Tagaytay City, the “Second Summer Capital”

Tagaytay City

Tagaytay City is considered as the country’s second summer capital next to Baguio City because of its crisp and cool climate all year round, is a treasure box of pleasure points by itself.

Tagaytay City is located in the Province of Cavite, island of Luzon, approximately 56 kilometers south of Manila. It lies within 120° 56′ latitude and 14° 6′ longtitude. It overlooks Manila Bay on the north, Taal lake and Taal volcano on the south, Laguna Bay on the east and the China Sea on the west.

The City is linked by the Aguinaldo Highway to the Metropolitan Manila and to the province of Batangas. It is connected by roads to the adjoining Cavite munincipalities of Amadeo, Mendez, Indang, Silang and Alfonso on the northwest, to the Laguna municipalities of Calamba and Sta. Rosa in the northeast, and to the Batangas town of Talisay in the north.

Tagaytay is the “sister” city of Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A, Tainan City, Taiwan, Republic of China and Bankstown City, New South Wales, Australia.

This place has been one of the most visited tourism destinations in the Philippines. It was the most visited Philippine tourist destination in 1998, and the trend is likely to continue. The weather in Tagaytay is one of the primary attractions for people to live outside Manila, but the spectacular view of Taal Volcano is undoubtedly the biggest tourism draw.

Tagaytay is only about 45 minutes from Makati, Manila’s business district. It is only 30 minutes from Alabang, an area which is currently Manila’s most exclusive suburb. It is only 15 minutes from Santa Rosa, Manila’s fastest growing suburb which is destined to replace Makati as “the place to live” and Santa Rosa will likely be the Philippines main financial district within 10 – 15 years.

The fastest way to get to Tagaytay is to take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) which was formerly known as the South Superhighway. Exit at Santa Rosa, and in about 15 minutes you will be in Tagaytay. You can also go the “old way”, which is through Silang, Cavite.

Taal Volcano itself is very accessible, and can be reached easily by boat from Talisay, the lakeshore town which is only about 15 minutes from Tagaytay. To get there, make a left on the Tagaytay ridge road when you come from Santa Rosa (or the main Tagaytay rotunda that you reach via Silang). A few hundred meters later (about 1.5km from the rotunda), you will see signs that say “Talisay Laurel”. Turn right on this concrete road, known as “Ligaya Drive” and take it down to the lakeshore.

At the bottom of the road, there will be a lot of people offering rides to the volcano. You can take one of these, or you can turn right and follow the signs to Taal Lake Yacht Club. At TLYC nobody will hassle you. Although it is primarily a private club, you can get a daily entry pass for P75 (less than $2) per person. You can park your car in peace knowing that it is secure, and you can sit down at one of the huts (P300 per day) and eat your own picnic lunch, or go to Ray’s floating Bar and Restaurant.

You can get a Banca (Native outrigger boat) to take you to the volcano for about P1200. You can rent a sunfish or an escape sailboat for P800 (P400 on weekdays) or a Hobie Cat for P1600 (P800 on weekdays).

Top instructors are available for only P400/day. Kayaks (P500/day) and Windsurfers (P400/day) are also available. Camping is allowed at Taal Lake Yacht Club. It almost sounds silly, but the bathrooms are a big draw for the expat community. It’s hard to find clean bathrooms in many developing countries, and the Philippines is no exception. In their initial vision of the perfect family oriented yacht club, two things were given priority. “Big clean locker rooms with hot showers”, and the other was “Cold beer and drinks”. Camping then becomes a very enjoyable experience.


Getting there

The Tagaytay-Taal area is a ninety minutes drive south of Manila; you should be able to arrange transportation through any Manila hotel or tour agency, or you can catch an inexpensive public bus or the BLTBCo line.


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