the tremendous Mount Mayon.
Entrance Fee: Entrance to Lignon Hill Nature Park is 20 php/pax, but you may have to pay more for certain activities.
4. Zipline alongside Views of Mount Mayon
If you’re still feeling adventurous, ziplining alongside views of Mount Mayon is one of the most exhilarating things to do in Legazpi. There are a couple you can choose from – one located upon Lignon Hill, and the other is nearby the lava wall of Mayon. The latter can be accessed as part of your ATV or hiking tour, while Lignon Hill is accessible to everybody.
Neither zipline is particularly long or high, so it’s the perfect entry level flight if you’ve never done it before. At the same time, even the most spontaneous souls will go crazy for the views!
6. Take a Stroll Along Legazpi Boulevard
Legazpi Boulevard is one of the most tranquil spots in the city, and going for a morning jog here was one of our favourite things to do. On a clear day, the view of Mayon across a glistening lake is one of the best you will find in the city. Sadly, the volcanic black sand beach that hugs the coastline of the boulevard is full of trash; however, we enjoyed the view all the same.
The boulevard is particularly popular of an evening time, where a variety of restaurants and bars overlook the view of Mayon. If you are lucky enough to visit on a clear evening, you can expect an unforgettable sunset views of the Philippines most active volcano.
7. Ethically Swim With Whale Sharks
Many who visit Legazpi are unaware that the city is just a 90-minute bus ride away from Donsol – A laidback beachside town which in recent years has transformed into a popular tourist hub where visitors can swim with whale sharks.
Unlike other whale shark interaction experiences in the Philippines, Donsol proudly promotes a sustainable tourism operation. Unfortunately, human interaction with these gentle giants can have a negative impact on their natural life and instincts. The eco-tourism initiative that Donsol have implemented means that there are rules and regulations in place that help protect them.
This kind of experience will never be entirely ethical for the species; however, it was a relief to know that the whale sharks were not being lured with food or injured by boats getting too close. While we were only able to see one whale shark for no more than 60-seconds, it was an easy sacrifice to make to know we weren’t negatively impacting them.
To catch a van to Donsol, head to Legazpi Grand Central Terminal located South of the Legazpi City Centre. From here the fare for the 1,5-hour van trip is 100 php/pax; however, keep in mind that the vans don’t run on fixed schedules. They only leave once they’re full or when you offer to make up the difference!
Suggested Read: Why we didn’t Swim with Whale Sharks in Oslob
8. Sample the Local Chilli Ice Cream
As if things weren’t already hot enough in this city, one of the local delicacies is Bicol’s infamous Chilli ice cream. No trip to Legazpi is complete without sampling this obscure combination of coconut milk and chilli, which surprisingly we really enjoyed!
You’ll be pleased to know that the ice cream is served in three different strengths, so if you’re a bit of a wimp with spice I would suggest ordering the mild. We enjoy spice and went all in with the hot, and it’s safe to say it blew our heads off!
The traditional spot to enjoy this ice cream is at Colonial restaurant, although, various ice cream stalls sell their own version around the city.
For more things to do in Legazpi: 15 Best Things to do In Legazpi
Things to do in Legazpi – Where to Stay
Budget – Mayon Backpackers Hostel – The only hostel in Legazpi so be sure to book in advance.
Mid-Range – Third & Seans Place – This was the guesthouse we stayed in and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
Luxury – The Oriental – For a touch of luxury and panoramic views of Albay, this is the place to stay – This 5-star hotel is situated up in the hills and hosts an onsite pool and gym.
For more places to stay in Legazpi, you can check for the latest prices here.
Things to do in Legazpi – Where to Eat
Fuel your adventures in Legazpi at some of our favourite restaurants in the city.
Best for Local Food: Colonial Grill (Pacific Mall)
A favourite among locals for its delicious local food! The portions are generous and the prices reasonable. For dessert you must try the famous Sily Ice Cream (chilli ice cream) – you can choose from levels 1-3! Can you handle the heat?
Best For Junk Food: Shakey’s
For pasta, pizza and yummy appetiser dishes head to Shakey’s.
Best For Dinner With a View: The Boulevard
There are a number of restaurants and cafes along the boulevard where you can enjoy a wonderful view of Mayon.
Best For Late Night Drinks: Bar 101
Legazpi definitely isn’t a party town, but if you fancy some live music, karaoke & a few drinks with the locals then this is the place to go. Open until midnight.
Getting Around Legazpi
If you are experienced on a scooter, this will be your easiest way of getting around. Scooter rental shops are limited, but if you ask your hotel they will point you in the right direction. Rental prices start at around 600 (11$) php per day.
The cheapeast way to get around Legazpi is by using the public ‘Jeepney’s’. These quirky local buses are impossible to miss & serve most routes around the city. The challenge is identifying which Jeepney you need to take; however, the drivers are very helpful in this respect.
Finally, you will find several tricycles and taxis scouting the city; however, if you use them, be sure to haggle on the price!
What to Pack for Legazpi
Unsure of what you might need to pack for your adventures in Legazpi? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Below are the essential items that we carry with us on every adventure. But to ensure you don’t leave behind any of those backpacker essentials, here is our free printable packing list.
1. REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
It is no secret that single-use plastic is causing irreversible damage to our ecosystems, it is therefore imperative that as travellers, we try to minimise our consumption as much as possible.
We always carry a reusable water bottle and you will find that most hotels or hostels have a refill station. Not only is it better for the planet but you’ll save cash too!
We Recommend: Stainless steel Insulated Water Bottles
2. VERSATILE WALKING SHOES
When going on any backpacking adventure, we always carry some versatile walking shoes with us. We personally love the 2 in 1 shoes by Aleader as not only can we wear them hiking, but they act as water shoes too!
We Recommend: Aleader 2 in 1 Hiking Shoes. Use code OURTASTEFORLIFE15 for 15% off your order.
3. GOPRO ACTION CAMERA & ADVENTURE KIT
If you want an action camera that is durable and safe to take in the water, then look no further than the Go Pro. Small, lightweight, and easy to handle, you really ought to carry one of these with you on any backpacking adventure. Check out our full photography travel kit.
We Recommend: GoPro Hero 7 (White) Action Camera + Adventure Kit
4. QUICK DRY MICROFIBER TOWEL
They really do dry fast! Ultra-compact and lightweight so you can take to the beach easily. Not just the beach, this item is great for hiking, swimming, any outdoor adventure
We Recommend: Microfiber Travel Towel
5. UNIVERSAL ADAPTOR
When you are travelling long-term across multiple countries, it’s hard to keep up with which adaptors you need to carry. Not only does our universal adaptor work anywhere in the world, but we can also charge multiple devices at the same time. This is a backpackers essential.
We Recommend: Universal Travel Adapter with Dual USB Charging Ports
As travellers, it should always be a top priority to travel responsibly. We already leave a substantial carbon footprint just by flying to our travel destinations, so that’s even more reason to make a positive impact when we get there.
There are many small steps you can take to becoming a responsible traveller, and we highly encourage you to educate yourself before travelling to Legazpi. Here are some things you can do to minimise your footprint:
1. Do not leave any rubbish on the ground: You would think this would go without saying; however, there are some questionable humans who think it’s ok to throw trash on the ground.
2. Carry a Steripen or iodine tablets to sterilise water: This not only limits your usage of single-use plastic but also saves you money too!
3. Respect the local culture: Be courteous of the local culture and act in such a way that leaves a good impression. Learn a little of the local language (hello and thank you is the minimum), greet the locals in a polite manner, and respect dress codes & traditions.
More on Philippines
Planning a trip to the Philippines? Check out some of our other articles to help plan your trip:
- 21 Unmissable Tourist Spots in Coron, Palawan
- ISLAND HOPPING TOURS IN CORON
- ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO EL NIDO, PHILIPPINES
- A SIMPLE GUIDE TO THE PHILIPPINES
Did you enjoy our guide to 8 Adventurous Things to do in Legazpi?
Let us know. That concludes our guide to 8 Adventurous Things to do in Legazpi, Philippines. We hope you enjoy your time in this magical city. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below, through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here, where we share further travel advice & inspiration.
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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