Sorsogon is a province located in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. It is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning natural attractions, and rich culture. Here is a Sorsogon travel guide you never knew you needed:
Things to do in Sorsogon
1. Visit the Butanding (Whale Shark) Interaction Center
Sorsogon is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with whale sharks, also known as butanding. The Butanding Interaction Center in Donsol is the best place for this fantastic experience. Here are some things to do at the center:
• Attend the orientation
Before you can swim with the whale sharks, you’ll need to attend a mandatory orientation session. The session will give you all the information you need to know about whale sharks and how to interact with them responsibly.
• Go on a whale shark-watching tour
The interaction center offers boat tours where you can spot and observe whale sharks in their natural habitat. You’ll be accompanied by trained guides who will help you identify the whale sharks and provide information about them.
• Swim with the whale sharks
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can swim with the whale sharks. You’ll be required to wear a life vest and snorkeling gear, and you’ll be guided by a trained butanding spotter who will help you get close to the whale sharks without disturbing them.
• Enjoy the scenery
The area around the interaction center is beautiful, with stunning views of the sea and the surrounding hills. Take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery while waiting for your tour or after swimming with the whale sharks.
• Learn about the conservation efforts
The interaction center is dedicated to conserving whale sharks and their habitat. You can learn more about their efforts and how you can help by talking to the staff or attending one of the information sessions.
• Visit nearby attractions
There are several other attractions in the area that you can visit, including the beautiful beaches of Donsol, the nearby Ticao Island, and the Bulusan Volcano National Park.
• Try local food
There are many local restaurants and food stalls near the interaction center where you can try delicious Bicolano cuisine, such as laing (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk), Bicol express (spicy pork dish), and kinunot (shark meat cooked in coconut milk).
2. Explore Bulusan Volcano National Park
This beautiful park is home to the majestic Mount Bulusan, one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. It also boasts a stunning crater lake, hot springs, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Here are some things to do in the park:
• Hike to the summit of Mount Bulusan
Mount Bulusan is one of the main attractions in the national park. It is an active volcano that rises to a height of 1,565 meters. You can hike to the summit to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
• Explore the crater lake
Mount Bulusan’s crater lake is a must-visit attraction in the national park. The lake is located at the summit of the volcano, and its clear blue waters are a sight to behold. You can ride a boat on the lake or hike around its perimeter.
• Visit the natural hot springs
The national park has several natural hot springs to relax and soak in the warm waters. In addition, the hot springs are believed to have therapeutic properties that can help ease muscle pains and other ailments.
• Take a dip in the waterfalls
The national park is home to several waterfalls, including the famous San Benon Falls. The falls have a series of natural pools where you can swim and enjoy the cool, refreshing waters.
• Go birdwatching
The national park is home to various bird species, including the Philippine eagle, the hornbill, and the owl. You can go birdwatching to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
• Spot wildlife
The national park is home to various wildlife, including the Philippine deer, wild boar, and civet cat. You can go on a wildlife spotting tour to see these animals in the wild.
• Visit the Lagoon of Bulusan Lake
This beautiful lagoon is located at the foot of Mount Bulusan and is surrounded by lush vegetation. You can take a boat ride on the lagoon or kayak to explore its hidden corners.
• Enjoy a picnic
The national park has several picnic areas to relax and enjoy the stunning views. You can bring food or buy snacks and drinks from nearby stores.
• Learn about the local culture
The national park is in an area with a rich culture and history. You can visit nearby towns and villages to learn about the local culture and traditions.
• Go camping
The national park has several camping areas to spend the night under the stars. You can bring your own tent or rent one from the nearby stores.
3. Discover the Matnog Sandbar and Pink Beach
Matnog Sandbar and Pink Beach are popular tourist destinations in Sorsogon. The Matnog Sandbar is a long stretch of white sand connecting Matnog to Juag Lagoon. You can also visit the nearby Pink Beach, which gets its pink hue from crushed corals. Here are some things to do on the beach:
• Swim in the crystal-clear waters
Matnog Sandbar and Pink Beach waters are clear and inviting, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You can rent snorkeling gear and explore the colorful coral reefs and marine life.
• Enjoy the pink sand
The sand on Pink Beach has a unique pink color, which comes from the crushed shells and corals that make up the beach. You can walk along the beach and enjoy the stunning view of the pink sand contrasting against the turquoise waters.
• Go island hopping
There are several small islands near Matnog Sandbar and Pink Beach that you can visit, like Tikling Island. You can rent a boat and explore these islands, which offer more secluded beaches and pristine waters.
• Take a kayak tour
You can rent a kayak and explore the calm waters around the sandbar and beach. This is a great way to get close to the unique rock formations and hidden coves.
• Explore the nearby caves
The sandbar and beach are surrounded by limestone cliffs and caves, which you can explore with a guide. These caves are home to unique rock formations and underground rivers.
• Have a picnic
Several picnic areas are on the sandbar and beach to relax and enjoy the stunning views. You can bring food or buy snacks and drinks from nearby stores.
• Watch the sunset
The sunsets at Matnog Sandbar and Pink Beach are breathtaking, with the sky turning shades of pink, orange, and purple. You can stay until evening and watch the sunset over the horizon.
• Try local food
There are several local restaurants and food stalls near the sandbar and beach where you can try delicious Bicolano cuisine, such as grilled fish, kinunot (shark meat cooked in coconut milk), and laing (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk).
• Take photos
The sandbar and beach are incredibly picturesque, and you’ll want to take plenty of photos to capture the beauty of the place. So don’t forget to bring your camera or phone to snap some shots.
• Relax and unwind
Matnog Sandbar and Pink Beach are the perfect place to relax and unwind. You can soak up the sun, read a book, or simply enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the place.
Other must-try activities in Sorsogon
1. Visit Paguriran Island and Lagoon
A stunning lagoon surrounds this picturesque island with crystal-clear waters. You can swim, snorkel, or just relax on the beach.
2. Experience the Barcelona Church and Ruins
This historic church was built in the 16th century and is one of the oldest in the Philippines. The ruins are a testament to the province’s rich history and cultural heritage.
3. Explore the Subic Beach
This stunning beach is known for its crystal-clear waters, white sand, and rock formations. You can also go snorkeling or diving to discover the rich marine life.
4. Visit the Gubat Sorsogon Church
This church was built in the early 19th century and is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate details.
5. Go Island hopping
There are many islands to explore in Sorsogon, each with unique beauty and charm. You can go island hopping to discover them all.
6. Taste the local cuisine
Sorsogon is known for its delicious local cuisine, including pinangat (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk), sinantol (shredded santol fruit in coconut milk), and pancit bato (a local noodle dish).
7. Enjoy the festivals
Sorsogon is home to many festivals throughout the year, including the Kasanggayahan Festival, which celebrates the province’s rich culture and heritage.