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Dec 16

Tagatay and Lake Taal - Great locations for a day trip from Manila Philippines

Planning a day trip from Manila? Tagaytay is a great spot for a day trip or a weekend stay from Manila. Easily accessible from Manila by bus or car, Lake Taal area offers an interesting holiday location with a number of tourist attractions sure to appeal to people from all age groups.

Travelling to Lake Taal and Tagaytay

You can easily travel to Tagaytay by bus and use local transport including jeepneys and rickshaws to commute in the local area. I highly recommend booking a car from Manila for a day trip. This will save you plenty of time and you can stop over for a nice location to take pictures and change your itinerary based on your places of interest. 

I booked a car with an excellent driver from Manila. Carlos (contact: 09056940134 ) is a seasoned traveller and very well aware of many interesting places of interest. You can negotiate a day trip cost which can be anything from 4500-6000 pesos depending on the number of hours and passengers etc.  Lake Taal

Views of Lake Taal from Picnic Grove Area


I travelled with Carlos from Manila, Angeles City and Subic Bay area and found booking the car the best way to travel for day trips around Manila. Renting a car can be an expensive option in Manila and driving a challenge that you would want to avoid at all costs. 

We started early at around 5 am to beat the city traffic. The trip took us around 1.5 hours to Picnic Grove area of Tagaytay. 

First stop in Tagaytay: Picnic Grove Area

Tagaytay is a hilly area with massive lake Taal around the active Taal Volcano. The city of Tagaytay is perched on top of the hill commanding amazing views of the lake. 

Picnic Grove are is a popular tourist area offering great views of Lake Taal. There are a couple of nice local cafes and sitting area. The facilities are rudimentary, however, for most visitors, it will be a starting point for a trip to Lake Taal, as you will be approached by a number of touts suggesting a tour of Lake Taal. 

You can negotiate a price with the tout as he will take you to one of many hotels located along the Lake area. The resorts have wooden shacks and cottages as well as the 4-star resorts.

Second Stop: Lake Taal Boating Trip

Local resorts can charge about 300 Pesos for using their facility to relax or enjoy meals before boarding on the boat. The boat costs around 2000-2500 Pesos which will take you to the Taal Island. You can hire horses or trek up to to the top of the active volcano. 

 Lake Taal

Lake Taal 


The Lake Taal has a number of Talapia Farms and tours is quite enjoyable where you can enjoy some great scenic views of Lake area. The tall buildings in the city of Tagaytay are visible from the Lake Taal Area. 

The drive from Picnic Grove to Lake Taal area is quite scenic. This area is named as "Santorini of Philippines". There are a number of high-end resorts as well as expensive celebrity bungalows along the road. Lake Taal area is a popular hangout with rich and famous in the Philippines. 

Views of Lake Taal

Views of Tagaytay from Lake Taal


I enjoyed breakfast in a Bamboo hut along the lake before boarding a beautifully coloured boat for a one hour tour. A trip to the top of Lake Taal can be hectic. if you have a couple of days to yourself, you can plan one day trip to Taal Volcano area. I decided to enjoy the boat tour and head on to explore some local five-star resorts to understand various accommodation options available in this area. 

Where to stay in Lake Taal Area?

Club Balai Isabel  is a great location if you are planning a weekend excursion to this area with your family. Private apartments and rooms are available for large groups. This is a very well maintained property and a great place to stay for the weekend. Kids attractions include an inflatable island and water sports in Lake Taal. 

Club Balai Isabel

Club Balai Isabel Outdoor Pool facing Lake Taal


Third Stop in Tagaytay: The Pink Sisters

 Pink Sisters Cathedral is located Tagaytay city surrounded by pine trees. The stone structure with a green roof is a sanctuary of peace and an amazing place to reflect and meditate and connect with God. There are some very nice hotels located adjacent to the chapel for people who plan to spend some quality time in this place of worship. 

Pink Sisters Tagaytay

Pink Sisters Chapel Tagaytay


Rangya Hotel 3-star hotel

9061 Gen. Maitim 2 East, Emilio Aguinaldo Hwy, Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite, Philippines +63 917 638 5762
 

4th Stop in Tagaytay- Starbucks in Tagaytay 

Starbucks at Tagaytay is probably one of the best locations for a Starbucks I have come across in my travels. Located on the top of the hill, the location enjoys amazing views of Lake Tagaytay. I stopped by an interesting location to enjoy a nice cup of coffee while viewing the beautiful locations. 
 
starbucks in tagaytay
Starbucks in Tagaytay 

5th  Stop in Tagaytay - Sky Ranch Tagaytay 

Sky Ranch is a great location for kids with plenty of rides including Ferris wheel, zipline rides, bumper cars, express trains and many others. There are a number of nice cafes and restaurants located outside the park. The best way to enjoy this theme park is a keep an eye on the special promotion going on during the time of your travel. 
 
Skyranch Tagaytay
Skyranch Tagaytay  

6th Stop in Tagaytay: Leslie's Restaurants in Tagaytay 

Leslie's Restaurant is a tradition in Tagaytay serving popular Filipino dishes including Bulalo ( beef broth ) and Tiwilis ( deep-fried fish unique to this region). The ambience is great and the lunchtime is quite crowded with families. You will spot some local singers (mariachis) signing popular tunes and birthday songs for some customers. I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and food. 
Leslies Leslie's  Restaurant at Tagaytay

 
The menu is pretty impressive and there are plenty of local dishes to try. I order some stir-fried seafood dishes, bulalo, tiwilis with a coconut drink. Really enjoyed the food. 
Leslies at Tagaytay
OzAsiatraveller at Leslie's Tagaytay

 
Other places of interest include Ayala Shopping Mall, Fruit Market and definitely Rowena's Cheese Tarts. I would recommend staying in Tagaytay for at least two nights to explore all attraction. There are a number of boutique hotels located on top of the hill overlooking the Taal Lake. The view is definitely unique and makes this city an amazing place to stay.  

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Tagaytay is a modern city with all amenities including top-end hotels, shopping malls and restaurants. I plan to visit this location next year for an extended period to enjoy all the major attractions. Ayala Mall is a popular shopping area located very close to SkyRanch on the main road in Tagaytay. There are plenty of boutique hotels located on the hillside facing the amazing views of Lake Taal.
 
View from Escala Tagaytay

 
A stay in one of these hotels is a must if you want to enjoy the best of Tagaytay Holiday. Here are some interesting hotels with the view of the Lake Taal,  I explored during my trip:
Ayala Mall Tagaytay
Ayala Mall Tagaytay

 
 
 
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Read 402 times Last modified on Monday, 27 January 2020 01:04
Ozasiatraveller

I have been exploring South-East Asia for over twenty years and have visited some of the best destinations in the region. Through my blog, I want to share some interesting travel tips, my experience of driving across Asian destinations and some of the best places to explore in this region. I have taken hundreds of road trips, across Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia and during my trips, I review the hotels, cafes & places of interest. I have, in the past followed in Anthony Bourdain's footsteps and visited most of the restaurants his team explored in their shows. Join in on my adventures and follow my trails on Instagram & Facebook Page. 

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