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Know Before You Go: Tips for Hiking Taal Volcano


Know Before You Go: Tips for Hiking Taal Volcano
Hi, I'm Lydia!

Lydia Schrandt is a writer, editor, and award-winning photographer currently based in Houston. She’s a contributor for USA TODAY 10Best and serves as the first chair of the Editors Council of the Society of American Travel Writers. Her work has appeared in Draft, Time Out Beijing, Travel+, USA TODAY, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.

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Located on a small island in Luzon in the Philippines, the Taal Volcano is one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes—not to mention one of the most picturesque. Here’s what you need to know about hiking to the top, where you can see views of its striking crater lake.


Pick your trail

The options are few but varied.

The Spanish Trail, the most popular, can be traversed on foot or on horseback, and the views of the crater lake from the top are about as good as they get. Meanwhile, the Kenney Trail is a quieter alternative with a bit more shade on the way up; however, both are easy and take about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Then there's the more difficult Secret Trail, which leads down to the edge of the lake and offers excellent views from a variety of vantage points.

Bring plenty of water

Not to mention sun protection, too.

Thanks to the sun and the volcanic-steam vents in the rocks, even the shadier Kenney Trail gets hot. And although the main Spanish Trail is short and fairly easy, it’s important to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen and a hat when exploring the Taal Volcano.

The views over Taal Volcano's crater lake are worth the early start. Photo: Matthew Nezbeth / Shutterstock

Get an early start

Beat the heat and the crowds.

The hike up the Taal Volcano is a popular activity. If you want more room to yourself—not to mention fewer encounters with would-be photogs up at the top—arrive first thing in the morning. Getting to and from the island, plus hiking, takes about three hours; if you start early enough you’ll be able to spend the afternoon enjoying other adventures.

Book a guided tour

Make the most of your visit.

You can hike the Taal Volcano on a day trip from Manila. Guided small-group and private tours cover logistics like hotel pickup and transportation, freeing you up to soak in the experience.

More things to do in Manila

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Hi, I'm Lydia!

Lydia Schrandt is a writer, editor, and award-winning photographer currently based in Houston. She’s a contributor for USA TODAY 10Best and serves as the first chair of the Editors Council of the Society of American Travel Writers. Her work has appeared in Draft, Time Out Beijing, Travel+, USA TODAY, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.

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See all Luzon tours
99 tours & tickets
Hidden Gems Around the World | Viator.com
Hidden Gems Around the World