I was lucky enough to be invited on a FAM trip to the Philippines with 4 other amazing travel bloggers to celebrate TBEX Asia being hosted in the Philippines this October. We spent 3 days touring the city of Legazpi and the area of Albay so that we could tell you all about it! So, here’s everything you need to know about Legazpi (one of my favourite parts of the Philippines).
Legazpi is the capital of the Albay province. Like most cities in the Philippines it’s colourful, loud and full of jeepneys and tricycles. Shop fronts line the street selling everything from car parts to street food. Like everywhere in the Philippines, the people are warm and welcoming.
Legazpi is also known as the adventure capital of the Philippines. But it’s not just all about adrenaline in Legazpi, food and culture play a starring role as well. Here’s the highlights!
Things To See
Mount Mayon: This is the iconic, ACTIVE, volcano that is the backdrop to the city of Legazpi. It stands at around 8,000ft tall and it’s most recent eruption was in 2013. It is a PERFECT stereotypical cone shape. Mount Mayon and Mount Fuji in Japan have even been united recently in a sisterhood of Fire (Mayon) & Ice (Fuji). It makes for some incredible photos. Plus, if you’re a geology nut or into “geotourism” then this is for you!
Cagsawa Ruins: These ruins are all that remain of a church that was built in 1587, burned down, rebuilt and then destroyed again by an eruption of Mount Mayon. Despite having a rough time it is still an iconic landmark. With Mount Mayon in the background it makes for a pretty picture, especially if there’s someone cutting the fields behind the ruins. PLUS you can do some great trick photos with this landmark. There are small stalls to the left of the ruins selling souvenirs and snacks.
Daraga Church: This beautiful old Baroque style church is made from local volcanic rock and was built in 1772. It’s beautiful inside and out. Definitely worth a visit if you like a bit of history/culture (not really my thing, but it’s pretty all the same).
The Liberty Bell: This was a gift from the U.S.A to commemorate the liberation of Legazpi from the Japanese at the end of the Second World War. It is a replica of the one in Philadelphia. A nice piece of history (again, if you’re into that sort of thing).
Things To Do
Sumlang Lake: This is a newly opened tourist attraction. It’s a natural lake in front of Mount Mayon. They’ve crafted a “SUMLANG LAKE” sign that sits on the shore of the lake as a sort of photo prop. A bit like the Hollywood sign. You can kayak around the lake. OR you can sit on sofas on a bamboo raft with your friends while a guide paddles you around the lake. I recommend the second option.
ATVing: When I was in Legazpi recently I tried out ATVing with “Your Brother”, the same company Zac Efron went ATVing with on his recent trip to Legazpi. I know, that basically means I met him, right?! No? FINE! Anyways, we did the advanced trail all the way up to the foot of the lava wall. It was the perfect mix of great views and off-road adrenaline. I would definitely recommend this for anyone that likes a bit of adventure. You can see the prices here.
Zipline: At the Mount Mayon lava wall there’s a zipline back down. It looks worse than it actually is. For me the worst bit was landing at the end. As you can see from the photo above, I thought I was going to smash into the wall at the end. The zipline is organised by the same company that runs the ATV. You can contact them for rates.
Busay Falls: This was a massive highlight of the trip for me. You can hike up to the 7th or 8th waterfall on a dry day. However, luckily for me it had been raining the day before so we only went to the forth waterfall (I was sweating like hell by the 2nd waterfall). The hike is a bit tricky. I basically had a local guide that saved my life every step of the way. BUT the reward of a refreshing dip under the waterfall at the end was well worth it. Make sure you get yourself a sexy waterfall bikini shot for the family album! 😉
Want to read more about adventure in the Philippines? Then make sure you have a read of Mike from Bemused Backpacker’s article on how adventure is more fun in the Philippines.
Legazpi and the Albay area are famous for spicy food and PILI nuts. Pili nuts are solely produced and exported commercially in the Philippines. Pili nuts are best when coated in honey and chilli powder or when used in fusion food such as pasta. If you visit Legazpi you best appreciate spicy food as chilli is on EVERYTHING. There’s even chilli ice cream!
Small Talk Cafe: This is a great lunch or dinner place! Make sure you try the pili pasta. And for dessert it has to be the spicy ice cream volcano, trust me, it’s amazing! It’s very popular with locals which is always a good sign.
DJC: This is where you’ll find one of the best halo halos in the Philippines and DEFINITELY the cheesiest halo halo. It’s never empty, so you know it’s good.
You can read more about the food in Legazpi in my article – Filipino Food is Taking Over the World.
Where to Stay
Misisbis Resort: If you have money to burn then this luxury resort is the ideal place for you to relax and unwind. They also can arrange for several activities such as sunrise ATVING (I tried this, it was awesome), snorkelling, SUPing and more. If you’d prefer something more chill, then make sure you check out the spa.
There are plenty of budget accommodation options in Legazpi as well. To see more accommodation options in Legazpi click – here.
WANT TO SEE WHAT LEGAZPI IS REALLY LIKE??
Here’s a video of my trip to Legazpi!
Are You a Travel Blogger?
Then make sure you get your ass to TBEX Asia in the Philippines this October. As if you needed an excuse to visit a country made up of over 7,000 islands! See you there 😉