Tagaytay and Taal, Manila
Getting to Taal Volcano can be an easy day trip from Manila, but many hours will be spend on buses which will stop for dropping and picking up customer like every alternate minute.
The picturesque volcanic Taal is a small but deadly volcano in the middle of the lake. You can view the Taal Volcano from the town of Tagaytay and Taal Hotel has a quite impressive viewing area where non-hotel guests can access to viewing area at a fee.
Lake Taal is drained by the Pansipit River. Lying in Lake Taal is Volcano Island which itself contains a crater lake. You can swim inside the Crater Lake but it is advised that you don't stay long as the lakes water is a very diluted form of sulphuric acid with high concentration of boron, magnesium, aluminium and sodium in salt form.
The first recorded scuba dive inside the crater was made by a team led by Thomas Hargrove in 1986 to a depth of about 20 metres or 60 feet. There is even a tiny island in the Crater Lake which Hargrove's team also explored.
Thirty three eruptions have been recorded since 1572 at Taal, mostly on Volcano Island.
Taal Lake lies in the crater of an extinct volcano on Luzon Island, about 56 km (about 35 miles) south of Manila. The lake is the 3rd largest lake in the Philippines covering an area of 240 sq km (94 sq miles).
Its common knowledge that Manila is hot... sometimes it feels hotter because of the high pollution, car exhaust, garbage and immense population. When you reach that boiling point, and Baguio is just too far of a drive, go to Tagaytay. Because its higher up it's much cooler, there's plenty of hiking trails, lots of fruit markets, and of course, the volcano.
Taal Hotel - over lunch we were presented with a performance by Fire Walkers. It was amazing because two of the four performers were elderly and obviously had been performing this for most of their lives..
Tagatay is just a 90-minute countryside drive south of Manila takes you to one of the worlds natural wonders, the Taal Volcano, which has been called the smallest active volcano in the world. It sits inside a lake called Taal Lake. What makes Taal Volcano more unique is the fact that the volcano itself has a lake of its own inside its crater which is called the 'Crater Lake.'
There was a report in February 1999 that the Volcano was getting restless again, spewing 6 metre high geysers of mud and boiling water.
Not really off the beaten path, but just outside Manila is 'Lake Taal'.
It's a lake with a small vulcano in the middle of it and it makes for a stunning view! If you visit in the weekends you'll meet many Filipino families who take huge coolers with them, filled with food and drinks. Grandparents, parents and children spend all day outdoors, playing, talking, eating. Love it!
Drive to Tagaytay City, a favorite weekend getaway for many Manilenos. Cooler climate with a magnificent view of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake. Just a little over an hour's drive from Makati City, Metro Manila.
An easy way to get rid of the city, is to go to Tagaytay... this is about 2hours drive to enjoy this beautiful landscape...
From what I understood, this is indeed an old volcano filled with water that formed the Taal lake. Later on, a smaller volcano erupted to form the island in the middle of the lake.
There is not too much to do in the area except eating and drinking in one of the numerous restaurant! You could eventually rent a boat to trek across the island...