Nature and culture day tour from Manila. Ride a boat across the lake of a huge caldera, trek up to the crater rim of an active volcano and visit a historic town that survived the volcano’s last major eruption.
Taal is the name of a lake, a volcano and a town. Taal Lake is the third largest lake in country and is actually the caldera of a very large extinct volcano. In the center of this lake is Taal Volcano, which is very active. A volcano within a volcano, Taal’s beauty and uniqueness make it one of the country’s must see sights. Most enjoy Taal Volcano and Taal Lake from a distance on the tourism and leisure hub that is Tagaytay ridge. While the view from Tagaytay is truly picturesque, on this adventure we go deeper into the Taal experience by sailing across Taal Lake and trekking up Taal Volcano’s slope up to the rim of its main crater. Only there, peering into the crater lake with its water streaked with sulfur and shore dotted by fumaroles, can we appreciate the full glory of Taal Volcano.
Just off the shore of Taal Lake is Taal Heritage Town, established in 1572. It is one of the oldest towns in the country and home to Asia’s biggest Catholic church, as well as a collection of old houses that showcase traditional Filipino-Spanish architecture. The town and its people played an important role in the Philippine revolution against the Spanish and is a great place to learn about the country’s history and culture. Taal Town is also known for making the country’s best barongs, our traditional formal men’s attire, and it is the birthplace of the famous balisong or butterfly knife.
Taal is a small, very active volcano with a lake in its crater. It is located in the middle of a large lake which is actually the crater of another huge extinct volcano. We start the trip by driving 1.5 hours up to Tagaytay, a popular weekend destination for people who live in Manila. Tagaytay is actually on the crater lip of the huge extinct volcano and it offers a very picturesque view of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake. After seeing the view we drive down to Taal Lake and hop on a boat to get to the small volcano. We then do an easy 1-hour uphill hike to the lip of the volcano's crater. Along the way we pass signs of the volcano's activity: scorched earth and sulfuric fumes rising from the ground. At the crater lip we get a great view of the inner lake that has boiling water, sulfur streaks and fumaroles at its edges.
At noon we drive to Taal Town, a very old town established in 1572 that has Asia's biggest Catholic church and a collection of old houses that showcase traditional Filipino-Spanish architecture. We visit churches, old houses and other points of interest in the town before driving back to Manila in late afternoon.