|Taal volcano's main crater lake|
At around 5AM, we left Lemery and took a bus bound for Lipa. We alighted in Tanauan and took a jeepney bound for Talisay. The jeepney route was supposed to end at Talisay public market, but roads were closed due to the town fiesta so we get off at a gasoline station instead and chartered a tricycle to take us to the public market.
|A warm welocme from the town's marching band. LOL.|
From the lake shore town of Talisay, we chartered a boat that may carry a maximum of six persons, excluding the boat man. But we were seven in the group so we talked to the owner and she permitted us to go without any additional fee. Having seven passengers on the boat is still safe, but it would be safer not to exceed the defined boat capacity. We paid 1500 Pesos for the boat and 50 Pesos each for the environmental fee. It took 30 minutes of shaky boat ride before we reached the volcano island. Upon docking, a fee of 20 Pesos per boat has to be paid.
|Boats along the shores of Talisay available for rent|
Trekking the island comes in two options, either rent a horse to take you to the summit or hike. We preferred hiking since it's good for the body, we can fully enjoy the scenery and it's free! Besides, horse ride is a bit pricey at 500 Pesos per person.
|Ready, set, hike!|
|Smoke coming out of vents indicates the activity of the volcano|
Hiking took more than an hour including photo stops, taking a rest and enjoying the view. But we witnessed the most spectacular vista when we reached the vantage point of the main crater lake.
|Taal's flagship volcano, Binintiang Malaki, in sight|
Taal volcano's main crater lake is actually not at the Binintiang Malaki, i.e., the iconic island seen from Tagaytay and in postcards and textbooks. Taal volcano has three craters, the other two being the Main Crater that this post is all about and the Binintiang Maliit, the smallest of the three.
Local photographers that offers photo-ops which was a bit pricey and stalls of souvenir items, snacks and drinks were stationed on the view deck.
|View of Taal Lake from the summit|
|With a Vietnamese friend (in blue jacket) we just met along the way|
|Vulcan Point (islet on background)|
|Ended up messy as we were caught unprepared for this trip|
|The complete cast!|
If I were to describe main crater lake in one word, it's MAGNIFICENT! Same word I uttered upon stepping upon its view deck and witnessing its marvel. This happen to be the first post of this blog as this trip and the Main Crater Lake itself inspired me to tell stories of experiencing the magnificence of Philippine Islands.