Taal Volcano, in Tagaytay, Philippines, is the second most active volcano in the country having 33 eruptions by far, the latest one was in 1984. Being a danger prone area, it is still one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tagaytay and it is the favorite of hikers and adventure travelers. Can you relate to this? Are you also an adventure enthusiast who is looking forward to hiking to the Taal Volcano? If so, we have got a proper guide on Taal Volcano hike on a budget. Yes, along with guiding you with the hike and also suggesting some smart ways to save money on the trip.
Start from traveling to Tagaytay
If you are flying to Manila, Tagaytay is only an hour’s distance, provided the traffic conditions. Here are the best ways to reach Tagaytay from Manila:
By Bus: Bus to Tagaytay will charge you an affordable fare f PHP 120 for one person. We would suggest you to board the buses marked as ‘Mendez-Tagaytay-Nasugbu’ or ask the bus operator which bus will take the SLEX route instead of Aguinaldo Highway (there’s a lot of traffic in this route). To reach Tagaytay within an hour, take the earliest bus of the day as there will be least traffic during this time.
By Car: You can rent a car and drive to Tagaytay via SLEX – Eton Greenfield exit, following the signs on the road, you will reach Tagaytay in an hour.
Travel to Talisay Bay from Tagaytay
To reach Talisay Bay, the most interesting and budget-friendly way is to hire a tricycle. You can also choose jeepneys over tricycle as per your convenience. You can check for jeepneys at the terminal near Tagaytay Rotonda.
If you want to drive to Talisay, take left from Tagaytay Rotonda towards Tagaytay-Calamba road. Be careful on this route as the road is winding, narrow and steep. Keep slow as you might miss the sign saying “Ligaya Drive” or “Talisay-Laurel”.
Go on a boat ride to Taal Volcano Island
This is the best part of your journey to Taal Volcano Island! Make sure you haggle well for an affordable deal with a rider. Why? Well, there are many riders who take advantage of the first-time visitors quoting PHP 2500 to PHP 3000 for boat ride to the Taal Volcano Island, whereas, you can also find reasonable prices of PHP 1000 to PHP 1500for a round trip.
The most interesting part about the Taal is that the island is within a lake and again there’s an island within the lake. Confused? Let us explain – Taal is located on the Luzon Island of Philippines and has a Volcano Island within its crater lake named Taal Lake. Within the Volcano island of the Taal lake, is the another lake named Main Crater Lake and again within this crater lake is another island named the Vulcan Point.
On reaching Taal Volcano
No, you are not yet at the main volcano area. Taal Volcano is the point from where the hiking starts. You will find groups of tourists, mainly Koreans in the area and several houses in the neighborhood. Yes, there are families living in the ‘permanent danger zone’!
Even though there are many guides and horses seen in the area, we would suggest you to follow the people walking to the lake. One reason for not riding a horse is you can save PHP 500 straight away and the other is the horses look like not being fed properly and you won’t be happy exploiting them for your comfort.
If this isn’t convincing to skip the idea of horse ride, we would bring to your notice that the guides hop along with you on the horse most of the times. They might even do this without asking or informing you. So, you will have no personal space when riding on a horse back.
The hike to the top takes around 30 minutes and once you reach the Volcano Island, you will know what makes it so special. The scenic beauty all around is worth capturing and do not miss to go to Red Lava, the more secluded area, especially if you love clicking pictures.
Tips when hiking to Taal Volcano
- Remember that the trail can be stinky: As said, there are horses all around and so naturally, there’s horse dung everywhere.
- The hiking trail can get too dusty: It is due to the loose volcanic ash. Make sure you cover your nose and mouth. You can use the surgical masks like the Koreans do.
- The trail can get too hot, so get water along with you: Not just the sun, but the ground is also every warm and do not forget about the steam vents seen releasing from the rocks. All of this adds up to the excessive heat and humid atmosphere. Better, have some water handy to cope with the temperature.
Now that you know everything about the Taal Volcano hike on budget, we hope you will have a great time in Tagaytay. You can also book cheap flights to Manila with iEagle to keep the entire tour budget-friendly.