The compact and breezy city of TAGAYTAY, 55km south of Manila, sits on a dramatic 600-metre-high ridge overlooking Lake Taal and the volcano, a magical location that serves as the gateway to the lake area. The ridge road (known as Aguinaldo Highway west of the central Rotunda) can become very congested, particularly on weekends and holidays when the crowds can be overwhelming, but you still might consider spending the night to enjoy those entrancing vistas. Most day-trippers enjoy the views from the Tagaytay Picnic Grove  a ridge-top park 5km east of the Rotunda. Further along, around 7.5km east of the Rotunda, the People’s Park in the Sky  is the highest point in the area (750m) offering magnificent panoramas of the lake, the sea, Laguna de Bay and the smog that hangs over Manila to the north. It’s topped by a collection of abandoned concrete buildings which are a bit of an eyesore; until they are redeveloped, the only other attraction up here is the modest Shrine of our Lady, Mother of Fair Love, constructed in 2003.

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