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7 Things We Discovered When We Hiked Taal

by Maia Marquez

Even if we were frequent Tagaytay visitors, the famous Taal view has always remained...well, a view.

And like any stunning natural wonder, there is definitely more to Taal than meets the eye. We figured the best way to appreciate this natural wonder was to go on our very first Taal hike—and we were right! Read on to find out what we discovered:

1. The boat ride is a scenic view in itself.

Before going on the trek, you will have to take a 20-minute or so boat ride. Don’t worry, the calming cerulean waters and peaceful mountainous scenery are worth it. And remember, this is just the beginning!

2. The little cone that everyone thinks is the volcano isn’t really Taal.

It’s actually called Binintiang Malaki—translated as "Big Leg". It erupted several times in the 1700s and is now arguably the most photographed view of Taal.

3. Walking on lahar isn’t as easy as you might think.

After Mayon, Taal is the country’s 2nd most active volcano. Because of this, the path leading up the crater is covered in lahar. Even if its loose, sandy texture makes the trek a little more difficult, the views and sights along the way make up for it.

4. Hiking isn't the only option.

While we were up for the challenge of hiking on foot (read: we aren’t avid hikers!), horseback riding is a popular choice among many. We passed by a couple of visitors on horses during our hike. This calls for a second visit, don’t you think?

5. A “living rock” actually exists.

We decided to stop by a flat rock to catch our breaths. As we sat down, our tour guide said, "Buhay po ‘yan!" (it’s alive!) She said, "Lumalaki ‘yan—maliit lang ‘yan dati,” (It gets bigger—it used to be small before). Later, we saw more of these growing rocks scattered along the way.

6. There are 14 Stations of the Cross in the hike.

With 14 Stations of the Cross spread throughout the path to the top, the trek has become a popular Holy Week activity and act of penance.

7. Sulfuric steam can be seen (and smelled).

Since Taal is still an active volcano, the smoke coming out of the ground is sulfuric steam. The hot steam is said to be good for the skin and the temperature can cook an egg in 30 minutes! Speaking of eggs, the sulfur odor, unfortunately, smells like rotten eggs. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

After the hike, we realized that there is so much more to Taal than meets the eye. Who knew that it was a place where you can encounter "living rocks" and sulfuric steam up-close?

People head to Tagaytay for many reasons—and to discover a natural wonder like Taal should be one of them!

Have you hiked Taal before? Share your experiences in the comments section below!

Boat fee: Approximately P2,000 for a maximum for 7 people
Environmental fee: P100/head
Optional Add-Ons:
- Tour Guide: P500 for a maximum of 5 people
- Horseback Ride: P500/head
- Entry to Red Lava: P50/head

J-Cel Boat Station
Brgy., Talisay, Batangas
(0920) 294 1735
(0999) 666 6874

Heading to Tagaytay for a vacation? Check out our Travel Guide for a list of things to See, Eat, and Do! Enjoy discounts on Tagaytay stays, day tours, F&B offers, and spa treatments here.

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About Maia
Maia’s passions in life are to travel and tell stories. Born in the States, raised in Manila, while having studied in France for a while, her ultimate goal is to travel all countries of the world. Her idea of a perfect trip is a mix of the beach, a little of the city, some shopping, and delicious eats. While she’s not traveling, she spends quality time with her 10 dogs.

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