Taal Crater

Taal Volcano
Jump-off point: Talisay, Batangas
LLA: 14°00.1' N, 120°59.1' E, 311 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 45 Minutes
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1

Taal Volcano, in the Philippines, has been called the smallest active volcano in the world. It is located about 70-km south of Manila on an island inside a lake called Taal Lake. What makes Taal Volcano more unique is the fact that the volcano itself has a lake of its own inside its crater which is called the "Crater Lake." One can even swim inside the Crater Lake but don't stay too long because the lake's water is a very diluted form of sulfuric acid with high concentration of boron, magnesium, aluminum and sodium in salt form. The first recorded scuba dive inside the crater was made by a team led by Thomas Hargrove in 1986 to a depth of about 20 meters or 60 feet. There is even a tiny island in the Crater Lake which Hargrove's team also explored. 

Taal Volcano, one of the Philippines' 22 active volcanoes inside the so called Pacific Ring of Fire, usually marveled at from Tagaytay City by people trying to escape the heat of Metro Manila, is in itself a tourist destination for adventurers looking for a different high by hiking/trekking to the crater lake within Taal lake which is actually a crater of a big caldera.

As you gaze downwards to the green, 2-km wide Crater Lake, volcanic steam would effuse up the vents at the NE edge of the lake, and varicolored rocks layer the cliffs that wall the lake. You could trek all the way using down the lake using alternate trails, taking ~30 minutes, and take a refreshing swim. The waters beneath are 20m deep, and are mildly sulfuric. Amazingly, there is an island in the crater lake, called Vulcan Point. It is thus an island within a lake within an island within a lake within an island!

Taal Crater

The summit of Taal Volcano is also an excellent viewpoint, affording a view of the above-mentioned mountains forming a ‘circle’ around Taal. The volcanic edificies of Taal, The nearby structures, including the crater of Mt. Tabaro (site of the most recent eruptions) and its lava fields (SW), can also be explored given ample time. The Kaygabok shoreline is the jump-off for this trek although interconnecting trails do exist (ask the local guides). In the summit and throughout the volcano, the winds are refreshing and the views even more so: Taal Volcano is one of the best daytrips from Manila.

An air of this prehistory remains in Taal, although tourism has a more marked presence. Horses (P500) and even umbrellas will be rented to you upon your arrival, and some will offer themselves as guides. As you go up the 1.7 km trail called “Daang Kastila”, the rocks have a volcanic quality, as expected, and steam vents would be encountered, giving off a sulfuric odor. The path is wide and the ascent benign. Be reminded, however, that this trail is dusty and exposed to the sun, hence it is best done early morning. Nice views abound along the trail, including the structure which is the “Taal Volcano of postcards”, Binintiang Malaki (NW). Near the summit the trail will be a bit steep, but still easy. The culmination, upon reaching the summit, is of course beholding the Crater Lake.

Taal fish cage

Taal Lake with the highly visible fish cages used for raising tilapia. The fish cages are blamed for the lasang putik (liya or gilik) of fish catch including the endemic tawilis and maliputo. Tutubi wanted so much to trek to the crater lake, as initially thought out but, as always, planned travels by Filipinos often times don't materialize. That is the reason why he is such a big fan of unplanned travels. It's also good to note that the title should have read-- the Taal Volcano Crater Trek that Never Was!

If you want to do some hiking by Taal Volcano crater trek, you can proceed to Talisay Public Market to board the boats to the island for

Cost of Taal Volcano Trek/Hike:

Bus from Manila to Tanauan: P95.00
Jeepney fare from Tanauan to Talisay: P22.00
P50 landing tax (Tourist Center)
P20 docking fee

P1500 per boat maximum of 6 persons (P250/pax)
P10/person barangay fee
P500 for horse with a guide (horseback ride to the crater lake)

How to get to Talisay, Batangas:

Commute via Tanauan, Batangas:

Board a Batangas City-bound bus on Taft Avenue, Pasay City near Buendia LRT station (choose Batangas City via Tanauan and not Batangas City via Calabarzon) and alight in front of Tanauan public market (Fare: P89.00). Transfer to a Talisay-bound jeep to get to your resort/hotel.

Commute via Tagaytay:

Board a Nasugbu-bound bus and drop off in Tagaytay (request the driver to drop you off to the terminal of Talisay-bound jeepneys). Transfer to the jeep with Talisay signboard. This passes through the zigzag route down Tagaytay ridge (not for the faint of heart) (a climb down the ridge)

Driving Directions to Talisay via STAR TOLL (Tanauan)

From Makati, take SLEX and exit the second to the last toll gate (Silangan, Batangas City, Lucena). You'll pass by Turbina (Shell), Carmelray and turn right to enter STAR TOLLWAY. Exit at SAMBAT (Tanauan) then turn right going to Talisay (a left will take you to Tanauan town proper). Just follow the road to your destination resort or Talisay public market.


0600 ETD Bus from Manila to Tanauan: P95.00
0800 Jeepney from Tanauan to Talisay: P22.00
0830 ETA Talisay. Arrange for pumpboats/guides: P1500
0900 Start boatride
0915 At Volcano island, start trek to summit
1000 ETA summit, Lunch time
1030 Picture taking
1100 Start trek
1130 Back at jump-off point, take return boat ride
1200 Head back to Manila
1430 ETA Manila

Pasakat Logo


Navigation Menu

Earth hour
Bantay Kalikasan
Born to be wild
WOW Philippines
Magayon Festival
Catanduanes Province

Weather Forecast | Weather Maps