Romantic things to do in Tagaytay
The Philippines has so many places that could claim the title of most romantic spot. But, the city of Tagaytay (Ta-guy-tie) offers more than just romance; it’s also a travel destination full of couples activities. An area full of incredible natural beauty, finding romantic things to do in Tagaytay is a breeze.
And speaking of the breeze, Tagaytay’s high elevation brings with it cooler temperatures. In a country accustomed to humid tropical figures in the 30s, the temperature in Tagaytay are a welcome change.
Above all, a day trip to Tagaytay is the ideal date destination. Offering picturesque views, romantic landscapes and a designated picnic area, it’s hard not to feel the romance here. Whether you visit for Valentine’s Day, or a romantic escapade, these couples activities will assure plenty of quality time together.
How to get to Tagaytay from Manila
The city is located on the island of Luzon — also known as the largest of the Philippine islands. Tagaytay is a popular day trip from Manila with the locals, and it’s easy to see why.
It’s not too far to travel by car (1.5 hours), and also gives a much-needed break from the city. You can take a bus from Manila to Tagaytay, but it takes much longer to get there.
The very romantic Taal Volcano and lake
A romantic day trip to Tagaytay
Taal Volcano Island
Providing the volcano remains dormant, there’s something quite romantic about admiring one — from afar. Taal (Ta-al) Volcano sits on Volcano Island in the middle of Taal Lake, and is nothing but dreamy. It’s also the second most active volcano in the country, but don’t let that worry you. There have been 33 eruptions recorded, the majority of which are concentrated on Volcano Island.
There are several viewing spots to see views of the volcano, the number one being from Tagaytay Ridge. Depending on the time of year you visit, you shouldn’t find crowds clamouring over the best viewing spot. We visited in November, and met hardly anyone there. Saying that, having the view of Taal Volcano and lake to yourself is possible, as is taking uninterrupted photos.
Couples that prefer a little more adrenaline in their day trips may want to consider a hike up Taal Volcano. There are several tour companies and packages selling guided hikes, but be sure to do your research before booking.
Tagaytay City from afar
“An area full of incredible natural beauty, finding romantic things to do in Tagaytay is a breeze.”
Picnic with a view
When done right, having a picnic is one of the most romantic things to do in Tagaytay. Set against the backdrop of Taal Volcano and lake, Tagaytay Picnic Grove is a picturesque spot for 2. You can hire any of the picnic huts, which could be useful if you visit during rainy season.
There are also other romantic activities on site, such as ziplining and horseback riding. While Tagaytay Picnic Grove is ideal for families and friends, couples really get the best of both worlds.
There’s a small entry fee to enter the grove, as well as for the huts and the activities. Check the website for the most up-to-date prices, but be sure to add it to the itinerary.
Take in the views of Taal Volcano Island
Romantic things to do in Tagaytay – Museo Orlina
Of all the activities to do in Tagaytay, I never expected visiting a museum to be one of them. Museo Orlina is a modern museum that houses the work of glass sculptor and Tagaytay native, Ramon Orlina.
His collection is impressive to say the least. Multi-coloured glass structures adorn the bright exhibition rooms, with Taal Volcano and Lake also in the background. Orlina clearly has an appreciation of the female form — as you’ll see when visiting.
There’s definitely a romantic element in Orlina’s approach to sculpture. Married with the large window panels allowing in plenty of natural light, Museo Orlina is an ideal activity for couples.
While there, don’t forget to also visit the rooftop and sculpture garden. The views of Tagaytay are spectacular from the top, and special from the garden too.
Entrance fee: PHP 100* (£1.48/€1.70/$1.91); students and senior citizens: PHP 80 (£1.18/£1.36/$1.53)
The view from Museo Orlina
Museo Orlina glass sculpture
Lunch at Balay Dako by Antonio’s
Pulling up outside Balay Dako, I was immediately taken by the Spanish-style colonial house staring back at me. You also get the sense you’re about to enter someone’s home for lunch, and the anticipation begins to build.
In the local dialect, ‘Balay Dako’ means big house, and its motto ‘welcome home’ is something you feel throughout. A place for families and groups of friends to gather, it’s really couples that feel most special here.
Its interior consists of the finest Philippine mahogany carved into the bannisters and restaurant furniture. Upon entering the dining room, you’ll be blown away by the view from the large panelled windows. Far-reaching views of Taal Volcano, lake and the surrounding greenery of Tagaytay lay before you. That said, be sure to book a window table; it’s one of the most romantic things to do in Tagaytay.
The cuisine is predominantly Filipino, but on occasion also showcases its Spanish colonial roots. During our time there, we tried several regional dishes. These included Sinigang ng Balay, a homemade sour soup with vegetables and shrimps, and the infamous Lechon Kiwali. This Filipino classic is crispy roast pork, but probably unlike any other you’ve tried before. And when you taste some lechon as good as that served at Balay Dako, you’ll want to return for more.
If you have room
The food’s really delicious, and filling, at Balay Dako, but I urge you to save room for dessert. Along with Filipino classic sweets, like mango sago con leche, they also serve their very own homemade sorbet. There are 14 flavours to choose from, including lychee, avocado and oreo.
I also have to mention their excellent range of fresh fruit juices and smoothies. Being so used to the fruits we have in Europe, it was great to try all sorts of exotic varieties. Try the mango, guanabana (custard apple) or calamansi (Philippine lime) juice or smoothie — you won’t be disappointed.
Book any table by the window
People’s Park in the Sky
If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to visit an abandoned presidential palace, wonder no more.
The park was previously called Palace in the Sky. It was the name for the mansion from the Philippines former first lady and original shoe queen, Imelda Marcos. Sitting atop Mount Sungay, the palace was to be a monument to the Marcoses’.
Construction of the palace was hurried to complete it in time to receive US President Ronald Reagan in 1983. However, plans were quickly halted when the president cancelled his visit, leaving the structure unfinished.
While its backstory may have a less than savoury association, the People’s Park in the Sky is ideal for couples. It’s the highest viewing point in Tagaytay, and you almost feel you’re at eye-level with the clouds above. Rent some binoculars with your loved one, and take in unspoiled views from a higher perspective. However long you choose to spend here, it’s one of the most romantic things to do in Tagaytay.
Don’t let the sign put you off – the views from the top are spectacular
Nurture Wellness Village
Nothing says couples time more than by booking some relaxation at a wellness spa. Tagaytay’s home to several in the area, and if you’re coming from the west, it’s also reasonable in price too.
Nurture Wellness Village is one of many in Tagaytay, offering its guests a chance to unwind and also to recharge. Away from the noise of the outside, is a peaceful tropical nirvana surrounded by wild forests and herb garden.
As well as traditional villas, the resort also has glamping on site, giving guests a true outdoors experience. Gabriela Restaurant, the on-site restaurant, extends the wellness theme, serving up guests healthy Filipino vegetarian and also non-vegetarian meals. The chefs source the majority of their ingredients from their own garden, ensuring 100% freshness in the meals.
However, the main attraction at Nurture Wellness Village is the spa. Combining local and foreign massage therapies, therapists use freshly blended aromatherapy oils to have you feeling totally relaxed. Check into one of the couples’ spa rooms, and enjoy a range of holistic treatments with your partner.
Nurture Wellness Village welcome area
Enjoy a couples massage at Nurture Wellness Village
Nurture Wellness Village grounds
Romantic hotels in Tagaytay
If you decide to spend longer than a day in Tagaytay, there are several luxury hotels perfect for 2.
Escala Tagaytay is a gorgeous 4-star hotel, offering 60 rooms, and an impressive swimming pool overlooking Taal Lake. The hotel’s away from the noise ensuring it’s just you, your loved one and the views.
Anya Resort is popular with all types of travelers, and you’ll understand why when you arrive. Offering air-conditioned suites complete with marble bathrooms and also a fabulous spa, you’re guaranteed a relaxing stay here. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the entire hotel.
Wake up to plenty of natural light and views of Taal Volcano and lake at The Carmelence View. Rooms here come with their own terrace, and even a hot tub, depending on your room type. It’s little surprise the hotel’s a hit with couples seeking some alone time. The Carmelence View also has its own garden, and friendly staff on hand to advise on your stay in Tagaytay.
Magnificent views at Escala Tagaytay. Photo: Escala Tagaytay
Would you like to visit Tagaytay one day? Which of these activities most appeal? Let me know in the comments below!
Till next time, happy boutique travels x
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