Taal Vista Hotel has been around since the 1930s. Photo by Kara Santos
1. Have a staycation
There are lots of hotels to choose from, but one of the most highly regarded is Taal Vista Hotel, a historic establishment that has been around since the 1930s. Conveniently located along the main highway, Taal Vista Hotel is ideal for leisure and business travelers looking for a place to stay with top-class facilities and modern luxuries.
Taal Vista Hotel offers a stunning view of Taal Lake in Batangas and Taal Volcano Island in the middle of the lake. You can enjoy this view as soon as you wake up if you book one of their Lake Wing rooms with private balconies. The cooler weather and comfortable rooms will make you want to stay in all day.
Taza Fresh Table at Taal Vista Hotel showcases local produce and meats. Photo by Kara Santos
2. Go on a food trip
Another great reason to visit Tagaytay is the food. Tagaytay road trips almost always include a stopover at a restaurant overlooking the lake with a steaming bowl of bulalo and crispy tawilis, a type of freshwater sardine found only in Taal Lake.
But aside from bulalohan joints, there are many garden restaurants that serve farm-fresh fare and gourmet delicacies. Taza Fresh Table at Taal Vista Hotel showcases the local produce, meats, and seafood of the surrounding areas.
Conceptualized by chef Jayme Natividad, the restaurant gets its name from the Arabic word "taaza," which means “fresh.” The meals here use the finest quality ingredients, vegetables sourced from the hotel’s gardens, pasta and sauces made from scratch, and slow-cooked meats smoked right in their kitchen.
If you’re feeling extra hungry, you can also opt to dine with a view at Cafe Veranda. Taal Vista Hotel’s main restaurant offers buffet feasts and a la carte meals. With a mix of Filipino and Continental cuisine, action stalls, a salad bar, main entrees, grilled station, noodles, dessert bar and a selection of native kakanin (rice cake) delicacies, there’s something for everyone. Cafe Veranda also offers a taste of culture for the benefit of balikbayan and foreigner guests through live music and traditional dance performances.
The Barracks Food Camp is located on the Ridge. Photo by Kara Santos
There are always new restaurants to look out for aside from old favorites. Even food parks have started mushrooming in the area. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy drinks and live music at night with friends, check out The Barracks Food Camp on the Ridge.
Puzzle Mansion is a must-see. Photo by Kara Santos
3. Visit churches and museums
Tagaytay is a popular venue for destination weddings. You can visit any of the picturesque churches including Calaruega and Pink Sisters, the Convent of Divine Mercy. There are a few museums you can visit to learn more about Tagaytay history, appreciate art, or see amazing collections firsthand.
If you’re traveling with kids, you might want to take them to Puzzle Mansion, the home of the world’s largest collection of jigsaw puzzles. Run by Tagaytay local and jigsaw puzzle aficionado Gina Lacuna, this mansion houses an extensive and ever-growing collection of solved puzzles.
For art enthusiasts, Museo Orlina features the artistry of internationally acclaimed pioneer and foremost pracitioner of glass sculpture in the country, Ramon Orlina. The museum has a sculpture garden, an ampitheatre and offers a great view Taal Lake and the Volcano.
Sky Eye is currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the country. Photo by Kara Santos
4. Try the rides at Sky Ranch
While the leisure park Sky Ranch has been around for several years now, it’s always worth a visit for first-timers and if you’re traveling with kids. The main attraction here is the Sky Eye, which is currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the country, at 63-meters high. You can get a spectacular view overlooking Taal Volcano and the Lake from any of the 32 air-conditioned gondolas.
Sky Ranch also offers ziplining. Photo by Kara Santos
The five-hectare leisure park also has horseback riding, a mini amusement park, restaurants and a 2,000-square-meter events tent perfect for social gatherings and concerts. As with all popular tourist spots in the country, there’s the inevitable zipline where you can zip from with a view.
The famous view of Taal lakeview. Photo by Kara Santos
5. Enjoy the view
Taal Volcano is a geological wonder that never fails to amaze people. After all, it’s a volcano within a lake within a volcano. You can see it up-close by taking a 30-minute boat ride across the lake to Volcano Island where the guided hike begins on the island’s shore and ends at the rim of the main crater.
But if you don’t have enough time to spare or aren’t into hiking, you can simply admire the view from any of the popular tourist spots on the ridge including Picnic Grove or Taal Vista Hotel’s View Deck.