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Bicol

With active volcanoes, mountains, caves and cliffs, along with blissful white-sand beaches and coral reefs Bicol is paradise for lovers of the great outdoors.
Top 10 Activities

All you need to know about Bicol

At the southernmost end of Luzon island, the Bicol region has six provinces composed of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate.

Manila sunset

Why it’s more fun in Bicol

Swimming with whale sharks (known locally as butanding), the world’s largest fish, is the activity most people associate with this part of the world, but there’s plenty more outdoorsy fun to be had in the Bicol region – both on the water and on land. And when you need to relax, there’s a lot of scope for that on the white-sand beaches.

Masbate Island Lorenz Narbs

Culture & Food

The Bicol Region has an array of cultural sites that showcase its rich history. Originally descended from incomers from China, the inhabitants of Bicol often mix Chinese, Arab and Spanish ancestry, and most are devout Catholics.

Bicol is also famed for its spicy food, which is based largely on coconut and chillies – as evidenced in the likes of gulay na lada or Bicol Express (pork and local chillies cooked in coconut cream). Other dishes not to miss are laing (taro leaves with meat or seafood in coconut milk, spiced with chilli, lemongrass and more) and local specialities featuring local pili nuts.

Tinagba Festival

Top Events & Festivals

  • Tinagba Festival, Iriga City – February

    A harvest thanksgiving including parades, street dancing and sporting challenges.

  • Ibalong Festival, Legazpi – August

    A celebration of a local legend, with masked and costumed reconstructions of classic battles.

  • Peñafrancia Festival, Naga – September

    A barge procession, fireworks and more, celebrating Bicol’s patron, Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

Climate

Tropical, without pronounced dry and wet seasons in the western and southern areas and no dry season in the eastern and northern areas. The average temperature throughout the year ranges from about of 27°C to 30°C. Minimum monthly rainfall occurs from March to May.

Check out the weather today in Bicol

Top 10 things to do in Bicol

Whale Sharks Sam Kolder

1. Whale Sharks

See and snorkel near whale sharks in Donsol in Sorsogon.

2. Snorkelling

Go island-hopping and snorkelling around Caramoan and its islands in the east of Bicol.

3. Surfing

Surf on Catanduanes Island and swim in its waterfalls and lagoons.

Caramoan Caloy Llamas

4. Visit a Volcano

Take an escorted tour by ATV to the active volcano Mount Mayon.

5. Explore Legazpi

Explore Bicol’s main city, Legazpi, with its Franciscan church, Spanish pier and Japanese tunnels.

6. Cagsawa Ruins

Tour the Cagsawa Ruins – the atmospheric remnants of a 16th-century Franciscan church.

7. Quitinday Underground River

Take a boat-ride through the Quitinday Underground River, a natural cave system.

Cagsawa Ruins

8. Daraga Church

Visit the imposing Daraga Church, set on a hilltop against a backdrop of Mayon volcano.

9. Zip-line at Lignon Hill Nature Park

Head for Lignon Hill Nature Park with its zip-line, hiking trail and valley views.

10. Albay Park and Wildlife

Relax in Albay Park and Wildlife with its bike hire, lagoon boating and fishing.

Where to stay in Bicol

Bicol: The most popular places to stay in Bicol are the business centres of Naga, Legazpi, Tabaco, Daet, Iriga, Sorsogon, Donsol and Masbate, with generally simple, clean and affordable accommodation including homestays.

Naga and Legazpi: have some upmarket options.

Albay: For an upscale beach holiday experience, there’s the luxury Misibis Bay Resort & Spa on Cagraray Island in Albay.

Casa Simeon Albay  400

Casa Simeon Albay

Getting there & away

Air

There are short flights (roughly 75-90mins) from Manila to Legazpi in Albay, Naga City in Camarines Sur, Virac on Catanduanes and Masbate island. CALABARZON’s Quezon province is also a gateway to Bicol.

Land

By road, it’s about 475km/9hrs 30mins from Manila to Legazpi. Buses, jeepneys and cars are popular means of getting around the region.

More travel info

For more general information on travel to and around the Philippine Islands, visit our travel information section:

Maps, travel tips, information on visas, working holidays and health and safety.

 

Wake up in Bicol

As we wait for the day to travel once again, discover the wonders that await you in our 7,641 islands from the comfort of your home. Stay at home, dream, and wake up in the Philippines.

Bicol brochure

Download our Bicol brochure here

Find out more information about the destination. Maps, attractions, shopping, activities, eating out, nightlife, accommodation and other useful links and contacts.

Book a holiday

Dreaming of heading to the Philippines? Plan your next adventure and book your ultimate Philippines holiday today. Check out some of the great packages that are currently on offer from tour operators below.

Grand Tour of the Philippines

Grand tour of the Philippines’ is a comprehensive 23-day exploration of the most important islands in the Philippine archipelago.  Visit the famous rice terraces, picturesque Negos, Bohol and Cebu islands taking in both history and pristine beaches. 


Bamboo Travel

23 days from £4,785pp

Classic Tour of the Philippines

Culturally and geographically removed from the rest of Southeast Asia, this green archipelago is best known for its pristine beaches. Spend time in the capital city of Manila, trek to an Ifugao village or visit the stunning rice terraces of Banaue.


Audley Travel

15 days from £3,725pp

Philippines Northern Explorer & Beach Escape

Explore the majestic scenery of the north and gain a real insight into the traditional cultures and warm hospitality of the Philippines. Tour highlights include the stunning Banaue rice terraces, Sagada’s ‘hanging coffins’ and Boracay’s white-sand beaches


Trailfinders

13 days from £1,879pp

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, the Philippines has implemented temporary travel restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. We urge you to stay home and follow community quarantine protocols.  LEARN MORE

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, the Philippines has implemented temporary travel restrictions.  LEARN MORE

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