A Guide to Taal Volcano, Philippines

I can’t count how many times I’ve visited Tagaytay and admire the view of Taal Volcano from afar. My family used to go Tagaytay when I was still based in the Philippines but never set foot near the Taal Volcano. 

 

Taal Volcano is one of the smallest active volcanoes in the world. Indeed it is one of the wonders of the world. Since I was in Manila for my vacation, I took the chance not to miss the beauty of Taal Volcano on a closer look.

 

 I traveled from Manila to Tagaytay with my friend by taking the public transportation. We’ve met in Taft Terminal Station and rode a bus from there. There were numerous bus companies offering rides to Tagaytay. We took Genesis bus and passed through Cavite/ Aguinaldo Highway and reached Olivarez (Tagaytay proper) after 2 hours of travel. We paid 156 PHP/ 3.1 USD/ 1.2 OMR for two persons. We left Taft Terminal Station around 7.30 in the morning, but  I suggest leaving Manila early if you plan to go for a hike or better stay overnight in Tagaytay to climb early in the morning.

 

When we reached Tagaytay (Olivarez), we rented a tricycle going to Talisay and then back to the town proper. We paid 500 PHP/10USD/ 3.8 OMR for the rental. You can also check the jeepney on Tagaytay Rotonda and ask them and compare the price.  

 

Our driver said we were the first customers to his new tricycle. (Locally known as Bokyo)

 

We stopped by to this beautiful spot before going to the Boat Station.

We hired a boat to take us to Taal Volcano Island. We arrived at the boat station around 10.20 in the morning. We registered ourselves and paid a total price of 2750PHP/ 55 USD/ 21 OMR inclusive of the boat, tour guide, docking fee and entrance fee. The boat rented is good for 6 to 7 persons. I suggest going with a group to divide and save up money.  I came up with contacting Angelo (+63 9197280514)who manages a boat rental service in Talisay Bay. We contacted him before going to the boat rental station for convenience.

 

 

 

The pump boat ride took us around 20 minutes across the lake to reach Sitio Tabla, Pulo Island, Talisay, Batangas.For safety reason, we were required to wear life vests. It was also bit splashy so be prepared to get wet when riding the boat.

 

 

When we reached the island, we were greeted by a friendly barangay. You will see a lot of tourists, especially Koreans. Visiting the island, reminded me of my town in Bicol where most of the people’s main living is fishing.

 

 

 

Double on socks to prevent blisters!

 

You can go for two options going up the crater lake. First, by foot. Second, go by horse.  The horse rides cost 450 PHP/ 8.9 USD/ 3.4 OMR, but we decided to go trek to enjoy the scenery. The hike was overall easy.  The tour guide was also helpful with us. He is quite knowledgeable about the place.

 

My hiking buddy to Taal Volcano.

 

Our tour guide

 

We started our hike around 11:00 am. Thank goodness the weather was excellent. It wasn’t hot and humid. On the way up, there were local vendors who sell cold drinks, and it is expensive. I suggest bringing bottled water.

 

 

On the way up, there are stations of the cross for pilgrimage.

 

It took us roughly less than an 1 hour to reach the top. We stopped at some interesting point for picture taking. At the summit, there is a deck to get a 360-degree view of Taal Volcano and Tagaytay.  The crater lake was worth the hike! There were also vendors selling souvenirs such as t-shirts and ref magnets. You can rest, eat or simply just enjoy the view from the top. We stayed a little longer to take photos (of course, hehe).

 

 

 

There was a strong smell of sulfur that can be smelled once near the summit which means I’m really stepping on an active volcano.

 

The view from the top: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail going up the summit

 

Helpful Tips and Reminders:

1.Eat breakfast before starting the trip.

2.Bring some water or cold drinks and snacks. It is bit costly onsite. 

3.Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. I prefer to wear my hiking shoes.

4.Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a cap, sunblock, and glasses.

5.Bring mask to cover your mouth and nose. It is bit dusty due to volcanic ash.

 

 

Have you visited the Taal Volcano? How was your experience? Share on the comments below. 

 

 

 

 

 

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