When you are riding in the Philippines and follow the the Pan Filipino Highway through Quezon heading south, towards Bicol you’ll find the old Bicol ZigZag route between Pagbilao and Atimonan. A 2-lane twisting road through a forested group of hills which is pretty amazing to do by motorcycle.
We I left the hotel that morning I did not know what was coming, Signs at the intersection happened to point us this way and seeing that most heavy highway traffic would go the other direction way this was my chance to ride at ease for a while. TYP
The whole area has the main highway build around it but the old route still exists for a more leisurely crossing through the nature preserve. It is the old version of the Pan Filipino highway, leading through Quezon protected landscape. Inside the preserve there are several spots to stop and take in the sights, explore some of what the park has to offer and just enjoy yourself in the forest.
It is as if time had stood still here, the ancient old forest makes you forget all the business of the surrounding area.
It is known by many names
The road come with many names. And therefore it might be confusing to find information about it. But on Google maps it’s simply called the “Old zigzag road”.
Some of the other names include;
- Altimonan Zigzag Park
- Altimonan Forest park
- Altimonan Zigzag route
- the old Zigzag route
- Quezon Zigzag route
- Pagbilao Road
- Butikang Manok Road
- EME Road
And I am sure locals will come up with more names for this road.
The Zigzag route
When you take the turn of the highway and enter the forest, the first thing you notice is that there is way less traffic, certainly no heavy trucks and trailers. A few kilometers in you’ll see why. Steep slopes and hair pin turns make up the famous Zig Zag road. Impassable for modern large trucks.