MGM Ranch and Farm Resort, St Peter's Little Bridge Resort
Basilica of St. Martin of Tours, Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay
Currently, there are around 7 hotels that you can book in Taal
Looking to stay at a hotel in Taal Volcano? While staying on the volcano island itself is impossible—there’s no available accommodation there—booking at nearby Tagaytay City is a better option. Learn more about the country’s second most active volcano and the areas surrounding it in this guide.
While a number of people consider it as one of the world’s smallest volcanoes, Taal Volcano is actually part of a larger volcano. That larger volcano’s crater is now actually Taal Lake, where the Taal Volcano Island is located. Since it is still an active volcano, building any structure on the Volcano Island is prohibited. Hence, most establishments that cater to travelers can be found in Tagaytay City, which is built on a ridge overlooking Taal Lake. It is also the starting point for most travelers in the area.
This doesn’t mean just being content with the view of the volcano. When volcanic activity is low, travelers can actually hike up the Taal Volcano to see it up close.
The easiest way to get to Tagaytay from Manila by public transportation would be by bus. Simply look for the buses going to Nasugbu, Batangas via Tagaytay at the Cubao or Pasay bus terminals. Trips are available daily.
Meanwhile, from Cavite, several jeepney routes pass through Tagaytay City en route to Nasugbu, Batangas. These include the Imus, Dasmarinas, and Silang routes.
Other than riding a jeepney, tricycles are plentiful in the downtown areas of Tagaytay City. These tricycles can be chartered to take you down to the shores of Taal Lake.
The main tourist draw is still Taal Volcano and Lake. To get a glimpse of it, simply go to the viewing deck of Taal Vista Hotel, which is open to all. Entrance to this viewing deck is also free, however it can get crowded during the summer holidays. Many other establishments in Tagaytay City also offer views of the volcano.
After seeing the volcano, there are also a number of interesting spots in Tagaytay City that you can check out. These include the Museo Orlina, an art gallery owned by renowned sculptor Ramon Orlina; and the giant Our Lady of Manaoag statue, which is a great spot for meditation.
Of course, if your goal in the area is to visit Taal Volcano, you can get up close and personal with it. Simply book a guided hike to the volcano island itself. Packages are readily available in nearby Talisay town, which is also the jump-off point for most of these tours.
Once you’re done with Taal Volcano, you can explore the rest of the surrounding areas. You can go horseback riding at the Sky Ranch, which also has a small theme park. Or if you’re tired, you can enjoy a relaxing retreat at the many spas in Tagaytay, such as The Bathhouse by Qiwellness Living.
Many restaurants in Tagaytay actually offer views of the Taal Volcano. The difference, then, lies in what you want to eat.
For a hearty, Filipino-style meal, you can opt for the famous bulalo (bone shank soup) at Leslie’s. This restaurant has two branches—one main branch along the highway, and another one at Sky Ranch. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something more gourmet, try Breakfast at Antonio’s. It’s a spinoff of Antonio’s, a popular fine dining restaurant. Of course, you can also dine at the Taal Vista Hotel’s lounge—don’t miss their popular halo-halo.
The best options for accommodation near Taal Volcano is in Tagaytay City, as it has the most number of hotels and B&Bs in the area. From the iconic Taal Vista Hotel to newer establishments such as Hotel Kimberly or Daj Suites, travelers won’t run out of options in the area.
However, be advised that hotels offer rooms with views of the volcano at a premium. If you want cheaper accommodation, go for one facing the roadside.
Make sure to bring a big bottle of water when hiking. Not only will this save you from dehydration. The cost of water and snacks on the boat to the volcano island is also three times the regular price of bottled water at the supermarket.
Dress for the weather and the trek.
A light jacket is also a must if you’re going to stay in Tagaytay City, as the weather on the ridge is colder than the average Manila weather.
Don’t confuse a stay in Taal town with staying at a Taal Volcano hotel. Taal town is actually situated a few kilometers away from the ridge; establishments there do not offer views of the volcano. However, that town is still worth a visit for its heritage sites and balisong (butterfly knife) industry.