A few years ago- doing a Taal Lake Loop is a bit more challenging than today. You either have to go all the way to Tagaytay or endure the unpaved roads of Agoncillo-Laurel-Talisay. With the opening of the Taal Circumferential Road, doing the loop is a now a bit easier. The total distance of the loop is around 100 kilometers (50-100 kms. shorter than Laguna Lake Loop depending on the route taken).
You can start the loop at any point convenient but would assume since Tagaytay is the best access to the loop, then Talisay would be the best starting point. In our case, since we have an activity in Balete, we have chosen Balete as our start/end point.
The crucial part is in the Tanauan Area. There are a couple of possible routes but one mistake (like what we did) would cost you around 10 kms more and were talking here about steep climbs. Here is our planned route:
And here is our mistake:
When we got lost, we needed to pass through a small river to get to the other road:
The new Taal Circumferrential Road:
Here are the ride stats:
I was with Mar Alrey Jumarang and we started at around 6:30 AM and finished at around 3 PM. From Balete, you will climb around 300 meters to get to Lipa, then rolling to the town of Alitagtag. From Alitagtag, it’s downhill to San Nicolas. It is relatively flat from Agoncillo to Laurel with some few hills and then a “cardiac assault” to Talisay. It will then be totally flats again till the final climb to Tanauan and then finishing with a downhill to Balete.
Here are the sights along the route:
A closer look at Taal Volcano (Mt. Binintiang Malaki)
Old Taal Church Ruins at San Nicolas
Al Jumarang posing at Cuenca Batangas with Mt. Maculot as backdrop
Mt. Maculot from the other side