Hiking an Active Volcano

By Kariopes

Quick Update and a Repost: On Jan 12, 2020 Taal Volcano erupted. This once scenic view and hike to Crater Lake is now a desert sand, and the government issued it as a no-man’s land.

A year of planning. That was how long my friends and I, planned and organised our hike to go to Taal Crater Lake in Batangas. Really. Doing a group outing could be so hard because one or the other, issues come up, like I am busy, it is a school day, or I have work and so on. But that is life, and that is how it goes.

It was last December. There was a storm brewing according to the news weather forecaster, but this didn’t stop us in going through with our hike at Taal Crater Lake. We woke up with a cloudy sky with a bit of rain. So, why would this stop us? It was just a drizzle anyway. I picked up four of my friends somewhere in Paranaque and the other three in Nuvali, which was along the way to our destination. It was an uneventful two hour drive, and we arrived early at the Talisay market, where we rented two boats to bring us to the island. Yup. There was a boatride, which cost about ₱2000 per boat per seven pax. Alas, there were eight of us. We tried to haggle with the boatman, but it was a government rule. So each of us ended up paying a bit more.

The boat ride was quite refreshing with a slight morning breeze, calm waves and the beautiful island up ahead. When we disembarked, we were led to the registration office, where we paid the ₱100 environmental fee per person and ₱500 tour guide. Also you could rent a horse to ride to the summit if you preferred, which was ₱500 back and forth.

We started our trek right away. We were chatting with our guide, Mary Ann, and was told that the hike to the summit would take around 45 mins., and an easy hike. We were happily relieved, excitedly chatted along and took pictures while we walked. But whoa is me… about 30 mins. of walking and stopping to take a breath every now and then, one of my friend was eyeing the horses with sorrow and a sad face. Hahaha. She said, riding a horse seems better. So the 45 mins. hike took us about an hour and a half.

A beautiful view beheld us at the summit point. The wonder of the crater filled with water. I felt that the long trek was worth it. There was a viewing deck, some cottages that served food and drinks and a lot of picture perfect set-ups with the view.

Don’t go down right away, though, because Red Lava Rock was about 5 mins. walk away. A beautiful view of the crater while standing on, yes, you guessed it red rock. Some parts of it were actually smoking. An amazing spot.

Heading down was a breeze. But my shoes almost didn’t make it. You see, it almost broke down on me.

The boatride back to the main island was a bit jerky and rough. The wind was stronger and  the storm was about to rain on us. We were just in the nick of time. We were dog-hungry with our hike and decided to stop at a local restaurant, Sora Bulalo Sizzling House. It was a long day of adventure with friends, more than 1000+ of steps, fats lost and an all over body ache that, I think, was worth every penny. It was one list off my travel bucket list, but I wouldn’t mind going back again.

I really recommend going here. A nature lovers quiet place. A place for respite and refuge from the heat and pollution of city life by Manilenos. Taal Batangas, is a haven where you can have a relaxing spa, foodtrip, family picnic, play in the amusement park, and lastly nature tripping, such as horse back riding, swimming and hiking. A place where you can do so much or so little, depending on your preference. A tourist destination you should not miss out on.

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