Nature parks provide as much excitement and enjoyment as beaches do, especially if traveling with families.
The cost of going to a nature park is relatively cheaper than popular tourist destinations. Adults can spend time in nature while kids have an educational experience. In Bicol, parks offer adrenaline-pumping activities for the adventurous.
In this time of the pandemic, the hectares of land of these parks are proven to make social distancing easy.
Here are nature parks in Region V to include in every Bicol itinerary.
Mount Mayon Volcano Natural Park
Mount Mayon Volcano Natural Park (MMVNP) is a protected area in the Bicol Region. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), it is home to 156 floral species and 104 species of land vertebrae.
Those who plan to go on an ecological tour of the park will be able to visit the Kapuntukan Hills, Cagsawa Ruins, Daraga Church, and Ligñon Hill Nature Park.
Activities like hiking, camping, and ATV riding are available for the thrill-seekers.
Solong Eco Park
The Solong Eco Park is a 6.5-hectare land known as the “Mini Bohol of Bicol” because of the resemblance of its grass-coated mounds to the famous Chocolate Hills in Visayas. In Camalig, these are known as the Solong Hills.
To reach its viewing deck, tourists must hike for 15 to 20 minutes. The trek is easy enough to be done by kids and senior citizens. Recycled car tires make up most of the trail to assist trekkers.
This park is also home to the Solong Crystal Cave. It used to be a mining site. Now, it’s an eco-tourism destination. Children seven years old and above are allowed to explore the cave as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
The park also has a cacao farm, bee farm, communal garden, and a man made forest bridge. Entrance fee is Php40.
Kawa-Kawa Hill and Natural Park
Kawa-Kawa Hill is known as the “hill without a hilltop” for its cauldron-shaped landscape. Kawa refers to a huge pot in Bicolano.
The park is a popular Lenten destination to pilgrims. Its life-size statues and sculptures that depict the passion and death of Jesus Christ, especially its version of The Last Supper, are a hit for religious devotees.
The park is open 24/7 but it is best to visit during the day. Entrance is free but donations are encouraged.
San Lorenzo Ruiz (SLR) Eco-Adventure Park
San Lorenzo Ruiz, Camarines Norte
SLR Eco-Adventure Park is home to the 750-meter zipline of Camarines Norte, the longest one in the region. A ride costs Php250 to Php350.
A cable car system where tourists can see the lush coconut scenery of the park is also available.
The park is the gateway to destinations including Nacali Falls, Angelina Falls, Mampili River, and Mt. Labo.
Tour guide fee is Php600 for every seven people.
Caramoan National Park
Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Caramoan National Park covers 347 hectares of land area in the hilly peninsula of Caramoan.
Limestone rock formations, picturesque coastlines, and caves are just some of the natural wonders in this park. Among the most visited destinations here include the Gota Beach and Omang Cave.
Accommodations ranging from Php900 to Php8,000 are available for those who are planning to stay overnight.
Travelers may also camp on its beaches as long as they bring their own gear.
Bongsanglay Natural Park
Bongsanglay Natural Park is a protected area that is ecologically rich in marine and coastal species.
The main attraction here is its mangrove forest where the biggest Api-api tree in the Bicol Region can be found. It stands at a height of 7.6 meters and has been around for approximately 144 years.
Travelers need to travel by sea from Ticao Port to get to this natural park. Entrance fee is Php30.
Bulusan Volcano Natural Park
Bulusan Volcano Natural Park is a protected rainforest surrounding Sorsogon’s Mt. Bulusan. It features geothermal fields and two crater lakes: Bulusan Lake and Aguingay Lake.
It is considered to be one of the remaining intact forests in the Philippines. Scientists and taxonomists find it a paradise for their research endeavors.
There is a mountaineering activity that features a three-leg climb to its crater lakes and Bulusan Volcano and Blackbird’s Lake. It usually lasts for two days and one night. Guide fee is Php150 for every 10 persons.
All tourist destinations in Region V have health and safety protocols in place to protect locals and visitors alike. Everyone is expected to comply by wearing face masks, regularly washing their hands, and practicing physical distancing.
To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit http://www.philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel on the Google Playstore.