Like any other people would say, an ATV ride to Mt. Mayon will be the best experience you’ll ever have when visiting Albay.
A trip to Albay would never be complete without trying such activity. Failure to attempt an ATV Adventure to the majestic Mayon Volcano is like not visiting Albay at all.
Everyone who will visit Albay will not just mesmerize the “sometimes shy” Mayon, but also to get the best ATV Experience.
There are many ATV Operators around Albay. ATV tours going to the Black Lava Wall (wherein Lava flowed during the 2006 eruption) priced from 1,150-2,500php depending where you booked your activity. I was able to pre booked mine with Bicol Adventure ATV. I paid a reservation fee of 500php for me to have a secured slot of my preferred time since it was peak season. Black Lava Trail (which the one I got) costs 1,150php, it is their Summer Promo. I chose Bicol Adventure ATV for 3 reasons:
- They are (by far) offering the cheapest Black Lava Trail (budget issues since I will still need to visit Matnog, Sorsogon for the Pink sand beach that would make me hire a motorized boat all by myself)
- They offer free hotel Pick up. It already saved me for the transportation going to their office and that also means less hassle thinking how to get there.
- Their office is located near Cagsawa Ruins. I thought I would be hitting two birds in one stone for this trip so that after my ATV Experience, I can walk my way up to the Cagsawa Ruins. Another savings! =)
As per my tour guide, some may claim they have the best route, but in actuality, they have more or less the same route. The only difference is their price and how they market it.
I chose their earliest schedule which is at 7am for another 3 reasons:
- Maximize my time since I still need to visit other attractions in Albay due to limited time.
- It might get too hot riding the ATV (considering it was summer season) during the later time of the day.
- Mount Mayon will only reveal herself during early morning and will be covered by clouds most of the time.
The driver, (who was also my guide) picked me up at the Inn at around 6:20am. While heading to the quarters, I was able to get a glimpse of the iconic Mayon, it already made me electrified when I saw her unobstructed. I arrived at the quarters at around 7am, just in time their office opens. I was given a brief instructions about the guidelines when riding the ATV.
After the orientation, it was time for to the test drive. For those who are a bit concerned in riding an ATV, rest assured that they will teach how to drive the ATV and will certify if you’re fit to drive the vehicle.
Fortunately, I tried driving an ATV before but I haven’t tried driving one in an off-track. But I was confident, I have a guide with me who will help me when it call for one.
After doing a 5 minute test drive, we started the trail to the Mayon lava flow of the 2006 eruption. The start of the trail was a few meters away from the Bicol Adventure quarters. The trail to Pawa (where you can see the Black Lava Wall) can be divided into 5 parts: the river, the residential, the sand and gravel site, the coconut plantation and the agoho tree area.
My guide asked that he will have my camera so he could document my expedition while I enjoy and concentrate on my ATV ride (this isn’t for free,it is up to you how much you will give to your guide. I gave him 150php. I would recommend it though so you can concentrate in having fun. Your guide basically knows where to take a photo or a video). I just followed him along the trail but checks on me every now and then. I enjoyed accelerating the ATV over river beds because the water would have this awesome splash that would make me look like a pro.hahahha . 😉
My guide will always check the river if it was safe for us to cross (like what happened on our way back when the river was already high enough that we needed to take a different route to cross our way back to the quarters. It was an advantage for me though, as I was able to experience more adventure) LOL😁. There were only some big rocks that made that part of the trail more extreme.
On the residential part of the trail, a couple of houses were built where kids play at the side and waved at every ATV Rider they saw (kinda reminds me of the genuine filipino hospitality). After 15-minutes, passing by the gravel site, coconut plantation and agoho trees, we reached our destination, the Black Lava Wall Base Camp located at Barangay 54, Mabinit, Legazpi City. It took us more than an hour to reach the base camp. Upon reaching the base camp, you are to pay 20php for the environmental fee. I rested for a couple of minutes at the hut where they also sell some refreshments to cool you off before you will be assisted by another tour guide to the helipad where I had a closer look at grandeur of Mayon Volcano by climbing the lava flow rocks.
A helipad is located atop the lava flow. The helipad is 6 kilometers away from the crater and means that we’re only just a kilometer from the danger zone. It is the closest area to take a photo with the majestic Mayon. Even though Mayon was shy when I got to the top, I waited several minutes for her to reveal her Beauty, and she did not fail me.
I took a lot of photo op because I want to cherish every second of it that she showed up to me. Mayon is generally shy, consider yourself lucky if she’ll show up to you. I would definitely say that I am lucky to get to see her.
In descending the lava flow, you can ride a zipline which is considered as the longest in Legazpi to descend and proceed directly to the waiting area. I chose not to ride the zipline. I had my fair experiences with zipline already. It was 9:30 when we decided to go back to the Bicol Adventure headquarters riding our all terrain vehicles. I had an awesome first ATV experience and would definitely try it again!
Bicol Adventure All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Mayon Lava Trail Packages
Green Lava Wall Trail. Php 950.
Cagsawa Short Trail. Php 399
Black Lava Wall Trail. Php 1,150
For Reservations, you may contact Jeni Calleja. Contact #: Globe 0917-5714357 SUN 0922-8682589
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bicoladventureatv/