► BEST OF BICOLANDIA TRAVEL

IF YOU are planning to go somewhere this summer, GO for BICOL. Either you are coming in directly from abroad or from Manila, here are some tips to guide you on how to get to Bicol easily and economically. With me as your virtual guide, I'll make sure your minimal budget will suffice. And, rest assured you'll get nothing but the best deals- from cheap good food, rewarding local trips, safe and economical hotel accommodation, and most importantly- polite tour guides who will happily take you and your companions around Bicol for only Php500-fee a day($11). However, to get the best out of the $11 that you are paying them, make sure you do not starve these tour guide/s. Okey? The secret is to book your flights as early as NOW to avoid missing the summer fun! So, let's keep the ball rolling! Call your travel agencies and book your flights to the Philippines and to Legazpi City. Or, sit down, surf the net and start browsing for cheap package deals. Early reservation cost much lesser than those that are made just weeks before your intended dates of departure. For you to ENJOY the beaches in Bicol to the max with a bonus of not missing the sighting experience of the "Butandings" (friendly whale sharks) in Donsol Sorsogon, visit Bicol between March~June. Hotels in Bicol are mostly the same. Clean, safe, and employs only trustworthy and accommodating staff. Still, it will not cost you anything if you take extra care of your belongings. Note: Make sure that you arrange everything from Hotel bookings to licensed tour guides who will take you around when you get there - prior to leaving for Legazpi City.

There are 2 airports in Bicol. One is in Pili, Camarines Sur (for small aircrafts only) and the other is in Legazpi City. Take Legazpi bound flights. From Manila, there are 2 flights bound for Legazpi City daily. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. There is also one flight coming in from Cebu, and that is via Cebu Pacific. All Legazpi bound aircrafts are Airbus 300s and occasionally, bigger ones land there too..

FROM THE AIRPORT
, you can hire local taxi cabs to take you to your Hotels or make sure to ask your booking agents if there will be shuttle buses or transport service cabs waiting at the airport to take you to your hotels and vice versa?


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BEFORE YOUR TRIP TO BICOL

There are many hotels in Legazpi City for future visitors to choose from. Just search the net containing Hotel accommodation guides for those planning to visit the place but remember that for you to fully enjoy your trip to Bicol, the best time to visit is from February to June as rainy season starts from July to November.

Now after you are through with your flights and hotel bookings, your next step would be to start planning where you want to go. Starting with places you would REALLY love to visit when you get to Legazpi City.

And, I am here as AS YOUR BEST GUIDE EVER!

ARE YOU READY? Well, I am sure you are! But before we take off I want to check again if you've packed the ff:

CAMERA
─ SWIMSUITS
─ SUMMER WEAR
─ SUNGLASSES
─ HATS
─ UV LOTION
─ COMFY SHOES/SANDALS
─ LIGHT MULTI-PURPOSE BAG/or BACK PACK
─ PESO BILLS in small denominations
─ YOUR ENTHUSIASM and good HEALTH ( most important)

I STRONGLY ADVISE you guys not to bring your valuable belongings such as: jewelry, expensive watch, or important documents as you won''t be needing those in the Philippines. Just bring with you a good pair or two of your best evening dresses and elegant but comfy shoes, which you will only need in Manila if you plan to go fine dining in those world-class restaurants found either in Hotels or in any of those many social venues there. Otherwise, better not add extra weight to your luggage.


FOR MORE TRAVEL INFO AND FACTS ABOUT BICOL, PLEASE VISIT TOURINGBICOL BLOG BY SHANAH



CARAMOAN ISLAND OF BICOL

CARAMOAN ISLAND

HOW TO GET THERE:

From Legazpi City (Albay), go to Naga City (Camarines Sur). From Naga City, hit the road going to Sabang. Once you reach Sabang, take a boat ride going to Caramoan. This would cost $ 2.50 per passenger- one way. Most of these boats from Sabang are bound for Guialo Port. From Guailo Port you can either go to Paniman or
Bikal. Don't worry- regardless if you choose Paniman or Bikal, the activities you'll be doing when you get there would still be the same, only the accommodation differs. Paniman offers better though a little bit more costly.

Activities that await anyone who visits this place would be- Island hopping, swimming, snorkeling, diving, trekking and exploring the islands.

There are a number of islands to visit when you get there. The famous of which is Gota Island- being the favorite destination of many adventurous foreigners. Maybe it is because of this island's breathtaking beauty that magnetizes many sea lovers to flock to this island.

Best Islands to visit are: GOTA, MATUKAD, VITA LAYA, and LAHOY. Then comes- LAHOS, UNUNGAN, BAGING, and BOGTONG.


I need not say fancy words to describe this place. Let the pictures talk....


FOR MORE TRAVEL INFO AND FACTS ABOUT BICOL, PLEASE VISIT TOURINGBICOL BLOG BY SHANAH

► CARAMOAN ISLAND

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► CAMARINES SUR WATERSPORTS COMPLEX (CSWC) - WAKE BOARDING

CAMARINES SUR WATERSPORTS COMPLEX (CSWC) in Pili Camarines Sur: Is just 40 minutes away from Legazpi City. There is also an airport in Pili, Camarines Sur but only small aircrafts land here. This is one of the places in the Philippines that caters to tourist who are into water sports. A man made lake has been artfully created and turned into a paradise for this type of people. Many foreign players in the world of wake boarding come here to play and some even stay for as long as one month. Evey now and then international wake boarding competitions happen here. In fact most of those who have visited and played in this complex did actually come back and some have become regular visitors of CSWC. Other activities that sports minded people get to enjoy here are: kayaking, swimming and after a long day of strenuous wake boarding, guests also get to enjoy interacting with fellow wake boarding enthusiasts. CSWC offers package deals every now and then. They have very affordable rental cottages. CSWC also presents a wide variety of very good food for their guests to enjoy . They also have supplies store & souvenirs shop within the premises.For more info just visit their websites.


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► CAMARINES SUR WATERSPORTS COMPLEX (CSWC)





LIGNON HILL - VIEW DECK AND ZIPLINE ACTIVITY

LIGNON HILL: Lignon hill is nestled between Mayon Volcano and Legazpi City Airport. This area was developed by the local government because of its geograhical location. Climbing to the top, visitors get to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Gigantic and beautiful Mayon Volcano up close. This is also the most common spot where local and international reporters, writers, journalist, and photographers take shots of the world famous majestic Mayon Volcano. The scene on the other side of this hill is the view of entire Legazpi City area, its neighboring towns, as well as mountains and Pacific Ocean shores embracing it. Lignon Hill is just a good 5-minute ride from Albay Provincial Capitol and 15 minutes away from Legazpi City proper. .

There are numerous of activities that you can do on top of Lignon Hill. It's a view deck overlooking the beautiful city of Legazpi, including the area of the airport and also the area at the foot of Mayon Volcanow. They also offer ZIPLINING Activities and Picnic Grove.

FOR MORE TRAVEL INFO AND FACTS ABOUT BICOL, PLEASE VISIT TOURINGBICOL BLOG BY SHANAH


► LIGNON HILL



► CAGSAWA RUINS

CAGSAWA RUINS: From Lignon Hills take the new short cut via airport road, travel another 10 minutes and you'll find yourself in Cagsawa Ruins' site. There is actually nothing there but the remaining half buried Bell Tower and the frame of the old convent where the nuns who served there lived. It is the view of Mayon Volcano on the background that mesmerizes everyone who visits this ruins. Mayon Volcano's eruption in 1814 was what devastated the entire town of Cagsawa. In fact it buried many people alive as they were said to be trapped inside their houses when the lava spewed by Mayon Volcano flowed towards this particular town thus burying it in one mischievous eruption. Ironically though, it was Cagsawa's annihilation in the year 1814 that gave birth to its being linked with Mayon Volcano to date. Since the day the world heard of what happened to the poor town of Cagsawa, whenever Bicol is mentioned the first picture that comes into their minds is the image of a perfectly formed volcano with Cagsawa Ruins and the old Bell Tower sitting at the foot of it. (famous Bicol's emblem)



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► CAGSAWA RUINS


► HOYOP-HOYOPAN CAVE, CAMALIG, ALBAY

HOYOP-HOYOPAN CAVE: Is found in Cotmon, Camalig's White mountain and just 30 minutes away from Albay Provincial Capitol.Hoyop-hoyopan is based on the word hoyop, which means blowing of air and this cave was named hoyop-hoyopan because once you are inside, you will feel soft winds blowing in from all of the numerous openings around this cave. And, because it is well ventilated, the inside of this cave really smells fresh. Among those that you will find inside this cave are: a few remains of cavemen who lived there millions of years ago. There are also bats hanging everywhere but there is nothing to worry about getting attacked by these small creatures because they are actually very friendly and they don't have that peculiar smell. The best deal awaiting curious visitors is the sight of very old stalactites and stalagmites formed out of those millions of years of this cave's existence. This cave is privately owned by locals and because of its unique wonder, the owners have decided to open it to the public. However, for maintenance purposes, they charge visitors an entrance fee of $3/head. There is also an improvised small souvenir stall outside the cave and they sell raw crystas as souvenirs. Prices depend on the size of the crystal stones. Minimum selling price of crystals- the size of a baby fist is at 50 cents and the biggest and more expensive of course is at $ 10 up. For further details about this cave, refer to pictures of Hoyop-hoyopan cave earlier provided.



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► HOYOP-HOYOPAN CAVE

► TICAO ISLAND

TICAO ISLAND: This island is in Masbate and an hour boat ride from Bulan, Sorsogon. Bulan, Sorsogon is 40 minutes away from Legazpi City proper. From Bulan, Sorsogon you need to ride a boat to get to Ticao Island. Ticao Island is worth the long boat ride. If you'll explore this island, you get to see Virgin Waterfalls, BIG BAT Cave, you could also go diving, snorkeling, water skiing, and other water sports activities of your choice that may be offered to tourists for minimal rental fees. However, in order not to waste your time bargaining with the locals for cheaper boat rides or with guides to assist you in trekking this island I would suggest that it would be wise to seek the services of your travel agencies so that they could make the arrangements for you. For further details about this paradise in Masbate, just visit websites covering wider info about Ticao Island


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► TICAO ISLAND

► BUTANDING in Donsol Sorsogon

BUTANDING (Whale Sharks [scientific name: Rhincodon] ) in DONSOL, Pilar, Castilla, and Magallanes, SORSOGON: With tourists being able to watch, touch, and literally play with 5-meter to 8 meters long Butandings- is just one of the many reasons why many tourist coming from all over the world flock to Sorsogon. A phenomenon that only in the province of Sorsogon, Albay exists. These sightings happen mostly in the months of February to June. Lucky visitors get to see 10~15 Butandings within a day. Although gigantic in size they may be, these huge fish are exceptionally gentle, playful, and very friendly that they even allow humans to play, interact, swim, and touch them...for more info check different websites featuring this phenomenon in Sorsogon. A 20~30 minutes boat ride from Donsol shores towards the deeper area of the sea is the perfect site to wait for these playful Butandings to start showing themselves up to excited and enthusiastically anticipating tourist. Once they do, It's PLAY TIME! Rental per boat is $100. A boat can accommodate 8~10 passengers.

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► BUTANDING in Donsol Sorsogon

FIREFLY WATCHING IN DONSOL SORSOGON

FIREFLY WATCHING in Donsol, Sorsogon: Is another phenomenon found only in Sorsogon, Albay. This particular river cruising in the dark, which starts only when it is totally dark is one of the most thrilling experience I have had in Sorsogon. The earliest 1-hr river cruise starts at 6:30 pm. This is also among the unique experiences that tourists visiting Donsol, Sorsogon in Bicol get to enjoy after a day of fun with those playful Butandings. The idea is to cruise a long river very similar to that river where they shoot ANACONDA, where Jennifer Lopez played the starring role. The riverbanks on both sides of the stream are filled with trees where thousands of fireflies flock in each of the thousands of trees aligned there. The effect is spectacular! With all those Fireflies flying everywhere and glowing in the dark like small emeralds floating everywhere, NOTHING Compares. The slow boat ride in the dark and the amazing sight of small green lights floating everywhere (during the entire 1-hour trip) is an unforgettable unique experience indeed. You'll feel like being transported to the kingdom of mini fairies and the unknown, and with the thrilling boat ride speaking even more. You have got to experience taking this river cruise in the dark yourself to know the feeling, which I am finding so hard to put into words. However, much as you are dying to immortalize this adventure- it is an encounter that you cannot capture with your camera because fireflies glow only in the dark. Rental boats cost $25 per boat. A boat can accommodate 10 passengers.


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► FIREFLY WATCHING IN SORSOGON

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