Where: Taal, Batangas - Tagaytay
Who: Mr & Mrs, High School buddies Shiela, Karel, and guests from U.S. Princess & Ivan
When: Oct 2018
What: A Daytrip to see Taal Volcano (The smallest volcano in the world) and Tagaytay
This was a quickly planned day tour for our friends from the United States to see a very nice view for just a few hours drive away from Manila. Taal volcano was the plan, so we head to Tagaytay where you see the view of the lake and the volcano island in the middle, then go to town nearby to get a boat to the island, then hike to the top of Taal to see a lake inside its crater.
The volcano, locally called as Bulkang Taal is actually the world's smallest active volcano. Yep! That's right, we are going to see and explore it. It is just 50 kilometers away from Manila. Taal volcano's last eruption was 1977. It is already a postcard perfect view from Tagaytay on its lake, but it is a totally different view to see its crater that has formed a lake inside.
How To Get There:
We had a private service going from our places in Manila to an hour drive to Tagaytay, where on the roundabout / rotunda area we asked around what seemed to be guides to help us get a boat to Taal Island.
Drove dizzying zigzag road down from the rotunda in Tagaytay where we followed the guy from his motorcycle onto the supposed to be another town, not sure but must be Talisay, Batangas then to a private pier and a boat was ready to take us to Taal volcano island and back.
Agreed upon the rate which was 3,000 for 6 people
Then upon arriving at Taal Island, there are guides available to lead you to your hike from the ground to the point where you can have the nice view of the crater lake.
Where To Stay:
We actually did this as a daytour so no need for any accommodation.
There are many places to stay near and around the area
What To Do:
1. Hike up to the nice view of Taal crater
The hike as always depends on your group's pace but it can be done in 30 minutes to an hour. There are actually horses available that can get you up the crater without breaking a sweat, but of course the bonding with friends would be better with long walks around the trail filled with greens all around you, and enjoy the aroma of fresh air.
2. Savor the best view of Taal volcano crater
As mentioned above, the view from a plateau of Tagaytaywith the lake and volcano in the middle is already a postcard view itself, the view of the lake inside the volcano's crater has a special allure on its own.
After almost an hour of walking uphill, under the tropical sun that is almost noon time, we are feeling a bit tired, but once you get to see the views, all your tiredness goes away and you just become awed by the view.
There are a couple of stores there that sells drinks like water, souvenir photos shirts, etc. but as you would expect, prices are a bit expensive so better to bring your own water.
There is also another tour which would allow your group to take a dip at the crater lake, but that involves informing the guide even before going to the boat, as it would mean a different route to another part of the volcano island for the boatman.
3. Feast on food with a grand view at Tagaytay
After the hike up and down, and the boat ride back, then another ride from the town in Talisay, up the zigzag road back to Tagaytay. From there, we tried the recommended restaurant called Balay Dako, which is part of the famous Antonio's restaurant, so you know they serve reputable and quality Filipino foods, as well as seats that offers the best view of the Taal lake.
So many people on queue having lunch even if its already late (3PM), but the wait is totally worth it. A must try of course is Bulalo, which is beef served bone marrow that is the tastiest part I have ever tried. Crab Fritata, Lumpia Veggies and Fried Milkfish was also on our orders. Needless to say, we were all lost for words on our current experiences after having our late lunch where we just chilled with our tummies full, and even our eyes are full with the wonderful view from our seats.
Whether you are an active person or a laid back, you will still enjoy what Taal has to offer. While you are at it, you may also want to check out other places we went to recently just go to our home page and thanks for reading.
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