What does it take to explore the beautiful taal volcano?

4 hours of morning free time + gorgeous smiling weather + guts and stamina for a 40 mins. hike + P1,600 for the boat ride and buko juice 🙂 I would like to share with you a best approach on exploring taal volcano island which is an island within a lake.

This guide assumes that you are coming from Tagaytay. You need to find the way to Talisay via the Ligaya Drive. This road is located in between picnic grove and the Sta. Rosa/ Tagaytay road. The landmark is a school where you would turn right to Ligaya drive if you are coming from the rotonda going to Tagaytay Highlands. The road is a 25 minutes zigzag scenic ride through the Tagaytay Ridge while enjoying the lush forests until you reach the shoreline of Taal Lake. There are signs along the way so just follow signs going to Taal Yatch Club.

Just a watch out, that along this path there are a lot of people who would flag you down and offer their boat ride. The ongoing rate is P2,500 some with horse back riding and grilled food already. They are very aggressive so make sure you avoid eye contact with them because they can get nasty. I would recommend to rent a boat via Taal Yacth Club and the boat ride just cost P1,500 for the boat and not on a per person basis. Be wary about tour operators where they would charge you a per person rate. This could get expensive as the more people you are in the group. Here is the contact of Taal Yatch Club:

Look for Greg @ +63 919-6046197 at the Taal Yacht club to arrange your boat rental.
If you want to learn sailing, you can also contact Nestor Soriano @ +63919 6010668
Taal Lake Yacht Club (043) 773-0192

The boat ride is approximately 30 minutes and you would see the commonly mistaken taken volcano — which is the small cone on the left photo. No, this is just one of the small crater, and the actual crater is bigger than that. There is no dock, when you arrive in the island and you will just be greeted by a community. There is a docking/entrance fee of P20 and a P10/person barangay fee. Pay this and this is not a means of the people getting money from you. There are volunteers who protects the taal volcano from evil elements and they get their salary from this.

We already have a tour guide c/o the Taal Yatch Club and they call him Rambo. He does not ask for any payment so just be generous on your tip afterwards. It is actually a 40 minutes work which is quite a workout or you can opt to ride a horse as most tourist do for P500/person two way. If you can hike, I suggest you do to get the exercise and if you are like me who likes to take pictures, it gives you opportunity to get picturesque shots.

Enjoy the view and take time to savor the fresh air, feel the red rocks, and appreciate nature. You could see the steamy rocks oozing with steam and you’ll be amaze that you are really on an active volcano! How amazing could that be 🙂 Sometimes, its sad that it takes the koreans/ japanese to appreciate our own beautiful natural resources.

Getting to the top is so rewarding. Specially, the last stretch because the trail is so steep. But once you are there, the 2 kms. crater mouth with a dark blue lake is so beautiful. Savor your time here. The cool buko juice for P30/piece is worth it! We also tried the cool beer for P50/bottle 🙂 Well, you can bring your own water, or juice and buy them on your way up, it’s cheaper to buy it from the foot of the island or in Tagaytay.

When you are on top, don’t limit yourself to the nipa hut, you can wonder to a higher point where you can see the beauty of the lake in full view from another vantage point (see leftmost above photo). The way down is a lot easier and you will be able to appreciate more the colorful landscape of Taal Volcano island. You can opt to ride a horse down which would costs (P300 one way down).

>> More Photos of Taal Crater experience.

Anton