Located in the southernmost part of Luzon island, the Bicol Region is famous for its whale sharks, pristine islands, breathtaking waterfalls, mouthwatering foods, friendly residents, and active volcanoes. With its breathtaking landscapes, underrated tourist attractions, cultural sites, and amazing historical discoveries, I must say that Bicol must be part of your bucket list when traveling around the Philippines.
As I wandered around the region for 6 days and 5 nights, I truly fell in love with its beauty. It has its own charm that differs from other regions or places that I have visited across the country. I have been dreaming of exploring and going backpacking around the Bicol Region for a long time, and I am so grateful that it has finally come true! Truthfully, it made me quite emotional as I was exploring the region. Going backpacking is one of my favorite parts of traveling across the region, which I haven’t done since the pandemic.
In this blog, find out why Bicol is a must-visit region in the Philippines as I walk you through some of the best places that it offers. Apart from the popular Mayon Volcano in Albay, there is so much more to see in the Bicol Region. Here’s an ultimate backpacking guide to the Bicol Region with a bonus of a sample itinerary and expenses.
Where is the Bicol Region located?
The Bicol Region is designated as Region V and is located at the southernmost end of Luzon (the largest island in the Philippines). Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, and Masbate are the six provinces that make up the region.
Legazpi is the largest city in the Bicol Region, which is the capital of Albay. Meanwhile, Camarines Sur is the largest province in the area, while Catanduanes Island is the smallest island province in the region. Locals from the Bicol region are called Bicolanos, whose mother tongue is the Bikol language, which falls under four major groups of language.
How to get to the Bicol Region?
There are two ways to get to Bicol: by air or by road. Legazpi, Naga, and Virac have their own airports. If you travel by plane, travel time is approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. Either way, you can reach the province by bus, which takes you around 10 hours or so.
From Manila to Legazpi, Sorsogon, and Virac, you can book a flight via Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, or Cebgo Airlines.
From Manila, there are buses from Cubao or Pasay that travel to Bicol daily. Buses are bound for Legazpi, Naga, and Sorsogon.
Top Places to Visit in Bicol for 6D5N
If you plan to go backpacking around the Bicol region, here is an example travel guide to the Bicol region for 6 days and 5 nights. Check out some of the places to see and visit, things to do, and where to eat during our backpacking around the region.
- Bato Church
- Bote Lighthouse
- Maribina Falls
- Binurong Point
- Puraran Beach
How to get to Catanduanes Island from Legazpi, Albay?
From Legazpi, take any public transport bound for the SM Legazpi terminal. Then, take a van heading to Tabaco port. From Tabaco port, take a ferry bound for Catanduanes Island. The ferry is either bound for San Andres port or Virac port.
Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur
How to get to the Caramoan Islands from Catanduanes Island?
From Catanduanes Island, you need to rent a private boat from Codon Port. Codon Port is the starting point of the island hopping tour to the Caramoan Islands.
Legazpi City, Albay
- Mayon Skyline ATV Adventures
- Cagsawa Ruins
- Cagsawa Church
- Farm Plate
Getting around Legazpi City
Getting around the city is very accessible. If you want to travel around the city without breaking the bank. You can either take a tricycle or jeepney while wandering around the city.
- Bulusan Lake
- Barcelona Ruins
- Barcelona Church
How to get to Sorsogon from Legazpi City?
From Legazpi City, take any public transport heading to SM Legazpi Terminal. Then, take a van bound for Sorsogon. Tell the driver to drop you off at SM Sorsogon. Travel time is around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Take note that you can do so much more in each of the provinces. In our case, we wanted to stay longer in every place that we visited. That’s why we didn’t really bother visiting a lot of places. I think it is also a sign of aging, wherein we get tired easily. Lol.
6D5N Bicol Region Travel Guide with Itinerary & Expenses
If you are also planning to go backpacking around the Bicol region, you may want to follow this sample itinerary which is good for six days and five nights. This also gives you an idea of how much budget you should bring with you for the entire Bicol region backpacking trip.
Day 1 – Catanduanes Island
|07:30 AM||Arrive at Bicol International Airport|
|07:40 AM||Depart to Tabaco Port|
|08:30 AM||Arrive at Tabaco Port|
|09:00 AM||Depart for Catanduanes Island|
|11:00 AM||Arrive at San Andres Port|
|11:10 AM||Meet up with the Tour Guide (Kuya Michael)|
|11:15 AM||Proceed to Virac|
|11:45 AM||Check-in at our hostel|
|12:30 PM||Head out for lunch|
|01:00 PM||Half day tour (this includes Bato Church, Bote Lighthouse, and Maribina Falls)|
|05:00 PM||Go back to our hostel|
|07:00 PM||Go back to our hostel|
|08:00 PM||Free time, rest|
Day 2 – Caramoan Island
|07:00 AM||Prepare for our tour|
|08:30 AM ||Proceed to Codon Port (Gateway to Caramoan Islands)|
|09:00 AM||Arrive at the port|
|09:10 AM||Leave for Caramoan Islands|
|10:00 AM||Start of island hopping tours around the Caramoan Islands|
|03:00 PM||End of Caramoan Island Hopping Tour|
|03:50 PM||Arrive at the port|
|04:00 PM||Head back to Virac, Back to the hostel|
|05:00 PM||Out for dinner|
|07:00 PM||Head back to the hostel|
|08:00 PM||Lights off|
Day 3 – Catanduanes Island
|04:00 AM ||Catch the sunrise at Binurong Point|
|05:00 AM||Arrive at the registration office|
|05:30 AM||Trek to Binurong Point|
|06:00 AM||Arrive at the Binurong Point, Photo-op, Sightseeing|
|08:00 AM||Back to the registration office|
|09:00 AM||Head to Puraran Beach|
|09:30 AM||Arrive at the Puraran Beach|
|11:00 AM||Back to Virac|
|12:00 PM||Head to San Andres Port|
|12:30 PM||Arrive at the port|
|01:00 PM||Leave for Tabaco Port|
|04:00 PM||Arrive at Tabaco Port|
|04:30 PM||Head to Legazpi Terminal|
|05:00 PM||Arrive at Legazpi Terminal, Proceed to our hostel|
|05:10 PM||Check-in to our hostel|
|05:20 PM||Dinner, free time|
Day 4 – Legazpi, Albay
|08:00 AM||Head to Cagsawa|
|08:30 AM||Arrive at Cagsawa, Mayon Skyline|
|08:40 AM||Orientation for Mayon ATV Adventure|
|09:00 AM||Start of Mayon ATV Adventures|
|11:00 AM||End of ATV fun|
|11:20 AM||Head over to Cagsawa Ruins|
|11:30 AM||Sightseeing around Cagsawa|
|01:00 PM||Back to hostel, rest|
|04:00 PM||Proceed to Farmplate|
|04:30 PM||Arrive at the Farmplate, sightseeing|
|07:00 PM||Head back to the hostel|
Day 5 – Sorsogon
|07:30 AM||Out for another tour|
|07:40 AM||Arrive at the Legazpi Terminal|
|08:00 AM||Leave for Sorsogon|
|09:00 AM||Arrive at SM Sorsogon Terminal|
|09:30 AM||Leave for Bulusan|
|10:30 AM||Arrive at Bulusan|
|10:40 AM||Head to Irosin|
|11:00 AM||Arrive at Bulusan Lake, Lunch|
|12:30 PM||Start of Bulusan Lake Tour|
|01:30 PM||End of Bulusan Lake Tour|
|01:40 PM||Back to Bulusan|
|02:00 PM||Head to Barcelona|
|02:40 PM||Arrive in Barcelona, go sightseeing|
|03:20 PM||Head back to SM Sorsogon Terminal|
|04:00 PM||Depart to Legazpi|
|05:00 PM||Arrive at Legazpi Terminal|
|05:10 PM||Roam around SM Legazpi|
|05:30 PM||Head back to hostel|
|07:00 PM||Dinner at SM Legazpi|
|08:00 PM||Back to the hostel|
|08:10 PM||Free time|
Day 6 – Back to Manila
|07:30 AM||Check out at our hostel|
|08:00 AM||Go to the airport|
|08:30 AM||Arrive at the airport|
|10:00 AM||Leave for Manila|
Budget for a 6D5N Bicol Region Backpacking Trip
Kindly note that prices are subject to change and that this budget is for two people. The breakdown of expenses could change depending on how many of you are traveling. This budget doesn’t include food expenses because we mostly splurged on food.
- Bicol International Airport to SM Terminal: Php 220
- SM Terminal to Tabaco Port: Php 76
- Terminal Fee: Php 30
- Ferry to Catanduanes Island: Php 300
- Hostel for 3days and 2nights: Php 2000/2
- Lighthouse Tour Guide: Php 260
- Habal habal tour guide: Php 1500/2
- Caramoan Island Hopping Tour (Day Tour): Php 2000/2
- Habal habal ride: Php 1200/2
- Habal habal tour guide: Php 750/2
- Binurong Point Entrance Fee: Php 150
- Ferry: Php 300
- Terminal Fee: Php 10
- Environmental Fee: Php 6
- Tabaco Port to Van Terminal: Php 20
- Terminal to SM Legazpi: Php 50
- SM Legazpi to Aurelle Inn: Php 25
- Hostel (3D2N): Php 1950 (per pax)
- Aurelle Inn to the Main Road: Php 10 (ride a tricycle or not)
- Jeep to Cagsawa Ruins: Php (Busay) 20
- ATV Black Lava: Php 1850
- Mayon Black Lava Entrance Fee: Php 50
- Tour Guide: Php 200
- Zipline Fee: Php 300
- Tricycle to Ruins: Php 15
- Busay to Aurelle Inn: Php 15
- Jeep to Busay: Php 20 (drop off at Caltex Gas Station)
- Tricycle to Farmplate: Php 25
- Farmplate Entrance Fee: Php 75
- Aurelle Inn to SM Legazpi: Php 20
- Van to SM Sorsogon: Php 140
- SM Sorsogon to Busulan: Php 63
- Bulusan to Irosin: Php 30
- Bulusan Lake Tour: Php 170
- Bulusan to Terminal: Php 75 (ride a habal habal)
- Bus Bulusan to Barcelona: Php 36
- Barcelona to SM Sorsogon: Php 56
- SM Sorsogon to SM Legazpi: Php 140
- SM Legazpi to Aurelle Inn: Php 20
- Tricycle to Airport: Php 500/2
Total Expenses: Php 10,614
Is it safe to travel around Bicol?
Yes, it is safe to travel around Bicol. Most of the locals are very approachable and helpful whenever you ask for directions or anything you need to know about the place itself.
When is the best time to visit the Bicol Region?
April is the best time to visit Bicol since this is the driest month of the year. The perfect time would be around April to May.
Is the internet connection good in Bicol?
Definitely! The internet connection is pretty much stable around the region. You won’t have any problems with connecting your data to your phone while traveling around the area.
Is it worth visiting the Bicol region?
Yes! It is worth visiting the region. The fact that it is not so expensive to travel around the place, the locals are very kind, and the food totally tastes good! I would really love to keep coming back to this place.
Where to stay in Legazpi, Albay?
We stayed at Aurelle Inn during our entire stay in Legazpi, Albay. The hostel is just 5 minutes away from SM City Legazpi. The cost is about Php 1200 per night, which is already good for two pax. With free breakfast!
Where to stay in Virac, Catanduanes?
We stayed in Rakdell Inn during our stay in Virac. It only cost us around Php 1000 per night. Location wise, it is very accessible since it is just located in the town.
Do I need a tour guide when traveling around the region?
Not necessarily. You can mostly do DIY backpacking. On the other hand, you may need to avail a package for ATV Mayon Volcano adventure and hire a tour guide on Catanduanes Island. For reference, you may reach out the following:
- Mayon Skydive ATV Adventure
- Michael Tanael (Catanduanes Tour Guide) – 09487423206
It has been a dream to have finally visited and gone backpacking around Bicol region. This is definitely one for the books. I’d love to come back and stay longer next time! If you are planning to visit the region soon, I hope this ultimate travel guide helps!
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- A Backpacker’s Guide to the Bicol Region: Albay, Catanduanes, CamSur & Sorsogon
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A half-travel blogger in the Philippines (based in Cavite) and a half-K-pop enthusiast, Ara Patria (The Adventuress) pursues her passion and love for traveling. She’s been blogging for years, where she writes about her own travel experiences and promotes the wonders of the Philippines. Not only does she promote the beauty of her country, but she also focuses on promoting sustainable tourism. She dreams to travel the world and inspire other people through her own written works and captured moments with her camera.
The Adventuress is a travel blogger with a purpose. She aims to inspire other people through her personal experiences, stories, and lenses. Outside her blogging world, she is an English teacher, an SEO specialist, and TEFL/TESOL certified.
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