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Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.

More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
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    Taal Volcano via Talisay Batangas

    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.

    A few weeks after their company outing, Tutubi and his officemates went to Tagaytay for another outing at an officemates bahay kubo (native hut) near Southridge.

    A mini-feast ensued followed by brief rest before hieing off to nearby Talisay down the ridge, checked out properties for sale at Taal View Heights Country Homes gated community, went for a visit at the Buena Vista Nature Park and Country Club (near Tagaytay Highlands) and swam at the club's swimming pool.

    view of volcanic island from Taal View Heights

    On the return to Tagaytay, stopped for a brief photo opportunity at the view deck of Laeuna de Taal before going back to Manila.

    View of Taal Volcano from Laeuna de Taal viewdeck on Ligaya Drive. Note that the cone is actually not the crater like most people think. The actual crater, behind this conical structure, looks like a lake (within a lake) though it's also a crater within a crater.

    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: P89.00
    Jeepney fare from Tanauan to Talisay: N/A
    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)

    Tourist Trap:

    Warning: don't entertain the men offering you trips and boats in Tagaytay for they usually charge unsupecting tourists an arm and a leg. Don't even look them in the eye for they're very persuasive and may run after your vehicle.

    Talisay Resorts and Accommodations:

    Club Balai Isabel
    Talisay, Batangas (highly noticeable on the main road)

    Talisay Green Lake Resort
    Address : Barangay Sta. Maria, Talisay, Batangas
    Contact No. : +63.43.773.0247

    Al Frontera de Taal
    Address: Lakeshore Activity Point, Barangay Banga
    Tel. No: +63.43.631.1291
    Fax: +63.43.631.1294

    Taal Lake Yacht Club
    Tel. No: +63.43.773.0192
    Tel. No: +63.2.811.3183; +63.2.811.3283

    Tropical Jungle Resort

    *please call the published number or visit official websites for room rates. No pictures/photos yet as well as cheap, recommended hotels, resorts, homestays, inns and pension houses.

    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.

    Directions to Talisay via Tagaytay (not for newbie drivers):

    From Makati, take SLEX and exit at GREENFIELD CITY (Eton City) where you'll pass by Pramana, and Nuvali. Follow directions where you'll see Paseo de Santa Rosa, Silang then up to Tagaytay Market. Turn left at the end of the road (Tagaytay Econo Inn) then turn right at Ligaya Drive (the left side of the highway is Tagaytay Elementary School) where you'll see the Talisay jeepney terminal, pass by Balai Taal. This is a winding 6 kilometer road down the ridge with at least 2 sharp curves (you'll be greeted by the excellent views from the Laeuna de Taal viewdeck). At the end of the road is Talisay's main road where many resorts dot the lakeside.

    Directions to Talisay via Coastal Road, Aguinaldo Highway, Cavite

    Head to Roxas Blvd and Coastal Road going to Aguinaldo Highway up to Tagaytay rotonda. At the rotonda, turn left towards Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). Continue driving until you reach Ligaya Drive where ou turn left (right side is Tagaytay Elementary School). Follow the winding road to Talisay to get to your resort.

    Related Posts:

    Mayon Volcano
    Mt. Pinatubo Crater Hike
    Backpacking Tagaytay

    Labels: , , , ,

    posted by GingGoy @ 11:17 PM,


    At Apr 24, 2008, 4:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    cool, tutubi!

    this is making me miss tagaytay, though. hehe. =D

    At Apr 24, 2008, 9:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    tagaytay has changed so much. The last time I went there, there was nothing. I really need to go back there again!

    At Apr 24, 2008, 10:47:00 PM, Blogger escape said...

    i never tried trekking taal yet. the closest i was with this volcano is when we were in Taal town.

    At Apr 24, 2008, 11:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've been to Taal Volcano and Taal Vista. Wonderful places, definitely. Especially the crater. Wow, breathtaking! Given an opportunity I'd go there again.


    At Apr 25, 2008, 10:34:00 AM, Blogger Rochelle said...

    This is really cool!! I want to go!

    At Apr 25, 2008, 2:44:00 PM, Blogger Sidney said...

    Indeed a nice place not far away from Manila. I prefer the towns along the lake than the town of Tagaytay.

    As always a very useful post with all the necessary directions and prices!

    Did you bought a house in Taal View Heights? ;-)

    At Apr 26, 2008, 1:06:00 AM, Blogger stromsjo said...

    Trekking inside the crater of an active volcano? I suppose I should do some read-up on the definition of an active volcano. Sounds slightly unhealthy to me.

    At Apr 26, 2008, 4:43:00 AM, Blogger pieterbie said...

    22 active volcanos, wow, I had no idea.

    At Apr 26, 2008, 5:43:00 AM, Blogger  gmirage said...

    I grew up near Tagaytay =)

    I remember as a kid how cold it is and that in the mornings before going to school, my sister and I plays with our morning breath outside...hehe. Miss the place a lot! (My dad supervises a bahay kubo business too...haay kakamiss).

    At Apr 26, 2008, 5:44:00 AM, Blogger  gmirage said...

    Oh, I forgot to say, beautiful photos! And its really nice you included all those information especially the warning, its true!

    At Apr 26, 2008, 10:56:00 PM, Blogger tin-tin said...

    last time i wento to tagaytay, i wasn't able to see taal.

    and you're right.. much more happens with unplanned travelling :)

    At Apr 27, 2008, 7:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Your description and very nice photos always make me want to go to those beautiful places you post about. This is no exception Tutubi - very nice and readable - thanks for sharing!

    At Apr 28, 2008, 11:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I always brings my foreign guests to Taal Volcano. Not too difficult to get there and nearby.

    At Apr 29, 2008, 9:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    That's a pretty good view of the lake. Tagaytay has changed so much since the last time I was there in 2005. There's just so many real estate developments there.

    At May 15, 2008, 4:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Our group of 9 with 2 caucasians with us went to see the Taal volcano crater this summer of 2008 and we were surprised how expensive it was. The people from that barangay in Taal volcano island were really keen on hoarding money from foreign and local travellers. First we were asked Php800 per person for the horse ride from the beach up to the crater. They said it's NOT allowed to go up to the crater walking and we HAVE to go there with their horses. That means Php7200 just for the hike for our group plus not including the Php4000 we paid for the boat to reach the volcano island. After making them clear that we cannot afford that, we told them that all of us including our foreign friends would be willing to pay a guide to lead us walkin to the crater and they said that's it's possible for Php1000 for the guide and I was like 'right... before you said we're not allowed to go without the horses and now we're allowed to if we pay Php1000'. Anyway, at the end we all agreed to a price of 500Php/person for the horses to take us up to the crater and believe me, for those visitors who are up for some adventure and ready to sweat, the hike would have only taken 30mins walking if you have good shoes on. There are also women offering you a hat to protect you from the blistering sun, well it's not really bad when they said it would cost you Php50, but wait ... after the hike you have to return it to them. What?? They are renting hats for Php50! We all thought it was ridiculous. These people are really takin advantage of the tourists here and it left a bad impression on our foreign friends. Good thing that the spectacular view of the volcano crater could make up for all these.

    At Sep 16, 2008, 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    That was really sad. i am from Batangas and trying to promote the beauty of my province as a Filipino Seaman working in foreign ships. This is the time I think,for our beloved Governor, Vilma Santos, to monitor all the activities particularly in the tourism aspect at the Taal Lake and Volcano. These guides and as well as the local officials in the municipality encompssing the the taal volcano should be given a seminar on how to manage and handle tourists.
    Nakakahiya sila! Mukhang pera na lang ba palagi?


    At Sep 16, 2008, 10:10:00 PM, Blogger GingGoy said...

    sailgar, that's the problem with people taking advantage of tourists. they only think of the day and not the impact and repercussions of their actions :(

    At Sep 22, 2008, 12:07:00 PM, Blogger WWu777 said...

    A few months ago, we finally went to Tagaytay, me, my gf and parents.

    The thing is, I read a lot of wonderful things about it on several websites, which listed many attractions. It sounded better than Baguio even. And my gf told me how cheap the coconuts were and about the beautiful waterfalls and nature, etc.

    However, when we got there, it was nothing of the sort. It was a different world. Shockingly, NO ONE knew where any of the wonderful sites I read about online were. All anyone knew was this lookout point, which was a pain to even get to by public transportation. You had to transfer several jeepneys, which went down winding roads that had an uncomfortable G force. We were carrying a baby too, and getting worried. Then, on the final path, we had to walk up a mountain trail to get to the lookout point.

    I mean, the lookout point was ok, you could see the lake and all, but where was all the other sites that I read about? The gardens, mansions, nature areas, waterfalls, etc.? Again, no one working there knew anything about them. They just knew a few hotels and this private golf and country club that you had to pay to get in and ride this cable car in the sky (not my thing).

    Plus, when you looked below at the area near the lake shore, you could see a complex of buildings that did not looking inviting at all. There didn't appear to be anything for tourists. No big signs down there. I could not even see any hotels, restaurants, or tourist activity down there. You'd think the area near a lake shore would have more activity, wouldn't you??????

    After the lookout point, things got worse. We were hounded by groups of seedy looking guys wanting to hustle us into some apartments you could rent for a day, offering good promos. But the way they were pushy about it and the way they looked gave me bad vibes. My intuition said we were better off not trusting them or taking the chance. Better go to a nice normal hotel, I thought.

    Plus, the pictures in the binder that they showed of the places they were offering had no pictures of the interior of the place, only the exterior. That was definitely a bad sign and red flag.

    But these guys persisted. Two of them followed us even when we rode away in a jeep. But before that happened, the trike drivers tried to lie to us and tell us there was no jeep to try to force us to take the trikes. While we were riding back to the main road in the jeep, the two peddlers followed us on a trike. Whenever the jeep stopped to let people off, they would come up and try to get us to go with them again. It was like they were stalking us.

    After a while, I had it couldn't take it anymore. I yelled at them, "HEY LOOK! STOP FOLLOWING US! IT'S CREEPING ME OUT!" The other jeepney passengers smirked and giggled. Finally, they gave up and left us alone. But I was still creeped out and annoyed, with a bad feeling in my stomach.

    Then I thought "Man!, what was this? We never bargained for this and didn't come here for a stressful experience. Where was all the awe-inspiring nature I read about?" The town didn't have anything to help any tourists. No signs or nice visitor centers. Nothing. You either knew where you were going, or you didn't.

    This felt like THE TWILIGHT ZONE now. How can a place turn out so differently than described? Normally, when I travel, I arrive at a place and wing it, and do ok. All I do is ask a lot of questions and people show me wherever it is I want to go see. That's it. It's always worked for me in the past, in many different countries. But this time, that tactic failed. And I still don't know why.

    Then the rain started pouring. After looking at a few hotels, we finally took a trike to The Days Inn. The hotel was very nice and had clean upscale accommodations. The pool was luxurious, but the restaurant food was bad and tasteless. The view of the lake was nice though.

    But that's it. I didn't experience anything I read about online. Later that night, I went to the hotel reception staff and asked them about this. They had no idea what I read about online. When I asked about the waterfall, they told me that they knew of one but it was far away, and were better off having a car to get there.

    Now, my gf had been here before, but she came last time in a car she said, so other people drove her to the nice sites, and she had no idea how to get to them by public transportation. And unbelievably, neither did the hotel staff of Days Inn. Weird.

    The next day, we left back to Manila. On the way back, I scratched my head wondering how a place could be so different than I expected, and how all my usual tactics of asking questions to many people and finding things on the spot failed for the first time. Never before had that happened in all my travels.

    How could Tagaytay be for tourists when there was nothing touristy, getting around was inconvenient, and no one knew any tourist spots? Very bizarre indeed.

    Any explanations? What went wrong? Can anyone solve this mystery? Or does it belong in the Twilight Zone?

    At Sep 22, 2008, 7:55:00 PM, Blogger GingGoy said...

    WWu777, sorry about that but the website misinformed you. Tagaytay is not friendly for family travel particularly for a baby. You should've rented a private car to tour your family if you want to move around

    There are also no waterfalls in the immediate vicinity of Tagaytay and Talisay. The nearest falls i can think of is Calicon Falls in Malvar town and Bulalacao Falls in Lipa City, both in Batangas. There's Malibiclibic Falls in Cavite but nowhere near tagaytay area. Your wife should've researched more how to get to the sites you expected. There's a small waterfall somewhere in Indang town and probably the one visited by your gf. the crater trek is also not for usual tourists, more for backpackers

    At Oct 8, 2008, 11:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thats the problem. When you awant to take an adventure be preparead for it, otherwise go for a guided tour. And there is a reason why sometimes they dont cost "the same" as like you would have put if on your own because there are several factors involved in creating a guided tour not to mention resources and contacts.Besides you do not pay yourself for making a tour, so accept the pro and cons.
    Anyway, it also is a case which happens a lot that some Filipinas are eager to impress their foreign boyfriends and the families are also at times acting all knowing- easy for us to do-yeah sure lets go.
    I suspect your gf is not really the educated kind otherwise she would have known that Tagaytay firstly have no Taxis and as most jeepney they have route licences.
    Many locals go to Tagaytay and saying they have been there as if they were into a lot of places.. bear in mind sometimes my fellow Filipinos just brag- eager to impress. Unfortunately foreigners take smiling a lot or not talking eloquently as shyness or kindness. I can not blame them but in actuallity it is a sign the person is not so exposed.
    Your trip was almost a disaster because the people you asked didnt know. These places do exist, with some research. As for hotel people not knowing the places themselves, well ...

    As in any adventure trip taken by chance and not planned throughly, only two results could yield: 1. Cheap successful trip or 2. disappointment. Asfor your girlfriend, try bringing her again in another place, lets see if the same thing happens, look it as a sign. Do not be taken for a dumb ride like most foreigners. Sorry but the truth sucks.
    This comment may sound harsh, but in time you will see the truth in it.Its about time things be told.
    I am a local myself and i get also annoyed by these things, so i can just imagine someone not from here feeling double.
    Im sorry you had to go through that, something that should have been a wonderful experience.
    Better luck next time.

    At Jan 17, 2009, 12:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


    How do I get to Sonya's Garden at Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite, Philippines? And from Cavite, how do I get to Batangas Pier via public transport?

    At Jan 17, 2009, 10:51:00 AM, Blogger GingGoy said...

    Angie, Sonya's garden is hard to reach by public transport, and more challenging getting out of there. There are buses on Taft Avenue Buendia or Vito Cruz going to Alfonso then you need to transfer to tricycles going there. getting out is another thing so you might need to pre-arrange your trip to take you to the highway.

    where in cavite? i only know you need to get to Manila i.e. taft corner buendia or edsa to ride a batangas-bound bus.

    At Apr 8, 2009, 11:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i live in talisay, batangas and it is really good here!

    At Nov 19, 2009, 3:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hi!:)i would want to ask how much does the boatride cost for only three persons?thank you.i really need that information for budgeting reasons

    At Nov 20, 2009, 8:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hello! i heard about wakeboarding in talisay.. do u have any idea about the rates? any contact numbers? pls reply..

    At Nov 20, 2009, 10:52:00 AM, Blogger GingGoy said...

    anonymous, the boats are usually for up to 6 persons as indicated above (though rates may have changed now). please try to contact them directly

    anonymous, heard about talisay wakeboarding but no information yet...i'll update this once i get it

    At Jan 6, 2011, 2:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    After searching the net I've finally found a great place to do some wakeboarding. I found out that Talisay the village that serves as the gateway to Taal lake. So searching "talisay wakeboarding" on google will get you the contact numbers you need for a perfect taal lake getaway. I think the place is called Talisayboardinghouse and is ran by a really nice welcoming family.

    Last time I was in the Philippines 3 of my friends came with me and we had so much at the house. I think it was 1700Php per hour minimum of 3 hours wakeboarding. This comes with a very accommodating (and very handsome) instructor, vests, and a wakeboard. A great way to enjoy the scenery of the beautiful Taal lake and volcano.

    Oh, I hear that you can actually climb down Taal Volcano and swim in its crater. Just ask the peeps handling talisayboardinghouse.

    At Jan 6, 2011, 2:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Kayaking around taal lake!!
    What a great way to spend the weekend. Taal Volcano and the lake is a really nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life in Manila. If you just want to relax and see natures beauty, taal lake has much to offer.

    My Filipino friend brought me to a house near the lake just last week. I think it was Talisayboard house and the view from the house was lovely. In our stay there we also checked out a neighboring resort called Balai Isabel and rented a Hobie Kat at the nearby yacht club. Beautiful, beautiful place.

    At Jan 21, 2011, 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I used to live in Talisay, Batangas. I have heard that the past administration was so evil and corrupt that they even wanted to do business with Korean nationals in the restricted volcano islands.

    At May 2, 2011, 5:36:00 PM, Anonymous vietnam real estate said...

    wow, great post! i missed backpacking... I've been in Bicol and swam with the whale shark, super cool!

    At Dec 12, 2011, 8:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thaks a lot for this very helful post.
    Does anybody knows from where in Manila buses leave to Tanauen City? And if is without complications to come fo Taal Lake from Tanauen City?
    Thak you for your comments

    At Jan 10, 2012, 9:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    If you're coming from the TAFT avenue side, there are bus terminals in Gil Puyat. Make sure you rode Lipa-Tanauan. But i think you should have a specific destination in mind if you're going to Taal Lake. If you want to go to Talisay you'd want to search a place to stay.

    At Jan 10, 2012, 9:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    If you're coming from the Quezon City side, there's a bus terminal at Kamias and i think there's also one in Cubao.


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