Mayon volcano, located in the south of the main island Luzon, is 2462m high and is famed for its perfectly symmetrical cone. Its name 'Mayon' is a derivation from the Bikolano word 'magayon' which means beautiful. The last mayor eruptions were in 1993 and 2001.
It's generally a 2 -3 day climb. The most difficult part starts at 2.195m and is a 40-degree ascent on loose volcanic cinder and lava sand up to the summit. On the summit, be careful of poisonous fumes emitted by the volcano.
Mayon is located in the south of the main Philippine island Luzon (the Philippine consists of 7107 islands of which 2000 are inhabited).
The capital of Albay Province, Legaspi, is located at the base of the volcano. There are daily flights from the capital Manila to Legaspi which takes about 50 minutes. You can also make the 550km long journey by bus (both night and day -buses). By bus it takes about 10 to 12 hours.
There are 2 trails to the summit:
- BUYUHAN trail (southwest approach): take a jeepney at the Legaspi market to Buyahan. From there its a 2,5 to 3 hours climb to Camp 1 at about 800m. It's 4 more hours to Camp 2 at 1800m where you have to use a tent to spend the night. It takes 4 hours from Camp 2 to the summit. The last 250m is a scramble through loose stones and over steep rocks. It is advisable for climbers to be roped.
- BUANG trail (northwest approach): get a bus or jeepney from Legaspi to Tabaco from where you take another jeepney to Ligao. Get off halfway to Ligao from where you can walk 8km to the Mayon Skyline Hotel at 762m. You can also arrange transportation all the way up to the lodge. From here the trail starts. At the transition line at 1,921 m where the grassland ends and the rocky slopes begin, the spot is ideal for a campsite since it is near enough to the summit yet far enough from poisonous fumes which sometimes snakes down the slopes with a sudden shift in wind direction. After scrambling over rocks and boulders, a cliff system is reached at 2,195 m. A 40-degree ascent on loose volcanic cinder and lava sand follows up to the summit. It is advisable for climbers to be roped up on the last part.
Anyone wishing to attempt a climb of this mountain should first contact the Department of Tourism office in Legazpi City (Tel: (052) 482-0712 / 482-0813). The DOT representatives are experienced climbers and keep in close contact with PHIVOLCS regarding volcanic activity. The DOT can arrange for guides (necessary) and porters and provides comprehensive information.
It must be noted that the surface on the peak is hollow and there is danger of falling !!!
No permits required.
When To ClimbThe best time is from March till May (dry season) while the wettest part of the year are November to January. Rainy season is much more dangerous because of heavy rains and potential flash floods.
Camping is allowed and free of charge.