When you think you’ve seen the rest of Tagaytay, you have to think twice. Aside from the day tour that you can do which includes the usual food trips, picnics and photo op with the iconic Taal Volcano — I think it is better to see and experience the volcano up close.

Taal Volcano is surrounded with towns of Batangas and Cavite and since we are in Tagaytay to tour one of our foreigner colleague we figure we set on this adventure.

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All tours can be arranged in Tagaytay already, lots of locals are around the area to offer the Taal package. The boat ride to and from the volcano ranges from PHP 1500 – PHP 1800 depending on how good you are with haggling. Our group of 5 got the 1500 rate where we are assisted to a nearby resort situated in Talisay, Batangas, around 30 minutes from Tagaytay proper.

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Upon reaching the foot of Taal, you will have to pay PHP 50 for the environmental fee and if you plan to ride the horse it will cost you PHP 450.

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We wanted the complete experience so we opted to just hike up under the scorching heat of the sun — good thing there are hats for rent around the area. IMG_1256

The hike normally lasts for about 45 minutes but since we availed of all the stop overs to rest and to hydrate, it took us around an hour or so.

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The summer weather, boulders of rocks coupled by the lava underneath made the hike more intense and hard as compared to hiking Mount Pinatubo, but I can say, it was all worth it when you see how glorious it is on top.

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This was just my third hike since I started this year and I know it will not be the last—because as with any obstacles, you get to appreciate the fruits of your labor once you know you’ve put your sweat (in this case, literally) and tears into it.

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