• My Favorite Day Trip from Manila

    Men's Interest • By Graham Caygill • 25/01/2017 • 0 comments

     

    I’ve been living in Manila for nearly three years now and had only seen the Taal Volcano from afar, mainly from the Sky Ranch. I wanted to change that. 

     

    I had always been curious about exploring the volcano up close. So one day, my friend Joaco and I decided to go on a spontaneous trip to check it out. And I loved every second of it!

     

    We weren’t able to do much research or planning as everything happened so last minute, but I found a Facebook Page offering tours (HERE). Check the link for prices.

     

    I typed ‘Precious Boat Station’ into Waze, and it took us straight there. Dead easy! We drove from Fort Bonifacio in Taguig, and it took us less than 1.5 hours to reach our destination, one quick restroom stop included.

     

    We opted for the slightly more expensive package but this allowed us to do a longer trek and take a dip in the crater.

     

    After a brief introduction, we took the 45-minute boat ride to the volcano, which also happened to be the starting point of the trek. The lake that day was a tad choppy so, inevitably, we got soaked! Luckily, it was a beautiful, sunny day and we dried up quickly.

     

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    The first part of the trek is slightly uphill. The ground is a mixture of mud, stones, grass and horse poop. Although it is not necessary to wear special hiking shoes, do wear a comfortable pair that you don’t mind getting dirty.

    After walking for 45 minutes or so we came to a viewing point. The scenery is spectacular and you get 360° views.

     

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    After a quick photo op, we made our way downhill towards the crater. The terrain changes slightly as you navigate through trees and long grass with some areas slippery when wet, so watch your footing.

     

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    Upon reaching the crater, the landscape changes yet again as you see Mars-like red rocks and steam seeping through parts of the volcano.

    We were able to go swimming in the inviting, warm water. As I understand, the lake is rich in sulphur. I’m not entirely certain if this poses a safety issue, but I dove in anyway and. so far, I haven’t grown any extra limbs!

     

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    About 400m from the designated swimming area, the water is hot enough to boil eggs! Watch your step as you traverse this part because the ground is scorching, with little puddles of boiling water scattered throughout. At one point, we were engulfed by the volcanic steam. It was also impossible to ignore the pungent scent of sulphur. Despite all of this, however, I believe it’s pretty cool to be able to say that you’ve stood and swam in an active volcano!

     

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    To head back, you go the exact same way you came. Easy!

     

    All in all, we probably trekked a total of 2 hours.

     

    This is a doable trek for everyone -- from the novice hiker to the professional thrill-seeker -- and definitely well worth it! Bring your girlfriend/boyfriend, mum, kids etc. and make an adventure of it! I know for a fact that I will be going back!

     

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    What’s included in the tour?

    - Roundtrip boat ride

    - Tour guide

    - Face mask (for dust, we didn’t need this)

    - Waterproof poncho

    - Hat

    - Bottle of water

    - Buko Juice (yum!) 

     

    Things to think about

    - Wear comfortable shoes (special hiking shoes are not necessary)

    - Go there already hydrated and bring plenty of water

    - Bring a snack/picnic

    - Parts of the trek aren’t in the shade so bring sunblock

    - Bring a change of clothes for after the trek

     

    I made a video diary of my Taal Volcano adventure, check it out here:

     

    Tags: graham caygill, men's interest, cluster, taal, favorite day trip