With only 14 kilometers away from Bulusan Volcano Natural Park, a funny thing happened to my group and I — our car got stuck while ascending an unfinished portion of the Matnog-Sta. Magdalena-Bulusan Road. We were told by one of the residents in Matnog that it was the faster route. The ongoing road development is a 30-kilometer project that covered three coastal barangays, and it sure saved us from the heavy traffic along Pan-Philippine Highway. However, it also caused risk to our vehicle. We were just thankful to God that we got through it. I may not know much about roads and cars, but I know that our handy Honda, which was not designed for rough trails, survived the twisty and rocky roads of Bicol.
I thought to myself, “Bulusan Lake better be worth it.” And it was.
After we passed through the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park arch, we drove another kilometer until we spotted a long line of cars parked on the roadside near the entrance gate. It was indeed the Holy Week. We secured our own parking space and fell in line to register and pay the fees. They charge ₱2o/adult and ₱15/child.
To say that it’s beautiful is an understatement. The mesmerizing scenery of the lake at the foot of the active Bulusan Volcano took our minds off what happened a few minutes earlier. We were awestruck by the eye-catching emerald green Bulusan Lake which has become the center of attraction of the protected area. Little elements such as the floating cottage, the thick rainforest, and the kayak boats stationed in the corner helped make the sight even more picture-perfect.
The 3,673-hectare rainforest enclosing Mount Bulusan was first declared as a national park in 1935 and then reclassified as a natural park in 2000. Beyond the lake and volcano, the protected area also holds two other mountains, diverse waterfalls, canopy walk, and Lake Aguingay.
It was a shame that I didn’t get to explore the other attractions within the natural park. Perhaps when the roads lead me back to this place, I will one day witness its thriving biodiversity. The fact that the government firmly pushed for eco-tourism and preserved the flora and fauna surrounding the volcano gives me hope that sustainable tourism is doable.
Guide to Bulusan Volcano Natural Park
- For those who drove a long way to get here, there is a canteen and washroom near the entrance gate.
- Guests may try activities such as kayaking and aqua cycling.
- The canopy walk is a hiking trail that includes a hanging bridge.
- To see the other attractions, seek assistance from the management.
Itinerary and Budget
|April 17, 2019||3:30 AM||Travel to Legazpi from Cavite||About ₱850-950/head (bus fare)|
|8:30 PM||Check in to Selvina’s Hotel in Sorsogon City||₱2,300/room(max of 4)|
|April 18, 2019||5:00 AM||Wake up, prepare|
|6:00 AM||Travel to Matnog port|
|7:15 AM||ETA at Matnog port, register at the boatment association||₱150/parking space (day); ₱200/parking space (overnight) ₱1,600/boat (rental for island daytour); ₱2,000/boat (rental for overnight island stay); ₱50/head (registration fee); ₱20/head (environmental fee)|
|8:20 AM||ETD to Tikling Island (donation)|
|8:35 AM||ETA at Tikling Island||Donation may be given.|
|9:15 AM||ETD to Subic Beach|
|9:40 AM||ETA at Subic Beach||₱500-₱600/cottage (day tour)|
|10:05 AM||ETD to Calintaan Cave|
|10:20 AM||ETA at Calintaan Cave|
|11:00 AM||ETD to Juag Lagoon|
|11:15 AM||ETA Juag Lagoon, straight to jump-off|
|11:30 AM||ETA boatman association office, wash up|
|12:15 PM||Stop by Ateng Liza Bulalohan, eat lunch|
|1:00 PM||ETD to Bulusan Volcano Park|
|2:30 PM||ETA at Bulusan Volcano Park||₱20/person (entrance fee for adult); ₱15/person (entrance fee for kid)|
|3:15 PM||ETD to Irosin hot springs|
|4:00 PM||ETA at Irosin Tropical hot springs||₱20/person (entrance fee for adult)|
|6:00 PM||ETD to Legazpi City|
|8:00 PM||ETA at Legazpi, eat dinner at Biggs|
|9:30 PM||ETD to find hotel|
|9:45 PM||ETA at Avia Inn, check in||₱1,200/room (max of 4 pax)|
|April 19, 2019||6:00 AM||Wake up, prep, eat breakfast|
|8:35 AM||ETD to Daraga Church|
|8:45 AM||ETA at Daraga Church|
|9:00 AM||ETD to Embarcadero|
|9:20 AM||ETA at Embarcadero|
|9:35 AM||ETD Bicol Heritage Park|
|10:00 AM||ETA at Bicol Heritage Park|
|10:10 AM||ETD to Cagsawa Ruins|
|10:30 AM||ETA at Cagsawa Ruins||₱20/person (entrance fee for adult); ₱15/person (entrance fee for kid); ₱30/parking space|
|11:15 AM||ETD to Sumlang Lake|
|11:15 AM||ETA Sumlang Lake / ETD to Cagraray|
|1:00 PM||ETA at Cagraray Eco Park||₱25/person (entrance fee)|
|1:45 PM||ETD Daraga|
|3:00 PM||ETA First Colonial Legazpi, eat late lunch|
|4:00 PM||ETD to Naga City|
|6:45 PM||ETA at Naga City, check-in at Centro Square Hotel||₱1,200/room (good for 3 pax), ₱600/extra bed|
|April 20, 2019||5:30 AM||Wake up, prep|
|6:45 PM||Check out hotel, travel back to Cavite|
|7:00 PM||ETA home|
Other destinations in Sorsogon:
- Pink Sand Subic Beach (2019)
- Magical Calintaan Cave (2019)
- Cagraray Eco-Park
- Hot spring in Irosin (2019)
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