The Mayon Volcano of Albay remains an iconic tourist spot for the Philippines. It is one of the most active volcanoes of the country, known to emit toxic fumes every now and then. The last eruption happened in 2004. However, its beautiful symmetrical cone shape brings visitors even from far out places to witness this natural beauty. It is known to be the world’s most perfectly shaped volcano. Aside from this, an ancient folklore also surrounds the volcano. It is said to have come from a beautiful princess named Daragang Magayon. Be sure to ask the locals for this interesting story!
As for the environment of the mountain, hikers should expect to pass various types of terrain should they choose to brave this challenging hike. They will pass through hardened magma, volcanic rocks and deep ravines formed by past volcanic eruptions. One would also pass through a short, forested area and grassland, adding to the exciting environment of the hike. For sure, this hike is not for the faint-hearted. Several parts of the trail require you to scramble from one rock to another, with slippery surfaces threatening to drop you at any moment!
One should exercise extreme caution when taking on Mount Mayon. Here are some reminders to make your adventure convenient and hassle free! Bring the necessary protective gear to protect you from the harsh environment. From sunblock to rash guards to gas masks and helmets, these are just a few things that will make your hike more comfortable. Some of the plants can cause scratches and irritable itches. Water is also very important, as there are no water sources during the trek.
Also, make sure to check out the weather before your journey. The rain and strong winds might put a hamper to your plans. But be reminded that walking under the scorching heat of the sun is not a fun experience too. Majority of the trail do not have trees for cover, leaving hikers vulnerable to the unforgiving sun. Lastly, a hike up to the summit might not be possible at the moment. Due to recent volcanic activities, the local government is making efforts to ensure the safety of everyone within the vicinity. Follow your guides closely, especially if they decide to call off the climb. So, to avoid any disappointments and inconveniences, do proper research before you plan your trip!
Elevation: 2,462 m above sea level
Mount Mayon Trails
The Mayon Volcano can be hiked from quite a number of different trails. Almost all trails will be starting from Legazpi City, making this the major jump-off point for Mayon. However, be reminded that the summit isn’t always open for visitors. Make sure to coordinate with the people in the Visitor’s Center if you have any special requests to make. Not all hikes lead to the same level of elevation. Ask your guide what is the best option based on your preferences.
The Torel trail is one of the few trails that lead to the summit of the Mayon Volcano. The trail starts off in Barangay Bonga, Bacacay. The first part is an established path until you enter a forested area. Unlike from other trails, this path veers away from the harsh environment of the mountain. Instead, it passes through grassy fields and vast meadows. It will eventually lead to Camp 1. Continue on the path where you will pass by overgrown plants and tall grasses. Another hour of trekking will lead you to the second campsite.
Enjoy the view and refresh yourselves for a few moments before you continue on your journey because the molten magma or the so-called lava gully starts after Camp 2. Follow your guide as you maneuver your way around these slippery slopes of barren land. Be careful when you reach the steep slopes and rocky surfaces.
You can spend the night either in Camp 1 or Camp 2 and continue your journey the following day. Start the second day with a trek up the daunting Lava Gully. Hikers will also pass by the knife edge. Be prepared to go on all fours as you climb the unforgiving slope up the summit. A few more hours and you’ll reach the crater of Mayon Volcano! Enjoy the view of nearby peaks and towns below. Be careful as you observe the opening of the mountain and relish in the feeling of accomplishment that you managed to complete the hike!
Sto. Domingo trail is another traditional route up Mayon Volcano. Same as the other trails, it starts off relatively easy from the jump-off point to the first campsite. But once you get past Camp 1, that’s where the real challenge begins. The lava flows from past eruptions have formed a barren land, yet beautiful in its own way. Hikers will have a lot on their hands as they move across the tricky terrain. Enjoy the view and be patient when you scramble from one rock to another. Refresh yourselves before beginning your descent to be back in town before sun down.
How to Get There
It’s important to plan your trip in advance to make sure you know exactly what to do and where to go on the day itself. Here are some ways to get to your destination:
(Legazpi City – Barangay Bonga, Bacacay – Jump-off point)
Since we hiked Mount Mayon through the trail from Bonga, this is the only information I can give you. Mount Mayon is located in Albay, Bicol. From Manila, take a bus headed to Legazpi City, where most of the jump-off points are located. In about 10 hours, you will reach the town proper. You may also go there by plane. We've got ours from a promo fare and it turned out cheaper than the bus fare to Legazpi. After which, ride a jeep going to Barangay Bonga, Bacacay where the jump-off point is located.
And oh! There are a lot of tourist spots in Legazpi and Naga. Might as well maximize your time while in the Bicol region and see what other things Bicol has to offer.