Tagaytay is a city in the province of Cavite in the Philippines. It is a major tourist hub, with breathtaking scenery and cool climate. Taal Volcano, a beautiful volcano and lake complex, generally attracts both locals and foreigners to this city, despite being part of Batangas. Its proximity to Metro Manila draws many urbanites during the peak season, so, be prepared.
Rising at about 600 meters (2,000 ft), Tagaytay provides a mildly cool refuge from the cacophony, pollution and stress of Metro Manila. To the average tourist, local or foreign, the scenic Taal Volcano comes to mind, despite its location in nearby Batangas, but the tourist boom has led to further discovery of its hidden gems and the growth of tourism-oriented restaurants and shops. It is unofficially called the "Second Summer Capital of the Philippines" by locals and tourists in comparison to Baguio; official statistics as of 2015 record 500,000 tourist arrivals. Tagaytay becomes crowded during Christmas and Holy Week, so the main highways to the city becomes jammed.
Tagaytay's name is derived from the Tagalog word for "mountain ridge", but there is an urban legend circulating by word of mouth to describe the origin of the city's name. The tale describes the orgin of the name "Tagaytay" as coming from the yells of a boy who were hunting with his father on the location of the current city. The boy shouted "Taga, itay" after his father hunted and caught one, and this words echoed at the mountain, that led to the name.
Tagaytay has a mild climate and dramatic scenery, which makes it popular with residents of Manila. Average temperatures range from 22 °C (71 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F). There are three seasons, a cool dry season, hot dry season (summer) and the wet season. Peak seasons are the cool dry season, which includes the Christmas and New Year period, and the hot dry season, which includes the Holy Week peak period.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Tagaytay's economy used to rely on agriculture, as seen through the numerous pineapple plantations found in the rural areas, but tourism eventually changed the face of the highland city. The tourism industry has resulted to a building boom, with towering condomiums and upscale malls being constructed by real estate conglomerates, especially Ayala and SM. The sudden rise of those are negatively received as failure in urban planning, and there are calls to regulate such developments.
Most tourists to Tagaytay bring a car, making all major road entry points packed during times. From Manila, taking the expressway is the fastest way to reach the city, but the toll rates by the operators can add to you trip's expenses, aside from gas and food stopovers. Using non-tolled national roads can save you of the additional costs of using the toll expressways, but expect traffic congestion, as business establishments, schools, and residential areas mostly line them. Parked vehicles can slow the trip. On rural roads, local fiestas or funeral processions can disrupt traffic, especially on narrow ones.
Major highways that serve Tagaytay are Aguinaldo Highway (N410), Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road (N420), and Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road (N410). Other national roads include the unnumbered Crisanto Mendoza delos Reyes Avenue, Indang-Tagaytay Road (N406), and Ligaya Drive (N421). Being national roads lined with houses, businesses, schools and frequent intersections, traffic flow are usually slow, and slower in the weekend and peak seasons. Most of the national roads are now marked by route numbers on shield-shaped signs that you can follow when driving, but these are still not present on all maps, especially online, app-based maps, which can be used for GPS navigation.
Tagaytay is well served by buses from Metro Manila, but delays from traffic jams remain. Most buses to Tagaytay travel through Aguinaldo Highway and are mostly services to Nasugbu which make a stopover in the city. Buses going to Tagaytay can be found where they show "via Tagaytay" on their signboards.
Major bus companies with service to Tagaytay include
- Celyrosa Trans.. Provides service from its Pasay terminal. Trips are slower because it makes more stops in Cavite.
- DLTB. Provides scheduled service from Manila (Southwest Integrated Public Transport Terminal/SWIPTS) to Nasugbu and Calatagan. Buses leave every 30 minutes. Cost ₱82 per head one way.
- Erjohn & Almark.
- Golden Dragon.
- Kirby Transport. Services leave every 30 minutes in Lawton (Park N' Ride) in Manila.
- San Agustin. Services leave at PITX in Manila and head for Mendez or Balayan. Buses also stop at Tagaytay.
UV Express (formerly known as FX and GTExpress) also provide service to Tagaytay from Manila, especially EDSA Rotonda, Shaw Crossing, Buendia and Alabang. Fares range from ₱150 to ₱160.
Regular jeepney service also serves Tagaytay. The terminal in Balibago, Santa Rosa, Laguna provides frequent jeepney service to its terminal on the end of Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road in barangay Sungay Crossing. One word of warning to the unwary tourist: jeepneys in this route are usually unfranchised (colorum, using private vehicle plates), so, find a legally franchised jeepney whenever possible.
Jeepneys are common. Fares are usually around ₱20-50, sometimes a little more depending on the distance.
At the Tagaytay visitor's center and near the zip line is quite easy to walk and explore.
Most tourists visit Tagaytay to view Taal Volcano, is an active volcano with a large crater lake with a small cone rising in the middle. Though part of nearby Batangas province, tours to the are mostly organized from here (see #Do). You can just view the volcano from the slopes of the city; trips to the volcano are expensive though to local standards, but reasonable to foreign standards
- 11th Airborne Division Marker. On February 3, 1945, the 11th Airborne Division of Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger’s 8th U.S. Army airdropped military supplies and personnel together with the Philippine Commonwealth troops on the Tagaytay Ridge amidst enemy groundfire. Their mission was to secure Tagaytay City and guarantee the easy flow of troops and supplies to Manila, an action later proved as significant to the liberation of Manila. A marker was erected at the Silang Crossing to honor the event.
- 1 41st Division USAFFE Marker, Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road, Kaybagal South (At front of Sky Ranch). Tagaytay played a significant role in Philippine history. During World War II, Filipino soldiers and military officers found refuge on its vast forests and ridges. It was used as landing site and sanctuary for the Filipino USAFFE soldiers and paratroopers on their way to liberate Manila on February 3 to March 3, 1945. The 41st USAFFE marker is a place where one can know more about Tagaytay’s rich political history. It is adjacent to the Metro Tagaytay College of Business and Arts in Brgy. Kaybagal South.
- 2 Divine Word Seminary, SVD Road, Mag-asawang Ilat. One of biggest schools of theology in the Philippines in terms of population and land area, is also one of the oldest religious institutions in the city. It is run by Divine Word Missionaries also known as SVD.
- The Flower Farm. On a windy slope of a hill sprawls a flower farm that keeps Manila abloom whole year round. This five-hectare flower farm has many varieties of flowers, such as chrysanthemums with assorted colors, gerberas, carnations, roses, and anthuriums. It is in Barangay Guinhawa, Tagaytay City. From Tagaytay City, the farm is a brief 10-minute drive from the Aguinaldo Highway.
- Japanese Friendship Garden. This 1,200-square-metre (13,000 sq ft) garden was constructed to inculcate the value of freedom, peace and international unity into the hearts and minds of the people. It is in front of Development Academy of the Philippines Conference Center, in Brgy. Sungay East.
- One Destination. This travel spot in the sky city is a strip of fancy restaurants and bars. Being the nightlife hub of Tagaytay, it offers varied cuisine and entertainment to tourists. Some of the noted establishments around are Dencio's Grill, Pancake House, Starbucks Coffee, Yellow Cab, RSM, Leslies, Max's Restaurant, Cliffhouse, Antonio's Grill, and Henlin.
- 3 People's Park in the Sky. A blending of natural and man-made attractions, poised on the highest point of Tagaytay City and the province of Cavite. It stands on a 4,516 square metres (48,610 sq ft) of solid ground and overlooks four bodies of water – Taal Lake, Balayan Bay, Laguna de Bay and Manila Bay - including nearby mountains. It is located at Dapdap West and Dapdap East, approximately 8 km (5.0 mi) east from the Tagaytay City Circle. The Palace In The Sky the main attraction of the site was designed to be the presidential guest house of former president Ferdinand Marcos, this complex was never completed. It is, however, now open to the public as a vantage area for viewing the Taal Volcano. The place is a short drive from the Aguinaldo Highway in Tagaytay City. It is 15 minutes' drive from Aguinaldo Highway.
- 4 Pink Sister's Convent. Behind the bars and glass of the Adoration Convent of Divine Mercy are those who answered the call to live in silence. Located at the Holy Spirit Drive in Barangay Maitin in the city, the convent often called the Pink Sisters Chapel has endless visitors carrying their own list of prayers. Also included in their visit is the chance to see nuns praying with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, although they can only be seen behind the iron grilles of the altar.
- St. Anne's Shrine. 7:00-19:00. The shrine is a small garden where a grotto of the Virgin Mary stands, surrounded by well maintained shrubbery and flower garden. In front of the grotto is a small grass clearing, which is conducive to quiet reflection. It is in Barangay Sungay, Tagaytay City. From Manila, take BLTB buses that pass by Barangay Silang Crossing to the Tagaytay Marker. At Tagaytay Marker, alight to take a utility jeep leading to Barangay Sungay where the gate of the Shrine can be spotted from the road. It is about 2 hours' drive from Manila.
- 5 Sky Ranch Tagaytay, Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road, Kaybagal South (Beside the Taal Vista Hotel), ☎ . Mon-Fri 10:00-22:00; Sat-Sun and holidays: 08:00-22:00. 5 hectares (12 acres) amusement park opened in 2013, with an assortment of rides, restaurants and souvenir shops. It houses the 63 meters (207 ft) Ferris wheel Sky Eye.
- 6 Tagaytay Picnic Grove, Tagaytay-Calamba Road, Sungay East. Tagaytay's playground is the popular Picnic Grove, a large park that features huts and tables for picnicking, horseback riding, a restaurant, an eco-trail boardwalk, a zipline and cable cars on the gentle slopes of the Tagaytay Ridge. It is a prime location, providing the finest view of the volcano far below.
- Tierra de Maria. A Catholic sanctuary garden known for its 50-foot statue of the Virgin Mary found right beside Tagaytay Picnic Grove. Catholics consider this as the HOME (Haven Of Meditation and Enrichment) of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Main article: Taal Volcano
Many travellers to Tagaytay include a tour to Taal Volcano to their itinerary. Tours are expensive to locals, but can be less costly if you ignore some tourist frills like horses or tour guides. Foreigners will find the costs a good deal depending on the season.
As of October 2018, the total time & budget for only Taal lake daytrip from Manila:
- 2 hours one way: Manila to Olivarez (₱83 per person)
- 1 hour: to reach the spot where you board the boat, lunch, gather other passengers if you are bold, etc. (₱100 in a 3-wheeler trike, one or two persons)
- 45 minutes: boat ride (₱1200-1800 per boat, another ₱150 per person for the various taxes, tolls, etc. (₱100 for entry, ₱50 for bridge)
- 45 minutes to go up on a horse. (₱500 per head for a horse). A guide costs ₱500 per group, but it is not necessary, since the horse owners accompany you anyway.
- 30 minutes up there to do sightseeing, click photographs,
- 30 minutes to go down on a horse (cost included in the cost of going up)
- 45 minutes: boat ride (cost included in the boat ride)
- 1 hour: to reach the bus, wait for the bus, etc. (₱100-200 per 2-wheeler, one or two persons)
- 2 hours: back to Manila. (cost: ₱82 per person)
Leave Manila before 10AM for seeing the sites in good daylight!
Total time if you go from Manila 9 hours, (a day trip), not counting your commute time in Manila, to and fro the bus terminal.
Small shops line the roadway as you come into the area, the vegetables and fruits are fresh and good quality.
The area is also famous for its Buko Pie.
There is also the Good Shepherd Convent (like the one in Baguio) and you can get your favorite Ube jam, pili, etc. In addition to that you can also get their buko pie for which Laguna/Cavite is known.
- Ayala Malls Serin. One of the newer malls, part of real estate conglomerate Ayala's development Serin, beside the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
- Josephine Restaurant, KM 58 Aguinaldo Highway, Maharlika West. Breakfast: 7:00-10:00; Lunch: 11:00-14:30 (weekdays), 11:00-15:00 (weekends and holidays); Dinner: 17:00-22:30 (weekdays), 17:00-23:00 (weekends and holidays). Provides authentic Filipino cuisine, best if you are seated at the back, which has great view of Taal Volcano. They also provide catering for large events. The ambiance is good especially for lovers and families too. A very cool place specially starting during the "ber months", from September.
- 2 Neul Borm, Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road corner C.M. Delos Reyes Avenue, Kaybagal South. 10:00-22:00. Reasonably priced Korean dining, complete with hot pot and soju.
- Antonio's, Tagaytay–Nasugbu Road, Purok 7, Niogan (Just past Taal Vista Lodge.), ☎ . Antonio's is open from Tuesdays to Sundays. Lunch is served from 11:30AM to 1:30PM while dinner is from 5:30-7:30PM.. ₱1020-2040 per person.
Coffee - Coffee shops are abundant in the city proper, some of the noted ones are Starbucks Coffee and Bag of Beans.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
- [formerly dead link] Amora’s Home, Kaykulot Rd. Sungay East (Near Tagaytay Picnic Grove exit), ☎ . Modern well maintained facilities, air-conditioned rooms with cable TV From ₱1500.
- [dead link] Fat Bill’s Bed and Breakfast, Barangay Sungay East, Tagaytay City, Philippines, ☎ . Double and Family Rooms with TV and DVD player, and their bathroom has a hot and cold shower.
- [dead link] Fernandina Tagaytay Villa, #2 Hollywood Subdivision, Brgy. Tolentino East, ☎ . All rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, TV with cable channels, dvd player, breakfast, hot and cold shower with hygiene kit. Some of its facilities and services are mini-gym, mini-garden, kitchen facilities and housekeeping service. From ₱1750.
- Keni Po. In the heart of Tagaytay. M-Th ₱1200; F-Su ₱1500.
- Starflower Tourist Lodge, Km 62 Barangay Mendez West, Aguinaldo Highway, ☎ . Check-in: 9AM-noon, check-out: 9AM-1PM. Starflower Tourist Lodge in Tagaytay provides you with expansive views of Taal Volcano and Lake, and surrounded by rolling hills and lush greenery. It is an affordable retreat for any traveler. The lodge's low-priced accommodations are a place where you can put your feet up and enjoy the mountain breeze coming in from the balcony. From ₱1800.
- Tagaytay Econo Inn, Tourism Ave. Hollywood Subd., Brgy. Francisco, ☎ . 17 comfortable and quality rooms, fully serviced and furnished to international standards. From ₱2000.
- Gloria De Castros Store., Leynes Talisay., ☎ . Single/double fan room with own bathroom. Has a restaurant. ₱800.
- [dead link] The Roberts' Inn, 5950 Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City, ☎ .
- Alfonso Hotel, #4 Washington Ave., Royale Tagaytay Estates, Alfonso, Cavite, ☎ , . Each accommodation is air-conditioned and has cable TV and a private toilet and shower. From ₱2575.
- Days Hotel Tagaytay (Days Hotel Tagaytay), Aguinaldo Hwy, ☎ . Resorts sit on a ridge 2500 ft above sea level and overlooks Taal Volcano.
- Hotel Dominique, Km. 55 Aguinaldo Hi-way, Brgy. Maitim II East, ☎ . Hotel Dominique is along Aguinaldo Hi-way, a few meters away from the Tagaytay Rotonda. All of their rooms are fully air-conditioned, have a cable tv, telephone with NDD/IDD, and refrigerator. For suites, a bath tub is available. Some of their facilities include swimming pool, spa, game room, bar and restaurant, and a souvenir shop. From ₱4000.
- Emiramona Garden Hotel (near Pink Sisters Convent and Angels Hills), ☎ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Emiramona Garden Hotel is located along Aguinaldo Highway. They have 48 rooms and 2 villas, each has a cable television, DVD Player, night table with lampshade, wardrobe closet with a full-length mirror, refrigerator, safety deposit box, and a balcony.It offers a wide range of amenities and facilities. Among them is the only glass-enclosed indoor pool in Tagaytay, also an indoor jacuzzi with its gardens and waterfall as a background. From ₱3000.
- [dead link] Golden Jade Hotel and Restaurant, Calamba Road, Brgy. San Jose, ☎ . This hotel and restaurant offers rooms equipped with air conditioning, television, private toilet and bath. Some of its facilities and services are bar, restaurant, fitness room/gym, parking and Wi-Fi. ₱3000.
- Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay, Amadeo Rd, ☎ (for reservations), , ✉ email@example.com. Hotel offering 2 swimming pools, playgrounds, lush gardens, games room, free wi-fi.
- The Lake Hotel Tagaytay, ☎ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Overlooking Taal Volcano Lake. Offers spacious, modern, comfortable rooms and good service.
- MC Mountain Home Apartelle, Km. 68.9 Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway (Aguinaldo Highway), Buck Estate, Alfonso, ☎ . MC Mountain Hotel is in Buck Estate, along Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway (Aguinaldo Highway) in Cavite Province. Each room at MC Mountain Apartelle has air-conditioning, a television, deck/ balcony, and private toilet and bath with shower. Rates include daily breakfast. From ₱2500.
- [dead link] Mi-jo Hotel Tagaytay. Provides all the comforts and conveniences expected of a luxury hotel. Filipino and American dishes are served in the Restaurant and for guests preferring a less formal start to the day, a breakfast selection can be served in the room. From ₱2112.
- Royal Taal Inn, Calamba Road BGY Iruhin Central (In Front of La Verna House of Pray), ☎ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. ₱2376-3432.
- T House Tagaytay, 3195 Calamba Rd, ☎ .
- Tagaytay Wingate Manor (firstname.lastname@example.org), Magallanes Drive, Maitim II West, ☎ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. It offers 24 rooms, all of which have an air-conditioner, cable LCD television, and a mini-bar. Some of its amenities are 24/7 staffed reception area, swimming pool, and ample free parking. While staying here you can do some leisure activities like picnics, horseback riding, camping, golfing, and zip lining. From ₱2500.
- The Windy Ridge Hotel, Tagaytay Rotonda, Brgy. San Jose, ☎ . Offers ten rustic, yet elegant rooms with hot and cold baths and private jacuzzis.
- 8 Suites By Fat Jimmy’s, ☎ . 8 Suites By Fat Jimmy’s offers an exquisite organic modern architecture setting that provides a welcoming atmosphere. It provides eight uniquely designed chocolate themed rooms, spacious lobby, dining area, seminar rooms, infinity spa and a sprawling garden overlooking the Taal Lake. It is a perfect hideaway where you enjoy comfort, nature and privacy. Lot 7, Ridge View Subdivision, Barangay Iruhin. From ₱4000.
- Lee Boutique Hotel, ☎ . It offers rooms equipped with air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, Private toilet and bath. Some of its facilities and services are Oui Drink Tea Eat Rice Restaurant, free Wi-Fi Internet access , massage service on request. From ₱4296.25.
- One Tagaytay Place Hotel, Barrio Sungay, ☎ , fax: . 120 air-conditioned rooms with LCD TV & DVD player, Wi-Fi, minibar, microwave ovens and free morning newspaper. ₱3200.
- Summit Ridge Hotel, Km 58 Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City, ☎ , ✉ email@example.com. Experience the best view of Taal Volcano and go cloud-watching at the coldest spot in Tagaytay City. Summit Ridge Hotel and Promenade features within it several shopping, dining, and recreational facilities. Summit Ridge is also a venue for meetings and banquets.
- Taal Vista Hotel, Km 60 Aguinaldo Highway Tagaytay City Philippines, ☎ . Close to Manila, the CALABARZON and to the historical and cultural spots in the area. Picturesque sights, clean, cool mountain air and gracious amenities blend to sustain the enchantment of Taal as relished from the site of Taal Vista Hotel. ₱5280-19010.
- The Theodore Hotel, Km. 54, Silang Crossing East Aguinaldo, ☎ . It offers accommodation rooms namely The Cherry Blossom, The Neo Baroque, The Skyline, The Moorish, The Farm, The Whimsical Garden, The Modern Filipino, The Geometric Room, and The Theodore. It has a lounge area, which is an exclusive recreational and dining area for checked-in guests. It consists of the patio where Chess and other board games are available for guest use. It also has a garden that has a splendid view of the Taal Lake. From ₱5000.
Tagaytay is a safe place to visit, and the locals are very nice, just beware of the usual things in Tagaytay such as scammers and pickpockets; in short exercise the usual level of common sense when travelling.
Beware of the obvious scams and ensure that if you are visiting Taal volcano or any other attractions with guides that they have the proper identification usually administered by the Philippine Tourist Board.
As with all tourist destinations, they like to "plus plus" everything, that is add the taxes and the tourist fee on later, so make sure that you ask for the complete price inclusive of tourist fee. It is recommended that if you visit Taal Volcano and you go horseback riding, that you demand to pay your guide a tip and forego paying ₱500 as a tour guide fee at the ticket office as this ensures that your working guide actually gets paid as they get undercut from the ticket office; a tip of ₱200 usually suffices.
Police, Medical and Fire: 911. 911 may also be texted from cellphones. Tourist hotline: +63 2-5241728, +63 2-5241660 Immigration hotline: 527 Directory assistance: 187 (fee applies)
Mobile phone reception is good in the area.
|Routes through Tagaytay|
|Dasmariñas ← Silang ←||N S||→ Alfonso → Nasugbu|
|Santa Rosa ← Silang ←||N S||→ END|
|Merges with ←||W E||→ Talisay → Tanauan|
|Indang ← Mendez ←||N S||→ END|