Taal Volcano: Travel Guide to Philippines’ Smallest Active Volcano

Taal Volcano

About Taal Volcano

One need not be an experienced mountaineer to trek Taal Volcano, mainly for three reasons – the trail is easy, the volcano is quite small (only 311 meters), and lastly, you can ride a horse from ground zero to the crater.

Famous for being the smallest active volcano in the world, Taal Volcano is actually a volcano within a lake (which used to be an old crater) within an island of Luzon, Philippines. It sits amid Taal Lake in Talisay, Batangas, around 60 kilometers south of Metropolitan Manila.

Taal Volcano
The crater lake of Taal Volcano

Volcanologists describe Taal Volcano as a small volcanic island, called as Volcano Island, located within a lake-filled complex caldera called Taal Lake (Lake Bonbon) and tagged as one of the great volcano-tectonic depressions of the world. Due to its proximity to highly populated areas, Taal Volcano is one of 16 “Decade Volcanoes” that have been identified by the volcanology community as presenting large potential hazards to populated centers.

Despite the dangers it possess, Taal Volcano has its unique beauty and charm. A trek to its old crater is an easy adventure worth experiencing.

Taal Volcano
Taal Lake

How to Get to Taal Volcano

The town of Talisay in Batangas, just below Tagaytay City, is the jumpoff point to Taal Volcano. This is where the boats going to the three trails of the volcano are stationed.

There are two possible routes going to Talisay if you are coming from Manila – via Tanauan (Batangas) and Tagaytay City (Cavite). The fastest and cheapest is via Tanauan.

A. Manila – Tanauan – Talisay – Taal

1. Catch a bus to Batangas City via Lipa / Tanauan at Buendia, Cubao or Alabang and get off at Tanauan Bayan. Travel time from Buendia is around one (1) hour and fare is P96 (as of 2018).

2. Walk or ride a tricycle to Talisay Terminal at the back of Tanauan Public Market and transfer to a jeepney to Talisay Palengke. Travel time is 30 minutes and fare is P25.

3. Charter a boat to Taal (Pulo). Rate to Regular Trail (also known as Daang Kastila) starts at P1,500 for a single person round-trip and P2,000 for a group of up to six (6) persons round trip, travel time is 20 minutes. This trail will take you up to the crater rim only.

Boat rates for other trails are as follows:

– Alas-as Trail (crater rim with access to the lake): P3,000 for a group of up to six (6) persons
– Calauit Trail (crater rim with access to the lake): P3,000 for a group of up to six (6) persons

B. Manila – Tagaytay – Talisay – Taal

1. Catch a bus to Balayan or Nasugbu via Tagaytay City at Buendia, Pasay-Rotonda, Cubao or Alabang and get off at Tanauan Bayan. Travel time from Pasay-Rotonda is around three (3) hours and fare is P82 (as of 2018).

2. Proceed to Ligaya Drive (near Public market) and catch a jeep, trike or single motorcycle to Talisay. Jeep fare is P50 and single motorcycle or tricycle costs at least P100.

3. Charter a boat to Taal (Pulo). Rate to Regular Trail (also known as Daang Kastila) starts at P1,500 for a single person round-trip and P2,000 for a group of up to six (6) persons round trip, travel time is 20 minutes. This trail will take you up to the crater rim only.

Boat rates for other trails are as follows:

– Alas-as Trail (crater rim with access to the lake): P3,000 for a group of up to six (6) persons
– Calauit Trail (crater rim with access to the lake): P3,000 for a group of up to six (6) persons

Taal Volcano
The trail to Taal Volcano

Where to Stay near Taal Volcano

There is no hotel in Taal Volcano,  if you are planning to spend the night there, you can scout for resorts in Talisay or hotels in Tagaytay.

In Talisay, the most famous is the highly rated Club Balai Isabel with room rates starting from P4,500 per night. Club Balai Isabel has modern features, amenities and facilities included the newly opened Aqua park. Another favorite is San Roque Beach Resort with air-conditioned rooms starting at around P1500/night with breakfast, they also have cottages for as low as P800.

Top-Rated / Highly Recommended Accommodations in Talisay

Club Balai Isabel

Club Balai Isabel
Talisay, Batangas
Starts at 2,500 PHP

CHECK RATES

Taal Lake View

Taal Lake View
Talisay, Batangas
Starts at 1,500 PHP

CHECK RATES

In Tagaytay, there are numerous hotels to choose from. Some popular hotels here are Days Hotel, Taal Vista Hotel, Discovery Suites, Royal Taal Inn, Tagaytay Country Hotel and Dacha Hotel Villas. For budget travelers, highly recommended are D-Zone Backpackers Inn, Our Melting Pot Hostel Tagaytay, Country Living Hostel – Tagaytay Center and ViewPoint Inn.

Ambon-Ambon ng Talisay
Ambon-Ambon Falls of Talisay

What to Do in Taal Volcano and Nearby

Here is the list of the activities in Taal and surrounding areas.

  • Banca ride to Taal for as low as P2,000 for a boat that fits up to 6 people (expect rough waters special during Amihan season waves so be ready to get wet)
  • Swim in Taal Lake
  • Spend a day in Club Balai Isabel Aqua Park
  • Ride a horse to the Taal crater (and back) for P500.00
  • Trek to Taal crater via Regular Trail (Daang Kastila) or to the lake via Alas-as and Calauit Trails
  • Tour Tagaytay Picnic Grove, People’s Park in the Sky, Caleruega Church and other attractions of Tagaytay
  • Trek to Mount Maculot
  • Explore the lakeside waterfalls in Laurel and Talisay
  • Dine in any restaurants in Tagaytay that offers unobstructed view of Taal Volcano
Taal Volcano
The iconic Binitiang Malaki

Taal Volcano Day Tour Itinerary from Manila

0400H: Buendia to Tanauan Bayan
0600H: Tanauan Bayan to Talisay
0645H: Arrive in Talisay / Breakfast / Hire Boat
0730H: Talisay to Regular Trail
0800H: Arrive in Trailhead / Start Trek
0930H: Arrive in Crater Lake / Free Time
1100H: Start descent
1200H: Back in Trailhead / Ride boat back to Talisay
1230H: Back in Talisay / Jeep or Trike to Tagaytay
1315H: Tagaytay / Food Trip
1700H: Depart Tagaytay
2000H: Arrive in Manila

Estimated Budget: P1,200 per person for a group of four (4), food not included.

List of Expenses

  • Bus: Buendia to Tanauan – P96/person
  • Tricycle: Tanauan Bus Stop to Talisay Terminal – P10/person
  • Jeep: Tanauan to Talisay – P25/person
  • Boat: Talisay to Taal (Regular Trail) – P2,000/boat round trip (four-person sharing)
  • Guide: P500/guide (four-person sharing) *this is optional if you are not first timer
  • Taal Volcano Environmental Fee: P100/person
  • Docking Fee / Bridge: P50/boat
  • Tricycle to Tagaytay: P100/person
  • Bus: Tagaytay to Pasay LRT – P82/person
Mt. Maculot
Mt. Maculot

Others/Optional Expenses

  • Horse Ride: P500/person (round-trip)
  • Jeep: Tagaytay to Talisay or Vice Versa -P50/person
  • Buko Juice or Gatorade at the Summit: P100

Tips

  • Best months: November to May
  • Public jeepney from Tagaytay to Talisay is limited with first trip at around 10AM
  • LTE Mobile signal is available in the volcano
  • Avoid the regular trail during holy week as locals turn the trekking trail into station of the cross route

Comments

  1. tahtz

    Sir ano pong ma recommend nyung camera? 20k below? Pang blog? Tnx

  2. Rhea Jane

    Hi ! May alam po ba kayong contact person para sa boat rental na affordable lang ? help me pleaaaase ?

    Thank you !

  3. […] To cross the lake, hire a banca (I shared the boat with two Swiss guys for 1,500 pesos, including the return trip), and then you can do the easy, 45-minute hike up to the inner lake after you pay the P100 entrance fee. It’s not recommended, but you can actually swim in the greenish water (avoid the 70-80°C hot spots, of course), although I couldn’t find a clear trail down. However, I did take a refreshing dip in Taal Lake to wash off the dust and sweat. For a magnificent view of the volcano and surrounding scenery, stay in Tagaytay, 60km south of Manila. I spent the night at Mountain Breeze Hotel (P450 dorm bed) after flying into Manila two nights before. For comprehensive directions, click here. […]

  4. traveler1

    Hi! I want to know which part of Tagaytay (above said Talisay) should I arrive to get a boat across ? I will be renting a car, but where should I stop to find the boats? Also should I hire a guide to go with me? That is Peso 250 per person? I think hiking up to Taal should be easy right? Just dusty..

    1. ann

      Hi! How was your experience? I’m planning to go there. Can you give me some tips. Thanks

  5. Constancio valdez

    We have been to Taal lake & to Tagaytay ( peoples park) several times, and still, walang pagbabago, ang dumi, kalat ang basura, bulok na facilities at walang ayos na parking. Hope that people who manage this take action now. Nakakahiya sa mga turista.

  6. ian

    i’m planning to go there! August 10… commute nalang
    visit my site
    iantiaoadventure.cu.cc

  7. ian

    i’m planning to go there! August 10… commute nalang

  8. Chen Mencias

    I am doing a carrying capacity study for Taal volcano. it will be great if you can fill up the questionnaire below. It will also help if you can pass on the link to people you know who have also been there. Many thanks. Let me know if the link doesn’t work.

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

  9. KT

    Hi lakwatsero,

    Thanks for sharing this! I also wrote a similar topic in my blog. Please visit my blog when you have time. http://ktlifestyle.blogspot.com/2013/05/taal-volcano-guide.html

    Regards,
    KT

  10. […] sunny, a big boost for a first time biker like me. The sun hid behind the clouds the entire day, Taal Volcano too as we arrived. But as if a grand welcome, the cloud slowly moved away from the volcano and Taal […]

  11. […] For more information (how to get to the place, activities, tips, etc.) please click site: http://www.lakwatsero.com. […]

  12. […] sunny, a big boost for a first time biker like me. The sun hid behind the clouds the entire day, Taal Volcano too as we arrived. But as if a grand welcome, the cloud slowly moved away from the volcano and Taal […]

  13. wanted to apply as a tour guide within taal volcano.
    any interested parties? im a hikker and love volcanoes very much. geology is my interest..
    leave a mail at www_regarde@yahoo.com or contact me @ 09292947767..
    thanks…

  14. […] Taal Volcano | Lakwatsero […]

  15. […] We spent some time in Taal Lake fishing, and from there, you can see a different view of the Taal Volcano, at least for the one who is used on seeing it from Tagaytay […]

  16. Kirsten

    I super love DACHA HOTEL! 🙂 They have nice rooms and a big pool to boot. 🙂 Sobrang babalik pa ako… Can u give me some info about HIGHLANDS?! I heard ksi na membership lang dun…

  17. I agree to Dennis, NO constructions in Taal please!

  18. Went up Taal volcano on horseback some years ago. Hope there’s no more attempt at constructing hotels/spas in the island.

  19. Looks like an instant adventure!
    Have to finally push myself towards trekking Taal one of these days. Great blog by the way!

  20. I’ve been to Tagaytay, but not in Taal Volcano. Heck, not even NEARER than Taal Volcano – though I’ve seen it miles away from the Highlands.

    Anyway, tuloy sa Sabado ah!

Comments are closed.