January 27, 2012

Taal Volcano trekking - not horseback riding!

The Taal Volcano Crater Lake and the tiny island of Vulcan Point.

The weekend getaway plan to travel 10 hours via the Bicol Express train to Naga  and explore the city was replaced with a three hour bus ride to one of the nearest (to Manila) and most favorite escape place of city dwellers - Tagaytay City. We were not going to Tagaytay just to admire the beauty of the Taal Volcano in a distance, our mind was set on seeing the world's "largest island in a lake on an island in a lake" and the "largest lake on an island in a lake on an island".

The plan changed just a day before the actual trip when I learned that train tickets to Naga should be reserved at least two weeks in advance (what were we thinking?!? Getting a train ticket to Naga is not like taking an MRT or LRT ride).

Moving on, we were lucky to get a room in a nice old house overlooking Taal Lake. One of my friends who joined this trip have stayed there about a year ago and recommended the place. The room was big enough for the four of us; it has a queen sized bed, an extra mattress, bathroom (no hot showers) and a great view of Taal Volcano and Lake. For Php1500 a night, it was a bargain considering that we stayed there during a long weekend.

The view from our room as the sun rises.

At 9:20am, we were on our way to Taal Lake Yacht Club (TLYC) where we rented a boat that will take us to Volcano Island, which is where the main crater is located, and back. The boat rental costs Php1800 with a guide.

Our guide preparing the boat. Each boat can take only five passengers,
exclusive of the guide and boatman.

We left TLYC at 10:20am and arrived in Volcano Island at 10:48am. We registered at the tourism desk and paid Php50 per person for the tourism fee and Php20 per boat for the landing fee.

Then, we began our ascend.

After 20 minutes of walking (11:08am), we were greeted with this view of
Binintiang Malaki (Big Leg), a dormant volcano crater. Tourists often
mistook this as the main crater.

The horseback ride "agents" followed us halfway to the trail. They were
discouraging us to walk and at one time it felt like they were hoping
for us to get tired and rent their horse for P500 each.

After another 10 minutes (11:28am), our guide showed us the steam
and gases coming from underneath the rocks near the trail. 

At 11:33am, this is what we saw when took a short rest and looked
back from where we came from. I think about 95 percent of the
tourists that day opted to take the easier way to the main crater.

We reached the view deck at 11:50am. The one hour hike up the trail
full of sweat, dust and horse poop was worth it!

NOT TO MISS: From the view deck, facing the Crater Lake, walk to the right and after few meters you'll see the best view of the Crater Lake and Vulcan Point. There are no bamboo railings and the trail is narrow so be extra careful.

According to Elbruz.org, the "largest lake on an island in a lake on an island" is Crater Lake, which is on Volcano Island in Taal Lake on the island of Luzon and the "largest island in a lake on an island in a lake" is Vulcan point, which is in Crater Lake on Volcano Island in Taal Lake on the island of Luzon. =)

I'm proud to say that the PinayOnFoot made it to
the Taal Volcano Crater Lake on foot!


  • Bring water and snacks. Buy your supplies in town. A small mineral water, soft drinks and buko (coconut) juice are sold at Php50 each at the viewing deck.
  • Bring a face mask, handkerchief or any cloth that can protect you from dusts (lots of dust!). Face masks are sold there at Php50 each.
  • Wear light clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunblock.
  • Be careful not to step on horse poop. Take it from someone who stepped on one. Haha.
  • Don't let the horseback ride agents (or anyone) bring you down, strip off your self-confidence and dampen your spirits. Do not expect any kind word of encouragement from them. They will tell you that the trail is difficult and steep (mahirap at matarik ang daan) and discourage you from walking/hiking up to the main crater. But hey, I have zero professional experience in trekking but I made it to the top. 
  • How to get to Tagaytay from Cubao, Quezon City via public transportation


  1. nice view of taal lake,we are also planning to trek this nxt month sana pagbigayn kami ng panahon,, =)

  2. What hotel is that? :3


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