Hiking Taal Volcano

Our adventure today takes us to one of the most famous volcanoes in the Philippines. Taal Volcano is one of the most active and destructive volcanoes in the country, not to mention the smallest in the world.  Dubbed as a lake within a lake, the volcano's location in the middle of Taal Lake made it one of the most picturesque places in the country.

Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano Details:

Height: 311 m
Major trailhead: Talisay, Batangas
Climb time: 40- 50 minutes

Adventurers, locals, and tourists alike, most likely have with them the two greatest misconceptions about Taal Volcano.

Taal Volcano - Batangas

The first misconception where 6 out of 10 people would fall for is the location of Taal Volcano. When asked where you could find Taal Volcano, most people would answer Tagaytay City in the province of Cavite. Yes, the best view of the volcano is through Tagaytay Ridge but in reality, Taal Volcano is located in Talisay and San Nicolas in the province of Batangas. 

Some say that this is Taal Volcano...

The second and probably the most popular misconception about Taal Volcano is the volcano itself. Shockingly, when asked to point out where Taal Volcano is, 9 out of 10 Filipinos and foreigners alike would point out the image above. That my friend is not Taal Volcano, but in fact, that is one of its old craters named Binintiang Malaki (Big Leg). Taal Volcano is actually the "big" island beside it. Sorry folks you can't see the actual crater from Tagaytay Ridge. 

However, in reality, this is Taal Volcano

Unlike my previous mountaineering adventures where I hike to reach the top. It would be a different story with regard to Taal Volcano because I actually rode a horse going to the top. 
 
Horseback riding to the top... Awesome!

My friends would joke about saying that I should change the title of the blog to volcaneering adventure instead of mountaineering adventure to avoid confusion for the readers. 

Boat ride going to Taal Volcano

Jokes aside, this adventure is one of those that I have dreamed of when I was still a lad listening to my good old teacher in one of her Civics classes.

Family picture with our Japanese family

Team Nicerio conquers Taal Volcano

Hey, look at that! An island inside a lake within a lake!

Taal Volcano viewing deck A.K.A. souvenir shop

Why Hike Taal Volcano?

Taal Volcano is one of the most scenic volcanos in the Philippines, if not the world, that seeing it from Tagaytay Ridge wouldn't be enough. I enjoyed the horseback ride to the crater and you would too. However, what I didn't enjoy was the greedy attitude of the local guides during our visit. Aside from the fixed rate of the horse rental, they kept on bugging our Japanese family to give them tips while still on the way up to the crater. Regardless, removing the bad tourism approach of the locals, hiking up the crater, and seeing the scenic crater of Taal Volcano with your own eyes is something that you should include in your bucket list.

At the end of my adventure, I could safely say that...

Avoid:

1. Skin cancer by applying your most trusted sunblock.
2. Dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
3. Injury and accidents by following your group leader.
4. Malaria or Dengue by applying mosquito repellent.
5. Overspending by listing down your expenses and learning to say NO to people who keep on bugging you for tips.

Taal Volcano Itinerary:

6:00AM Departure from Manila to Tagaytay City
bus fare: P80 -90
7:30AM ETA Tagaytay City
7:40AM Departure from Tagaytay to Talisay, Batangas
8:40AM ETA Talisay, Batangas
9:00AM Departure from Talisay, Batangas to Taal Volcano
boat ride: ranges from P2,500- 3,500 (max 6 people per boat)
9:20AM ETA mini-dock at Taal Volcano
environmental fee: P100
Option 1: Rent a guide, horse, and other stuff*
*hat and mask (what!!!)
extra expense: P1000
Option 2: Do it yourself and hike up the crater (wise choice)

You could either ride a horse up the crater or just walk

10:20AM ETA crater
11:30AM Descent from the crater
12:30PM ETA mini-dock*
*If you rented stuff they would ask for all of it even for your mask. The guides would even ask for a tip. Don't fall for this unless you really enjoyed their company.
12:40PM Departure to Talisay, Batangas
1:00PM ETA Talisay Batangas; lunch at one of the lakeside resorts
lunch budget: P500
2:00PM Departure to Tagaytay City
3:00PM ETA Tagaytay City

Pop Culture Reference:

Taal Volcano had a cameo appearance in Katy Perry's Roar music video.

UPDATE: 
Taal Volcano erupted last January 12, 2020, sending tons of volcanic ash to the provinces around it. Tourism is still suspended as of July 2021.

Getting to Taal Volcano:


From Manila, board a bus going to Tagaytay City. Board down near the rotunda. From there you would see tricycle drivers offering to bring you or guide you (if you are driving a car) to the resorts that offer boat rides to the trailhead. Haggle with one of them. 

Ride a motorized boat to Taal Volcano

Once you got a bargain, expect a long and adventurous ride down the winding road to Talisay. A motorized banca will bring you to the trailhead.

Ratings:

Crowd
Cleanliness
Overall ratings


Comments

  1. This reminds me of my unforgettable extreme experience that I'd only do ONCE in my lifetime! Haha! But when I reached the place, it was all worth it. Not to mention, I was like a month pregnant when I trekked this place. Heow! Good thing our baby is an adventurer by genes! :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. =) That's training in progress for our baby. Someday there would be three of us in this blog. =) (AND maybe we would try to go up Mt. Apo together) LOL

      Delete
  2. Very interesting places. The post is very detailed and complete. Compliments. Slowly I read it all!
    Ciao

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the compiments alfio. =) I'm happy to hear that. Hope to hear more from you!

      Delete
  3. Such a nice place! i love ur post, so detailed =]

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very informative! I did not know about the Big Leg until now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I shared some informative ideas with you my friend.

      Delete
  5. She enjoyed the couple were skapt.Uten Love, she said, they were fortapt.Hun bestowed upon them like to meet in her arms, it was gratifying gift to
    woman and mannen.Kvinnen and the man was filled livet.Jordens Children were strong. She could merke.Igjen she was ready, the rushing water brought fertility
    of the good land.De tears she shed over sit losses, the dew of rain bows
    følgeskap.Mens got tears fell, it was green everywhere.The were very different, large and small, could flying and swim and crawl and gå.Men each form,
    Each spirit was whole and complete-each one a pattern for upcoming litters
    A motley vrimmel.Under earth himmel.Jordens was sterke.Det she noticed.
    With great love for the place that invites so much, bådde the point caps, service, culture, and not least, the lovely and amazing
    place ar offering, cream natural åppen under heaven, what more do we need, no
    It Ennest we need is a portion of positivity and well hummør.
    A big greeting to the pair so caring ensures that you netopp
    for a wonderful stay, the center would forget.
    Sincerely
    Isilda

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like traveling and I feel great to learn an awesome traveling details of Taal volcano mountaineering adventure. Volcanoes are very active and destructive, and Taal is one of those deadliest. I enjoyed reading this amazing post and will definitely travel Taal area while I'll visit in Philippine. Thanks.
    famous volcanoes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Brad. If you've heard of Mt. Pinatubo, I also suggest that you try it out. Both volcanoes are within the range of Manila. Thank you for reading my post!

      Delete
  7. I would live to consider this instead of hundred island on a griendly budget basis. We over spend a lot on pasalubong when we went to tagaytay. Because salary came in that time. Thanks to your iterinary sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your welcome Xarah! Let me warn you if you're gunning for this trip though... Careful of greedy individuals who would try to ask for more than what is lawfully required. Stick to what price the local gov't posted.

      Delete
  8. Aaaahhh .. . . . Stupid!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup that's true! How stupid of people to take advantage of tourists.

      Delete
  9. I am doing a carrying capacity study for Taal Volcano. It will be great if you can answer the questionnaire below. It will also help if you can pass on this link to people you know who have been there too. Many thanks.

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1orPlWfxkmNRaRmKtZOZUSc4-sE-ioLuUi_Qen1d5zFE/viewform

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! I finished filling it up. Thanks so much for this. I hope it would change how the tourism in Taal Volcano is being done.

      Delete

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