Taal Volcano Taygaytay : An island, within a lake, in a volcano, in a lake, on an island..

Updated: Mar 8

We all know that the Philippines sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire. We have volcanoes for neighbours in our communities. The beautiful Mayon Volcano in Albay, with its world-famous perfect cone. Mt. Pinatubo, which exploded in 1991, the world’s largest explosion in living memory that caused global temperature to dip half a degree (Celcius).

Vulcan Point

The crater lake on Volcano Island is the largest lake on an island in a lake on an island in the world.Moreover, this lake contains Vulcan Point, a small rocky island that projects from the surface of the crater lake, which was the remnant of the old crater floor that is now surrounded by the 2-kilometre (1.2 mi) wide lake, now referred to as the Main Crater Lake. Vulcan Point is often cited as the largest third-order island (an island in a lake on an island) in the world, though this is also claimed to be an unnamed Canadian island located within Victoria Island.

Taal Volcano Taygaytay seen from Peoples Park in the sky

Taal Volcano Tagaytay

The Tagaytay Ridge, with its numerous establishments catering to travellers and tourists, offers a good view of Taal Volcano and the Taal Lake. Lakeshore towns, or those which border on Taal Lake, include Talisay, Tanauan, Agoncillo, Balete, San Nicolas and Laurel.

There were 33 historical eruptions, the last one in 1977. Volcano Island is a permanent danger zone.

The government agency specifically tasked to keep an eye on volcanoes, the PHIVOLCS, declared an Alert Level 2 in June of 2010, which alert was downgraded to Level 1 in August. Based on onPHIVOLCS information, the alert levels for Taal Volcano (Mayon Volcano has separate alert level descriptions) are as follows: 

No alert (Normal)

Criteria: Background, quiet.

Interpretation: No eruption in the foreseeable future.

Alert Level 1 (Abnormal)

Criteria: Low-level seismicity, fumarolic, other activity.

Interpretation: Magmatic, tectonic or hydrothermal disturbance; no eruption imminent.

Alert Level 2 (Alarming)

Criteria: Low to moderate level of seismicity, the persistence of local but unfelt earthquakes. Ground deformation measurements above baseline levels. Increased water and/or ground probe hole temperatures, increased bubbling at Crater Lake

Interpretation: A) Probable magmatic intrusion; could eventually lead to an eruption.

B) If the trend shows a further decline, the volcano may soon go to level 1

Criteria: Relatively high unrest manifested by seismic swarms including the increasing occurrence of low-frequency earthquakes and/or harmonic tremor (some events felt). Sudden or increasing changes in temperature or bubbling activity or radon gas emission or Crater Lake pH. Bulging of the edifice and fissuring may accompany seismicity.

Interpretation: A) If the trend is one of increasing unrest, the eruption is possible within days to weeks.

B) If the trend is one of decreasing unrest, the volcano may soon go to level 2

Alert Level 4 (Eruption Imminent)

Criteria: Intense unrest, continuing seismic swarms, including harmonic tremor and/or “low-frequency earthquakes” which are usually felt, profuse steaming along existing and perhaps new vents and fissures.

Interpretation: Hazardous explosive eruption is possible within days.

Alert Level 5 (Eruption)

Criteria: Base surges accompanied by eruption columns or lava fountaining or lava flows.

Interpretation: Hazardous eruption in progress. Extreme hazards to communities west of the volcano and ashfalls on downwind sectors.

Source: PHIVOLCS. See map and directions. Rate and review Taal Volcano and Taal Lake.

Getting to Taal Volcano Taygaytay

Catch the bus

Buses and minivans depart downtown Manila for Tagaytay at regular intervals each day. The trip takes 1-2 hours.

From Tagaytay, catch a taxi to one of the small piers on the edge of Taal Lake. Then negotiate with one of the outrigger boat operators to make the 5-kilometre trip across to Volcano Island. Usually, their average rate is ₱2,500 up for a group of 2-6 person. 

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