A trip to Taal Volcano can be carried out in two ways: through hotel operators, or on your own. There is a set rate approved by the Department of Tourism, so I would suggest to opt for the hotel operators as they will charge you the correct rate for the full trip. However, if you do not stay in a hotel and has to travel privately, make sure you know the correct charges so that you do not end up negotiating on boat and horse rental rates which can be time consuming and frustrating most of the times.
This article will hopefully give the readers some information that will be useful if they decide to visit Taal Volcano on their own in the future. To show the tour rates in perspective, I converted the Philippine pesos to US dollars. Note that the conversion is only correct at the time of writing this article. Conversion rates vary everyday.
The Soriano Drive Boat Rental is very private and is safe to leave your car behind as you tour Taal Volcano.
Being familiar to Batangas road, we decided to visit Taal Volcano on our own on New Year's day 2013. We took the Talisay road and arrived at a small private, family-owned boat rental drive. To get to the Crater Lake of Taal Volcano, it is necessary to cross Lake Taal. This takes about 25 minutes ride by motor boat. There are many private boat owners on the lake shore from whom one can rent a boat with the captain and mate to VolcanoIsland. We found The Soriano Drive Boat Rental by chance and we were very satisfied with the service and their service charges. Without any idea of the ongoing rate at the time, we agreed to pay P3,500.00 (US $85.60) for the three of us (myself, my brother and an American brother-in-law). The price included the boat rental with unlimited waiting time to give us chance to explore the Crater Lake as long as we want, the entrance fee and the horse ride.
A little reception area inside Soriano Drive Boat Rental.
Perhaps another way we could have done the trip to the Crater Lake was to just rent the boat to take us to the Volcano Island. From the island, we could have bought the entrance ticket from the Tourist Reception Centre and could have paid for the horse ride ourselves. But as it turned out, the Soriano Drive Boat Rental gave us an appropriate lump sum rate and hassle free tour.
Read information about the Taal Volcano on the boards inside the Tourist Reception Center.