Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.

Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.

Few weeks ago, we decided to have a long week in Albay to visit the family and explore the town and discover some local adventure spots that we would love to share to you.

But in order to fully enjoy the weekend, we have to wake up super early in the morning to catch the flight via Philippine Airline bound to Legazpi at 6:00AM (I’m not a fan of super early flight, most of the time I get cranky) but it’s a good thing when we got a business class upgrade ticket, after we got it by bidding Php1000 per person (we booked the tickets in-advance, and when we got an invitation to upgrade our ticket, we tried to bid the lowest amount and hope for the best).




I will share a separate blog about our frequent Philippine Airline flight both business and premium economy class experiences.

And for now, I would love to share you one of the most memorable experience we had in Albay.

Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.
After our 45-mins flight from Manila to Legazpi, we arrived in Legazpi around 6:45AM. It was a smooth ride (as always) not feeling cranky after I enjoyed my in-flight breakfast. I’m telling you that Philipine Airlines business class is so worth it, with good full meal breakfast, comfortable seats, and amazing services (yup detailed review soon!).

After we picked up our Toyota Vios rental car from Mayon Rental (one of the best car rentals in Legazpi!) from the airport car park, and drove to the nearest gasoline station to get some diesel for our car while checking on a nice place to visit along the way. I kept on browsing the Google Map and found this underground river in Jovellar (thanks for the photos in the map!), and we spontaneously drove heading to the 3rd district of Albay.




Wonders of Jovellar

The Town of Jovellar is one of those perfect place to visit. Situated in the south west portion of Albay, Philippines, approximately 35kms from Legazpi City. Known for its rich natural heritage of caves, waterfalls, hills and mountains, it offers an authentic laidback way of life.

People are so friendly, kids are all smiling, very laidback environment compared here in the city. They don’t think about stress at work, just enjoying what the good nature and life surrounds them.

Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.

From Legazpi Airport to Jovellar only took us an hour drive. You don’t need a tour guide to explore the many places in Albay just like we always do. 

Upon our arrival in Jovellar town, we head to their tourism office and paid our entrance fee.

Entrance fee – for locals (meaning Filipinos) – Php50.00 per person / for foreigners – Php200.00 per person.

Parking fee – Php30.00 for the whole stay

You’ve noticed that entrance fee for locals and foreigners have a huge difference, and indeed it does makes sense. Foreigners are priced highly because they expected that you have more budget to travel than locals. In the end, the costs are all relatively.

This time, they assigned a tour guide for us. We need it because we will visit some caves and waterfalls, and these places needs tour guide for security and safety as well. After the tour, just give your tour guide a generous tip.

The whole place is magnificent. Everywhere is so tidy, no trash, and everyone get a livelihood out of tourism.




Jovellar Caves

Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.

First stop, we visited this small cave near the underground river. Though it isn’t huge like the Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave in Camalig, this cave has a distinct character. Both stalactites (type of formation that hangs from the ceiling of caves, hot springs, or manmade structures) and stalagmites (a type of rock formation that rises from the floor of a cave due to the accumulation of material deposited on the floor from ceiling drippings) are all alive and continuously growing. This cave doesn’t have an exist unlike other caves. It is still a home for many local bats, and cutting stalactites and stalagmites are illegal, thus you will noticed that they don’t sell souvenir items out of those crystals in the caves (unlike in Hoyop-hoyopan cave where they do sell some souvenir).

Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.
Altogether, there are 11 caves surrounding Jovellar town, which will take us days to explore all of them.





Jovellar Underground River

Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.
The main attraction of this destination is the Jovellar Underground River, the most immersive and experience spots where you can dive and swim in this 180-metres long freshwater river. The water runs from the mountain and runs flowingly down to many towns of Albay, including Jovellas which are the source of water of the residents. Now that this place become famous to many tourists, including nearby local residents, it became their source of livelihood.

Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.
You can also enjoy diving to this waterfall with depth of 20metres.

Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.
Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.
Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.
The water is so cold and fresh that you can actually drink!







Ecotourism helps the community

Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.

When this place was opened for tourism, the community benefits for it. Both locals, including students earns a minimal of Php200 per hour being a tour guide in this destination. Other residents prepared local foods and delicacies to sell to their guest as their additional source of income.

Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.
Wonders of Jovellar – Underground River, Caves, Waterfalls, etc.

Why is the river and the water being so clean?

Our tour guide, Kuya Manny told us that residents are not allowed to build houses and live on top and near the river and caves. This way, they prevent on possible littering and pollution that will affect the surroundings.  

Guests are allowed to explore the place from 7:00AM until 5:00PM only. They don’t allow guest to stay overnight near the river and caves to prevent for any accidents. By doing so, it is also the local residents’ way of giving respect to the nature.

You can check our vlog here for our Jovellar Underground River Adventure!





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42 comments :

  1. Aaah! Thank you for this, makes me want to go in Albay. One thing I didn't like though is that the entrance fee is higher for foreigners. :(

    There are so much to see in the Philippines and I regret that I haven't tried traveling when I was younger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with the different of entrance fee, but if we think about it further, it does makes sense. Foreigners normally have money to spend, and if you convert PESO to their currency (say, US Dollar), that is just so cheap for them.

      My boyfriend just shrugged off and says paying 200pesos is still cheap for them.

      Well, at least we Filipinos won't have to pay huge entrance fee, hehehe

      Delete
  2. Such an interesting trip ha! I wish one day makaexperience din ako ng first class flight ng Philippine Airlines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you can try! Initially book for an economy rate, and if you are lucky to receive an invitation to upgrade from Philippine Airlines, bid for the lowest (I usually bid for 1000) and suwertehan lang.

      PAL will take the lowest bid rather getting no bid.

      Delete
  3. I love underground caves and rivers too. Such wonderful nature treasures ♥️

    ReplyDelete
  4. Never thought na may ganito sa Albay aside from Mayon Volcano! Ang linaw ng tubig grabe

    ReplyDelete
  5. ilang oras to Legazpi? Worth it ba ang upgrade to business class? ang refreshing ng tubig sa loob ng cave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flight is only 45mins. And the business class is worth it. You will have privilege access sa PAL lounge (though the PAL lounge is small and not too modern) and foods, wifi, comfortable seats, charging station in the lounge. Then sumptuous meal breakfast pa inflight! Sulet yung Php1000 additional naming for business class (economy ticket muna binili naming, then we bid for business class).

      Delete
  6. Wow Albay! ❤️ Can't believe na may ganito din pala sa kanila. Isa to sa ilalagay ko sa travel check list ko. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pasyal ka! Especially during summer, kapag tag-ulan limited access lang for security (minsan kasi bumabaha at tumataas ang tubig sa river).

      Delete
  7. From 50 to 200 real quick! Haha! I guess it's fine because 200 is just a price of one meal in other countries. It's quite different in Korea, they give more discounts to foreigners. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahaha yeah, but okay lang naman yung 200, kasi direct sa locals ang pakinabang. :)

      Delete
  8. it looks wonderful. bicol is one of the places in our bucket list. but mukhang di pa pwede ang kids sa bamboo bridge.

    ReplyDelete
  9. its been 11 years since i went to bicol. hopefully i get to go back soon, and id get to go here to. its in the unpopular ones pa yung mga gems ano?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they just opened this place for tourism 2-years ago. Pasyal ka!

      Delete
  10. This looks like such a fun place to visit! I love the picture of you in the water!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you dear! Hope you will visit Philippines soon.

      Delete
  11. I love visiting caves! This looks like such a cool place to check out!

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  12. That looks like such an adventure! I love that you mention the ecotourism aspect of it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This helps to gain lucrative income for the locals.

      Delete
  13. Now I really want to go to the Philippines now. It looks so beautiful and your blog is great.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The underground river adventure looks so amazing! You can see from the photos how clean the water is. I would love to go there and explore it myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I have my GoPro and explore the wonders underwater :D

      Delete
  15. wonderful photos. looks like you guys had a fun time

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  16. WOW this is stunning!! I would be scared to go in there LOL but it's beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was a bit chicken to jump from that 25metres deep water, hahaha

      Delete
  17. Love caves!! This would be a great traveling adventure!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful! We went in some underground caves in Barbados. Great experience. Fab post!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey,

    It's pretty good. I like the way you express things and there are many things which help me in exploring new things.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jovellar Underground River sounds like a really great adventure. I would love to experience the cool water in the summer!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Majority of tourists go to the islands and you rarely hear about attractions like Jovellar Caves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that is true. Still many tourists would dare to explore the rural, and opt for places where expats stays.

      Delete

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