Bulusan Volcano Natural Park is a protected area teeming with animal and plant species. The name “Bulusan” comes from the Bicolano word “bulos” which means where water flows. The forest land that surrounds Mt. Bulusan was declared a National Park in 1935.
Located at the foot of Mt. Bulusan, the park was rehabilitated and reopened to the public earlier this year. It has been a few years since the last time I set foot in this eco-tourism destination and my last visit was as equally memorable as the recent one. I was able to visit the park and marvel at the flora and fauna while enjoying the view of Mt. Bulusan courtesy of DOT Region 5 and the Tourism Promotions Board.
Bulusan Volcano Natural Park was closed for restoration and rehabilitation for two years. The park now features a massage spa, tourist shop, a new alfresco coffee shop, and a restaurant, Sagurong Restaurant. Other attractions, like the 18th-century bell tower of St. James The Great Church, will be restored in partnership with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). With the easing of travel restrictions amid the decrease of COVID-19, more local and foreign guests are expected to come.
Upon our arrival at the Eco-Tourism Center, we registered and paid the necessary fees to enter the park-like the entrance fee, environmental fee, and shuttle service. Tourists had to exchange a valid ID for a temporary card number that the staff gave us.
Private vehicles are not allowed to enter the park, hence the shuttle service fee. The shuttle ride includes the roundtrip from the Bulusan Ecotourism Center to the entrance of Bulusan Volcano Natural Park and vice versa. At the time, there were only three shuttles so we had to wait for our turn to take the ride to the lake. Guests can choose to forgo the shuttle ride and walk but it can take 20-30 minutes to go there on foot.
There is a bridge that also serves as a viewing deck for visitors that faces the lake. Bulusan Volcano Natural Park is filled with several bodies of water. There is the Bulusan River and the other lakes in the natural park – Lake Aguingay, which accumulates water during the rainy season, and the Blackbird Lake found at Mt. Bulusan’s crater.
The main attraction of the park is Bulusan Lake, spanning 16.43 hectares and 33 meters deep. The boat ride across the lake was a profound experience. We got to take advantage of the serenity of the lake and appreciate the natural beauty of the park. From the lake, guests can trek to Mt. Bulusan.
There is also 100 hectares of Rattan Plantation Project with 50,000 seedlings planted.
The protected rainforest that surrounds the lake is flourishing with endemic flora and fauna. Some of the animals found in the area are highly protected species of birds like the Potted Wood Kingfisher, Luzon Hornbill, South Luzon Cloud Rat, and Philippine Warty Pig.
Before we left, we were transported back to the main entrance via a golf cart. It was a worthwhile visit to the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park and one that everyone should give a try.
Bulusan Lake is a great starting point for guests who want Mt. Bulusan. It is a 14-hour trek to and from Mt. Bulusan which requires guests to camp in the forest. Guests can take a guided walk around the lake and cross the hanging bridges. It is not as adventurous as trekking but crossing the canopy walkway is another great way to be one with nature.
Guests can choose between a romantic kayak ride across the lake or a long boat ride with family and friends. This ride offers a different perspective of the lake that is surrounded by a protected rainforest. Other activities in the Bulusan Lake are Stand-Up Paddling and Fishing.
The Bulusan Volcano Natural Park protects the endemic species that live there. Guests should be mindful of their trash because these species could accidentally eat it and die. Guests can see some of the protected animals: the Potted Wood Kingfisher, Luzon Hornbill, South Luzon Cloud Rat, Philippine Warty Pig, Philippine Frogmouth, and Philippine Fairy Bluebird. There are also two plant species named after Bulusan that can be found in the park – Pronephrium bulusantum, a type of fern, and Schefflera bulusanicum, an aquatic type of plant.
Environmental Fee – Php 10
Shuttle Service – Php 35
From the Araneta Center Bus terminal, there is a bus bound to Irosin through DLTB or Philtranco. The travel time is around 13-14 hours. From Sorsogon City, take a jeepney bound to Bulusan then take a tricycle bound to Bulusan Lake.
Location: Barangay San Roque, Bulusan, Sorsogon
Bulusan Volcano Natural Park is a great addition to anyone’s Sorsogon trip. Anyone can enjoy the refreshing experience of being in nature and the heart-filling awe at the sight of the lake. Local and foreign visitors can truly enjoy the beauty of this park that is protected and maintained by the local townspeople of Bulusan.
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