Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tagaytay


taal volcano tagaytay philippines
Taal Volcano in the distance from Tagaytay, Philippines

              Located about 56 km from Manila, Tagaytay is the first stop for many tourists on their way through the Philippines.  The cheapest option for traveling there is by bus; costing 65 pesos ($1.30).  Tagaytay’s most prominent point of interest is the Taal Volcano.  Sitting in the middle of Lake Taal, Taal Volcano is the worlds smallest active volcano and the Philippines second most active.
 
riding boat taal valcano tagaytay philippines
Riding the boat to Taal Valcano

              It is just a short toktok ride (200 pesos; $4) from Tagaytay to the lake, down a winding road with some awesome photo opportunities of the volcano from afar.  Once at the lake you can easily set up an excursion to cross the lake and get to the top of the volcano.  To rent a boat it is 2000 pesos ($40), which is the norm across most of the islands, plus the captain’s, location, ecotourism fee (the last two are per person).  All in all, it cost the two of us 3350 pesos total.  
 
me riding horse top taal valcano tagaytay philippines
Me riding a horse to the top of Taal Valcano

              The port on the volcano island is pretty touristy and there is not much to choose from as far as food goes, so I would recommend eating in Tagaytay before you even start the trip to the volcano.  The trail to the top of the volcano is fairly short and could be hiked in about 45 minutes or you can pay to ride a guided horse to the top and back for 450 pesos ($9).  Not knowing how long or hard the hike would be we opted for the horses to save time, though it was about the same as those that hiked, and to save me having to lug all my camera gear up a mountain.  In hindsight I would have saved the money and just made the hike.
 
trail top taal valcano tagaytay philippines
Trail to the top of Taal Valcano

              Although the trail to the top is not a hard one it is hot, so I advise to bring water.  If you happen to forget though there are many stalls along the way selling water and sodas to thirsty hikers or vying horseback riders to buy a soda for their guide.  Once at the top there is a viewing area to look down into the water filed crater with streams of steam coming from cracks in the earth and a viewing tower to see the amazing views of the surrounding area.  There is supposedly a small area where lava can be seen for an extra 50 pesos ($1), but I can’t confirm that.  
 
taal volcano crater
Taal Volcano crater

              Tagaytay and Taal Volcano are great options for a traveler looking for something to do on their first day of arrival in the Philippines.  They are a great introduction to this great country and it is not every day that you can say you saw the smallest active volcano in the world.  

taal volcano location


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