Situated on the Philippine island of Luzon, in the province of Batangas, Taal Lake is a haven of greenery and serenity, and is actually a crater lake that fills the caldera of a prehistoric volcano. After this caldera was formed around 500,000 years ago, the subsequent volcanic eruptions later created another volcanic island within Taal Lake itself, and was named Volcano Island. While Taal Volcano may be the smallest active volcano in the world, its unique location, being situated on an island that is within a lake that is on another island, makes it quite the geological wonder, attracting thousands of visitors each and every year.
Filipino Travel Center
The Filipino Travel Center offers private tours of Volcano Island, picking up guests from Metro Manila in a luxury minibus before making the two-hour journey to Tagaytay Ridge. Here, you will be able to enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Taal Lake, Taal Island and Mount Macolod, before heading down to the shores of the lake to hop on to a motorized outrigger. The 30-minute boat ride takes you to the Volcano Island village of Talisay, and, from here, you will begin your trek up towards the volcano’s rim. The hike itself lasts for about 45 minutes and is considered to be one of the easiest hikes in the Philippines, making it accessible to those of all abilities. After taking in your stunning views of Crater Lake and its surroundings, you will then head back to the mainland, stopping off at the Taal Yacht Club for a watersports session before being driven back to Metro Manila.
GetYourGuide is a company that offers an eight-hour adventure across Taal Lake and Volcano Island. Just like the tour mentioned above from the Filipino Travel Center, you will be driven from Manila to Tagaytay City, after which you will board a boat and be taken for a hike up the volcano. By the sulfuric lake, there are a number of rental companies where you can rent a kayak, banana boat or paraw, to see the caldera from a unique perspective. For those who want even more of an unforgettable experience, GetYourGuide also gives their guests the opportunity to enjoy a horseback ride among Taal’s basalt rocks, and you can even ride all the way up the trail to the top of the volcano if you so desire. In addition to seeing the lake and the volcano, this tour also includes a visit to the Caleruega Church, the Palace in the Sky park, which was built for president Marcos, and a mushroom burger factory that is located in Tagaytay City.
No matter which tour you opt for, you will still be able to witness the splendid views from Volcano Island, which are considered to be some of the most scenic in the Philippines. The natural surroundings here are filled with layers of complexity that have built up over thousands of years, and this is most definitely a trip worth taking if you are ever in Manila, or elsewhere in the Philippines.