If you are heading to Tagaytay, one of the things that you definitely can’t miss is hiking Taal Volocano and enjoying the views from the top. Taal Volcano is the second most active volcano in the Philippines. Tagaytay is a very popular destination in the Philippines because of the good weather. The weather in Tagaytay is warm during the day but not so warm like in Manila. And at night the temperature goes down, but it’s refreshing without the feeling of it being too cold. So yes — perfect weather.
We had so much fun with great activities, and had an amazing time in Tagaytay. If you have been thinking of which places to visit, then hang with us here.
How to start Hiking Taal Volcano
First of all you need to ride a few transportation if you are coming from Manila to reach the starting point for hiking Taal Volcano.
You can get to Tagaytay by bus from Manila. The bus is around $3 for a two-hour journey. There are a few bus stations where you can get the bus: Buendia and Cubao. The two hours bus time are still relative to the traffic in Manila.
Travel Tip: If you go to Taal first thing in the morning, you will find much less traffic than traveling in peak hours.
The bus will stop in La Rotonda in Tagaytay. If you are heading to Taal Volcano, you will need to ride a jeepney to Olivares. And from Olivares you have to get another jeepney stopping at People’s Park. And from People’s Park, there is no more jeepney option. You will need to get a tricycle (7 kilometers ride for $4) until Talisay Bay, where you can ride a boat to the crater lake Volcano. For this trip, we went to Precious Boat Station.
You can ride a boat from Precious Boat Station (around 10-15 minutes) to start hiking Taal Volcano. You have two choices try to hire a boat there or you can book in advance. Prices for the boat are starting PHP 1500-2000.
We booked the tour in advance with Taal Volcano Crater Tour and Brian, the owner, managed the transportation for us. We found out that it was cheaper to book a tour in advance and we did with Bryan. He will arrange everything for you and I’m sure you will get the best price. For PHP 900 you will get the boat ride, a guide, a horse ride (especially if you’re not keen to do the hike, but uhmm, it’s kind of the real sense of the hike – walking, haha!) plus the entrance fees to Taal Volcano. For that price, you will also get water to bring with you, masks, hats and lots of information regarding the different trails when trekking to Taal Volcano. With Brian, there are various trails you can choose from, whether you are a beginner hiker or want a more relaxed trek, or if you’re in the area for more advanced photography and videography.
Travel Tip: Book the tour and the accommodation in advance, especially if you go o nthe weekend!
For later, there is a much longer hike, and more dangerous trek which is better for more adventurous and advanced trekkers. Make sure to ask your guide for your options before you ride the boat to the volcano. We personally recommend you to get in touch with Brian +63 917 203 2792 and Taal Volcano Crater Tour Package For Only PhP 900/Head. His rates are by far the most affordable of all the tours in the area, and we had a great time with him. All the information you need about the area, he will definitely let you know, and he can even help you avoid any additional (and unnecessary) fees you might encounter with the trek. We had to take the local transportation again to go back to our hotel, so since we are his only guest for the day, he was happy to drive us back to our hotel. What a great man! Make sure you mention to him that you found out about him from us, and he might be able to give you a discount. ha!
Hiking Taal Volcano
The entrance fee for hiking Taal Volcano is PHP 100/per person (2 euros).
The entrance fee to the Red Lava is PHP 50/per person ( 1 euro).
Before starting to hike you will pay the entrance fee to Taal Volcano. And once you are on the top of the volcano, you have the choice of paying for the Red Lava. Well, it´s almost the same view, just two minutes walking distance from the Taal Volcano viewing point. If you are interested in taking good pictures, this place is much better than the main point of view. And it´s more relaxing, since there is nobody over there trying to sell water, food. We can definitely recommend 100% pay for it.
Travel Tip: Totally worth it to pay the entrance fee for The Red Lava, you will get anotehr view and angle and especially if you like to take pcitures!
What to bring
We recommend you to bring a backpack — but not a heavy one. The whole visit from the boat, the hike and going back to the island will be around 3 hours (we chose the main tour and not the advanced one), you won’t need so many things with you – trust me it’s an easy walk if you’re used to hiking, so you can survive with water. Just make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes or maybe check the weather first! You’ll be good bringing water, cap, sunblock and some snacks. If you aren’t bringing water and snacks and you get too hungry at any part of the trek, it won’t be a problem since there are local vendors during the way. You will find vendors every ten minutes walking distance. Prices will be little bit more expensive but you can enjoy cold water and coconut.
Travel Tip: Bring enough water, and if you can avoid plastics to take care of the enviroment will be awesome. If you bring plastic bottles, please make sure that you keep in your backpack when it´s finished and don´t throw away aroudn the treeking.
How long does it take hiking Taal Volcano?
There are a couple of trails for hiking Taal Volcano. The Spanish way it takes around 4 hours hiking to reach the crater with the view. And to get to the hiking start point by boat, the trip will be around 40 minutes by boat.
For the most popular way for hiking Taal Volcano, it will take you 10-15 minutes by boat ride to cross the lake to the hiking point. And once you start hiking it will be around 40-50 minutes. Its really an easy hike. We were 3 people hiking together, Rachel and I, and the little one Han (he’s 4). And it took us less than an hour to reach the top and half an hour to go down from the top to the boat. Once you are on the top, take lots of pictures. The view is definitely picturesque. You definitely don’t want to miss the chance.
You have the choice to ride a horse until the top of the crater. Up to you which one do you prefer for reaching to the top: riding a horse or hiking.
Where to stay in Tagaytay
Taal is the best adventure that you can do while in Tagaytay, but there are definitely other things that you can do. There are many places to stay in Tagaytay, for example. Either for shorter family vacations and celebrations, or for longer trips. Our choice was Taal Vista Hotel – definitely the perfect place to stay in Tagaytay. This was a special choice for us because from our room, we already have the view of Taal Lake. We spent a couple of days enjoying the view of the volcano. The sunrises were totally amazing. You can feel the luxury of staying in one of the top hotels in Tagaytay. We enjoyed walking around the gardens, enjoying the facilities and the comfort of our room. It’s the perfect place for relaxing and it’s located in a very quiet area.
There are various food options when staying with Taal Vista. The food was great in Cafe Veranda Restaurant with buffet for breakfast and dinner. We especially loved La Taza Restaurant where we tried the best food so far in the Philippines (trust me, the a la carte is to die for!) We tried different dishes like Mezze which was delicious with different humus – chorizo, olive oil and spinach cream with ham joined with pitta bread. We also had for breakfast Egg Benedicts with Salmon and Croque Madame both of them were very tasty. I know we haven’t tasted heaven, but is this it?
If you want to enjoy a luxury stay when traveling in Tagaytay, Taal Vista Hotel is the place. Facilities, restaurants and staff are amazing. You will feel very comfortable during your stay in Tagaytay. And who doesn´t like having all those things with the amazing views to the lake the whole day? We fell in love with the daily sunrise from our veranda, and we even forced ourselves to we manage to wake up super early everyday just to see the fog flying over the Taal Lake and the sun slowly coming out and revealing its beauty. Whoa!
So that’s our whole Taal Volcano experience. If this is an area of the Philippines that you’ve planned to visit, let us know if you have any questions! We’ll answer them in the comments. Personally, we cannot recommend it enough!
If you want to visit more places in the Philippines, read here our experiences and things to do in Banaue, one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. For more experiences hiking volcanos read our Nicaragua travel guide. And for more adventure read our experience in Nusa Penida in Bali.
See you on our next adventure. x