Taal: An Island Within A Lake Within A Volcano Within a Lake
Where is the volcano? Which one is it and why is it so confusing? Taal Volcano is one of the most picturesque and attractive views in the Philippines, yet it has a complex and unique landscape. It is located in Tagaytay, just 1-1/2 hours drive from Metro Manila. When you look at the photo above, you'll see a small cone towards the middle right of the photo, which looks like a mini volcano. That's Binintiang Malaki which is one of the 47 conic tips or craters of Taal Volcano(c). The hills to the left are part of the volcano and is called Volcano Island(c). Surrounding this island, you'll see a freshwater lake(d) that fills the volcano’s caldera, a large collapsed area formed when it erupted hundreds of thousands of years ago. In the middle of Volcano Island(c), there is the crater lake(b), and within that lake is a tiny island called Vulcan's Point(a). Here's the reference to the title: An Island(a) Within A Lake(b) Within A Volcano(c) Within a Lake(d). Today, the volcano remains active with some minimal signs of unrest but has remained quiet since 1977. A visit to Taal's crater lake is a great day trip option for visitors. You take a boat across Taal Lake to Volcano Island where you can hike or horseback to see the crater lake. Or you can just simply take in the great views from Tagaytay where one can enjoy cool weather and explore the many places to eat.
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Volcano and Vista
The view from the Vista's of Tagaytay Ridge are some of the most breathtaking in the Batangas Region of the Philippines. Taal may be one of the smallest volcanoes however it is one of the most active in the country. Posh resorts can be found at lake level, juxtaposed by impoverished communities.
This is a great day trip from Manila, about a 2-hour drive on little bit of highway and lots of winding local roads. There is a lake in the middle of the volcano which is in the middle of a larger lake. Take a half-hour boat trip to the volcano island and then you can hike in about 45 minutes (or be led quicker on a horse for a nominal fee) to the top for a beautiful view into the inner lake and of the surrounding area. (Do this in the morning before it gets really hot.) There are some VERY basic concessions available at the summit, but no place to have a real meal there. You can have lunch of freshly caught fish plus traditional Filipino dishes in private lakeside huts when you take a boat back from the volcano. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It's actually a volcano on an island within a volcano on an island. Tricky I know, but it's quite true. The island you can access by boat and surrounding the giant lake is a looping road filled with food markets and local shops.