It is truly more fun in the Philippines! I liked my previous visit to the country so much that I decided to come back :). My second visit lasted 2.5 weeks and while I had to do some remote work I still managed to find some time to do some sightseeing with my beautiful girl. One of the places we visited was the Taal volcano.
During our last visit we did a two day trip during which we visited the famous city of Taal - you can read more about our trip here. The city of Taal shares its name with a volcano which is one of the must see places in the area. The volcano is known for being the world's smallest active volcano and the second most active one in the Philippines:. The volcano is located on the island of Luzon close to the city of Tagaytay and around 70 km away from Manila. The volcano makes part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and it is actually located on an island within a lake within an island.
We were already in the city of Tagaytay so we were not too far away from the volcano. The volcano is located on an island and to get to it one has to take a banca from the city of Talisay. The boat ride takes around 30 mins and it costs around 2500-3000 Pesos. There is; however, a number of other fees that one has to pay. You will find a full list below.
Once you reach the island you can ride a horse that will take you to the central crater. The horse comes with a guide that will be assisting you during the entire hike. Now, you don't necessarily have to ride the horse but you will most likely be talked into it by the locals. They might tell that the hike to the crater is too difficult and too long. Having taken the horse to the crated and having walked back from the crater to the boat I can say that the hike is not difficult at all and it should not take more than 40 mins.
It was the first time I ever rode a horse. :) I am not to keen to ride any animal to be frank but since it was something that made the trip unique i decided to give it a try. It takes a few minutes to get used to sitting on a horse - at first it feels like you will fall when the horse moves but with time you learn how to keep the balance.
An interesting fact about the island is that the government forbade people from living on the island however you will see a lot of locals who actually live there. They farm and make their living from tourism.
On the way to the crater you will see a mountain on the right hand side - this is actually not the volcano even though it looks like one:
and a few more pics from our hike:
Once you reach the crater you will see the lake and a small landmass close to the shore.
This little piece of land is the world’s largest island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island :)
If you take a closer look at the shores of the lake you might see the water bubbling a bit. This is caused by the water being heated up by the lava. You can also play golf at the crater which is simply hitting a golf ball into the crater which is something that shouldn't be done! Please do not do it because it is bad for the environment.
All in all our trip was very good. The volcano has not blown my mind away but it was definitely something I enjoyed seeing. The trip to the volcano is a little adventure on its own as it involves taking a boat; riding a horse and a bit of hiking. We were lucky with the whether because it was raining everywhere but the volcano. In fact the big dark clouds around us allowed us to take some cool pics. :)
There is one more volcano that I want to see in the Philippines and that is the Mayon volcano :) Hopefully we will be able to see it during our next trip. Stay tuned for more pics from the country of more than 7k islands :)