Tagaytay, Cavite, Southern Luzon, Philippines

On a clear day, Lake Taal is truly a marvel to behold. From Tagaytay you can peer straight down into the simmering, multiple craters of active Taal Volcano – also known as Volcano Island – rising out of the middle of the lake 600m beneath you.

Lake Taal and Volcano Island lie within a massive prehistoric volcano crater measuring roughly 75km around. This ancient crater forms Tagaytay Ridge, upon which sits the town of Tagaytay. Like a set of Russian matryoshka dolls, Taal Volcano in turn encircles its own little crater lake, itself containing a small island.

Tagaytay is a relaxed town that seems to meander forever along Tagaytay Ridge. Lying just 60km south of Manila, it is everything the capital is not: cool, clean, gorgeous and oxygenated. The Tagaytay area is also known as something of a foodie haven.

The nature of the town changes dramatically on weekends, when the Manila hordes arrive and traffic jams appear.

Sitting directly down the hill from Tagaytay is the small lakeside town of Talisay, where bangkas depart for the volcano.

Tagaytay Rotunda, at the intersection of the road to Silang, is a useful landmark that separates the eastern and western halves of Tagaytay Ridge. Just off the rotunda is the main commercial centre, Olivares Plaza.

Visit Philippines. Epic Philippines Adventure Route © All Rights Reserved | Monika & Simon Newbound 2017

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