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During the pandemic, it's more difficult to travel to places where you need to go by plane. Because of this, Tagaytay has become one of the most popular go-to destinations during the new normal. I've listed here some of the things that you can do and tourist spots you can visit in the second summer capital of the Philippines.
But before we go to the list, I would like to answer some of the frequently asked questions about Tagaytay:
What is the easiest mode of transport to Tagaytay City?
Private transportation would be the easiest and fastest way to get here. For those who don't have access to a private vehicle, you have three other options:
1) By bus from the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange in Uniwide Coastal Mall in Paranaque or via DLTB Terminal at LRT Buendia
2) By van from Metropoint Mall, Festival Mall Alabang and Starmall EDSA-Shaw
3) By private van transfer which you can book here: Private Intercity Van Transfer between Manila and Tagaytay
4) By joining tour groups which you can book here: Tagaytay Day Tour
Is it possible to do a day trip to Tagaytay?
Definitely! Tagaytay is just 2 to 3 hours away from Metro Manila depending on which point of Metro Manila you're coming from and on the traffic situation. Best to leave early in the morning so you can cover as many destinations as you want.
What are the health protocols during this pandemic?
The minimum health standard in Tagaytay City is to wear masks in all public areas, especially when you visit tourist sites. Travelers are also expected to practice proper social distancing. Hotels should be DOT-accredited and should comply with the IATF guidelines which allow them to accommodate only a specified percentage of their capacity depending on the city's Alert Level status. In some hotels, guests are required to submit a negative antigen or RT-PCR test result and some hotels require everyone to be fully vaccinated so better check with your hotel before booking. Restaurants and other eat-out places have more or less the same requirements. Some only allow 18-65 years old to dine in, some allow unvaccinated/partially vaccinated guests but only in the alfresco area, and some only allow fully vaccinated to enter the premises. So before you dine, check with the establishment to avoid the hassle.
REMINDER: Due to the current pandemic, some of the information here may no longer apply. Accessibility to certain tourists spots and activities may be subject to changes depending on the current Alert Level status of Tagaytay City. It is highly recommended to check directly with the establishments for more updated restrictions and requirements before you visit. We highly encourage everyone to follow health and safety guidelines being implemented for everyone's safety.
1) Enjoy a cup of coffee with a view
There are a lot of places in Tagaytay where you can get coffee while appreciating the view of Taal Lake but here are a few of my favorites:
During the pandemic, most restaurants and cafes still accept walk-ins but some may not. Best to contact the restaurant/cafe that you are planning to visit to double-check. It's also a good idea to check protocols and guidelines with the restaurant/cafe if you're taking someone below 18 and above 60 to ensure that they are able to enter the premises. And of course, don't forget to bring your vaccination cards!
2) Roam around Picnic Grove
Picnic grove is probably the most visited place in Tagaytay and goes way back to the 1970s. For kids in the 80s (like me lol!), it was part of field trips during elementary and highschool. Most people who grew up in Manila and nearby towns/cities have probably been here at least once in their life. There are several activities you can do in Picnic Grove such as horseback riding, ziplining, food tripping, riding their cable car and ferris wheel, or just plain lounging in the picnic huts while enjoying the view. During Alert Levels 2 and 3, horseback riding is allowed again, daily capacity is increased and entry is allowed whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. However, due to the situation right now where COVID-19 surges are unforeseeable and government regulations rapidly change, Picnic Grove's rules during your visit may also change without prior notice.
If you would like to join a group tour coming from Manila that includes a trip to Tagaytay Picnic Grove, you can book your tour here: Tagaytay Day Tour
3) Bring out your inner plantita in Sonya's Garden
Sonya's Garden is probably a haven for plant-lovers and vegetarians visiting Tagaytay. I'm neither but I still enjoyed my visit there. Every corner is picture-perfect and insta-worthy. As of January 2022, they are open daily from 8am to 6pm. Walk-ins are welcome but have your vaccination cards ready as they will require it upon entry. They serve buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner so if you are planning to avail of these, you can go to their website to check the menu: Sonya's Garden Restaurant. They mostly serve vegetables but if you're are a carnivore, you still have options to order a steak, seafood or chicken dish separately. The establishment also runs a bed and breakfast so if you're planning to stay a few nights, check out their rates here: Sonya's Garden Bed and Breakfast
This joiner group tour from Manila also includes Sonya's Garden as part of the tour. To make your trip convenient, you can book them here: Tagaytay Day Tour
4) Treat yourself to a relaxing massage at Qiwellness Living
Qiwellness Living offers a teahouse where guests can relax, sip tea and eat dimsum; a bathhouse where you can meditate and rejuvenate; and a guesthouse where you can stay the night if you're too lazy to drive/commute back to Manila. To book a day tour at Qiwellness, click here: Qiwellness Living Spa and Dining Experience in Tagaytay. This package includes a spa session with a choice between their different massages - Silk, Deep Tissue or Qiharmony - while enjoying a view of the Taal Lake. But before you get your massage, you also have exclusive access to the Yin and Yang pool. After your massage, you will be treated to a tea and dimsum at the teahouse to cap off your spa experience.
5) Say your prayers at Calaruega Church
Calaruega Church is one of the famous churches where weddings are held near Tagaytay. It is located in Nasugbu, Batangas but only a few minutes away from Tagaytay City. For one thing, it's a really beautiful church surrounded by greeneries which makes it very picturesque. Secondly, it's because while it is located out of town, it is only a few hours' drive from Manila. It is also near some nice reception venues around Tagaytay such as Antonio's, Balay Indang, Fernwood Gardens, Canyon Woods, Tagaytay Highlands, among others. Wedding-talk aside, it's one of the churches you must visit, and probably say a little prayer in, during your next Tagaytay visit.
To make your visit to Calaruega Church more convenient, you can book this joiner group tour to Tagaytay from Metro Manila: Tagaytay Day Tour
6) Experience grape-picking at Twin Lakes Hotel (Seasonal)
Twin Lakes Hotel can arrange grape-picking during harvest season, which is between March and April every year. This activity is free for its hotel guests and sometime in 2021, Twin Lakes extended this offer to dine-in guests of the Twin Lakes Cafe with a minimum spend of P2,000. Best to double-check if this activity is available during your visit. If you would like to know more about the vineyard, please check our blog entry about this here: Vineyard at Twin Lakes
7) Bring out your inner child at Sky Ranch
Sky Ranch has always been one of the go-to places whenever tourists visit Tagaytay ever since its inception. It is open to guests from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm Mondays to Thursdays and from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Fridays to Sundays. Admission fee as of January 2022 is P100 per person. This grants access to the main park as well as the Royal Canin Paw Park. As of January 2022, only vaccinated individuals are allowed access to the park so don't forget to bring your vaccination card to be presented upon entry. For more updated information about their protocols and regulations, visit their Facebook page here: Sky Ranch Philippines Facebook Page
If you do not have your own transport and looking for a group tour that will take you to Sky Ranch Tagaytay from Metro Manila, you can book a tour here: Tagaytay Day Tour
8) Stay overnight in some unique staycations
Being one of the most frequented vacation spots near Metro Manila, Tagaytay also has a lot of gorgeous Airbnbs and hotels known for the unique experience each of them has to offer. Here are some of them:
9) Experience Switzerland at Crosswinds
This 100-hectare property lets you experience Switzerland a few kilometers south of Manila. Over 20,000 pine trees sprawl across the property with its Swiss-themed picturesque chalets sitting on a lush terrain in one of the highest overlooking points of Tagaytay.
10) Go food tripping and eat Bulalo
And of course, the staple food of Tagaytay - bulalo! Some restaurants like Leslie’s, Ridge Park Kainan sa Kubo, Diner’s, Josephine’s, and Balay Dako also serve sizzling bulalo.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to post them here: