Mt. Mayon (also known as Mayon Volcano) is on the outskirts of Legazpi City in Albay province, which is the largest city in the Bicol region. Mt. Mayon volcano is an active stratovolcano and is often referred to as the “perfect cone” because of its almost symmetric conical shape.

Mt. Mayon volcano is the most active volcano in the Philippines, erupting over 49 times in the past 400 years (source: Wikipedia). Standing at 2,462 metres (8,077 ft), and only 10km from the Gulf of Albay, there are 360-degree views of this natural wonder.

Due to its regular activity, it is forbidden to hike up the mountain, or to the crater. However, when we were there, we hired some quad bikes (ATV’s) and rode up the shallow river to the lookout area at the base of Mt. Mayon volcano. This area was surrounded by hundreds of lava rocks.

It was a great experience riding through the little villages alongside the river, watching the locals go about their daily business. The locals almost seemed oblivious to this amazing sight, whilst my jaw was almost dragging along the ground in awe.

It was a totally intimidating feeling whilst standing at the base of this monster. As I was looking up at the perfectly pointed crater, I was thinking about all the destruction this beast has caused over the years. And here I was, feeling like an ant, right at the base of it knowing it had the power to erupt at any time. I had chills up my spine.

I have been to a few volcanoes around the Philippines, but this is by far the one I had been longing to see since I saw it in a travel brochure over 20 years ago. It really is an awe-inspiring experience.

View of Mt. Mayon volcano from the western side with the sun setting

A view of Mt. Mayon from the western side as the sun was beginning to set. I just stood there in awe of this natural wonder. This was just before the selfie phenomenon took over the globe.

Riding up to the base of Mt. Mayon volcano on the quad bike

Riding up to the base of Mt. Mayon on the quad bike through the lahars was an amazing experience. The cost to hire these was about USD30 for half a day.

Mt. Mayon volcano lava rocks around the lookout area

The lava rocks around the lookout area at the base of Mt. Mayon. Some of these rocks were about the size of a small car.

Mt. Mayon volcano from Embarcadero de Legazpi, overlooking Legazpi City

A view of Mt. Mayon from Embarcadero de Legazpi, overlooking Legazpi City where the mountain clearly stands out.

Costs:

Cost of hiring the ATR (All Terrain Vehicle) will vary depending on the size of the ATR and which trail you take. The trail we took was about an hour each way and the cost was about P1,500.

How to get there

Philippine Airlines (PAL) fly to Legazpi City from Manila once daily. The flight is approximately one hour.

When I went to Legazpi City, luckily being a resident of the Philippines, I drove from Manila over the course of a long weekend. The trip is approximately 480kms and took us about twelve hours, including stopovers.

DLTB Bus Lines go from Manila to Legazpi City departing from Buendia and Cubao. The trip will take 14-15 hours and the cost is about P800 one way. There are a few other bus lines that are also available.

Dezza´s Tip

We stayed in Ellis Ecotel hotel at Embarcadero de Legazpi, Bicol’s premier urban mall, right on Legazpi City Harbor. The cost was around P1500/night. There are fantastic views of the harbor, and also of Mt. Mayon. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, and entertainment in this huge mall, which is only about a 20mins drive (5kms) from Legazpi Airport.