Mt. Taal – A Complex VolcanoBy
Taal Volcano is said to be the smallest active volcano in the world. It is located in Batangas, southern part of Luzon in the Philippines and at about 50-km away from the capital, Manila. It is a composed of a small volcanic island (Volcano Island), which has been the site of almost all historic activity. The island is called “pulo” (or islet) by the locals. Taal Volcano is surrounded by a freshwater lake formerly known to the local as Lake Bonbon (now called Taal Lake).
Just within the island, there are four craters including the main crater which is in the center of the island. The other dormant crater can be seen at the edge of the island. While the third and fourth craters called the “Twin Craters”, were formed during the 1965 eruption.
But what makes this volcano unique that grabs attention to visitors, is that right in the middle of its main crater holds a sulfuric lake which is called the “Crater Lake”. This is its main attraction. It is also the world’s largest lake on an island in a lake on an island and it also has its own small island, Vulcanic Point.
You can even swim inside its crater but not for long cause the water is composed of a much diluted form of sulfuric acid with high concentration of boron, magnesium, aluminum and sodium in salt form. The first recorded scuba dive inside the main crater was on 1986 by a team led by Thomas Hargrove. The dive was about 20 meters or 60 meters deep. Another thing that caught the team’s attention is the tiny island in the Crater Lake by which they explored.
The Taal Lake
The lake surrounding Taal Volcano was once just an arm of Baylan Bay. But then Taal Lake’s sole connection to the sea narrowed down into its sole draining river, the Pansipit River, after a series of major eruption during the 18th century. Then several centuries of precipitation also affected the water, diluting the lake once-saline waters into pure freshwater.
Eruption also affected the original landmark around the lake. It has buried numerous lakeside towns by volcanic ash and submerged by rising lake waters. Originally, the towns like Lipa, Taal, Bauan and Tanauan were formerly located along Taal Lake but now, only three of them remained. However, today, you can still see the remnants of the old lakeside towns like the buildings and walls seen under the lake’s waters.
The main attraction of the island is its Crater Lake. The Crater Lake resort is located one boat away from the shores of Talisay, Batangas. For those who love adventures, they have a unique thrill of exploring nature and experiencing the attractions of Taal Volcano. You can enjoy lots of activities on the island like horseback riding going to the crater, trekking, and camping. And during the trip up and the down the mountain, the visitors got the chance to witness the stunning view of the lake and its surroundings. Other island activities include:
• RC plane flying, boating
• Kite flying • Photography
• Picnic family outings
• Company outings
• Seminars team building
• Cultural shows
The Taal Lake also conveys interests from visitors as most island activities are done here. And because the lake is also connected to the sea, it became a home for many endemic species that have evolved and have already adapted to the desalination of the lake’s waters.
The world’s only freshwater sardine called “tawilis” is the most popular endemic species of the lake. Other species living in the lake are the trevally (Caranx ignobilis) or locally called mapulito. These fish are also found in the Pansipit River.
Indeed, Taal Volcano offers just the best adventure packed with dramatic scenery. You can even get close to nature for those who would want an escape the busy and polluted city. The island is a great place to unwind and to enjoy the cool breeze of fresh island air while spending time with your friends and family.