Postcards from the Crater: A Guide to Taal

Saturday, June 11, 2016 Justin Vawter 0 Comments



It's an island within a lake, on an island within a lake! Taal redefines lakeception. It has always been part of my bucket list to visit Taal Volcano and trek all the way up to its crater and recently this dream came true. So for today, allow me to share a glimpse of the hidden beauty known as Taal.

As part of our itinerary, we trekked Taal on our second day of stay at Club Balai Isabel (read my full review here).


There are two ways to go to Taal Volcano: either you go through the public market and hire a boat an guide or have the resort set the entire trip for you. Usually resorts along Talisay offer them as a package.

Morning Catch


Since the trail is open, expect the trek to be very hot and tiring. I really suggest that you try hiking as early as 6 am to avoid the extreme heat. Since the volcano is locate within a lake, you need to ride a pump boat to get to the jump off. The ride is very calm and steady. It was a bit magical to me. It was early morning and you can already see local fishermen waiting for their catch of the day.

Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas

Lake detour


It takes roughly 30 minutes to get to the other side. Swimming is allowed however it is suggested to swim for a short amount of time as the lake has high content of sulfur.

Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas

Trekking Taal


Taal Volcano is relatively low. It roughly takes less than an hour an a half to get to the summit. The trail is very easy too. Along the way, there are stations of the cross for pilgrimage. There is no electricity in the area and the barangay relies only on generators. There are horses available which is popular to foreign tourists. A round trip ride costs Php 450.

Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas

Note: Better bring your own bottle of water since it's very expensive. One bottle of water or softdrink costs Php50-100.

A  View of the Crater



At the summit, there's a view deck where you can get a 360-degree view of Taal and Batangas. The view is very amazing. It was just so awesome. They also offer golf for Php 100/3 balls.

Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas

The sulfur in the crater reminds me of the aurora borealis.

Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas
Taal, Batangas

With my co-bloggers.


How to go here


The best and fastest way to go here is via car. Just head to SLEX and exit at Sta. Rosa then head to Talisay. Drop off at the public market. Travel time is around an hour or two depending on the traffic.

If via commute:

1. Ride a bus at Cubao bound to Sta. Rosa (Php 96). Tell the driver to drop you off at the terminal to Tanuan.
2. Ride a jeep going to Tanuan (Php 10) and drop off at the intersection. Just tell the driver you're going to Talisay.
3. Walk to your left until you see a market and a terminal station bound to Talisay. Fare is Php 28. Drop off at the public market.

Travel time is around 3 hours since you'll pass through Tanauan. 

From the public market, rent a boat going to Taal Volcano.


Budget Breakdown



You can either go on your own or have it fixed by your hotel. In our case, Club Balai Isabel took care of everything. Rate is Php 4,500/6pax. For a DIY guide, here's the expected budget breakdown:

Fare Manila to Talisay -Php 134
Boat ride to Taal Volcano (round trip) - Php 2,000/6pax (Php 333 each)
Docking fee - Php 50 (Php 9 each)
Entrance fee - Php 100/head
Guide fee - Php  500/6pax (Php 84 each)
Fare Talisay to Manila -Php 134

Total Damage = Php 794 per head for a group of 6.

Cheers~!

- Justin -

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