Two options of coming here by walking or horse ride, horse ride is approximately 30 minutes, if decided to hike about an hour or more. The slope in the summit is quite steep, so hiking might become difficult in this part
Taal Volcano, one of the Philippines 22 active volcanoes inside. The crater lake is commonly known as a caldera lake, the lake is sulfuric and very hot.
The ground around the summit of the crater was also very hot and spewing water vapor and sulfuric gas. Vendors selling drinks are stationed in this viewing deck. A spectacular view of Taal’s crater lake can be seen from the viewing deck
In May 2009 several of us decided to take a day trip to Tagay-Tay and visit the Taal Volcano and see Crater Lake. The trip itself is less than 2 hours by car from Manila. We hired a car and driver and left around 4am in the morning so that we wouldn't get stuck in traffic, and had breakfast along the way.
Arriving in Tagay-Tay, we could see that pineapple groves were all around us and the air was fresh and clean. Our first stop was at the park overlooking the Taal Volcano. There were plenty of places for picnicking and a very good view of the island and volcano in the distant. We took many pictures and the park is a nice area to hang out at.
The park also had a zip line for people to go across a ravine. The nice thing is that two people can strap in side-by-side, so it's a great little thing to do for couples. The cost for the zip line ride is 300 pesos per person with a framed picture souvenir.
We had lunch at the simple restaurant at the park. For our afternoon activities, we decided to go to the island where Crater Lake is and see the inside. The problem we had was negotiating with the vendors who sell the experience. We got conflicting prices and decided to drive our car down to the water.
As soon as you arrive near the water area, there will be vendors selling the experience of going to the crater. BUYER BEWARE! We negotiated a total price of 2,000 pesos, and got in the boat and took the 30 minute ride to the island. However when we got to the island, we discovered that the price did not include the horseback riding trek to the top of the crater. We were cheated, and I'm certain that this happens all the time. Since we already spent a chunk of time and money to get to the island, and knowing that this was our last trip here, we decided to pay the additional 1,000 pesos per person extra to ride a horse to the top of the crater.
Even though the horses were malnourished, they somehow brought our group to the top of the crater edge in a 30 minutes ride. Each person and horse was led by a local guide who hops on the back of your horse half-way up the trail. Although you can do the trek yourself by foot, we only saw one couple walking -- everybody else rode a malnourished horse.
The top of the crater's edge was nice and we were able to take some nice pictures. Vendors at the top of the crater sell drinks, buko, and t-shirts. After about an hour or so, we went back down the crater and rode the boat back to where our car was parked.
It was a nice day trip for us and good for a one-time visit. We got lucky with nice weather, however we felt cheated by the vendors.
For those of you who are more adventurous and with more time, you should really try acrossing the Taal Lake from Talisay to the island and then go up Taal Volcano either by foot or horseback. The experience and scenery is definitely worth the effort, more photographs and tips of this portion are at my VT Talisay page if you are interested.
In order to have fantastic views of Taal Lake & Taal Volcano, you need to be at the tagaytay crater rim. There are several hotels which are located on the rim, with very good views. The best among them are the Days Hotel and Taal Vista Hotel, but there are some smaller and cheaper ones. Another good place for the views are the restaurants located along the crater rim, of which a good one will be Leslie's restaurant (see my restaurant tips). However be warned that sometimes it may be foggy or hazy, so the views will not be there :) For the best views, you need to go for the Taal Volcano trek which is fully illustrated at my VT Talisay page. More photographs of the views are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
Taal Volcano- an active volcano on the island of Luzon. Consists of an island in Lake Taal situated within a caldera formed by an earlier very large eruption. It is about 50 km from the Manila. The volcano has erupted violently several times, causing loss of life in the populated areas surrounding the lake. Because of its eruptive history and location close to population centres, the volcano has been designated a Decade Volcano.
Taal Volcano is part of a chain of volcanoes along the western side of the island of Luzon, all formed by subduction of the Eurasian Plate under the Philippine Plate. Taal Lake lies within a 25–30 km caldera formed in four giant explosive eruptions between 500,000 and 100,000 years ago. The eruptions created extensive ignimbrite deposits reaching as far away as where Manila stands today. Since the caldera formation, subsequent eruptions have built up the current Taal Volcano, on an island known as Volcano Island in the lake. This island covers an area of about 23 km², and is made up of overlapping cones and craters from many different eruption episodes. 47 cones and craters have been identified on the island. Volcano island contains a lake about 2km across, called Crater Lake, within which is another island.
There have been 33 recorded eruptions at Taal since 1572, most recent period of activity lasted from 1965 to 1977 characterised by the interaction of magma with lake water, producing violent phreatic explosions. These generated base surges and cold pyroclastic flows, which travelled several kilometres across Lake Taal and devasted villages on the lake shore, killing several hundred people. The population of the island had been evacuated when the eruptin began. Although the volcano has been dormant since 1977, it has shown signs of unrest since 1991, with strong seismic activity and ground fracturing events, as well as the formation of small mud geysers on parts of the island.
--Text from Wikipedia--
Taal Volcano - one of the smallest active volcanoes in the world is located about 70-km south of Manila. It is also dubbed as killer volcano due to fatalities recorded in the history.
This volcano has a lake of its own inside its crater which is called the "Crater Lake." In fact, It is possible to swim inside the Crater Lake but staying too long may cause health problem due to the presence of sulfuric acid with high concentration of boron, magnesium, aluminum and sodium in salt form.
Fantastic views of Taal Volcano and volcano island from the steep road going down to Talisay, the lakeshore town.
As-Is, Batangas is approximately 3-hour drive to Tagaytay City. Lunch at Josephine Restaurant is a must, which includes a breathtaking view of the Taal Volcano lake.