Batangas - Conquering Taal Volcano with First-time Hikers

Taal Volcano is a popular tourist attraction in Southern Luzon. I've seen it several times from the ridge in Tagaytay City but I haven't really got near to it. So, when my brother asked me if we could climb it, I quickly said yes. Joining us on one Sunday morning were my father, an uncle, 2 aunts and some cousins. We headed to Talisay Batangas, the jump-off point for the hike which is just 1.5 hours away from our home via Tagaytay City.

We took the treacherous concrete zigzag road called Ligaya Drive that leads to the town of Talisay. We also stopped along the way to take photos of the volcano. It really has one of the most picturesque and attractive views in the country. Woohoo! I couldn't help but admire the beauty of it, even if I've seen it countless times.

We then proceeded to where the boats to the Volcano island are located. There, we met Angelo (09197280514) who manages a boat rental service. He offered us a boat ride for 1,500 pesos round trip. Good deal for a trip to and from the volcano island.

We left the boat station at around 10:00 AM on board a big motorized banca. The trip went well as the lake is very calm. Along the way, you would see the commonly mistaken volcano, the small cone featured on most Taal Volcano postcards as seen from the ridge in Tagaytay.

It took us about 25 minutes to reach the island. Then we proceeded to the Tourist Reception Center to register and to pay the hiking fee of 50 pesos each.

Most of the tourists exploring the island choose to take a horse to get to the crater which costs around 500 pesos each. But since we really want to experience reaching the crater on foot, we opted to walk. We also prefer not to get a guide since based on my research, the trail to the crater lake is very straightforward. Being a weekend, there were a lot of tourists in the island (mostly Koreans) and we just followed where they go.

Considered as a Permanent Danger Zone by PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology), residing in the island is prohibited. But at the start of the trail you'll see several houses of farmers and fishermen residing in the island despite the warnings by the government. They settled in the island, risking their lives by earning a living from farming, fishing and tourism.

The trail is so dusty due to loose volcanic ash all over (especially when horses pass along your way) so it would be better if you have a cover on your face. It was hot! We are now beginning to feel the effects of the intense heat from the late morning sun. Good thing we brought water to cool us down.

At some point my aunt got tired and requested for a horse ride. Sige, pagbigyan ang matanda. Hahaha! We took one from the several horse operators that's been bugging us to take a horse. We were able to get it for only 250 pesos (2-way), that's 50% less than the usual rate if you get it from the operators at the start of the trail.

Since Taal volcano is an active volcano with several violent eruptions in the past, you'll see along the trail several steamy rocks and vents with steam coming out from it. Indeed the volcano is breathing and active!

Being with first-time hikers, it took us about an hour to reach the crater lake. We stopped several times to either take photos or simply enjoy the stunning views. Unpon reaching the crater lake, I couldn't help but to shout to release my excitement of finally reaching it, just like how I felt when I reached Mt. Pinatubo's crater lake. It was indeed so beautiful!

The view from the rim of the crater is breathtaking! It is worth the hike. The interior of the crater lake is greenish white, maybe because of its sulphuric content. The lake has very still dark blue water.

We explored the place to have other views of the lake from a different vantage point. And of course, picture taking is a must!

After spending about an hour at the crater, we decided to go down. I enjoyed this better than getting up the crater as I was able to appreciate more the views surrounding the volcano island. It took us about 30 minutes to reach the starting point and another 20 minutes via the motorized banca to the boat station where my father and my aunt are waiting for us.


WHERE TO STAY? Click here to search for hotels in Tagaytay City


Trek through the stunning landscapes of the Philippines to the world’s smallest active volcano - Taal Volcano which is also the second most active volcano in the Philippines with 33 documented eruptions. The adventure starts bright and early in the morning as you meet up with your tour group in Manila before heading to Batangas, where you'll hop on a boat to the island volcano.


[ Hiking Taal Volcano Guide and Tips ]

Happened last March 11, 2012, this is part 1 of a 2-part series of "Conquering Taal Volcano" in Talisay Batangas.

SEE ALSO: Summer Destinations near Manila for less than 1,000 pesos Budget


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  1. tagal ko na din yan gus2 marating! *inggit* funny noh, kung ano yung malapet lang sa bahay naten yun pa huli naten puntahan. i'm guilty too! haha

  2. Gusto ko rin 'tong gawin! Actually, mas interested ako dito kesa sa Mt. Pinatubo LOL. So near yet so far ang peg sa dalawang bulkang napakaganda :))

  3. Hang ganda namn ng mga shot favorite ko ung first shot grabe ganda tlga

  4. oh i remember my first visit sa taal volcano. we went down to the caldera in the midday heat. Foolishly we forgot to pack enough water and underestimated the heat and the direct path from the viewpoint and back. It was the most stupid thing we've ever done on a trip. The whole story is still on backlog.

  5. ang gondo ng taal pag malapitan no...
    im so inggit na hahaha...
    pag may time ako pupunta din ako dito..

  6. nakapunta na ko ng tagaytay ng ilang beses pero never tried pa yun hiking dun, mukhang masaya.. at parang buwis buhay yun ibang shots mo, :)

  7. my first (and probably my last) trip to the crater of Taal was in 2005 with relatives and my ex. all of us decided to take the horse ride since none of us were prepared to do the hike. it's the not trip to and from the crater i will remember. it was the horse (or should i say pony/donkey) that was assigned to me. my cousin took a picture and sad to say, i was bigger than the horse. lol.....

  8. nice pwede din palang gawin yan.. may horsie adventure pa.. :P

  9. ang galing! ^_^ detalyadong documentation! hndi nga un small mountain na laging pinipicturan ang active volcano thanks for letting people know Mervs ^_^

  10. Ikaw na tlga Mervs ang magaling makipag tawaran.. 1500 to 1k! pedeng pede! :) dati lgi ako sa tagaytay pero nde ko pa na try mag hike dun! hayy grabe ang ganda nya pla sa malapitan!!!! Pag uwi q ng pinas ppuntahan q kaagad to. haha! tsaka nakakamiss ung gagala na kasama ang family.. :(

  11. actually you can further level up the adventure by taking the "secret trail" which leads you down to the crater lake itself. I just did that last weekend the experience is out of this world

  12. i miss Taal Volcano! tagal ko na hindi nakakauwi!!!

  13. aba balik trekking ang adventures mo ah...hehehehe...miss ko na ang taal...matagal tagal na nun naakyat ko toh...di pa ko marunong magblog...^_^

  14. ang ganda ng taal natatanaw ko lang yan kapg umaakyat kmi noon

  15. super ganda ng taal lake! Apart from being an active Volcano, when you look at it parang ang tahimik lng! Super ganda!

  16. Awesome!Sana makapunta din ako jan balang araw...:)

  17. Pwede bang maligo dun sa crater?

  18. 2006 first time ko naakyat d2 ksama gf ko ng nging asawa ko at tgalang sulit.
    maybe this year punta ulit me dun my mga kmag anak kc wife ko dun.


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