Friday, September 16, 2011

Taal Up Close

See an active volcano up close! Feel its heat! Include an exciting boat ride to Volcano Island and a trek to the main crater of Taal Volcano when you come to stay at the Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center. You can also bird watch and go horseback riding.

Awesome view of the Taal Volcano Main Crater.  This is also called Crater Lake.
The rock at right is Vulcan Point: an island in a lake (Crater Lake) on an island (Volcano Island)
in a lake (Taal Lake) on an island (Luzon).

This familiar conical crater seen from the highway and the subject of numerous posters and postcards
is NOT the main crater of Taal Volcano. Note the fishermen's huts and fish pens in the foreground.
A 30-minute boat ride to Volcano Island costs P1,200 for six persons. 

Enjoy this view of the most familiar of Taal's 47 craters about halfway to the main crater.
Are volcanoes mentioned in the Bible?
Yes, in Micah 1:4: “The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart,
like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope.” 

Do some bird watching during the 45-minute hike to the crater. Flocks of crows are a common sight.
 For tips on bird watching visit
 If you see just a few birds, sit down for a relaxing moment to listen to them instead.
Close your eyes and count all their calls and songs. You’ll discover that birds are more often heard than seen. 

The hike to the crater is generally easy but men and women offering horseback rides will follow you
 nearly all the way, commenting, “Malayo pa po yon! Baka mapagod po kayo,”
(“It’s still a far way off! You might get tired [before you reach it”])
The cost of a horseback ride drops from P450 at the beginning of the trail to P200 as you near the summit.
Horse hoof jewelry. These horsey anklets jingle all the way.

Lava strata: top layer is a lovely shade of pink. 
Panoramic scenery: hardened lava, lush green shrubs, fresh water lake, Tagaytay City in the distance and
two high-rises reaching into the sky. 

A steam vent nearly a hundred meters to the crater.
Branches tied together to make a set of steps give photographers a good (yet rickety) vantage point
at the viewing area.  Souvenir shops maintained by locals sell t-shirts, caps,
fresh buko (young coconut)  and soft drinks. 

A vent in the crater wall emits steam. 

The downhill trek from the crater rim is easy and the view picturesque.  
The Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center is managed by the Center for Community Transformation. Some of the buildings here were built by former street dwellers being ministered to by CCT.   Read the heartwarming story of one changed life here:

 For rates and booking information, please contact Eva Lope at,, 09192933157, 09232497605, 806-6912, and 234-1301. For information on CCT'  programs and target beneficiaries, please visit

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