Taal Lake is a freshwater lake in the province of Batangas, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The lake is located 37 miles south of Manila, has two claims to fame: It is the deepest lake in the country, at 564 feet deep, and it is home to one of the world’s smallest, but most active, volcanoes.
Taal Lake has a volcanic crater with a maximum width of 15 miles (24 km) and rises less than 10 feet (3 meters above sea level. It has an area of 94 square miles (244 square km) and is the country’s third largest lake. Within the lake rises Volcano Island (984 feet [300 m]), which itself contains another small crater (Yellow Lake). Volcano Island, called Taal Volcano, has erupted 25 times since 1572, most recently in 1970.
The lake itself was formed when a larger volcanic crater here collapsed; now seismologists spend a lot of time monitoring this spot for tremors, and sending out frequent eruption warnings through the country’s Department of Tourism. Plenty of tour groups offer trips to the natural wonder—in spite of the fact that it has been declared a permanent danger zone. A safer way to see the volcano is by taking a drive along the Tagaytay-Taal ridge in nearby Tagaytay City.