If you want to escape the crowded, loud and hectic metropolis of Manila, then a quick side-trip to Tagaytay and Taal Lake is highly recommended. With a weekend getaway to Tagatay you can kill two birds with one stone. On one side the refreshing and chilly weather allows you to get some fresh air; on the other side the climb up to the Taal Volcano rewards you with a breathtaking view over Lake Taal.
Taal Volcano is an island in Taal Lake about two hours bus drive south from Manila. What makes it interesting is the lake in the crater of the volcano that formed due to an eruption some years ago. Inside the lake another island (Vulcan Point) has emerged. That means that Vulcan Point is the biggest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island.
The last activity of the volcano has been in the 1990s. But nowadays you can still smell the sulfureous air and see hot steam coming out of the ground. However, it´s not dangerous because experienced guides will accompany you to the Vulcan Point and bring you up to the crater, where you can see the lake.
How to get there? Manila – Tagaytay
First you go to the bus terminal at the Coastal Mall (Aguinaldo Blvd und NAIA Rd Ext in Paranaque City) in Manila. From their you take any of the buses going to Tagaytay. The ride is about two hours and costs around PHP100. The buses leave every half an hour.
Where to stay in Tagaytay?
In Tagaytay we stayed at “Our Melting Pot”. Its a cozy family-run hostel with friendly staff that serves breakfast and take care of the comfortable rooms. Prices starts at PHP500. When you reached Tagaytay by bus you take a tricyle and simply tell the driver the name of the street: 75 Smokey Hill Maharlika Subdivision, Tagaytay.
What is a perfect trip to Tagaytay like?
You take off from Manila on friday or saturday afternoon/ evening and check into Our Melting Pot. After that you drop in one of the bars with live music and enjoy the view over the lake at night. Here you can chill out with a beer and take a rest from the bus ride.
The next day you take a tricyle down to the lake. It will cost you around PHP200 for a round trip and ride takes about half an hour. Upon arrival at the lake you look for a guide that will take you by boat over to the volcano and take you up to the crater. Please refuse the offer to go up on the back of a donkey. The poor animals already have to suffer a enough.
The hike is manageable in less than an hour even with flipflops.
Afterwards you go back to Manila or extend your trip and go wakeboarding in the Nuvali Republic Wakepark on sunday in Sta. Rosa!