I promised myself that I would hike once this year, and this is it. It’s probably the easiest hike ever but it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t sweating and heaving when we reached the top! The unathletic me cried.
I’ve been to Taal Lake twice but this is the first time that I went to the crater. If I knew that it looks so beautiful in person, I would have went sooner! Though the Taal lake and volcano are wholly located in Batangas, I always attribute it to Tagaytay City, which is in Cavite, since you can see it from there. Heck, we looked for boat rides near the Rotonda!
According to the most reliable online reference, Taal volcano is the second most active in the Philippines! In fact, we even saw some volcanic activity when we went up. There were smoke coming from some spots (okay, one spot) and I was like, THIS VOLCANO IS ALIVE!!!!!! Instead of running away, I desperately tried to take a photo of the smoke but my photographic capability isn’t enough.
In just 30-45 minutes, you can reach the top by foot, so when the people offering you horse rides tell you that there’s no way that you could do it, prove them wrong! One of the kuya almost ruined my day by being way too aggressive and cunning. I mean, I know you’re making a living but you don’t need to be a douche about it. We all want to support local tourism but please, don’t make it such an embarrassing (and headache-inducing) ordeal for the rest of us.
It’s not the climb that would make things difficult but there were too much sand and dust in the trail! Well, it’s probably volcanic ash or something (obviously I’m just making stuff up) but bring something to cover your mouth. It felt like walking in a desert sometimes, with luscious green on the side of the trail. Good thing we went early so the place still wasn’t plagued with way too many tourists.
This is why the crater truly was a sight to behold (which I uttered even before we reach it lulz)! It was majestic, and that’s the first time I used that adjective in my life. (I’m hoping that I’ll use it more in the future!) Standing on the edge and seeing it a big lake in the middle of the desert really gave me a sort of peace. The water was a deep shade of green. Too bad we didn’t get near the water! I think we should have took on a different path? IDK.
If you have the time and resources, try going on this trip, too. It took us half a day for this little adventure, and it truly is worth the time! Some reminders, though:
- There are actually people who are registered, who carry an id with them, to offer boat rides to tourist. Look for them because we ended up going with one with no ID and met one with and ID and it was a mess! They were fighting and it was a turn off, really.
- It’s P1,500 per boat, maximum of six persons. We rented two boats and got a discount! We got it for only P!,300 per boat.
- They said that a tourist guide is required and will make you pay P500 (for the whole group) for it. RESIST IT. I almost got fight in the center because I couldn’t understand how it’s required? But we paid for one anyone, AND HE DISAPPEARED ON US. So say NO NO NO NO.
- You also have to pay 50 or something for entrance fee.
- Ride on a horse if you want but it’s really something you can reach by foot. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, though.
- Bring water because they sell the most expensive water and and soda on top.
- Have a face mask with you to keep the dust off your nose and mouth.
So despite all mishaps, it was a good hike. Reaching the crater was a nice experience and I’m glad that I went with these wacky people!