The Walks of Kulot


I WOK’D in TAAL.

Tagaytay is a quick get-away fix to those who want to spend their weekends away from the hustle and bustle of the metro. It is a favorite weekend destination among city dwellers because of its close proximity to Metro Manila. But during my recent visit with my friends, we tried to do something different and skip the usual bulalo-for-lunch and afternoon-coffee-at-starbucks itinerary which we usually do during our previous trips. We’re off to go down and take a closer look at the crater of the Taal Volcano.

Going down the lake

When we arrived at the Tagaytay rotunda, we saw a lot of men holding rectangular cardboards with red bold letters saying “TAAL LAKE BOAT SERVICE”. That moment we knew we have to seek help from these guys but we must be better prepared with our haggling skills. Moments later, a man approached our car. He was holding a blue clearbook folder organized with different resort rates and photos of the Taal Lake and Volcano. We told him we just wanted to rent a boat going to the island. He offered us P2,000 for boat transfer for six + parking space at a resort. We thought it was too expensive so we tried to haggle until we agreed on a price of P1,500 which was actually the standard rate.

We passed by a winding road going down the lake town. The trip going down was quite nauseating but the view of the lake and the volcano island from afar was really breathtaking.

The photo above is not Taal Volcano. That is Binitiang Malaki.

No, that’s not Taal Volcano!

For the longest time, I thought the iconic volcano – which looks like a giant dog bowl –  which can be seen from Tagaytay was the Taal Volcano. But actually the tuff-lava cone  isn’t the Taal Volcano after all! It is called the Binintiang Malaki one of the most prominent landforms in volcano island.

Boat ride to the island of volcanoes

From the town of Talisay, we rode an outrigger boat going to the crater of the Taal Volcano. We plied by the fresh waters of the Taal Lake for almost 20 minutes to reach the other island known to be the island of volcanoes where the main Taal volcano crater was located. The volcano island is known to have the world’s lowest and deadliest volcanoes. As compared to other lakes I’ve been to before which was smaller in size and waters perfectly still, I was awed by the vastness of the Taal Lake which seemed like it was an ocean and not a lake.

A long trek to the crater

The moment we arrived on the island, we paid a P50.00 fee at the Tourist Reception Center. Then we started our trek going up to the crater. We had the choice to rent horses to bring us to the crater, but we thought P450.00 was too expensive for a ride which we can actually save by just walking. The trek was a brisk at first not until we have reached an uphill path. The only way to go up is to pass by a small uphill pathway in which we shared the tight space with a lot of horses going up and down the mountain. Imagine the smell, the lahar-filled air, the dirt track and not to mention horse dung along the way. Suddenly, I envy those tourists sitting pretty on top of horses having not to worry about these.

The pathway going to the Taal crater.

Horse on break.

Tired and exhausted. They have no choice.

You can rent to ride on a horse for a fee of P450.00.

Moments later, we finally reached an open space with a gently sloping terrain. Actually, it looked like a scene from a medieval period movie. It was more breezy and from there we had the perfect view of the Binitiang Malaki all to ourselves. As we continued with our trek, I noticed small holes on the soil emitting smoke which smelled like sulfur. The soil on this part of the mountain was also more red and warm – a sign that we must be near the crater of the volcano.

The picturesque Binitiang Malaki.

Tourists riding horses going up the crater.

The sloping terrain going up the crater.

I observed that most of the tourists flocking the Taal crater are Koreans.

During our trek, we also noticed migratory birds in the area.

Another interesting activity you can do when you visit the crater of Taal Lake is bird watching.

Alone.

*It took us almost 45-minutes to reach the crater of the Taal Lake.

Taal Crater

After a few more steps, we finally reached the crater of the Taal Lake. The view was really breath-taking. The dark green placid lake embraced by mountains was a serene sight to behold. I couldn’t imagine how this silent natural beauty dispelled its wrath killing thousands of lives and damaging homes and livelihood when it erupted in the year 1911. Of course we weren’t allowed to go down the lake because of the lake’s sulfuric content. But the view from the mouth of the crater was definitely worth the long trek.

Barricades were placed at the mouth of the crater.

Taal Volcano crater.

Kids we met when we visited the Taal Lake crater.

Mga Batang Taal.

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You can swim at taal crater lake but you will take the secret/kalawit/adventure trail where you can go down the crater lake and take a swim(they said that the water is medicinal and can cure skin diseases). But be careful because there are parts of the lake that the water is boiling and oxygen is thin because of the sulfuric smokes. And there are these yellow rocks(sulfur). We’ve been there last dec 25 2013. I recommend taal lake yacht club. Secure, friendly,helpful and the only authorized club that can take you to that trail. Boat ride is 45minutes, not crowded trail and doubled the difficulty of the normal trail becuase you are going down to the crater lake itself. 🙂

Comment by del

Hi Del,

Thanks for this information 🙂

-Martin

Comment by walksofkulot

Many know of Taal Volcano & Lake, but did you know about the Heritage Town of Taal? It’s one of the top heritage sites in the Philippines and its right next to Tagaytay!

CASAS DE TAAL gives great tours. Check out this website at:

http://www.taal.ph

Cheers!

Comment by Dan

Cool. This sounds interesting. 🙂

Comment by walksofkulot




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