This is the original post but this has been submitted to When In Manila. Read it here!
Plan on visiting Region 5 aka Bicolandia but wanting to avoid the crowd? Skip the usual spots and/or add these tourist attractions to your list! These places are just waiting for your attention.
1. Quitinday Green Hills
Squint your eyes once more, this is not Chocolate Hills of Bohol but Quitinday Hills of Camalig, Albay. This amazing formation lies just more than an hour away from Legazpi, Albay’s capital. You may forget the worry of having a long trek because it will just take you 10-15 minutes (still depends on your pace), to reach its viewpoint. You’ll also get a glimpse of the majestic perfect cone-shaped Mayon Volcano. Best time to visit? Sunrise.
2. Nupa Green Lagoon
You may think this is Magpupungko Pools of Siargao Island, but this is actually Nupa Green Lagoon of Gigmoto, Catanduanes. If you’re the type of traveler who avoids the crowd, this spot is perfect for you. Enjoy its serene and tranquil ambiance while watching a petite marine life in the natural pool- only for free! (Here’s a closer look) Ask your guide if you would want to swim. Just don’t forget to apply the LNT (Leave No Trace) principles. Also, don’t forget to check the tides before going! The best time to visit is during a sunny day because it can get dangerous and slippery on the way there if it rains.
3. Balacay Point
If you rented a tricycle and hired a guide for your Catanduanes tour, he/she will recommend you this place. Balacay Point, also called Benticayan Point, is located in Brgy. Benticayan, Baras, Catanduanes. We’re betting you might stay here for an hour because of picture-taking!
4. Binurong Point
Spare your camera batteries for this Batanes-like beauty! Also perfect for unwinding, Binurong Point is located in Brgy. Guinsaanan, Baras, Catanduanes and it offers a wide view of the sea from its cliffs and rocks. The best time to visit is during the sunset as the sun can get scorching hot at daytime. We are now hearing you’re excited to go!
5. Puraran Beach
After the long and tiring tour in Catanduanes, stay a night or two in Puraran Beach located in Brgy. Puraran, Baras, Catanduanes. If you opt to still feel the Elyu or Siargao vibes but with less crowd, this beach is for you. There are a few surf camps/resorts to stay offering cheap but nice accomodations here, and we suggest you to go surfing in the morning. Channel the inner surfer in you!
6. Sunflower Farm
Calling all flower fairy-wannabes! This sunflower farm is just a few minutes away from Legazpi, exactly located in Ligao, Albay. If you happen to include Kawa-Kawa Hill Natural Park in your itinerary, why not also get a sight of this sunflower farm. Best time to go? Catch the flowers bloom at around April-May.
7. Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp
Looking for a laid-back and chill place to unwind and surf? Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp is the perfect getaway destination for you! This camp is located in Gubat, Sorsogon which also has less crowd and relaxing ambiance. Now, off you go to a place where good beers and cucumber shakes reign! Warning: just be careful with falling coconuts.
They say you must go an extra mile (or more!) if you want to avoid the crowd. You can reach the Bicol Region via plane for 45 minutes to an hour or via bus for 10-15hours depending on which province you’d like to visit. Yes, it’s a long land travel but it’s definitely worth it. Enjoy traveling and keep safe!