Taal Volcano is located about 60 km SSE of Metro Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It is a complex volcanic system composed of a small volcanic island (Volcano Island), which has been the site of almost all historic activity, located within a 20x30 km lake-filled complex caldera(?) (Taal Lake, in older texts was also called Lake Bonbon), one of the great volcano-tectonic depressions of the world.
Taal as the Decade Volcano for the Philippines Thirty three eruptions have been recorded since 1572 at Taal, mostly on Volcano Island. The impacts of these eruptions were largely confined to the intracaldera area. Occasional violent activity, however, such as the 1754 plinian eruption, affected the entire region, including what is now the Metro Manila area with fallout. Some activity, such as the 1749 eruption, were accompanied by crustal disturbance and strong earthquakes, which generated ground fissures and pronounced subsidence that extended across Taal Lake.
The caldera has a long, but little known history of catastrophic explosive volcanism affecting much larger areas, including the Metro Manila area. The eruptions, one to two orders of magnitude larger and more devastating than those of Mount Pinatubo, have deposited massive ignimbrites, including the deposits of turbulent pyroclastic flows, and widespread tephra fall units in recent geologic time. Accompanying this volcanism has been extensive volcaniclastic sedimentation, dominated by deposition of hyperconcentrated streamflows and lahars in low-lying subaerial and shallow marine environments.
Taal Volcano, in the Philippines, was originally a huge volcano, that towered 18,000 feet up into the sky. It has been called the smallest active volcano, because it seems small now, but many people don't realize that it is one of the largest volcanoes in the world. It is located about 60-km south of Manila on "volcano island" inside a lake called Taal Lake, or Lake Taal. The picture of Taal volcano above, was taken from Tagaytay ridge. Actually, Tagaytay Ridge is the rim of the volcano! When the volcano was 18,000 feet high, Tagaytay ridge would have been only about a sixth of the way to the top of the volcano!! In the distance, across the lake, is Mt. Makulot.
A two or three night visit to Tagaytay with the invigorating views and serene atmosphere is highly recommended. Click here to experience one of the best bargains in Asia.
A short boat ride over to the volcano and a donkey ride to the top gets you a once in lifetime view.
A twenty minute (each way) round trip boat journey to Taal Volcano will set you back 1,250 to 1,500 Pesos, approximately US$25 to US$30 depending on you're bargaining ability. But that's for the entire boat, not per person. Then you're hit with the cost of hiring a donkey (once you reach Taal Volcano) to take you to the top, then back down. Unless you're in very good physical condition, the hiring of a donkey is highly recommended. This runs around 1,000 pesos per donkey, less than US$18.
As with most tourist destinations throughout the world, there is no shortage of touts here. You'll see them holding up signs that say, " Boat Trip To Volcano " or similar. Most are honest but will certainly try their best to extract the maximum pesos they can from you. Though most visitors use them, we recommend that you hire (additional cost) an authorized tour guide who can point out the pertinent facts along with excellent and useful information. They all speak excellent English and we found them to be more than helpful and worth the small cost of using their services. These guides have official picture ID badges which can easily be verified with the local authorities.
A trip to the volcano is recommend and plan on at least a half day for the sojourn. One can even cook hard boiled eggs there, which makes for quite an experience visiting this great natural wonder. Throw in the clean cool air, great hospitality, the calm and relaxing atmosphere, plus one of the best bargains in Asia, and it makes for a visit you can't beat!