More than the Volcano: the Taal Experience

Volcano crater

The Taal Volcano experience is actually more than just seeing the crater of this world famous land formation. It is an adventure that you and your family would enjoy taking, albeit with soiled clothes and a hardcore sweat, in case you come on a sunny day. Actually, coming on a rainy day isn’t recommended. It’s meant to be enjoyed with the sun shining brightly. Here’s what you’ll go through as you take the trip to Taal.

Drive to Talisay, Batangas

If you’re coming from Tagaytay, you’ll take a route that descends down mountainous roads. The drive will last for around thirty minutes. There are no public transportation that passes through that route, so you should rent a tricycle or van if you can’t bring your car.

Boat ride to the foot of the volcano

Once you get to the lakeshore part of Talisay, you can leave your car parked in a resort and even order lunch for when you get back from your trip. You would then ride a boat that will bring you across from the lakeshore to the foot of the volcano. This should take around 40 minutes. Sometimes, the waves are weirdly strong. You don’t have to worry if this happens though, since the boat drivers are quite skilled. Just enjoy the view, the wind and the waves. A boat ride can cost you P1,500, to and form the Talisay shoreline.

Horse ride to the view deck

Once you get to the shore, you will be welcomed by vendors selling everything from snacks to gas masks. Gas masks? Yes, you will need it, since the trek up to the view deck is one dusty ride. It would help if you have a pair of sunglasses, to shield yourself from dust and from the harsh rays of the sun. After buying a bottle of water and wearing your gas mask, it’s time to ride a horse. The horse handler will ride with you; don’t worry. Just hold tight and encourage the horse, since it can be quite tiring for them. This can last from 20 to 30 minutes, so you owe your horse all the cheers it can get from you.

View deck    

You might be wondering why when you were on the boat you didn’t dock on the always-photographed volcano. Well, that’s because that “volcano” isn’t really one. It’s called a caldera, and the real actual crater of the Taal Volcano is the one you will see after the horse ride. Unfortunately, you will not be allowed to descend to the crater; it’s now forbidden. What you can do instead is to drive a golf ball down to the water. Yes, there’s a golf club up on the view deck, and some balls meant to be thrown away. I’m just not quite sure if doing that is eco-friendly.

If you want to go to Tagaytay, it’s only a two-hour drive from Manila. If you’re coming from the provinces, there are flights you can take either to Manila or to Clark Airport. If you’ll coming from Clark, however, you’d have to add two or three more hours to your travel time.

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