Wednesday, October 3, 2012

View From The Crater

A week before our trip to Taal, Batangas, the rain was pouring hard causing doubts whether or not we'll cancel the trip . But on the day of the said trip, the sun showed and  dried up the soaked soil. How happy we were when the day became pleasant with our journey. Taal (Ta-al), Batangas is 60 kilometers away from the capital city Manila. It can be reached by land in an hour without stopovers. Or more than an hour, if you'll get distracted with the view of the natural features of the landscapes.

Tourists and visitors normally go to the town of Talisay, which is a few kilometers down the slopes of Tagaytay City.  A 20 minute boat ride from Talisay town proper is required before you reach the volcano island, the view of the lake from the boat invigorated me more which made me grab my camera and took pictures as much as I can.

The Mt. Binintiang Malaki is one of the most photographed crater among the Taal group of craters, it is one of the oldest and inactive crater in the volcano island craters. It was formed through one major eruption at the center of a lake, and since the lake itself is the crater of a prehistoric volcano, and within the lake, other eruptions have occurred producing more craters and micro-lakes. All the while I thought this was the mouth of the volcano submerged in the lake but I was amazed when I learned that there's more!

Trekking would be a sure fun on the way to the summit but the path can be dusty during summer and muddy on rainy season, a dust mask would be advisable for the trip. Upon reaching the Taal Volcano Island, locals greeted and guided us on our way to the crater lake. There were paths which are steep and can cause panting but you can take a rest once in a while to regain strength. As you approach the crater a concrete stair is waiting for an easy access to the view deck, just climbed it slowly so it won't be hard for you.

If you are not comfortable with hiking, you can take a horse ride going to the view deck from the shore (where the boats dock). Horses can be hired with the assistance of the tour guides and sometimes these horses can be your guide too if yu prefer to walk, just follow where they go and you won't get lost for sure.

So there! The picturesque view of the real Taal Volcano, different from what I see in postcards, a gift from Mother Nature and to its dwellers. This magnificent view of the crater lake and the nearby areas is spectacular and worth every minute of your hike!  The Taal Volcano Protected Landscape by the way was declared as Philippines’ National Geological Monument and was also proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006.

I have always been curious and aspiring to know about what is out there and how could I get there, every time we pass by Tagaytay. And now that the heavens answered my prayers, I can proudly say that I've been there, I walked on its mouth, I saw what is beyond the ridge and I'm proud of myself!  You know there is no place far enough if you have the will to succeed. That's all I can say, and thank you for reading.

How to get here?
1. The shortest route getting there is through Tagaytay City.
2. From Tagaytay City there is a ridge near the rotunda going to the town of Talisay. (Just ask assistance from the police, in case you get lost)
3. From Talisay, hire a boat which will take about 30-45 minutes before you arrive in the volcano island. There are resorts in the lakeshore which offers tours in Taal Volcano.
4. Just enjoy! Feel it!

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