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Exploring Mount Mayon and surroundings

Posted by on 2013-03-30

Mount Mayon view from Ligñon Hill

Mount Mayon view from Ligñon Hill

View of Mount Mayon from the Base

View of Mount Mayon from the Base


Mount Mayon

Mount Mayon is the most active volcano in Philippines, located on Albay province, on the South of Luzon.
It’s considered to be the perfect volcano due its shape symmetry.
The Mount Mayon has 48 recorded eruptions on the last 400 years, with the last eruption dating back to winter of 2009. The volcano summit is elevated up to 8081 feet above the sea level. And its summit it’s considered toxic due the constant volcano activity.

Mount Mayon has an admirable beauty due its almost perfect symmetry. It stands out on the landscape, and has you observe it from different surrounding cities, you will have a sensation of seeing it always from the same angle. One of the best observation points is from the top of Ligñon Hill near Legazpi, when you can have a bird’s-eye view, contemplating its shape and the surrounding fields.

Lava ash trail

Lava ash trail

Hiking

At the time I was there, due weather and time constrains I wasn’t able to climb all the way to the summit, but still I believe I collected enough data to provide you information about hiking on the Mount Mayon. Most people who plan to hike it to the top, do a 2-3 days hike, overnighting on tents.
If you are press on time, you will find very rewarding just to hike it until its base, since you will be hiking through a beautiful scenery.

The ash lava trails:Due its multiple eruptions, Mount Mayon has now very wide trails, as wide as a highway, made of lava ash making it very easy to hike.
If you plan to hike to the top, this wide lava ash trails might be the quickest route, but except for the observing the nature destructive power, you can find these trails quite uninteresting.
There are several ash lava trails, one of it goes through Cagsawa Ruins, which is a good starting point.

Mount Mayon Trail full screen

Other Trails
There are countless trails, most of them are quite simple to hike, with only a few obstacles.
The trekking trail which I present on this map, I did it without any guide, it was pure exploration. Most parts were quite simple, some even had sign marks, only on the end I faced some obstacles, most were simple to overcome. This trail on the map it will take you to around 1500 feet, after that you are on your own. It starts from a path behind Cagsawa Ruins, and after walking for a while you will see a marked trail, until you reach the Budiao. After Budiao there is a road section, where you can see a small village, after that it goes through trails. Some of the trails were very clear, while others I simply had to explore. On this trekking trail I observed domestic animals, birds, flowers, farming fields, mud trails and local people. And the end point, had an amazing view to Legazpi.

Warning sign

Warning sign

Guides
If you plan to hike to the summit, perhaps the best it’s to hire a guide. If you hike to the base camp, you will find locals who can take you to more inaccessible areas of the volcano.
If you want to hire a professional guide:
wwwBicol Adventure

Advice
If you plan to hike even just to the base, don’t forget to bring plenty of water and a strong sunscreen, since several parts of the trails have no shade, and during summer the sun is burning hot.


ATV on the Lava ash trail

ATV on the Lava ash trail

ATV

The lava trails are so wide that it can even by crossed by ATV. I even saw a jeepney driving through the trail.
If you want this option, you will find it just before the Cagsawa Ruins.
Contact:wwwBicol Adventure ATV

 

 

 

 


Hanging Bridge on the Ligñon Hill

Hanging Bridge on the Ligñon Hill

Sights

Cagsawa Ruins

price10 php
These are the ruins of a 18th church, that was destroyed by the 1814 eruption of the Mount Mayon. The area is very well taken cared. It provides good photo opportunities with the Mount Mayon as background.
It’s also a good starting point for your hike to the Mount Mayon.
To get there, just take a jeepney from Legazpi to Daraga(10php), and then another to Malabog(8php), and ask to drop-off on the Cagsawa Ruins.

Ligñon Hill

price25 php
The Ligñon Hill is located on the North of Legazpi City. It has great views of the Mount Mayon, the Legazpi City, and all the surrounding areas.
To reach the top from the base, you can walk up along the road, where you can try several adventure sports: hanging bridge, zipline, rappel and Japanese tunnel.
To get there, you can take the jeepney loop-1 or loop-2 from Legazpi.

Legazpi City

Legazpi is the biggest city near the Mount Mayon. Most travelers use it has a base for hiking on the volcano. The city is small enough to be done by walking. It contains a few landmarks which are mostly churches. Embarcadero is the sea port area where the locals stroll.

Budget Accommodation

Most of the low budget hostels in Legazpi, either have very low quality, or they are pricey compared to the rest of Philippines. There are a few exceptions.
Magayon Hotel:price200 php/singlewcsharedwifi1st and 2nd floor
phone052-480-7770
notesThe rooms of this hotel are not exactly 5 star, but the hotel is in quite good condition, the corridors are spacious and they are well lighted up. Even the cheapest room has a TV and fan.

Mayon Backpackers:price250php/dormwifiyes
wwwhttp://mayonbackpackers.wordpress.com
notesThis is a quite recent hotel. I didn’t went there but from the reviews looks quite good. But it’s totally outside of Legazpi, although it’s more near from the hiking starting points of Mount Mayon.

Getting There

Legazpi has an airport very near the city. There are regular buses (650php for A/C), including night buses, going from Manila, near LRT Taft Avenue, to Legazpi.

References

Mayon Volcano
Cagsawa Ruins

 
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5 Responses to Exploring Mount Mayon and surroundings

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