Taal Volcano (2-3 hours from Manila) is regarded the world’s smallest active volcano and one of its deadliest. Taal volcano the world’s only volcano within a lake within a volcano within a lake within a volcano.
The largest lake is inside a large volcanic crater that was appeared thousands of years ago by a destructive eruption by a supervolcano. Inside the lake is a small crater and lake with a small island with new volcanic crater. It might reminds you of Matryoshka doll.
Taal Volcano is the greatest natural wonders near Manila. Arguably the country’s 2nd most popular volcano next to Mt. Mayon of Legaspi and the most photographed spot in the Philippines.
I started my journey in Cavite. I drove to Tagaytay, then from Tagaytay to Talisay. Along the way from Tagaytay to Talisay people offering boat to Taal volcano, but I rented boat in Taal Lake Yacht Club. They offering 2 tours/trails:
– Regular Tourist trail. It is the traditional trail that tourists climb. It goes to the enge of the volcano, and you will be able to see the crater and the inner lake, with the island inside. On the way up, guides will steer you past steam vents, that are a true reminder of the volcano’s “Active” status. Most people go on horseback. and the top is a bit “touristy”. It takes around 2.5 to 3 hours round trip from Taal Lake Yacht Club. As I said above, locals that living on the slopes of the volcano with offer you horse riding to reach your destination, but honestly I do not recommended it because animals are really abused, they using them as a tool to make money only. Price for boat (max. 5 person) is P3,300.00. If you are really lazy to walk 30-40 minutes to reach crater, you can rent a horse for P600.
– Secret trail. I took that one. The Secret Trail is twice as far from the club than the regular trail. The difference is that it is the only trail that allows you to go down into the inner lake that you can just see from the Regular Trail. It takes around 4-5 hours to do the Secret Trail. It cost 4300 pesos (max. 5 person as well). Price is per group, does not matter if you are solo or 5 in the group.
EXTRA CHARGES: Guide Fee: P350.00 [er group Municipal Tourism Tax = P70.00 per person Boat Landing Fee = P50.00 per boat Horses = P750.00per horse
You can see here photo of crater lake and me in the crater. In some parts of lake you can even swim. In some parts water boiling. You can see also sulfur at the edge of the lake.
Some interesting facts about Taal volcano and lake:
- It is the second the most active volcano in the Philippines with 33 eruptions so far.
- It is only 1000 feet (300m) tall.
- It caused one of the worst volcano disasters in history: its eruption in 1911 killed 1334 people and caused ash fall as far as Manila city.
- Taal Volcano's the longest recorded eruption occurred in 1754, also called great 200 day eruption which lasted from May 15 to December 1.
- The Volcano Island covers an area of about 23 km² and consists of 47 overlapping cones and craters.
- Taal Lake is home to one of the rarest sea snakes in the world – the Garman’s Sea Snake or Hydrophis semperi. This unique species is only one of two "true" sea snake species that are known to live entirely in freshwater.