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.
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.