The 156-meter high Ligñon (also spelled Lingñon, pronounced as /li-NYON/) Hill has always been one of Legazpi’s most famous landmarks. For years, Ligñon Hill is known only for the PHIVOLCS observatory located in its flanks and an old lighthouse on its summit. Today, it has become one of the city’s prime destinations for sightseers, adventurers and even fitness buffs. The new Ligñon Hill Natural Park promises to be the city’s best destination offering sights and activities for all types of visitors. For sightseers, a panoramic 360 degree view of Legazpi City, Daraga, Albay Gulf and the Mayon Volcano awaits at the viewdeck. A landscaped promenade as well as restaurants and shops also cater to guests.
The best time to ascend the hill is at early morning just before sunrise, while the air is cool. Visitors have the opportunity to witness the morning sun rise up from the Albay Gulf and cast its golden rays on the city below. Early morning is also the best time to view Mayon since it is usually in all its naked glory at this time of day. An alternative is the sunset or evening walk up the hill where one can see the sparkling city lights sprawled below and enjoy the cool breeze from the ocean. Aside from the spectacular sights, Ligñon Hill Nature Park also offers fun filled and thrilling activities. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of exciting activities including a 320-meter zipline (Php200) where the adventurous can soar through the air harnessed to a cable.The hill also offers other adventure activities and extreme sports, such as hiking, biking, rappelling, paintball, and soon, airsoft.
The trek up Mayon is definitely an exciting adventure, made more challenging by the thrill and the knowledge that the volcano can erupt anytime. The trail starts off at 762m at the PHIVOLCS office in Tabaco, Albay. You will first enter a forest then reach a grassland of talahib; from there is what is known as Buang Gully- a ravine formed by an ancient lava flow. At the end of this gully is the first campsite, where one can spend lunchtime if aiming for Camp 2 by night in a summit climb, or you can spend the night there in the Day 1 of a trek to the Knife Edge. Beyond Camp 1, Camp 2 is two hours away, and from here the trek consists of rock scrambling and climbing until one reaches the Knife Edge. After the Knife Edge, the rock scrambing continues; the trail is understandably loose and steep. After 2 hours, the summit crater is reached.
Another adventure sport is biking on the gullies at the foot of Mayon. The gullies serve as pathways of loose sand and volcanic rocks swept away by heavy rains from the volcano’s slopes. Four-wheel All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are available for rent at P1,500.
WHAT TO DO AT LIGÑON HILL
- Kapit Tuko Trail (Lizard Grip Trail) – an exceedingly steep shortcut to the summit of Lignon Hill, this trail offers a taste of what it feels like to climb to the summit of Mayon Volcano in 5-10 minutes.
- The Japanese Tunnel – an arms cache used by the Japanese forces during WWII, this 50 foot tunnel gives visitors a chance to act like soldiers and enter 3 foot high tunnels. (Bring a flashlight, it is almost impossible to get lost but there are areas where one has to crawl)
- Art Shows and Photo Exhibits by local artists located at the concrete pavilion at the summit of Lignon Hill.
- Snacks while overlooking Mayon Volcano, the Gulf of Albay and the lights of Legazpi City.
8AM to 11PM Daily 5AM to 9AM Regular Joggers(free of charge) Park Environmental fee rates:
Php 10 Educational Tour rates Php 20 Non-Albay residents Php 20 Foreign Visitors Zipline off Season Rates (with hard copy picture):
Php 250 Basic Php 350 Advance – superman Rapelling (150 feet):
Php 200 off season Php 250 peak season ATV c/o Your Brother Travel and Tours
Php 1800/hour 150cc Php 2500/hour 500cc Php 2500/hour Buggy (at 052-8203629 or email: email@example.com
HOW TO GET THERE
From the airport: Turn right to Magayon Drive (you will pass through a private subdivision). Turn left at the junction with Bogtong Road and proceed until you reach the tennis courts, just before the gate to the Albay Wildlife Park. You may start your trek up the hill at the entrance (near the tennis courts). You can also drive your vehicle up the hill. From Legazpi Port: A Legazpi-Daraga Loop 1 jeepney will take you directly to the foot of the hill. From Daraga: Take a tricycle from the centro to Tagas and ask the drive to drop you off at the tennis courts.
Photo Credit: Dex Baldon, Eduardo David Pardo, Sherwin Magayanes and Joyce Tan