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7 Reasons We Don’t Mind Revisiting Tagaytay

by Mimi Tiu

Whether it’s for an impromptu day trip or an extended long weekend adventure, Manila’s inhabitants can’t resist flocking to Tagaytay's tourist spots because of its close proximity to the city and the scenic countryside views it provides.

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It’s a foregone conclusion that when someone returns home for an overdue visit or comes to the Philippines for the first time, Manilenyos will take them around Cavite’s beloved tourist destination—bringing them to the best vantage points of Taal Volcano and its surrounding lake, letting them breathe in the year-round cool weather, and indulging them with a steaming mug of coffee or the heartiest bulalo soup to warm the body.

DG Traveler rounds up the Tagaytay sights, spots, and activities we don’t mind coming back to over and over again, whether we’re accompanying a balikbayan or just revisiting a place close to our hearts.

1. A Stunning View of the Taal Volcano

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A half-day trek along the rim of an active volcano is an option for adventurous souls searching for an extraordinary Tagaytay experience. Hop on a motorized boat for a leisurely 30-minute ride across Taal’s freshwater lake, then reach the summit by foot or by riding a horse over dusty uneven paths while making sure to avoid the volcano’s steaming vents. The breathtaking panoramic view of the inner lake at the top of the crater will make the 2km journey totally worth it.

Book a trip through taalvolcano.org or tlyc.com/the-tlyc-volcano-tour. Rate depends on the number of people taking the tour.

2. Mind-Boggling Creations at Puzzle Mansion

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Though you’ll initially feel perplexed to find a bed and breakfast instead of an actual mansion, you’ll let the misdirection slide after discovering that this place holds a staggering number of jigsaw puzzles—so massive that it holds the title as being the biggest puzzle collection in the world by the Guinness World Records!

Entrepreneur Georgina Gil-Lacuna is the brains behind this endeavor, proudly displaying more than 1,000 jigsaw puzzles she collected from her personal trips abroad and painstakingly pieced together for hours. Some puzzles were easy to accomplish, while more exhaustive sets took months to complete! (You’ll find an annotation of how long it took her to complete each puzzle.)

From 4D architectural pieces to religious paintings turned puzzles, this modern, private collection demonstrates the patience, skill, and mettle Gil-Lacuna had for the interlocking mind teaser.

Visit Puzzle Mansion at Cuadra Street, Brgy. Asisan, Tagaytay City. Admission is P100/head. For more information, visit facebook.com/pg/PuzzleMansion, call (02) 661-0019, or email puzzlemansion@gmail.com.

3. A Dose of Art at Museo Orlina

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Discover the abstract works of the Philippines’ pioneer glass sculptor Ramon Orlina inside this multi-level museum. Navigate around the galleries that showcase his translucent early works, award-winning creations over the past three decades, and intriguing new pieces that give a glimpse into his brilliant mind.

Be sure to look around the Reflections Gallery—a changing exhibition space focused on contemporary art—and step outside the center’s sculpture garden for three-dimensional metal pieces juxtaposed against lush greens.

Visit Museo Orlina at Hollywood Subdivision Road, Brgy. Tolentino East, Hollywood Subdivision, Tagaytay City. Admission is P100/head and P80/head for seniors and students with valid ID. For more information, visit museo-orlina.org, call (046) 413-2581 and (0995) 735-5562, or email info@museo-orlina.org. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm.

4. Bag of Beans’ Coffee and Desserts

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Thanks to the tranquil vistas and the cozy sweater weather, Tagaytay is the perfect place to sit still and daydream with a warm cup of joe in hand. There are many cafés that have sprouted over the years, but none as longstanding and beloved as Bag of Beans.

From once serving the world-famous Coffee Alamid and an assortment of baked goods, the eatery has evolved to offer an extensive all-day menu and cater to private functions at six rustic destinations within Tagaytay. Go for their best-selling English pies or thick roast beef, or have a slice of the heavenly blueberry cheesecake to complement your strong Kapeng Barako. You can even bring home their coffee beans and other treats as pasalubong.

For more information, visit bagofbeans.ph.

5. Family-Friendly Rides at Sky Ranch

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Fun for everyone must be what SM Prime Holdings, Inc. had in mind when they created the five-hectare entertainment complex in the heart of Tagaytay. Containing lively amusement rides and exciting carnival games, a Sky Ranch trip isn’t complete without riding the Super Viking (which produces the best shrieks hands down!) and appreciating the 360-degree view high above the 63-feet Sky Eye (the best time to ride it is as the sun sets!).

Visit Sky Ranch at Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City. Admission is P100/head excluding rides. For more information, visit facebook.com/pg/SkyRanchPHL or call (02) 862-7704. Open weekdays from 10am to 10pm, and weekends from 8am to 10pm.

6. Tranquility and Serenity at Tierra de Maria

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With the Philippines being the third largest Catholic country in the world, it’s unsurprising to find many churches, convents, and retreat houses finding solace on Tagaytay’s peaceful, mountainous terrain. One structure that literally stands out from the rest is Our Lady of Manaoag at Tierra de Maria, a 50-foot statue that towers over the main road of the city and appears to lovingly watch over its religious community as well as non-practicing passersby. Outside the meditation haven is a lush garden that contains framed images depicting the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, while inside, wooden carvings and figurines of saints, Mary, and Jesus fill the quaint, often-packed chapel. A stairway leading up to the top of Mary’s statue reveals a glorious view of Taal Volcano—the perfect spot to say a quiet prayer or ruminate amidst nature’s best.

Visit Tierra de Maria at Tagaytay-Calamba Road, Tagaytay City. Open daily from 8am to 6pm.

7. Culinary and Cultural Delights at Veranda

There’s nothing a vacationer would enjoy more than trying homegrown dishes while watching live entertainment. Veranda, one of Taal Vista Hotel’s in-house restaurants, makes it a meal to remember by serving a sumptuous buffet of local and international fare while staging cultural presentations. Guests are treated to a vibrant display of colorful ethnic costumes and folk dances from different parts of the country, and if lucky, can be chosen to perform with the troupe!

Veranda is located at Taal Vista Hotel, Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City. For more information, visit taalvistahotel.com/dining or call (02) 917-8225, (046) 413-1000, or (0917) 809-1254. Open 6am to 11pm daily.

Looking for a list of things to See, Eat, and Do in Tagaytay? Find inspiration from our Travel Guide! While you’re at it, check out our other exclusive partners in Tagaytay.

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About Mimi
A freelance editor based in Manila, Mimi Tiu finds pleasure in coming up with meticulously detailed travel itineraries, wearing layers in autumn, and chronicling her ice cream discoveries on Instagram at @nicetomitiu.

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