Though I have been going to Tagaytay since I was younger, Taal Volcano was only admired from a distance, either at the Taal Vista Hotel or other establishments boasting a fantastic view overlooking the volcano. I didn’t know Taal Volcano is accessible for trekking until I was probably almost out of college.
Anyway, until last year, Taal Volcano was only like a postcard to me. Nice view to see but never experienced. So on my vacation last year, after the family visit to Caleruega Church and brunch at Bag of Beans, I suggested going to Taal Volcano. The family agreed.
Without prior research, we found our way to get to the volcano. There are boating tour touts in Tagaytay but we chose to DIY. We went through the zigzagged road down to Talisay, Batangas, the jump-off point to the boating trip that will lead us to Taal Volcano’s crater. As soon as we reached Talisay, a tout in his scooter followed us to offer a boating trip. We tried to avoid him at first, but we didn’t have an idea where to go and we didn’t have the luxury of time to scout for a good deal, so the guy won in the end.
The tout led us to a compound that operates boat tours to Taal Volcano. Behind the compound is a private dock of the boats. We rode a motorized banca that will bring us to Taal Volcano. The ride was uneventful, the waters of the lake was calm.
Not far from Taal Volcano’s shores is where the Environmental Fee of P50 is paid. Right next to it is the horseback riding area. You may opt to trek yourself or with a guide, or horseback ride your way to the crater.
Pressed for time and unsure whether we still have the stamina to trek, my siblings and I rode a horse instead. Parents decided not to join us and just stayed behind.
The path to the crater is sometimes dusty, rough and rugged. If we only had time in our hands, the trek wouldn’t have been so bad.
The views to the peak and the lake are awesome.
Closer to the peak, we saw some vents where volcanic gases are emitted. Yup, Taal Volcano is an active volcano.
Then we reached the peak. The horses really do not take you to the top, you have to trek a few meters to reach the crater view deck. It is beautiful here!
There are rustic spots for photo ops and makeshift shed for vendors. Expectedly, the prices are exorbitant.
Now, the crater!
It is breathtaking and picturesque with its calm emerald blue waters. It was so peaceful as there was not a lot of tourists when we went.
We noticed more vents right by the crater and gases were being emitted.
Notice the very tiny island within the crater? That’s why Taal Volcano also earned the name “island within a lake within an island within a lake”.
If not for this trek to Taal Volcano, I wouldn’t have found out that the volcano I was admiring from Tagaytay ridge is not Taal Volcano after all. Below photo is Binintiang Malaki, which is also a crater of Taal Volcano. Taal Volcano couldn’t be viewed from Tagaytay ridge.
The second most active volcano in the Philippines.
The smallest active volcano in the world.
An island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island.
IT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES