Taal Volcano is one of the most active volcanos in the Philippines. The crater of the volcano is a small island right in the middle of the Taal lake. It’s a lake, within an island, within a lake. It is also considered one of the smallest but also one of the deadliest in the world. The height of the volcano is only 311m and you can reach the top within an hour of hiking.
The volcano is located in Batangas and roughly 100km south of Manila (2 hour drive). It has become a popular day trip from the capital despite being one of the most active. You easily can have a picturesque and stunning view from Tagaytay city. There are many restaurants and hotels that offer an Instagrammable view.
Taal Volcano has also become a popular hiking destination where you can rent a boat going to the island and hike towards the top of and see the volcanic crater itself. I tried this hike with a few friends back in 2017 and I have to say that it is a great destination. Besides, not many can say that they went up an active volcano all the way to the top. These were some of the pictures of my trip back then.
Unfortunately, despite being dormant since 1977, it erupted last January 12, 2020 where is spewed huge amounts of lava and ash. The giant eruption instantly destroyed all vegetation in the crater island including the homes of the locals who inhabit it. Tagaytay city was totally covered in thick ash and the ash even reached Manila where classes, flights and work was suspended for many days.
See my drone footage of the destruction here
10 months after the devastating eruption, I had a chance to visit the close to the island to see what’s left of it. Tourists are still not allowed to come close to the island as geologists say that it is still very dangerous to visit as another eruption might come soon again. Luckily, I brought my drone which caught a glimpse of what was before lush greens now turned to a barren wasteland.
Despite the island being destroyed, you can now see some life starting to come back. Trees are starting to grow back little by little and eventually even if it takes some time, hopefully we can enjoy Taal to what it used to be.