Taal Volcano

Taal volcano is certainly one of the most popular volcano in The Philippines. As you know probably, volcanoes in The Philippines are numerous, some are more active and dangerous than others, but there all have in common one aspect which is their fascinating beauty. Today,there are still 25 active volcanoes in The Philippines. In this report, I want to highlight one in particular, Taal Volcano. Its last eruption was in 1977 and up to now the volcano still show signs of activity. Some facts about the Taal volcano: *Taal volcano is located in Batangas Province *Tagaytay city located in Cavite province *Around 60km from Manila *35 eruptions (since 1572) *This volcano made between 5000 to 6000 casualties Note: The activity of the volcano is monitored by the Philippines Institutes of Volcanology and Seismology (their main task is classified volcanoes in the Philippines in 3 categories : active/potentially active/inactive but also monitor any volcano in the Philippines having seismology activity and finally the Institute is also issuing warnings when it's necessary). If you are interested about volcanoes, I recommend you to go to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in Tagaytay (located at Baragay Buco). Admission is free. Open 8am to 5pm. Access to Tagaytay from Manila (based on the info I collected): From Manila Airport to Tagaytay City: the cheapest way is to ride the shuttle service from all terminals that pass by MRT Taft Avenue Station and ride BLTB or Crow Transit Buses to Tagaytay. From Mandaluyong: you can find fx jeeps at the Starmall, parked alongside EDSA. From Manila city, check terminals in Cubao, EDSA, Pasay City, and at Baclaran (you have buses with several departures a day to Tagaytay). A day trip or a night stay in Tagaytay: Well, it's up to you, both scenario can be considered. My suggestion will be: leave Manila early in the afternoon, so you can reach Tagaytay end of afternoon and see a fantastic sunset on the Taal lake and spend a night there. If you are an early bird, you can eventually see the sunrise on one of the most popular volcano in The Philippines. There is the various type of accommodation for all kind of budget. You can also picnic in some parks available on the ridge. If you plan to stay for the night, I recommend you to have a dinner at Antonio's restaurant or at Josephine.. Don't forget, as you are in the area, to eat the local delicacy which is a buco pie from the outlet "Colette". About Tagaytay: Tagaytay is located 640 mt above sea level. When you come from the hot and stuffy Manila, there is no doubt you might enjoy the cool breeze of the South Sea of China (average temperature is around 23 degrees celsius) in Tagaytay.The city lies on a long and narrow ridge of around 20km that overlook the Taal lake (the ridge is part of the volcano complex called caldera). The volcano can be seen from the ridge of the city of Tagatay. The view is magnificent because you have the complete panorama of the volcano complex in the middle of the Taal Lake. Perfect time to watch the volcano is during sunset or sunrise. Once you are in Tagaytay city, you will be approached by many touts that will offer you boat rides or packages, of course they take a commission. We decided to refuse their offer and deal directly with boat owners/operators. From the ridge, until the harbour, you will need to take a tricycle (very easy to find...or they will find you). Once you find one and agree on the price (back and forth, expect to pay around 200 pesos), you will start your journey down all over the ridge through a large number of zigzags until the bangkas area. The downhill is very enjoyable, it takes around 15 min, I wished I could have taken some pictures. Right in front of us, we had one of the most famous volcano in the Philippines. Taal volcano is in the middle of the island, and on the right side you can see a cone which is the dormant Binintiang Malaki volcano. We met a boat owners/operators, and we start discussing the different offers she has in her catalogue. We finally agreed on the following package: 4000 pesos include boat + meal for 4 people and a guide. At that time, we were asked to take horses, we declined it so the owner told us it was fine but we will surely be asked on the island by horses owners to hire them (and she was right ...). On the Taal Volcano island: After crossing the lake and reaching the volcano island, lot of horses and their owners are waiting. Some of them approach us and proposed us to take horses.It become rapidly annoying. I could have taken horses, it was just a couple of pesos after all, but we sticked to our decision. Another reason is, horses look in very bad shape. Do you need a guide ? Not at all. The guide is the local person, who received a commission to bring you up and down and make sure you don't get lost (there is only one trail, there is no possible way to get lost). My recommendation is: DO NOT TAKE A GUIDE. Note: you may need a guide if you go for an entire day trek to Mt Tabaro (and the trail might be tricky at some point..) After reaching the top of the Taal volcano and enjoy the panorama , you can peer inside the crater and you will see a turquoise lake with spots of sulphur on the edge (you may notice the smell of sulphur gas), I find it very impressive, mainly due to the fact the volcano is still showing signs of activity. Conclusion: Going to Tagaytay and see one of the most famous volcano from The Philippines was a fantastic experience, the scenery from the ridge is magnificent and should not be missed. However due to its popularity and the proximity with Manila, the place is becoming over-exploited by tourism industry and its deviance and does not take into account the eco-system of the area. I do recommend everyone to go there if you have an opportunity because after all, it's not every day you have a chance to see an active volcano but don't forget this eco-system is fragile and need to be respected cautiously and also check the latest information of the volcano's activity before you plan your hike.

Hike data

  • When March 2010
  • Distance walked 6 km (~3.7 miles)
  • Days walked 1 days

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