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“Scenic views with age old tourist traps”
Review of Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano
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$95.77*
and up
Full-Day Private Tour of Taal Volcano with a...
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Taal Volcano is located about 60 km (about 37 miles) south of Metro Manila. Last major eruption was reported back in 1965 that affected villages in the surrounding area.
Reviewed December 2, 2017 via mobile

Our hotel arranged for a travel guide to assist us with the Taal Volcano visit. We paid him for the boat ride, horse ride (500pp per person), and entrance fee to the mountain. We saved 2000pp by using our own transportation to the boats. The boat ride was refreshing and pleasant. As soon as the boat arrived to the volcano base, a photog took our photo and 2 minutes later had it in a frame and asked for 350pp (about $7). Once we got up the mountain, more photos were taken of us followed by hard selling and mediocre discounting. When we did not want them, they tried selling us the photos without the frames. My advice is to avoid looking at the photog’s camera as he is taking your photo if you do not wish to purchase it. The walk from the boat to the horses was interesting. There were short-leashed muddy horses and cows interspersed with dogs, chickens, locals, and shacks. For transportation up to the top, I personally would not hike up the mountain. Horse dong is strewn the whole way up and down from what I could see. It took about 40 minutes each way. I think it would take at least an hour each way by foot for an average adult as it was quite uneven and steep at times. We had young kids with us and there is almost no way they would have hiked it.
However, ask for a bigger horse if you are not petit because the makeshift saddle is pretty small (my partner was complaining about an achy behind the whole way). Our horse guides were wearing green shirts (other companies have different colored t-shirts) with numbers on the back of them which shows how many trips up the mountain and back they have had (mine was at 201). They were nice enough on the way up. They road with the children the entire way while guides with adults asked to ride with us only during certain times. When it began raining, females at kiosks began wanting to sell us raincoats. Oh, and there were a few kiosks wanting to sell us sodas on the path. Once we got to the top, more vendors were hard selling their coconut juice, t-shirts, and drinks. On the way back down, the guides will “secretly” ask you for their own tip. My spouse’s guide gave the same line. Avoid agreeing to it since it promotes dishonest behavior. If you want to tip, 150pp per guide should be sufficient (as opposed to the 10,000pp my guide told me he has received from folks). The boatman will also ask for his tip on the way back. I gave him 50pp. I am glad we were able to visit Taal volcano. No desire to go back again. It would have been 80 percent more pleasant without the heavy and coordinated sales.

4  Thank Kjin200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"day trip"
in 125 reviews
"horse ride"
in 125 reviews
"walk up"
in 46 reviews
"red lava"
in 28 reviews
"nice view"
in 44 reviews
"per person"
in 50 reviews
"boat driver"
in 17 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 49 reviews
"by foot"
in 23 reviews
"tagaytay ridge"
in 14 reviews
"hit golf balls"
in 14 reviews
"hour drive"
in 14 reviews
"face mask"
in 32 reviews
"metro manila"
in 24 reviews
"lots of water"
in 15 reviews
"enjoy the view"
in 24 reviews
"buko juice"
in 15 reviews
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81 - 85 of 1,558 reviews

Reviewed November 19, 2017

But nature's beauty and fortitude against onslaught of "progress" is a thing to behold. A long time ago, the entire area surrounding Taal was fields, pasture. Now all free vista points are occupied by retail establishments which block the view from the road. Not only that but they own the views now. The commercialization of this place I think has gone too far. The locals should enjoy the place. The whole Tagaytay should have been treated like a national park. Now I have to pay Starbucks to enjoy the view! One thing that hasn't changed and hope to continue is the bounty of local fresh fruits and vegetables that line the road on the way there.

1  Thank uberkyut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2017

It's a great day trip from Manila. Take a boat over to the volcano island. We took the horses going up the volcano and walked back down which we found being a great experience. On the way back you can experience steam coming out of the rocks and actually feel the heat of the rocks... very interesting.
The guides have been good, even though I thought they could have asked for permission before jumping as well on the back of the horse sitting behind you... not everybody would be ok with that. Lucky I was wearing a backpack, so there hasn't been any space behind me, but rest of my family wasn't that lucky.
Ensure you book the horses in advance, once you are on the island prices at least double!
Have water with you so you don't have to buy the overpriced drinks on the way.
Stunning view once up on the volcano.
Could become crowded if you hit a Chinese tour group...

Thank Flyawayy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2017

An excellent choice for a daytrip from Manila if you're OK with the two hour drive time and the high likelihood of hitting traffic on the way back. I went with TRIPinas who provided an excellent service with hotel pick up/drop off, boat transfer to the island and guide to the top.

Beautiful walk, lovely volcano, locals selling cold coconuts, drinks and food on the way up are not pushy at all and you can be back in Manila for late afternoon if you start at 06h30.

Thank travelkev00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 10, 2017

Started at Manila. Long road journey to the town. Then a scary tuktuk/cyclo thing down the hill to the lakes edge. A slightly scary boat trip to the island. Then a very scary horseback ride up the volcano to the volcano upper edge. The water inside is a chemical catastrophe experiment gone wrong, so you stay from that. There are plumes of volcanic smoke in several places. Slightly scary! But its all t-shirts and drinks and photos at the summit. Then its downhill again, by horse, but I pitied mine and I walked, which was safer anyway. No complaints; quite an adventure. Didnt feel ripped off anywhere, but the produce at the top was a bit expensive of course. Only to be expected. Recommended.

1  Thank wilkinsonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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