Tagaytay: The Philippines’ Love Capital

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Table of Contents

  1. Overview
    1. A Foodie Haven
    2. An Attractions Hotspot
    3. A “Cool” Destination
  2. Things to Do in Tagaytay
    1. Plan a staycation
    2. See a museum of puzzles
    3. Ride a zipline
    4. Pamper yourself
    5. Drop by Instagram-worthy restaurants
  3. Economic Background
    1. The City’s Promising Growth
    2. The State of Real Estate
  4. Popular Neighborhoods
    1. Neogan
    2. Maharlika
  5. How to Get to Tagaytay
    1. By Bus
    2. By Van
    3. By Car
  6. How to Get Around Tagaytay

Spanning over 65 square kilometers, Tagaytay City occupies about four percent of the total land area of Cavite. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially among dwellers in the National Capital Region because of its proximity. Situated 56 kilometers south of Manila, it’s only a two-to-three-hour drive from the metro. 

Tagaytay Weather
TAGAYTAY WEATHER

Tagaytay is popular for a lot of things, but most especially food, sights, and its climate.

A Foodie Haven

This Cavite city is teeming with popular restaurants, perfect for couples, families, barkadas, and even singles. Bulalo is the typical dish tourists order when going to Tagaytay because the warm broth complements the cool climate of the city. Other Filipino cuisines can be relished in Balay Dako, Leslie’s, Balinsasayaw, Pamana, and Siglo Modern Filipino. Nonetheless, there are restaurants that serve foreign cuisines.

For those craving ramen and sushi, Japanese restaurants such as Aozora, Hirasei, Zushi Me, and Ryuma Ramen House are around the city. Meanwhile, eateries serving Korean food include Neul Bolm, Seoul Garden, and Premier Samgyupsal. Lu Fong and Tong Kee, on the other hand, are the must-tries for Chinese restaurants. Tagaytay is a perfect foodie destination for every tourist’s cuisine cravings. 

An Attractions Hotspot

Aside from a destination for food crawls, Tagaytay is also famous for its different attractions. In terms of natural wonders, it has the perfect vantage point of the Taal Volcano. Sit at a coffee shop and you can see this beautiful attraction. Tourists also visit Paradizoo, a 10-hectare theme farm that features farm animals and vegetable and flower gardens. Of course, there’s also the People’ Park in the Sky and Picnic Grove, which are also equally popular destinations.

In terms of man-made attractions, most visitors go to Sky Ranch, a theme park that features different rides, from roller coasters to a gigantic Ferris wheel.

A “Cool” Destination

Literally cool. Tagaytay is like the Baguio that’s close to Manila because of its chilly climate. A reasonable explanation for that is its natural location. The southern and eastern segments of the municipality are enveloped in hills and mountains, which means a lot of trees. The city sits at the famous ridge, which extends from Mount Batulao in the west to Mount Sungay in the east, and is elevated about 2,000 feet above sea level.

Tagaytay also has an average humidity of 78 percent, three notches lower than Metro Manila, which also contributes to the cool climate. The coldest months in the city are December to February. 

Things to Do in Tagaytay

Plan a staycation

There are so many types of accommodations in Tagaytay: hotels, hostels, condos, and bed and breakfast inns. It would be nice to unplug from the metro, stay in one of these, and just relax at a Tagaytay staycation. Find a room that has a view of the Taal. This way, you can enjoy nature while reading a book, sipping some wine, or chatting with your kids.

See a museum of puzzles

Did you know that Tagaytay holds a mansion that features the most number of jigsaw puzzles? Puzzle Mansion is the name of the attraction. From religious images to famous art masterpieces, down to world cities, you’ll find different kinds of puzzles. Each piece has information about the number of jigsaw pieces and the amount of time it took to put it together.

Ride a zipline

For some adrenaline-rush activity, try the 300-meter long zipline at Sky Ranch. Hanging up there, you’ll clearly see the Taal volcano. If you want a view of the mountains, try the one in the Picnic Grove. The operators there accommodate three people in one go, so you can do it with the barkada or your family. While there, try the cable car ride and see the ecotrail beneath.

Pamper yourself

The Nurture Wellness Village is a huge spa facility in Tagaytay, which provides a holistic kind of relaxation through nature. They use organic materials, such as native herbs, in their facials, body scrubs, even massages. They also provide detox programs, again, with the use of natural treatments. 

Meanwhile, Qiwellness Living is also a sanctuary for relaxation, but they specialize in the healing powers of hot and cold baths. It’s believed that the practice can remove tension, stress, and muscle pain.

Drop by Instagram-worthy restaurants

Tagaytay is the place to be for good food, that’s a given. But they also have the best, most Instagram-worthy restaurants in the country. So if you visit these, you’re not only up for a sumptuous treat, but a visual feast. Some of the must-visits are Antonio’s, Sonya’s Garden, and Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe. Marcia Adams and Don Limone Grill are also worth trying (and taking snaps in). 

Economic Background

The City’s Promising Growth

Tagaytay’s economy is thriving, primarily being driven by the strong tourism activity in the city. The Department of Tourism (DOT) has hailed it as the top tourist destination in Region IV-A, the CALABARZON (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) area for years. It also earned the title “PH’s love capital,” since it’s increasingly becoming the go-to romantic destination for couples and families, especially during Valentine’s season.

In 2019, the city saw a significant increase in the number of local and foreign tourists. There were about 2.6 million visitors recorded in popular city destinations in the first six months of that year, a big leap from the 1.1 million filed the year prior.

The statistics were culled from the gate entry records from popular private and public establishments, namely Picnic Grove Complex, People’s Park in the Sky, the Puzzle Mansion, Sky Ranch Amusement and Recreation Park, the Residence Inn and Zoo, Museo Orlina, City Government Lakbay-Aral or Libraries and Desks, and the Our Lady of the Manaoag at Tierra de Maria.

The thriving tourism spurs the growth of businesses in the city, particularly hotels and accommodations, restaurants, malls, amusement parks, tour providers, and even small-scale souvenir shops. This generates several employment opportunities for the locals. 

The State of Real Estate

The strong economy of Tagaytay, as well as its alluring image of vibrant tourism, especially gives a boost to the real estate sector. In the last few years, property developers have been busy occupying the land with residential and commercial projects. Meanwhile, seekers who purchase a piece of property in the city mostly use it as a rental investment, listing it for short-term lease. 

The demand for real estate is expected to grow as the city becomes more accessible with the completion of infrastructure developments. Cavite–Laguna Expressway (CALAX), for one, will be finished by the second quarter of 2021. The first 10-km segment, however, is already open to motorists.

The thoroughfare would connect Cavite Expressway (CavitEx) in Kawit to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) at Mampalasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna. It features 10 interchanges, namely at Kawit, Open Canal, ProFriends, Governor’s Drive, Silang, Silang East, Santa Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Blvd., Technopark, and Mamplasan.

Another much-awaited infrastructure development project, which can benefit Tagaytay, is the Light Rail Transit Line 1 Extension from Baclaran to Bacoor. The new railway system will be fully operational by 2022, and can cut travel time from one to two hours to only 25 minutes.

The Sangley Airport development project, which was inaugurated last February 15, 2020, is expected to boost Tagaytay’s economy further, as the city becomes all the more accessible to tourists from other parts of the country and the world.

The aviation hub currently serves small commercial aircrafts with light cargo. An airline servicing passengers going to Balesin, a private island in the Quezon province, already began operations at Sangley prior to the inauguration. The transportation department plans to move flights bound for Caticlan, Aklan, and El Nido to the Cavite airport to reduce airway congestion in NAIA and Clark. 

Popular Neighborhoods

Neogan

This community is in every tourist’s lips because it’s the favorite destination of lovers. Antonio’s, a fine dining restaurant in the neighborhood, is one of the most visited. Apart from exquisite cuisines from internationally renowned chef Tony Boy, couples especially love the ambiance of the restaurant. It has sophisticated interiors, complete with high ceilings, elegant chandeliers, vintage floor tiles, and a huge front door with an old-world charm. It also has a scenic garden, where weddings, anniversaries, and marriage proposals were held.

Neogan is also famous for another well-loved restaurant, Deli de San Honore. The place is quaint and simple, which features an alfresco surrounded by a living wall. It’s perfect for laid-back tourists who simply want a lazy day of bonding over good pasta and pizza with family and friends.

Maharlika

The East and West are likewise popular neighborhoods, especially because they house plenty of tourist accommodations. Tourists usually stay at Summit Ridge, Escala, Villa Ibarra, or Wind Residences, catching stunning views of Taal right from their bedrooms. 

Same-day tourists and backpackers make their way to this neighborhood, particularly because of the much-talked-about Starbucks branch. It takes the homey, cozy vibe the coffee shop is known for to the next level, as it’s filled with wood decor and pastel hues, and surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows. What tourists love most is the alfresco area that overlooks the iconic volcano.

How to Get to Tagaytay

From Manila, travel time to Tagaytay takes about two to three hours. Here are some of the ways you can reach the city:

By Bus

These are the terminals around the metro where you can board a bus bound for Tagaytay:

  • Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), more commonly known as Southwest Integrated Transport System (SWITS), houses provincial buses going to Cavite areas. In particular, Lorna Express and Erjohn Almark Transit are bound for Tagaytay, plying Pala-pala, Mendez, and Dasmariñas, too.
  • DLTB Terminal at LRT Buendia. The buses are bound for either Nasugbu or Calatagan. Exiting at Carmona of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), they will traverse Tagaytay.
  • EDSA Rotonda. San Agustin bus offers trips to Tagaytay. The first trip leaves at 3AM, while the last is at 11PM.

By Van

Vans going to Nasugbu, Calatagan, and Lemery take the Tagaytay route. They’re stationed at the places outlined below:

    • Starmall EDSA-Shaw. Bound for Lemery. Vans are parked in front of the mall near EDSA.
    • Festival Mall Alabang. Bound for Tagaytay. You can also find some shuttles at the back of Starmall Alabang.
    • Metropoint Mall. Bound for Calatagan. There are also buses going to Batangas passing by this mall.

Do take note that this transportation mode is more expensive than taking the bus. You’re also paying for the entire trip, even if you’ll be dropped off at Tagaytay.

By Car

This is the fastest, most convenient way to get to Tagaytay. There are various routes you can take, but most of it will be taking SLEX. Here are your options:

    • Sta. Rosa Exit. This is the most direct route, which is why it’s often the busiest and most prone to traffic gridlocks. From the Sta. Rosa exit, you can drive all the way to the Tagaytay Public Market, and then turn right to get to the city proper.
    • Eton Exit. Pass by the Pramana Residential Park and turn right to Greenfield Parkway. Next, go to United Boulevard, then turn right to Laguna Boulevard. When you get to Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, turn left into the city.
    • Greenfield City. You’ll also be passing by Pramana here, as well as Nuvali, Eton City, and Paseo de Sta. Rosa. Take the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road and you’ll be arriving in the city in half an hour or so.

How to Get Around Tagaytay

The main transportation mode around the city is jeepney. You can ride it from any point along the highway, with a minimum fare of P9. The tourist destinations are a little far off from each other, so expect to pay more. Here are other ways you can explore Tagaytay:

    • Bus. If you’re coming from the Rotonda area, you can ride buses bound for Mendez or Alfonso to get to any destination along the Nasugbu-Tagaytay highway.
    • Tricycle. If you want a point-to-point service, take tricycles. There are no taxis and ride-hailing services in the city, so these are your best bet for getting to your exact destination.

Tagaytay is a destination perfect for different kinds of travelers, from food lovers and laid-back staycationers to wellness enthusiasts. Armed with this city guide, visit Tagaytay and discover for yourself its wonderful hotspots.

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