The Philippines is a tropical country. Most of the year, the country experiences scorching summer hotness and dry salty air. To fight the deadly heat of the golden sunshine, people go to waterparks, resorts, malls, or just anywhere that can cool the body.
For the majority, the blazing season is never a friend. But not for the travelers and holidaymakers. They take the hot, dry season as an opportunity to travel cold and chilly places.
In our recent posted articles, we featured Baguio being one of the best places in the Philippines having cold, wintery air. Baguio, in fact, has become a tourist destination because of the biting atmosphere. From Manila, it takes roughly 4-7 hours to reach Baguio. But there is another place just an hour away from Manila that has a mild climate and several recreation areas – Tagaytay City.
Families and outdoorsy people can have a quick escapade to Tagaytay especially because it can be easily accessed. Aside from that, it has numerous hospitable tourist spots that can offer relaxation and leisure.
Here are 10 fun things you can do in Tagaytay:
Make Taal Volcano Your Backdrop
If Bicol has Mayon Volcano, and Bohol has Chocolate Hills, Tagaytay has Taal Volcano – the iconic landmark of Tagaytay. The volcano is weird and very unique: it is an island within a lake in an island. Awesome, right? Taal Volcano is considered as the second most active volcano in the country and is the smallest active volcano in the world. The volcano dwells in the middle of Tagaytay City and Batangas City. As a matter of fact, it has long been a controversy to which city does the volcano really belongs. But one thing is clear, the stunning and marvelous volcano gives awe and inspiration to every people.
From a distance, the volcano creates a beautiful calm backdrop that is postcard-worthy. The picturesque scenery of the dynamic volcano along its surrounding calm and still lake will enchant you and will truly refresh your soul. Taal Volcano can be seen in almost every corner of Tagaytay.
Trek Taal Volcano
Now here’s a quick definition of the word “crazy” – trekking an active volcano. But being crazy is fun (I know you would agree!). And as a specie with whimsical thinking, we humans tend to do what is crazy and fun at the same time. And I should tell you, trekking the active volcano, Taal, is extremely fun, thrilling, and exciting!
You do not need to be a professional mountaineer to trek Taal because the trail is simple, easy, and very short. If you do not have such enthusiasm in walking and hiking, you can rent a horse that will stroll you until the peak.
To trek Taal Volcano, you have to rent banca. When you’re in Tagaytay, you can see locals holding placards offering Taal Volcano tour. You can talk to them directly and hire them to tour you in Taal Volcano. OR, you can also contact your travel consultant or any tour operators that offer Taal Volcano tour. Usually, if you’re in Tagaytay, the banca will direct you to Talisay Village in Batangas, then from there you will be toured to Volcano Island.
The included activities in Taal Volcano tour packages usually include Taal Lake swimming, trekking of the volcano, a short stay in the crater of the volcano, along with other countryside tours.
Relax Your Mind in Picnic Grove
A frequented recreation area, families, holidaymakers, and weekenders travel Tagaytay and usually stay in Picnic Grove. As the name implies, picnic is what the facility can offer. While enjoying your snacks, you will be overwhelmed with the majestic view of the Taal Lake and the volcano. The cold breeze of Tagaytay will make you sip coffee.
There is an ecotrail in the area that will enchant you with green plants and locally grown floras. Adventure Zoo and Butterfly Garden are also present in Picnic Grove – facilities that will be enjoyed by little kids and kids at heart. If you are an adult with brave heart, you can try the zip line that will fly you above the tall verdant trees of Tagaytay.
Around the area are stalls and kiosks that sell local delicacies, quick snacks, and affordable nibbles. Souvenir items such as shirts, mugs, keychains, and more are also available.
Reach the Sky in People’s Park in the Sky
People’s Park in the Sky is one of the frequented and perhaps, one of the top destinations in Tagaytay. In the summit of Tagaytay’s Mt. Gonzales is where this urban park is located. Tourists go to People’s Park because of the enticing view that waits in the peak.
Because the park is in the top, you have to walk your way up. You can also ride on jeepneys. On the park is a complex with a viewing deck that will allow you to sightsee the beautiful landscape of Tagaytay (only if there is no fog to cover the scenery). The park is, in most cases, covered with heavy fog that makes the park as if it is in the sky. Hence, there is no reason to doubt its name People’s Park in the Sky. The best time to go to this park will be 10:00 AM onwards so to have a better view on the viewing deck. The park opens at 7:30 AM.
Visit Puzzle Mansion
Puzzle Mansion houses a collection of puzzles. Owner Georgina Gil-Lacuna holds the Guinness World Record for having the most puzzle collections in the world. That includes jigsaw and 4D puzzles, each having their details showing the days and hours spent of completion. The 18,000-piece puzzle will blow your mind! It is called the Retable de Santa Columba that features religious scene. Students and families with kids will indeed enjoy roaming around Puzzle Mansion.
When we speak of Tagaytay, the first thing that comes to my mind is the hot soup of Bulalo. And what makes Bulalo more perfect for the tummy is the cold weather of Tagaytay that will actually get you look for boiling fare to keep your body warm. Bulalo is soup with bone marrow, beef shanks, corn, and Chinese cabbage. Other eateries and restaurants create a twist in Bulalo to make it more unique. Bulalo, indeed, is a comfort food that you must try when you are in Tagaytay. Where to eat? There are lots of snackettes that has Bulalo in the menu. In fact, most of the eateries are just along the highway. If you ride in a private vehicle, you can always halt on the side road and have a quick sip.
But along Mahogany Avenue is a row of restaurants that primarily serves Bulalo – Bulalo Belt. The restaurants there also serve other local cuisines such as Sisig. Typically, a serving of Bulalo can feed 3 to 4 persons.
Buy Good Shepherd Ube Jam
Every spot in the Philippines has something to offer. In Tagaytay, you can purchase the yummy, satisfying Ube Jam by Good Shepherd (my personal favorite). The Ube is so good you can spoon it or spread it on bread. This Ube Jam actually most popular in Baguio City, but is also now available in Tagaytay under the brand name BahayPastulan Ube Jam (quite cheaper than those in Baguio). In every Good Shepherd product you buy, you get to help the Cordillera Youths to go to college.
Of course, Tagaytay is not only a paradise of delicious Ube Jam but also of other delicacies such as Buko Pie along with other pastries. The famous brand of Buko Pie in Tagaytay is the Colette’s. It has a crispy golden crust with the tasty perfection of the soft and creamy Buko(coconut) on the inside. The Buko Pie is affordable and is perfect for a quick snack when you are on the road. You can also buy it for pasalubong.
Go to Skyranch Amusement Park
A new destination in Tagaytay, Skyranch is an amusement park frequented because of the enticing rides in affordable prices. Skyranch is mostly visited by families, teens, and barkadas. The best ride everyone loves in Skyranch is the Eye Sky, a Ferris Wheel that erects 63 meters up. It has 32-air conditioned gondolas to keep you chilled while enjoying the breathtaking 360° view of Tagaytay, Taal Volcano, and the downhill greeneries of Tagaytay. Ah! Majestic! And do you know when the best time to hop on the Ferris Wheel is? The time for sundown. Yes, how magnificent it is to watch the yellow sun turn the sky orange and cinematic as he hides under the horizon.
Aside from the massive Ferris Wheel, you can also play with your adrenaline in fear in other rides such as Super Vikings, Sky Cruiser, Wonder Flight, Red Baron, Nessi Coaster, Racing Car, Drop Tower, Jump Around and much more in reasonable fees. Metrodeal occasionally offers discounts for tickets and packages in Skyranch.
Aside from Tagaytay, Skyranch is also available in Pampanga.
Tagaytay has chilly cold weather no matter what season the Philippines is in – be it a dry season or wet, Tagaytay continues to keep its vicinity wintry and freezing. Happily, coffee shops and cafés are delighted to keep you warm and cozy from the biting weather of Tagaytay. Soon, I will list down the best cafes in Tagaytay, but as for now, let me introduce you to some of the best cafes in Tagaytay that will surely satisfy your cravings for dark caffeine.
I think it is no more surprise for Starbucks to be included in the list. Starbucks has always been such a great café that make coffee-lovers happy and warm. Starbucks in Tagaytay is visited by travelers and coffeeholic alike not only because of the frappes and dark brew but also because of the magnificent scenery that can be sightseen in the veranda. The view is undeniably stunning, the weather is perfect for a warm beverage, and the quiet ambiance is ideal for chitchats and small talks with friends or families.
McDonald’s has always been so classic and stereotypical fast food restaurant that, in the city, the burgers, fries, and the McCafe along with other beverages are almost nothing out of the ordinary. But not in Tagaytay. The McDonalds in Tagaytay has an open balcony that faces the gorgeous, picture-perfect scenery of Taal Volcano and its serene lake. So, you will enjoy the typical brew of McCafe except it is more elite with the relaxed ambiance and beautiful view.
Shop for Affordable Goodies in Mahogany Market
Recently, the Mahogany Market was moved to a newer building and was changed to Mahogany Beef Market and Bulalohan, but locals and other veteran travelers of Tagaytay still call it Mahogany Market even when the old market has already been relocated.
In the market, there is a strip of stalls that sell beef and other meat. Most of the meat being sold are imported from Batangas, a city few drives away from Tagaytay. There is also a row of carinderias and eateries that serve Bulaloat a reasonable cost.
Relax in Sonya’s Garden
Sonya Garcia loves flowers and the scent of green leaves and plants. She has her garden filled with beautiful flowers and refreshing greens and shrubberies. Her garden is not just a typical one, it has good old memories and romantic stories. As selfless as she can be, it was her ambition to share her beautiful garden to everyone. Hence, Sonya’s Garden was born. Now, the garden does not only offer lush of verdant plants but also relaxing staycation where guests can enjoy spas, comfort food, golden brown bread, and warm coffee. Sonya’s Garden sell delicious and lovely varieties of bread that are perfect for pasalubong.
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