Taal Heritage Village

It’s easily the most popular tourist spot in the area, but Taal Lake is more than just a picture-perfect view. From Talisay City, a boat ride takes you to Taal Volcano Island, where you can go up to the edge of the crater. You can also go swimming or try out water sports at Taal Lake.

Taal has at least seven structures that have been designated as National Historical Landmarks. The Basilica of San Martin de Tours, the largest Catholic church in Asia at 95 meters by 45 meters wide, has a shiny silver tabernacle. A few steps away is the Escuela Pia, which was built as a temporary church in 1853 but later became a school.

Other Taal landmarks include ancestral homes that have been converted into museums. Visit Doña Marcela Agoncillo Museum, where the “Mother of the Philippine Flag” grew up.

There’s also Galleria Taal, a Spanish-era house that has been turned into a museum. The collections include rare cameras from as early as the late 1800s, and photographs from Spanish and American times. Villa Tortuga is another ancestral home that’s been repurposed. It’s now a popular restaurant.

Part of Taal’s heritage is its strong devotion to the Virgin Mary after a series of apparitions and miracles. The Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay houses a 17th-century image that’s said to be miraculous, while the Sta. Lucia Well marks the spot where two women claim to have seen the Virgin Mary in the water.