Hiking the Philippines’ Taal Volcano

A volcano within a volcano

Taal Volcano is believed to be the smallest active volcano in the world. Geologists say that is a type of caldera volcano. Taal volcano was once a part of a bigger volcano. The bigger volcano is said to have had a violent eruption causing the formation of a caldera. Although the volcano remains to be active, it is still one of the most recommendable hiking destinations in the Philippines.

Hiking the trails in Taal Volcano

To start the outdoor adventure to Taal Volcano, hikers must first obtain permits from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or PHIVOLCS stationed in Talisay, Batangas. After that, hikers must take a boat ride from the Taal Lake Shore. Taal Volcano is a popular hiking destination in the island of Luzon, so hikers could seek the service of a guide before getting a pump boat. At the start of the 1.7-km hiking trail, hikers would see umbrellas and horse rentals in the area. Unlike most hiking trails, the path to the volcano is wide. The hiking trip wouldn’t be too hard because the slope of the volcano is gentle. Mineral-stained soil and stones can be seen throughout the area. Several lava rock formations are also an attraction in the trail. The volcano island also has 47 identified cones and craters. So hikers should expect to come across sulfuric steam vents and small lava flows. Views along the trails are also spectacular.

Photographers also come to Taal volcano to capture scenic views. In fact, Taal volcano has always been a subject of souvenir postcards. The slope in the summit is quite steep, so hiking might become difficult in this part. The difficult hiking trail, however, would not last long because there are concrete steps that lead to the viewing deck of the volcano crater. Vendors selling drinks are stationed in the viewing deck. Hikers could also buy fresh coconuts. The juice of the coconut can be very refreshing, and the coconut meat could also be eaten as a snack. A spectacular view of Taal’s crater lake can be seen from the viewing deck. This is also the place where people could see islands within a bigger lake. The winds in the summit area are also very calming. To be able to see and explore the other peaks of the Taal volcano, hikers could opt to camp in the area for a night so they could maximize their hiking vacation. This way, they could explore the interconnecting hiking trails within the area. Hikers could also ask the local guide to show alternative backpacking trails that lead to a spot where they could swim. Although the water is mildly sulfuric, it is still encouraged for hikers to take a quick refreshing dip.

Accommodation possibilities

Visitors of Taal Lake could opt not to spend the night in the vicinity. This is because the place is just approximately 60 kms. away from Manila. There are numerous bus lines operating in the area because it is one of the nearest places to Manila where one can spend hiking vacations. In case hikers want to explore the place further, there are hotels, inns, and even resorts located within the area of Batangas and in nearby Tagaytay. These businesses have websites that accept online reservations.

Accommodation example: Al Frontera de Taal is a hotel located at Barangay Banga in Talisay, Batangas.

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How to get to Taal Lake

The town of Talisay in Batangas can be reached by taking a bus from Manila. Visitors could also opt to get the services of van rentals in Manila to bring them to Talisay. A hiking holiday could also start from Tagaytay City in Cavite. There are buses from Manila that can bring visitors to Tagaytay City.

Astroleague Philippines
Al Fontera Hotel
Pinoy Mountaineers Organization

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