If I were to describe Tagaytay Highlands in one word it would be lush! The whole place is surrounded by greens. Manicured or wild. The whole place is dotted with fabulous plants and flowers and the entire community is surrounded by mountains. Highlands is a membership only, sprawling leisure and residential community in the scenic Taal Lake, Tagaytay. It is just a 2 hour drive away, and yet when you get there it’s like you are transported to a different land. They have a lot of activities but the atmosphere begs for you to slow it down, relax and enjoy.
They have several pools. One at Camp Highlands and an indoor heated lap pool at the Sports Center. But the kids love the one at the main Clubhouse since it is surrounded by mountains . They also have 4 outdoor jacuzzi. Make sure to try the one at the patio as it offers the best mountain views.
In the morning it is nice to walk around or you could rent a bike at the Sports Clubhouse. The amphitheater is nice and quiet and the kids can run around in free abandon!
In the afternoon, the kids can visit the Animal Farm and spend an hour there. The zoo, though not that big has animals like tigers, orangutans and llamas, reptiles like pythons and crocodiles and they have a wide selection of birds. It is enough to keep the young ones entertained. Other activities the kids will surely enjoy are: horseback riding (near zoo), fishing (near cable car entrance), kiddie playground (choice of indoor and outdoor), mini-golf, renting a bike and go around highlands, paint ball course, go-kart and the usual sports like badminton, basketball, billiards, bowling (some lanes have kiddie rails) etc. And do try the cable car ride. The one that will take you to the highest point is the one from Main Clubhouse. The view is stunning. Do call first especially if you are going on a weekday so you could schedule your ride. Note: it can get very hot inside so time it well:)
At night, there are a lot of choices for lodging. There is the woodlands – homey, beautiful but a bit pricey! It’s a huge log cabin and the rooms have bathrooms that have huge windows so your little ones can play in the tub as you watch them from the room. We had a very pleasant stay here. Other options include mini-hotel (rooms are small and no ambience) and the airconditioned bahay kubo at cottage grove (at camp highlands). It’s the kids first time to stay in a bahay-kubo style room and they loved it.
Or, if you are feeling adventurous and decided to try the tent. It was a big tent – my kids can stand up inside. And they have a mattress with complete beddings but since it was a hot night coupled with an unauthorized boisterous crowd who crept into the camp highlands pool at 1am – they didn’t have a restful night. Maybe this would be better on a December or January night. If weather permits, you can also request for a bonfire to be set-up between 7 pm – 9pm.
Where to eat
We loved eating at the golf club house since they have a fantastic view, the kids can run around in the garden and best of all chase after the mandarin ducks. Try their jumbo bangus, creamy carbonara and super burger. In the morning though, you have to compete with the flies — they landed smack on our sinigang.
The trail in between cottages and to the tent site was an adventure for the kids. Flashing their lights and very careful not to step on a snail or bull frog.
On the way to Highlands, my parents caught on the Pinoy Genio bug and entertained the kids making them guess a word with only one clue given (example it is an animal). From there, the kids asks them questions answerable by yes or no, that would drive them to the answer. My son was hilarious and “yabang” with the clue body part – he answered blood vessels, gullet and whatever new body part he learned in science.
A packed weekend, indeed.