Friday, June 30, 2017

City Guide : Tagaytay

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Tagaytay is one of the best places to go to from Manila, whether it's for a day or the whole weekend. It offers a great mix of luxury resorts and fun attractions, surrounded by beautiful nature and the freshest air you'll find.


Visiting Tagaytay is possible as a day trip, but staying overnight is better. There are many things to see and do. If you opt for a longer stay, booking one of these Tagaytay travel packages might be a good idea. It'll make planning easier, and also save you some money, especially if you plan to go with a large group. There are only a few days left before summer is over, so now is the perfect time to go there.

Getting there:

There are many different bus companies that operate the Manila-Tagaytay route, but the best one is probably San Augustin. You can catch the bus at either Coastal mall or Buendia, and it'll take you between 3 and 4 hours depending on traffic. Grab any bus headed for either Tagaytay and Nasugbo, fare is around 100P.


Renting a private van or taking a taxi is also an option, but will probably be too expensive. From what i've been told, these usually cost between 3 and 4K per direction.

Where to stay:

There are a few really nice hotels here, that offer all amenities, swimming pool and a spectacular view of Taal lake. One great thing about Tagaytay is that even most high end resorts are relatively cheap, at least compared to other destinations.


I've already written a detailed review of the Summit Ridge Hotel – I stayed there the last time I was in Tagatay and had a blast. There are also other options if you want a more luxurious experience. If you are willing to spend a bit extra, you could always book a room at the Taal Vista instead. It's undoubtedly one of the best hotel in Tagaytay – a true 5 star experience for an affordable price.

There's also no shortage of cheaper options if that's what you're after. Generally speaking, it will be easier to find budget accommodation the closer you are to the city itself. Keep in mind though, that Tagaytay is an extremely popular tourist spot so booking in advance would be smart.

What to do:

The main attraction is of course Taal Lake and the volcano lying in the middle of it. It only takes 30 minutes or so to reach the volcano, and then you'll have about 30 minutes more of hike through a trail to reach the summit. This standard trail ends at a steep cliff, and while the view is amazing swimming is unfortunately impossible.


Those who wish to swim in the crater lake should ask the tour provides about the Calauit trail instead. It'll take a bit longer, and will more expensive, but it's worth taking that tour since swimming in the lake is a truly great experience. If you take this route, and have some time to spare, consider camping by the lake instead of booking an expensive resort.

Another popular tourist spot is the People's Park in the sky. Originally designed to be a mansion for the late Ferdinand Marcos, it has been later turned into a recreational area. Over there, you can climb the small chapel's stairs and enjoy a view of the whole Tagaytay area. While the compound does have a small canteen and souvenir shop, there aren't many activities to do except for watching the surroundings.


If you want a more active day trip, head over to Picnic Grove instead. True to it's name, it's a perfect place to have an outdoors meal with your friends or family. Bring your own food, and rent a BBQ there, and you are guaranteed a fun day in the cool mountain air. With so many fun activities, such as horseback riding and a zipline, your kids will surely be entertained as well.

Where to eat:

There are countless great restaurants all across Tagaytay's main road – so you could choose anything that's close to your hotel and probably do fine. I've stayed at Summit Ridge which is right in front of Josephine – one of the best places to eat in Tagaytay.

Anotion's Garden is the highest rated restaurant according to tripavisor and some other guides as well. The Fire Lake Grill Restaurant get some mixed reviews, but the food there looks pretty good as well. I'll probably try this one out the next time i'm there.

Another excellent choice is the Balay Dako restaurant, located just a few minutes walk from Sky Ranch. It has a fantastic viewdeck where you can eat while looking at the lake from high up the ridge. This place is probably the best choice if you are looking to try some local cuisine.

Where to go next:

If you had enough of Tagaytay, or just have some more time to spare, you can always continue south to Batangas. Go to either Nasugbu or Laiya and you are sure to have an amazing time. The great thing about combining Batangas and Tagaytay is how different they are from one another. After the cool mountain air, some time at the sunny beaches of Batangas could be a very welcomed change.

If visiting Batangas is something you might be interested in, make sure you check out some of my Batangas guides as well. You can find a lot of recommendations for hotels and tours, so you can plan the best possible trip.


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