Albay Province: Hiking on Quitinday Green Hills

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I think about that day again and I still couldn’t believe that my kids and I entered a pitch-dark cave armed with just one Iphone 8 and two faint, faulty flashlight. And my husband, my dear husband who is claustrophobic, joined us to the underground river, that was a big deal! Then, we went to a barn themed park to cap the day.

But I’m gonna break the day into a couple of posts so that I could share more without boring you.

A serendipitous encounter with Gino Padilla at Cagsawa Ruins. He’s one of our favourite singer during the 90s.

It was actually on the day after our ATV ride to Mount Mayon. There was nothing on our itinerary so we asked the hotel concierge for recommendations. We might have expressed that our family is audacious, and that we may be able to handle some level of adventure.

So they booked for us a tour guide for the entire day, that’s Allan and his Mitsubishi Adventure taxi. Allan first brought us to Cagsawa Ruins where he hoped to showcase his beloved Mount Mayon. He was successful at that. Mayon was on full display, majestic and proud.

He next drove us to the town of Camalig where we could go hiking. It was about 23 kilometers west of Legazpi City. The place is called Quitinday Green Hills Formation Reserve. We paid P20 each I think, less than a dollar. There was no guide and they said we could explore on our own. It was a short but steep hill, maybe just about 15 minutes to get to the top.

There were fallen trees along the narrow path, and a collapsed hut when we reached the top, evidence left behind by the strong typhoon that had devastated the province just two weeks earlier. The hilltop wasn’t big but what a scenic view, we were so pleasantly surprised!

This was what Allan was talking about – Mount Mayon standing tall and symmetric among dozens of imperfect green mounds
The kids were looking back at the trail and trying to spot Allan who was waiting for us down in the valley.
This was the mound on the other side. Notice the burned grass? The people there said that they had to do it to make grass grow better, faster. Hmm? Anyway, I’ve seen pictures where the hills were alive with beautiful white pampas grass.
This is the widest part of the hill. The boys were trying make their drone work but couldn’t.
Photo credit:

Our family’s tips:

  1. No or very little shelter on the hilltop. Wear a hat and sunblock.
  2. It’s hot in the Philippines, be sensible in your clothing.
  3. No barriers on top. Please hold on to the smaller kids.
  4. This activity would be great if coupled with the other activities like the Jovellar underground river, and the dry caves if you dare.
  5. Public transportation is available, but it’s not that expensive to hire a car in the Philippines. So please just hire one. Your driver could act as your guide too, like Allan. Your hotel would be able to book this for you.
  6. Please contact the tourism office, Mr. Jed Villanueva at +63-927-6213315, if you need more information. Otherwise, visit Camalig’s tourism website. There are other eco-adventure and cultural activities listed in their website that you might be interested in.
  7. Legazpi is the main city in Albay Province. Do base yourself there like we did. From there you could do various day trips.
  8. We stayed at The Marrison Hotel. We highly recommend this. It’s new, the food is good, service is commendable and they are well equipped to handle power outage. The latter is important so do stay at a good accommodation. Power outage is not uncommon in the Philippines and during the time of our visit there had been no electricity in the whole city for a couple of weeks because the power lines had been damaged by the typhoon.

Other posts on our volcano road trip in the Philippines:

Three Volcanoes and a Road Trip

Mount Mayon: The Majestic Lady and the Rugged ATVs

Mount Mayon: ATV Summit Trail Video – All the Way Up


    1. I’m glad that you’re liking my posts on the Philippines. The country is beautiful especially outside the congested Metro Manila.

      Yeah I suppose the burning of the fallen trees (from the typhoon) and overgrown grass would release carbon into the soil, but also into the air, so I don’t support this practice. 😦

      Have a great week ahead, Amanda. 🙂


    1. Hi there Neil.They do look a bit strange now that you mentioned it. There are at least two of this kind in the Philippines, the other one is in Bohol (we went there 2 or 3 summers before) and they do look like chocolate mounds in the summer when rain is not abundant. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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