Located just 60 km south of Metro Manila in Cavite, Tagaytay is a popular tourist destination for a short getaway. The slightly higher altitude makes for a cooler climate, particularly in the evening, making it a great way to beat the heat and crowds of the capital. There are also plenty of things to keep you busy while you’re there, and the East Review takes a look a just few.
1. Lake Taal and Taal Volcano
The big natural attraction in Tagaytay is the impressive Lake Taal with the Taal volcano in the middle which features a second smaller lake. There are stunning views of the lake and island from a number of different vantage points. If you have more time, you can go down to the lakeside, take a small boat to the island and then go to up the lake inside a lake on horseback with a guide.
2. Sky Ranch
A fun place to take the family, Sky Ranch is a leisure park overlooking Lake Taal with rides and attractions for all ages and a good selection of places to eat nearby.
3. Picnic Grove
Some 8km from Sky Ranch on the Tagaytay-Columba highway, Picnic Grove is a large open space offering more great views over the lake. It’s possibly seen better days, as parts of the area look a bit unloved, but whether you just want to relax, eat a picnic and take in the view, follow one of the walks or try horse riding or the zip line, Picnic Grove has plenty for a family day out.
4. Our Lady of Manaoag at Tierra de Maria
Located very close to Picnic Grove, Our Lady of Manaog at Tierra de Maria, is a church popular with Filipinos from across the country due to its alleged healing powers. Characterised by a 50-foot high stature of the Virgin Mary, the church has a steady flow of visitors every day.
5. Lunch with a lake view
The Magallanes Square area just off the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway has a selection of restaurants and cafes on the ridge that offer some great vistas over the lake. Popular eateries include Jaytees and Leslie’s, both offering a good selection of Filipino food, including the tasty local specialty bulalo, a beef-based soup using beef shank and bone marrow, and kare kare, a stew made with a the base of a peanut sauce.
6. Barracks Food Park
A recent addition to the already considerable number of places to eat in Tagaytay is the Barracks Food Park, just over the road from Sky Ranch. It’s an open plan food park wither a wide variety of outlets selling Filipino food, Mexican, Japanese, Korean and more. The weekends sees the added entertainment of a live band.