Taal Volcano, being the second most active volcano in the Philippines, is also dubbed as the smallest (yet deadliest) active volcano in the world. It is widely famous for its unique geology where one of its cones (Vulcan Point) is situated within an island (Volcano Island) which is situated within a lake (Taal Lake).
Taal Volcano was previously one of the largest volcanoes in the world, towering to 18,000 feet. Today, it only stands at 1000 feet from the ground. This volcano is actually made of some overlapping craters and cones.
Forty-seven of them were identified, which includes five cinder cones, 26 tuff cones, and four maars. The cone that is commonly seen within the lake is not Taal Volcano. It is just one of the volcano’s small craters called ‘Binintiang Malaki’.
Taal Volcano’s first eruption happened in 1572, and it last went off in 1977. From its first volcanic activity until the recent, the total death toll is about 6,000. The volcano has 33 historical eruptions, and the worst one was in 1911 where 1334 people died and caused ashfall raining up to Manila City (about 50 miles from Taal).
Due to its numerous explosion that brought a complete disaster, it was then designated as a Decade Volcano by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS). But because of its massive eruption, the soil around the volcano became rich in nutrients and useful for farming. Most people who settled around Taal earn their living through farming crops such as coffee and sugar cane.
At the bottom of Taal Volcano, there are two options you can take to see its old crater. The first one is to rent a horse. Tour guides will assist you along the way. The second option is to go up the Crater Lake on foot.
Other activities include banca riding to Taal, swimming in Taal Lake, exploring waterfalls, and visiting other popular sites in the area like Caleruega Church, Tagaytay Picnic Grove, and People’s Park in the Sky.