Tourist Attractions to Visit in Sorsogon
A lagoon, a surfing spot, a lighthouse, cold springs and ancestral houses to name a few of the numerous attractions that can be found in Sorsogon. I bet some of you might not know that these kinds of tourist attractions exist in the province. Often times, when we think of Sorsogon we instantly thought of whale shark in Donsol. Donsol has undeniably become the most recognized tourist destination in the province but Sorsogon has still a lot more to offer.
Sitting at the southernmost part of the island of Luzon, the province of Sorsogon is a great destination for people seeking for nature, adventure, culinary and history.
In our five days of stay in Sorsogon, my friend and I got treated to an enjoyable travel experience by discovering the diverse tourist attractions in the province. Apart from our beautiful hotel experience at Siama Hotel, we were also able to make our vacation in Sorsogon extra memorable by getting to several tourist sites. We were able to see favorite landmarks and we were able to uncover new places.
We started sightseeing Sorsogon by dropping by Bacon Baywalk. Bacon is a quiet town in Sorsogon City. The baywalk offers a spectacular view of the beach and the neighboring mountains. We felt unfortunate that we weren’t able to capture a nice view that day because of the gloomy weather.
Paguriran Island and Lagoon
Not too long of a long ride from Bacon Baywalk is where Paguriran Island and Lagoon is. Locals are mostly frequenting this tourist destination in Bacon. It has become a favorite tourist destination because of its unique and natural beauty. It has an off shore islet that has a clear lagoon inside surrounded by jagged rocks.
Our next destination that we visited after Bacon was Prieto Diaz. It is an offbeat tourist destination in Sorsogon that is blessed with eco-tourism sites. The town has some unexplored caves. It also has a vast mangrove forest that is perfect to sightsee and explore. Unluckily, it was raining hard when we paid a visit to Prieto Diaz that we weren’t able to cross to the mangrove area. Nonetheless, we were still pleased with the town’s serene surrounding and effortless charm.
It is unknown to many that the province of Sorsogon also has its own surfing spot. Approximately an hour drive from Sorsogon City is where you’ll find the surfing capital of Sorsogon, Gubat. Gubat is emerging to the country’s surfing scene as an answer to the becoming crowded surfing spot of La Union and Baler. It’s undeniable that these days, surfing is evolving as a hobby.
We stayed at Lola Sayong Surf Camp while we were in Gubat. Noli, the resort’s facilitator, pleasantly welcomed us to experience the resort. He invited us to try out the trendy water sport. I’m sure it would be an exciting experience to surf in Gubat but now I regret that I became idle that day that I somewhat picked remaining at the resort just to sit back and watch the people play at the beach.
Lola Sayong Surf Camp is an eco-surfing spot. The resort is a best place both for beginners who would like to try surfing and advance surfers who would like to practice their hobby. Lola Sayong Surf Camp is a friendly educational campground for surfers and even to those people who would just like to go to the beach. A cottage at the resort costs PHP 850 per night. Pitching one’s tent is also allowed for only PHP 150 per night.
Surfing lesson in Gubat starts from PHP 250 per hour per person, which already includes rental of surfboard.
The municipality of Barcelona is one of our favorite tourist attractions that we visited in Sorsogon. Barcelona is a humble destination in between Gubat in the north and Bulusan in the south that presents a simple and laid-back aura. We stopped by at the Barcelona Ruins Park. The park was the place of the Presidencia Building and the school for the Spaniards. The old structure still remains after more than a century. The park also stands the Barcelona sign that is painted in red, which we’ve found very eye-catching.
Across the street is where Saint Joseph Parish lies. The church is more commonly known as Barcelona Church. The Franciscans built the church in 1874. We were told that the church was made from coral stones, beaten egg and a local wine, which is very evident in the façade, belfry and the wall of the church.
Barcelona Church is referred as one of the oldest and well-preserved churches in the Bicol Region. Today, the church is considered as one of Barcelona’s main attractions because of its unfading beauty.
Lake Bulusan lies at the heart of Bulusan Volcano National Park. The park is nestled at the foot of Bulusan Volcano, which is proclaimed as an active volcano.
Lake Bulusan is one of the most beautiful nature parks in the country. The park is being managed by Department of the Environment and Natural Resources and was classified as Natural Park under Proclamation 421. The place is being well protected by the local community ensuring that the lake remains clean. We find the park so much serene despite of the number of tourists visiting the area.
The water at the lake is greenish. Its waterbed is said to be rocky and sandy with some parts that are muddy. Lake Bulusan is home to some endemic species of freshwater fish. It also supports some birds, mammals and some beehives. Lake Bulusan is fully surrounded by a lush tropical rainforest.
The park also offers exciting activities today for visitors to further experience its natural wonder like canoeing, boating, trail hiking and mountaineering.
Entrance fee to the park costs about PHP 35 per person.
We ended our first day by visiting Irosin Valley. There we were able to view the topmost surface of Bulusan Volcano and the vast landscape of Irosin nestled closed to the volcano.
Ancestral Houses of Juban
We started our second day of exploring Sorsogon by driving to the pleasant town of Juban. The town offered us a different travel experience in Sorsogon through its old houses. The town has a number of ancestral houses that serve as landmarks. Seeing these old houses somehow imparted us with its history back to the early years of the Spanish settlement in the country.
We were told that prominent clans of the province owned some of these old houses. We were able to get inside one of the old houses located along the main road, which is the Casa Feliz. The old structure is now converted to an inn so if you wish to stay in an old house while you’re in transit or on vacation in Sorsogon, then Casa Feliz is a great choice. The house has two rooms, wherein each room has three to four beds. Accommodation starts from PHP 200 per person.
Buhatan River Eco-Adventure
Buhatan River Eco-Adventure is one of the newest attractions in Sorsogon. The location is at Buhatan in Sorsogon City. The River Eco-Adventure offers numerous activities that surely tourists and visitors will enjoy doing. The eco-adventures include bird watching, firefly watching; kayaking, fishing and night cruise with nature.
My friend and I felt thankful that we experienced this new adventure in Sorsogon. We went on a river cruise along Buhatan River that took place for about an hour. The experience was nice. The boat ride was calm and peaceful. The river is bound with lush vegetation. The scenery gave us a feeling that we were in a jungle. Add to that the various bird species that we had seen during the river cruise.
At the end of the river, they have a cottage placed that can be used as an eating place for visitors who wish to have lunch or snacks before going back to the starting point.
Cold Springs in Sorsogon
Hot and cold springs are popular in Sorsogon. You can find them anywhere. These spring resorts are commonly popular to local visitors.
We visited four spring resorts while touring around the province. We were able to get to Bee Farm Cold Spring and to Masacrot Spring Resort after visiting Bulusan Lake, La Cristy Cold Spring Resort Añog after visiting the ancestral houses in Juban and Malinaw Cold Spring after visiting Gibalon in Magallanes.
Day tour admission fee to the spring resorts in Sorsogon normally cost about PHP 20 to PHP 70 per person. Aside from a relaxing bath that one can get in dipping either at hot or cold spring, the cheap fee makes it a hit for local visitors to spend a day at the spring resort. One can already get to use the facilities of the resorts without even paying too much.
Bagatao Island in Magallanes
It was on our last day of touring Sorsogon when we had a taste of the sun that I had been praying to happen since we started the tour. It was raining on and off from the past days of our tour, and luckily the sky gifted us with a beautiful weather before we completely finished our Sorsogon journey.
Our destination on our third day was in Magallanes. Magallanes is a coastal town situated at the right of the entrance of Sorsogon Bay. Here you’ll find secluded beaches, abundant marine life, scenic islands and some historical attractions.
Bagatao Island is one of the town’s famous tourist destinations. A parola or lighthouse stands on top of the island. We were so fortunate that we were able to get to the island through the assistance of the local government of Magallanes. Getting to the island requires a boat ride that takes about half an hour.
The island was so scenic with its lighthouse. Our group hiked up to get a closer look of the lighthouse. But when we reached the top of the hill, it wasn’t only the lighthouse that welcomed us. A stunning view of the sea and neighboring lands greeted us when we ascended to the top. We were told that not far from the island, there’s a beautiful marine life that one can see by snorkeling or diving. I was keen on experiencing that but we were pressed with time, as we had to go back to the main land before lunchtime. Maybe next time.
The beautiful and unspoiled Parola Beach of the island also makes it as a notable destination in Magallanes. The water is clear and clean. The sand is creamy white and a little fine. It was a nice beach, actually.
During our visit, there were only quite a few groups in the island and they are all locals from the neighboring town as I was told. The summery weather made me wanted to take a dip in the water but too bad we only had a limited time to spend so my friend and I just took some quick snap of photos before we left as a souvenir to our quick but unforgettable island experience in Bagatao.
We dropped by at Gibalon before leaving the municipality of Magallanes. Gibalon is a popular place in Magallanes because this site is where the first mass in Luzon held.
The province of Sorsogon is a promising destination offering extensive travel experiences may it be an adventure, heritage, culinary, nature and so on. Sorsogon has several tourist attractions that even for three days my friend and I weren’t able to completely visit. Well, that’s a reason for me to go back. There are still a lot to uncover and experience in Sorsogon.
The province of Sorsogon was really an impressive destination that it made me desire again to make a visit in the near future. Apart from the lovely hotel stay that we experienced at Siama Hotel, my friend and I truly had fun visiting the famous landmarks and experiencing the interesting attractions that the province of Sorsogon has.
If you wish to visit Sorsogon for vacation and travel purposes, it is recommendable to coordinate with the Provincial Tourism Office located at Sorsogon City. The Provincial Tourism Office will be glad to be in assistance in arranging your tours and travel itinerary while in the province.