Mount Pinatubo is another famous volcano in the Philippines. It is located in the borders of Taralc, Pampanga and Zambales and is a popular hiking destination to both local and foreign visitors. The environment is different than other mountains due to the recent volcanic activity in the area. Hikers should expect trekking through a landscape covered in volcanic ash and rocks. There are no trees covering the path, showcasing the vast barren land that seems to stretch on for miles. But this trek is quite enjoyable especially the 4x4 ride before the start of the hike. The view on the summit isn’t something you want to miss too!
In 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted and caused a large disaster for the country. With tremors felt in many parts of the island, the event really left a huge destruction in its wake. And now, the beautiful formations and landscape serves as a reminder of what happened during that year.
Be reminded that hiking during stormy weathers is not recommended. It may cause lahar floods and the trail is slippery and dangerous. Check the weather forecast before you book your adventure! But be sure to visit Mount Pinatubo and experience the wonderful journey up the crater!
Days needed to complete hike: 1 day
Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 2 to 3 hours
Major jump-off point: Brgy. Sta. Juliana, Capas, Tarlac
The adventure starts off by riding a 4x4 vehicle that takes hikers on an exhilarating ride through the mountain. The bumpy ride is enough to get your blood pumping at the start of your journey. Enjoy the wind on your face as you take in the natural formations around you. There are certain parts where the vehicle drives through streams of varying shades and dried riverbeds. The ride takes about an hour before they drop you off to start your trek to the crater. Have fun as you walk through the different types of rock formations and terrain formed by the lahar that flowed through the area during the Pinatubo eruption.
In a few hours, you will reach the beautiful crater. The view is definitely breathtaking. Tall brown peaks, highlighted by chalky volcanic ash, surround the Crater Lake. Together with the blue skies and fluffy clouds just peaking through the peaks, it is definitely a view you won’t forget for a while. The lake itself is a beauty, especially if you catch the water in its crystal, cyan blue shade. However, swimming in the lake is prohibited as of the moment.
It’s important to plan your trip in advance to make sure you know exactly what to do and where to go on the day itself. Here are some ways to get to your destination:
From Manila, take any bus headed to Northern Luzon (e.g. Baguio, Dagupan etc.). Make sure to ask whether it will pass by Capas, Tarlac. In a few hours, you will reach the province. Tell the driver to drop you off at the Capas, Tarlac intersection. Proceed to take a jeepney to Pinatubo Spa Town located in Barangay Sta. Juliana. This is where all necessary registrations happen such as renting 4x4 vehicles. One guide is required for every 5 persons. Continue on to the ride to the jump-off point after registering.
A much more convenient alternative would be to take your own private vehicles. Proceed directly to the jump-off point and register your hike.