BATANGAS | Unexpected Side Trip to Taal's Main Crater Lake

A college friend invited us to her home in Lemery to join their family trip on a local beach resort. Knowing that we would be spending the weekend in Batangas, a sudden thirst for adventure invited us to take a side trip to one of the province's top attractions. Situated near the middle of Taal Lake, Taal Volcano Island is considered as the smallest active volcano in the world. It falls under the jurisdiction of the municipalities of Talisay and San Nicolas.

Taal volcano's main crater lake
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.

Talisay town's marching band
A warm welcome 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 PHP 1500 for the boat and PHP 50 each for the environmental fee. It took 30 minutes of shaky boat ride before we reached the volcano island. Upon docking, a fee of PHP 20 per boat has to be paid.

Boats along the shores of Talisay available for rent
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 PHP 500 per person.

Taal's dusty hiking trail
Ready, set, hike!
Smoke coming out of earth vents
Smoke coming out of vents
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.

Binintiang Malaki seen from our boat
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
View of Taal Lake and mainland Batangas from the summit
With a solo-traveling Vietnamese national (in blue jacket) we met along the way
With a solo-traveling Vietnamese national (in blue jacket) we met along the way
Vulcan Point, the islet within the crater lake
Vulcan Point (islet on background)
Messy feet after hiking Taal Volcano
Ended up messy as we were caught unprepared for this trip
Me and my buddies at the main crater lake view point
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.

Taal Volcano Travel Guide: Quick Guide: Trekking Taal Volcano Island, Batangas


DJ Rivera is an I.T. professional, entrepreneur, travel blogger, writer and the online publisher of based in Rizal province, Philippines. Click here to know more.

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