● Moisture-wicking hiking shirt (non-cotton material)
● Trek pants/ shorts
● Trek shoes/ sandals, with good grip
● sun hat
● bandana (optional, protection from dust and ash)
● 2L of drinking water in a re-usable/ refillable container
● trail food (e.g. sandwich, nuts, bananas)
● trash bags
● dry bag to place all your electronic gadgets when crossing the lake
● hiking stick (optional)
● change of clothes, towel
● camera (optional)
● cash for miscellaneous items (food, drinks)
❶ Is it active? Any volcano that has erupted within the last 500 years is considered active, so in this regard, yes it is active. These activities are evident on some portions of the trail. Some examples are the presence of sulfur vents and mudpots and the changing of colors of the water in the main crater lake.
❷ Is it safe to trek? PHIVOLCS determines the alert level of all Philippine volcanoes and gives timely advisories for everyone's safety. For the moment, there is no warning against climbing up Taal volcano so we are good to go.
❸ How difficult is the hike? Depending on the trail that you choose to use, the hike can range from easy (Daang Kastila and Amabassador Kenney) to moderate (Calauit) and to challenging (Tabaro). The first two will take you only to the ridge of the main crater lake with Daang Kastila giving you the choice to use a small horse to reach the top. Calauit starts from a different jump, take you to the top and then down to the main crater lake. The least popular Tabaro trail takes you the site of the most recent volcanic eruption. The hike here is much longer as there is no established trail, the ascents steep. There is hardly any tree coverage.
❹ Can we swim in main crater lake? PHIVOLCS strictly forbids swimming in the lake for safety reasons.
❺ Can we camp overnight on the island? No, camping overnight at the main crater lake is not allowed.