Trekking to Taal Volcano

***Ed, my Hispanic - Malaysian celebrity friend from Kuala Lumpur is coming to Philippines and sadly he'll just spend 24 hours in Manila after his 3D2N tour in Cebu.***

The original plan was to tour him around in some of Manila’s historical landmarks then bring him to Tagaytay for a sumptuous dinner; let him experience the cold breeze of the highland. But, suddenly I came up with different plan. I sent Ed a breathtaking photo of Taal Volcano’s crater via whatsapp messenger days prior to his Manila trip and asked him if he’s game to hike the crater, he instantly throw his impetuous ‘yes’ and said he’s excited.  

I just wanted Ed to have a unique thrilling adventure and worthy last hours stay in Philippines.

Taal Volcano is the world’s smallest active volcano and in fact listed as a “Decade Volcanoes” in the world, Taal Volcano is one of those 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior as being a worthy of precise study such as destructive eruptions and proximity to the populated areas.

Taal Volcano is still a very active volcano and is constantly being monitored by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Such an active volcano recorded 33 eruptions for the last 400 years.  The last recorded eruption was on 1977 but the 1965 eruption was the colossal leaving a death toll of 200 people. Having a tour on Taal volcano is only possible when the alert level is below 2. Fortunately, since July 5 2011 the alert level is at 1 which means trekking is possible and allowed.

Don't attempt to walk through this one, it releases a very hot smog.  

It was 8:00 in the morning when Ed arrived in Manila (NAIA Terminal 4), we trotted a taxi to Crow Bus Terminal which is beside the MRT Taft Station. Before boarding the bus we had a quick breakfast at KFC Metropoint, Pasay (KFC is said to be one of the best choices for the Muslims to eat if there’s no Halal restaurants around).  After loading our stomach we boarded the bus bound for Tagaytay for 87Php, took us 1 and half hours only to get there. Ed and I bounced off of the bus in the Jeepney Terminal going to the Picnic Grove for 8 Php.

At Ligaya Drive we met Kuya Angelo, our contact boatman; rented a tricycle for 150Php going to Talisay, Batangas which is 8 kilometers tumbling down hill away. We reached the resort, filled up the registration form and paid 1500php for round trip boat ride. Didn’t expect that the boat ride would be a bumpy one, hence we feel safe with the ride. 

We reached Taal Volcano about 11:30AM and started the trek, the sun was already at its highest point, it was really hot, ragingly hot. Bottled water to drink, sunblock, hat, arm band and or umbrella are essentials.

Indiana Jones inspired, Ed.
You can choose to rent donkey for 500 Php and or a tour guide, but we didn’t, it will just cost us additional payment - we're on a budget adventure. I was little bit scared for I didn’t really know the trail but confident that we"ll reach the crater - this one is touristy, so expect a prominent path towards the crater.

We just followed the footsteps of the tourists and of the donkeys. Aside from the heat of the sun, another challenging part of the trek is an uphill dusty path; I recommend bringing your own face mask too.

At the summit's, two wooden stable platforms are provided to revel the beauty of the crater lake. We were blown away by its breathtaking panoramic view. It was a heaven! The crater lake is possessed with marvelously emerald green waters surrounded by sundry of landscape encompassing its grandeur. At first, Ed seems so odd and tired but when he reached the summit of the main crater, his face started to glow and I saw the happiness from his eyes.  It was euphoria for Ed!

We walked through the edge of the crater and brought us to the most stunning view of the volcano. It was such a climax and a moment of silence. Ed even said that he could stay there for 3 hours just mesmerizing the magnificent crater.

At first, it was a little bit scary to sit down in the edge of the crater.

Different groups of tourist passed us but we remained in our position as if we were glued on the edge of glory. We stayed there for 1 and half hours, longer than usual 10 minutes stay of the each group of tourists. 

Actually, our tour guide told us to be back at the foot of the volcano after 1 and half hours, he insisted before we hike that it is a 30 minutes trek going up, 30 minutes picture taking at the summit and another 30 minutes going down. Hell no, we trekked summit for almost an hour, stayed at the summit for 1 and half hours and 30 minutes to descend. That was a total of 3 hours of thrilling adventure to the wilderness of the Taal Volcano. 3 to 4 hours hike is the recommendable time allocation as same with other tourists’. If you encounter boatman such ours, don’t mind them and they will wait for you no matter what. You were there to relax and feel the nature, right?

At the end our tour we had our dinner at Leslie’s, Ed said the the 'sinigang na Tanigue sa miso' is the best! 

How to get to Taal Volcano
  1. From Crow Bus Terminal (beside McDonald, MRT Taft Station, Sogo Hotel) board bus bound to Tagaytay for 87 Php
  2. At the “rotonda” of Tagaytay, there are plenty of boatmans offering the round trip transfer for 1500Php. No more, no less, should be 1500 Php only. The 1500php is good for 5 pax only. If you’re more than 5 pax just try to haggle down the rate reasonably.
  3. At the foot of Taal Volcano, you have to pay 50 Php each entrance fee
  4. Pay 50 Php for the boat landing.


  1. Who wouldn't be euphoric with that gorgeous crater view?
    Your Malaysian friend was one lucky guy to experience Taal.

    Nagulat lang ako sa presyo ng two-way boat ride.

    1. Hi doc gelo. yup, at nakaka proud ang taal volcano talaga.
      bakit po nagulat kayo sa boat rent? how much po ba dapat?

  2. I grew up just around the shore of Taal Lake, seeing that volcano almost everyday, but it took me 2 decades to finally visit the crater. hahaha

  3. Mas maganda pag sa Kalawit (Calauit) trail kayo dumaan. You can experience equally stunning summit view (like the regular tourist trail), and go down to the lake - really close. You can even swim (in a sulfur-adulterated water) if you want to.

    1. oo nga, plan din namen yun, kaso 2 lang kame. kulang sa budget. 3500 daw kasi sabi ng contact namen. next time na lang yun kapag madame dame na kame. hehe

    2. ..hmmm, nung kami dati 800 each ang binayaran namin kasama na packed lunch, that was November 2010..nakalimutan ko na rin yung contact namin.

      Well, there is always next time.. Cheers and More travels in 2014. Happy new year!

    3. Hi Ian! Im planning to go there this weekend via the Kalawit Trail. Is it necessary for us to rent a guide? or can we go there alone? Thanks!

    4. Hi Ian! I am planning to go to the crater via the Kalawit trail this weekend. Is it necessary for us to rent a guide? Or can we hike ourselves? Thanks!

    5. Sir Psalmnoel, you probably need one. There are challenging portions of the trail especially when you are going down to the crater lake and the guide's tips would be very helpful.

  4. hi! kelan kyo pumunta sa Taal?!

  5. hi! who was your contact? i badly need one because my friends and i are planning to go on a taal trek this april :D

  6. Hi sir. May i know who your contact person is (boatman)? Thanks

  7. Hi! Just wanna ask laang.. diba po P 1,500.00 ang bayad sa rent ng boat minimum of 5 pax back and forth? What if kung 2 lng kmi? Is it possible po ba na mgantay p ng 3 persons to complete 5 pax? Thank you.

    1. Depende sa dating siguro ng turista. Usually sa rotonda sa tagaytay madame ng nag aalok ng tour, dun din baba ng turista. Pero feeling ko matatagalan kayo kung maghintay pa ng kasama sa boat.

  8. Hi. Anong oras kayo nakabalik ng manila? O sa rutanda ng tagaytay? Para maka tour pa rin sa tagaytay after trekking.

  9. Thanks for taking this opportunity to discuss this; I appreciate with this and if you have some more information please share it with me.


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