Archive for the ‘ Travel and Tourism ’ Category

ATV Adventure to Mayon Lava Wall

Early February this year when Maya, a classmate back in college, uttered her desire to try the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Tour Albay has been offering in recent months. She, I and another college classmate, Rojan, scheduled it on Holy Week break, March 30, 2013.

We had our tour under the Bicol Adventure ATV. We decided to make an early reservation, for during our past experiences on Holy Week breaks, tourists usually flock to these known getaways, and problems including delay, arise. So since we don’t want to spoil the planned getaway we had months prior the Holy Week, we texted the contact Bicol Adventure ATV has provided in their Facebook page, for reservation. By the way, we appreciate the very prompt reply of their contact person. 🙂

Bicol Adventure ATV provides several trails. The price varies on the trail selected by clients. In our case, we chose to have the Pawa-Lava Wall trail. This trail has an overall estimated distance of 9kms. The rate for this trail is PhP 1,500 which is good for 2.5 hrs. The jump-off point is at Pawa, Legazpi City. This can be reached by hiring a trike or a cab from any point in Legazpi City. Should you opt to take jeepney as public means of transportation, take Loop 1 or Loop 2, traversing the Rizal Street, get off at Sagrada Familia Chapel at Bogtong and walk along the street leading to Pawa. Still troubled? Google Maps! We did. 😛

A briefing was conducted by an ATV staff when we got on the site. Briefing included trail preview, safety precautions, tips on smooth maneuvering of ATV unit, signing of waiver and paying of fee for the chosen trail. A guide was provided and taught us the how-to’s of ATV driving . Enough time was also provided for us to practice at the site before finally hitting the trail.

The heat was scorching, so having your skin applied with sunblock, is advisable. Guide was the one who led our queue. He’s also the one responsible for documentation, so no worries for pictures to be shared and uploaded online.

Basically, the trail was rough, the kind of trail for a worthy ATV adventure. Trail included grassland, rocky terrain, and my favorite: a number of streams! Accelerating on the streams awesomely made the ride splashy wet! The rocky terrain will require your arms to be vigorous for rocks tend to make the unit get out of the path and maneuvering it back needs some strength. This even made my palms ache for a couple of days after the ride. I guess the ride would be more enjoyable if Bicol Adventure ATV provides hand gloves for the riders, so that pressure on the riders’ palms would be lessen while driving.

After 1.5 hrs, we reached the ATV endpoint camp just several meters from Mayon Lava Wall. Another guide was provided to get on the wall. The wall was formed out of the magma emitted by Mayon Volcano during its eruption in 2006. At this point, we needed to climb boulders to get on the helipad at the top of the wall. Great view of Legazpi City, Albay Gulf, Lignon Hill and Mayon Volcano itself can be seen while on top of the lava wall. A zipline of 100meters length can be tried for an additional fee.

After several minutes of rest at the helipad, same track was trailed back to the jump-off point at Pawa, Legazpi City. It was a 2.5 hours of fun adventure. I guess trying it for the 2nd time wouldn’t lessen the fun.

Indeed, it’s more fun in the Philippines and the fun is doubled when you experience the beauty and adventure your own dear province is oferring to the world. Warm Albay, I love!

Bicol Adventure ATV can be reached at their website or thru their Facebook page. Mabalos Ms. Jeni and Kuya Jay of Bicol Adventure ATV! 😉

Bicol ATV Adventure Rates as of April 2013

Bicol Adventure Rates as of April 2013

The blogger is Julius R. Satparam. Art Buff. Believer. Inquirer. You can reach him thru this blog, on Facebook and on Twitter.


Summer Fun in Caramoan

It’s summer once again and many travelers are hungering after beaches. Philippines indeed is an archipelago of fine-looking islands and white-sand beaches, hence, looking for one to spend a vacation in is that trouble-free.

Picturesque boat ride in Caramoan Islands.

Caramoan Islands in Camarines Sur is just one of the summer destinations for beach bums in the Bicol Region. Home to many editions of international reality hit Survivor, Caramoan boasts its white sand coasts, clear waters and wide array of rock formations.

One of hundred rock formations in Caramoan

Another breathtaking rock formation in Caramoan

Ate, Maya, Rojan, Cham

I together with four friends spent Easter in Caramoan. Through Caramoan Adventures, the travel agency in charge of our stay, we experienced the splendor Caramoan has to offer.

How We Got There

From Legazpi City, we took a 2-hour travel to Naga City. We departed Legazpi City at exactly 5am. By 7:30am we took another 1.5-hr ride to Sabang Port, the gateway to Caramoan. To save time, we took a van for us to make it early in the Port. At the Port, we waited for nearly a couple of hours due to the big number of passengers and the limited number of boats taking travelers to Caramoan. At exactly 11 am, we headed off to Caramoan. That was another 2 hours of boat ride. An 8-hr travel and waiting time was indeed stressful! Definitely more stressful if you are coming from distant cities. In that case, travelling to Naga City by plane is really a must.

Sabang Port, Gateway to Caramoan. Two-hour boat ride prior to reaching the paradise. 🙂

When you are in Sabang Port, brace yourself for this stressful backride! 😀 This P20 porting service is needed in riding the boat. Just pray that the porter is strong enough not to be moved by the coming waves or else get wet! 🙂

From Guijalo Port to Your Ultimate Experience

In Guijalo Port, travelers meet their contacts in Caramoan. If you made advanced bookings in any travel agencies in Caramoan, this is where your experience begins. Your contacts will pick you up in the Port, bring you to the hotel/inn to check-in and the island experience starts, depending on the package you availed.

During our stay in Caramoan, we were accommodated in Sights and Sand Tourist Inn, a cozy villa-like accommodation having nearly 10 rooms.

One isle in Caramoan

Swimming 'til Sunset. Fun! 😀

Swimming with your life vest on is pretty cool

In the afternoon of our first day, as stated in the itinerary of the travel package we availed, we went island hopping. Due to the ongoing Survivor shoot in various islands in Caramoan, not all the islands in the itinerary were visited. Nonetheless, it was absolutely a fun escapade! We went back to our inn at around 7pm, freshened up, ate dinner, and stroll by the Caramoan town proper for some souvenir.

This one is a genuine Survivor item left by one of Survivor's franchises in Caramoan as a gift.

On our 2nd day, we visited the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel. The 17th century structure of the church is awe-inspiring. It was Easter then, so celebrating and remembering risen Christ in the island was worthwhile.

17th Century St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Caramoan

How it Ended

Guijalo Port, Caramoan, Camsur

Guijalo Port was really packed during the time we were bound to go home. We waited at the port as early as 10am for us to immediately catch a boat to take us back to Sabang Port. At exactly 12nn, we were already bound for Naga City, taking from Caramoan fun photos to treasure and certainly memories of an ultimate summer experience.

Travelers bound home flocking in the Guijalo Port

Boat ride way home. 🙂

More Photos HERE.

Special Thanks:
Mr. Genaro Galang
Caramoan Adventures

The blogger is Julius R. Satparam. Art Buff. Believer. Inquirer. You can reach him thru this blog, on Facebook and on Twitter.