Balsa ride in Sumlang Lake
Guides and Itineraries,  Philippines

Sumlang Lake: One of the best spots to sightsee Mount Mayon

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One of the pleasures of traveling in Albay is seeing Mount Mayon, an active volcano that is once said to have a perfect cone shape before its explosion years ago. If you’re looking for good spots to appreciate its view, then consider visiting Sumlang Lake.

Sumlang Lake is a 14-hectare lake in Camalig, Albay. It’s one of the emerging destinations in the province, and over the years, it’s being developed for visitors. Its best feature is undoubtedly its unspoiled view of Mayon Volcano, which you can appreciate while riding a balsa or resting in one of the cottages in the area.

Sumlang Lake in Camalig, Albay
Sumlang Lake.

I visited Sumlang Lake this summer of 2022, with a group of bloggers invited by the Tourism Promotions Board. As someone who likes relaxing destinations, I enjoyed our afternoon here, particularly the balsa ride and the view in Socorro’s restaurant.

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Sumlang Lake used to be neglected, until it was revived years ago to become the tourist spot that it is now. I love its come-back story and how there are continuous improvements in the area so it is more tourist-friendly, though personally I wish the lake view would keep its natural look rather than be filled with photo-op installments. That saying, I would still rate Sumlang Lake as a must-visit in Albay.

Balsa ride in Sumlang Lake

Sumlang Lake is a place for everyone — for regular tourists as well as families looking for a weekend escape.

How to Get to Sumlang Lake

Sumlang Lake is about 30 minutes away from Legazpi City, Albay.

Here are the commute directions:

From Legazpi:

  • Ride a jeepney bound for Camalig, Guinobatan, or Polangui. Ask the driver to let you off at Agri-Village (Albay Agri Ethno Eco Village).
  • From there, ride a tricycle or or take a 5-minute walk to Sumlang Lake.

From Manila:

  • Ride a bus to Legazpi City and get off at Agri-Village. Then follow the instructions above.

If you have a private vehicle, you can find ample parking spaces inside the compound.

Things to do in Sumlang Lake

Here are the best things to do in Sumlang Lake.

1. Balsa ride

Swimming is not allowed in the lake, but you can still enjoy the water by renting a balsa (bamboo raft). The rafts come with nice outdoor seats, which you can use for photo-ops.

Sumlang Lake in Camalig, Albay
Lotus flowers in the lake.
Balsa ride in Sumlang Lake

2. Attend a cultural demo

Upgrade your visit into a cultural tour by attending one of its demo stations, located in the cottages just beside the souvenir shop.

You can attend a cooking demo of pinangat, one of the beloved Bicolano dishes consisting of taro leaves and various seasonings cooked in coconut milk. Sample this with either rice or bread, which is often the choice of Bicolanos for breakfast.

How to make pinangat
How to make pinangat.

You can also see first-hand how to prepare strips of abaca (a kind of natural fiber) and how it is used for weaving local products, such as bags.

Abaca weaving
Abaca weaving.

3. Bring home a souvenir

Take a look at Albay’s best products in the souvenir shop – including woven bags, baskets, and home furniture that you can use for natural accents in your home. You can also buy edible pasalubong such as pili and other sweets.

Where to eat

No need to go outside to eat! Sumlang Lake has its own charming restaurant called Socorro’s, which offers various local dishes such as bicol express and pinangat. Also must-try is their cheesy camote pie for dessert.

Socorro’s also has a balcony where you can enjoy outdoor dining with a view of Mount Mayon.

View of Mount Mayon in Socorro's restaurant
View of Mount Mayon in Socorro’s restaurant.

Sumlang Lake Rates

Here are the current rates (Updated as of 2022):

Entrance feeP100 per person / P80 – seniors / P60 – children
Environmental feeP20 per person
ParkingP10 -two- and three-wheels / P20 – cars
Balsa rideP80 per person (30 min)
KayakP100 per person (30 min)
Aqua bikeP100 per person (30 min)
FishingFish feeding – P20
Equipment rental – P50
Fish – P150 per kilo

Travel Tips to Sumlang Lake

  • Sumlang Lake is open daily: Monday to Sunday, from 8AM to 8PM.
  • The best time to visit Sumlang Lake is morning ’til afternoon, during which you can see the reflection of the volcano in the water.
  • Sumlang Lake is close to other tourist spots, including Cagsawa Ruins and Quitinday Hills. You can charter a tricycle if you want to visit all these. Or simply book a day trip package in Albay, where it is included in the itinerary.
Group shot in Sumlang Lake
Rafting with co-bloggers. (Photo by Noel Amata)

Book a day tour to Sumlang Lake

You can book a day tour to Sumlang Lake and other attractions in Albay via Klook.

For other inquiries, you can contact the official page of Sumlang Lake in Facebook.

Have you been to Sumlang Lake in Camalig, Albay? If you have questions or comments, let us know in the comment section below!

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