Maximize your time in Daraga, Albay. The bustling town is more than just the Cagsawa Ruins. I have made this simple travel guide to give all types of travelers an idea what to do in the town of Daraga.

So whether you are a solo backpacker, glamorized backpacker, traveling in group, budget-packer, spend-all-you-can-packer, BFF-packers, family packers or simply just a mother packer, you can absolutely do this given that there is no typhoon, volcanic eruption and flood happening the day of your visit.

So you want a town-specific tour for Daraga in Albay and you have this style for slow travel covering 1 town at a time? Here are suggested things to do in town without the need to wear a red bikini. It is very D-I-Y and it won't cost you an overnight stay to a lodging house or a 5-star hotel. Get ready to rumble #TownExplorers!

Start Your Day at Cagsawa Ruins

Daraga, Albay Tourist Spots and Things to Do
Yes, you gotta start your Town Tour Itinerary at the Cagsawa Ruins. If you would ask the locals, they would tell you to go here at morning. The reason? To see the Mayon Volcano without thick clouds covering it. 

Ok, that is the theory of these #TownFolks and I bet there are no political and scientific conspiracies over those theories. The volcano's showgirl side peaks at the morning. Ready for the show?

Explore the Ruins

Tourist Spots in Daraga, Albay
Don't just get satisfied of photographing Bicol's most famous man-made landmark seen in HEKASI Books back then in Elementary and High School. Go and explore the ruins! Examine the ruins. Go around the ruins. If you were able to do that, you'll be smart enough to recognize how volcanic stones look like.

This is your chance to touch and feel the famous Cagsawa Ruins and you'll come to realize that there are some more things to know not discussed by your school teacher only if you will observe keenly and examine the ruins with curiosity.

See what's inside the ruined belfry

Tourist spots and things to do in Daraga, Albay
Another suggestion is to go inside the belfry if you are lucky enough. I said if you are lucky enough because I wasn't lucky enough to go inside. However I was able to take a snap shot. There are wooden fences. The reason I can see to this is to ensure the safety of the tourists. There could still be debris you know.

But of course, have you ever wondered what to see inside the belfry? 'Cause you know, we always see the exterior in books but not what inside the belfry right? This is your chance to prove that there is no dragon inside the belfry.

I was really curious, and now, I was able to see that inside the belfry are volcanic stones stuck together. It is massive you know. The holes inside (that used to be the windows of the belfry) were great source of light inside. But during the night, they become non-useful, of course.

Shop for souvenir (optional)

This option is highly recommended for shoppaholics but  not for shoplifters.

Inside the Cagsawa Ruins premises are plenty of local products to choose from. But one inviting commodity that I don't suggest shoppers to buy is the Wild Orchid from Mayon. I am afraid these orchids will run out due to high demand.

Just buy other orchids but not this beautiful wild orchids growing at the slopes of Mayon Volcano.

Travel Back in time at Balay Suanoy

Check out the Balay Suanoy Ancestral Home. It is a restaurant-museum. It is a very elegant house that contains a lot of vintage stuff. It feels like you are not in Albay because of the Intramuros-ish and Vigan-ish ambiance.

Located across the street is the Gazebo, it is recommended for group travelers who want to experience dining in this high-end restaurant.

Food Trip: Recommended Foods to Eat at Balay Suanoy

Yes I know, you are in Bicol and you have to try the Bicol express food. But I just want to make a detour to the Pacific Ocean because the Crispy Pata and Apple + Banana crepes in Balay Suanoy are must-try foods.

I am confident enough to say that it won't disappoint :)

Visit the Daraga Church

Daraga Church is a National Historical Treasure painted with white which actually contains chemicals to preserve the deteriorating facade.

You need to climb the hill where this church is located. If you don't have an idea how this church looks like before it was painted with white, check out the belfry and you'll know how old it looks.

Get inside the Daraga Church

Don't get satisfied just seeing the facade, get inside and check out what to see.

Inside the church was empty when I went here. The facade looks older than what is seen inside based on how I see it.

Dine (again) with the Mayon View

End you Daraga town tour with another food trip at JZOR Restaurant. North of the Daraga Church is a simple, non-touristy yet must-try restaurant because of the experience it brings you dining on an azotea-like setting while viewing the Mayon volcano.

It gives you an outdoor-dining experience because of the vastness of the plains you see below that gradually meet together at the top in unison that is the peak of the almost-perfect cone Mayon Volcano.

I hope this one helps. Go! Explore the town of Daraga!

Map of Daraga, Albay
Do you want to explore more the town of Daraga? Hint: Click the map. Happy #TownExploring!



Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano-Cordilleran. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For collaboration or partnership, email your business proposal at

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  1. you forgot lovers backpackers, an adventure for honeymooners.

    are those huge and colorful round things earrings? they look interesting.

    the white church looks interesting. it reminds me of white chocolate church sculpture.

  2. fifileigh | oh yeah! I forgot! Thanks for the idea. hehe.

  3. fifileigh | P.S. No, they aren't earrings. They are house decors actually made from Manila hemp.

  4. apple and banana crepes sounds very yummy! i indulge them in thailand I think and indeed bicol express is a must! Would love to try and go visit this place! xx

  5. The last time I was at Caramoan Island, Nakita ko lang ang Mayon from afar. how I wish nagpunta na rin kami sa Daraga. Ang gaganda pala ng tanawin dyan plus masasarap na tsibug.

  6. I've been to the ruins but only to take a quick view of Mayon. Looks like I still have a lot to explore in Daraga, Albay.

  7. This is a very useful post. We went to Donsol for the whalesharks and had a side trip to Albay. Due to limited time we only went to the ruins but I did not feel like we were shortchanged because the ruins itself has many spots you can explore (or so I thought). Apparently, now I think we have to visit again. I will be saving this link as reference in our next Donsol-Albay trip. :)

  8. MaryJane Tauyan | Yes, of course! Don't ya ever miss the Bicol Express :) But in Balay Suanoy, I was really uber-satisfied with the crepes and Crispy Pata (Highly recommended). And yeah, I ate Bicol Express a lot! :)

  9. papaleng | Yuppp! Basta explore lang ng explore. Marami talaga makikita kahit saang town pa yan may mai-ooffer lagi basta Pinas! :)

  10. Franc Ramon | Actually I ruined the Albay itinerary with my friends. Because we stayed at the ruins too long which made us reach other parts of the itinerary at night already, it was not helpful, lols.

  11. special education | Adam, You can still do it next time :)

  12. The first shot- Ganda bro! will use this post as reference- Me and wifey are planning to have a short vacation in Bicol region on 3rd week of dec.

  13. Thanks for the tips its my dream to visit this place I hope to do this next year.

  14. Traveling Morion | Have a Happy Bicol trip brother!


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