15 October 2016

When in Batangas - Taal Volcano Tour

A trip to Talisay won't be complete without a glimpse of Taal Volcano. From our primary school history lessons, this one is said to be the smallest volcano in the world. What amazes me the most is that this popular tourist attraction is actually a volcano within a lake with a lake and an island within its crater And there's no other way to enjoy and experience Taal Volcano than to hike up all the way to its crater. During our visit to Club Balai Isabel, we had the chance to be up close and personal with Taal Volcano.

Peaceful Taal lake in the morning
Here's our boat!
Racing with the other group!

I think there are several other towns from which you could take a boat ride to Taal Volcano. But since we were staying at Club Balai in Talisay, we had our boat ride from there. There were six of us in the boat plus our boat operator. I think the local government is strict when it comes to safety as they limit the number of people inside the boat and made sure that everyone wears their safety vests. Anyway, it took us around 20 to 30 minutes to reach our destination. The boat ride was extremely smooth. The lake is calm and peaceful especially in the morning.

Horses for rent. You may avail of them for P450 per head (one way or two way)

There are two ways within which you could reach the crater - through a hike or through a horse ride. Some of us in the group opted to ride a horse for a convenient climb while most of us hike our way up. It's best to start the hike early in the morning. If you could start as early as 6am, it is better.  We got at Taal Volcano at around 7 in the morning. We first had breakfast in one of the cottages by the lake and started the hike before 8 in the morning.

Here goes our first uphill climb!

The trail was dry which made the heat unbearable. There was no shade at all so I just used my cardigan to shield myself from the sun. During my first few minutes of hiking, I was already filled with sweat and I was out of breath. I am not used to trekking and hiking so this uphill climb was extremely tough for me. I was so close to renting a horse.

A glimpse of where we came from
Can I just stay here instead?

There were several places during the climb wherein you could rest and buy refreshments. I think we stopped around five times during our hike to rest and hide from the sun, especially for the members of our group who are not regular hikers. 

The struggle is real!
My whole childhood is a lie! I was made to believe that that is the Taal Volcano!

Halfway through the hike, the heat became more unbearable but the view would want to make you go further. The last few steps nearing the observation deck was the hardest. I felt like quitting but I was determined to go on because I was almost near my destination.

View from the top!

When I say that this view is breathtaking, it literally is! I was out of breath when we got to the top of the crater. But the view was definitely worth the climb! We first had drinks when we got to the top then we proceeded to the deck itself where you could see the crater of Taal Volcano. Anyway, if you could bring extra drinks with you, please do so because drinks at the top of Taal costs around P50 to P100 each. Those are just bottled water and 500ml sodas, by the way.

Totally happy that we got to the top in one piece!

There are actually some activities that you could try out at the crater of Taal Volcano. For one, they have golf. I already forgot how much exactly is this one but I if my memory serves me right, I think it is P100 for 3 golf balls. There are also souvenirs that you could purchase for your loved ones from several gift shops. Of course, you could take tons of photos of the Taal Volcano as a remembrance of your trip which we did!

Some tourists playing golf

Thankfully, the trek down was easy peasy. I was with Shekinah and I think it took us half the time to go down. We didn't even need to stop to take a rest. By the way, don't make the mistake of renting a horse to go back to the foot of the volcano because it would be a waste of money. I think they charge the same (P450) whether you'll be renting the horse to go down or to go up the crater then down.

Trek down! I can't even smile like that during our hike up lol!
Some parts of the volcano were literally smoking!

To make your tour easier, here are some tips:
  • Go as early as possible. If you could start trekking by 6 in the morning, then it is better because the heat becomes unbearable starting at 8 in the morning.
  • Wear sturdy rubber shoes. The trail is kind of sandy so its best to wear covered shoes that has a nice sole grip.
  • Wear your comfiest clothes and bring a hat!
  • Make sure to eat breakfast so you'll have energy for the hike
  • Bring extra bottle of water (or two!) because soda and water are overpriced at the top of Taal

You may try Shekinah's Gigi Hadid inspired trek outfit!
Before going back to Club Balai!

For a hassle-free Taal Volcano tour, you may try out Club Balai Isabel's Taal Volcano tour. They are offering it for only P4500 for 6 persons (P750 per head) and you could avail of the tour whether or not you are staying with them.

For more details about Club Balai Isabel, check out their sites:

XO, Mish


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