Disclaimer: All views expressed on this blog are my own based on my own experiences and do not represent of any entity with which I have been, are now or will be affiliated

July 09, 2020
Lipa, Batangas

Date of Trip: July 08, 2022

I have been dying to hike Mount Pinatubo. It’s been a dream to be in this volcano since I started climbing mountains in 2015. I was so relieved to have seen it’s jaw dropping crate lake after so many years of waiting. I will never forget this adventure.

Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located 4 hours away from Manila. It is located in the intersection of the borders of the provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. Also known as the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century on June 15 1991. The eruption disrupted agriculture and killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Today, Mount Pinatubo is no longer the horror it was more than 2 decades ago, tourists flock to see it’s beauty and experience various kinds of adventures such as 4×4 ride, dirt bike, hiking and even get a Pinatubo spa using lahar sediments left by the eruption.

Restrictions

Tarlac is accepting leisure travelers provided that they follow the standard health protocol. To hike Mount Pinatubo, you have to submit photo copy of your vaccination card and Identification Card.

Getting Around Mt. Pinatubo

I booked a tour from Byahe Ni JhayRick, it’s owner, Jay, was very accommodating and responded to questions. It was a very smooth transaction having them as my organizer for this trip. I highly recommend them!

Budget

My budget for this trip was Php4,500 – Php3,500 for the Mount Pinatubo trip inclusive of round trip van transfer, 4×4 ride, tourism fees excluded of food, shower fees after the hike and tips.

You can buy food in stores in the jump off and as well at the top of Mount Pinatubo. But if you are on a budget, I’d suggest to bring your own food.

Best Time to Go

The best time to go is during dry months – December to May. But you can also explore it all through out the year just make sure to pay attention to weather reports, especially if there are warnings of typhoons near Mount Pinatubo or in Manila as heavy rains can cause lahar floods and landslides.

It rained when we went here but we were lucky rain stopped and it was sunny all through out the trip.

Language

People speak Kapampangan, Tagalog and Katutubo.

July 07 (Friday) 11:00pm, Mall of Asia

After a get together with my colleagues and new hires of another team, I went home to freshen up and I met up with Waldin, one of the organizers of the trip in Mall of Asia. This was my solo adventure. The pick up time for this trip was almost midnight so we can hike Mount Pinatubo early in the morning. I met fellow solo joiners and went on a group hike with them- JM, Carla and Celine. We drove from Manila to Mount Pinatubo jump off for almost 6-7 hours. It took this long because of stop overs.

July 08 (Saturday) 5:00am Mount Pinatubo Jump-off Sta. Juliana Capas, Tarlac

I always sleep when I travel so the 6 hour trip just went by so fast haha! We registered at almost 5:10am, it was smooth registration and our temperature was monitored and at almost 5:30am our 4×4 ride arrived. I was beyond excited to be riding 4×4, it was one hell of an extreme ride crossing streams, panoramic views of the lahar river beds, grasslands, streams, lava canyons and mountains.

Going up to Mount Pinatubo

After the 2hour 4×4 ride, we went on a hike to see the magnificent crater lake. It took us 2 hours to hike. It’s about 7km going up there. We arrived at 10:00am at the summit and I saw the luminous turquoise crater lake, it was so stunning and relaxing! I wanted to take a dip but it’s forbidden now due to sulfuric acid the volcano is emitting. The photos cannot justify how beautiful it was. We rested for an hour under the trees and in a picnic mat as we ate hotdogs we bought in the nearest store for Php50 each. I just felt the breeze of wind and calmness of the lake, it was such a beautiful day indeed.

Going up Mount Pinatubo

the stunning crater lake, it is bluish green in person – the video doesn’t justify the real beauty of this lake, it was mesmerizing!

We descent by 11:00am and rode 4×4 going back to jump off by 1:00pm. I realized I was really adventurous when I slept for 2 hours in a 4×4 ride. I was very tired from the hike, I didn’t care how rough the road was. We arrived in the jump off by 3:30pm. After freshening up (shower fees cost Php50) I ate again. We left the jump off by 4:00pm and I arrived in Manila by 9:00pm.

Mount Pinatubo trip was an amazing experience of adventure, people, mountains and culture. I’m definitely going back to try their lahar spa and experience this adventure over again.

Love,

Maria,sometimes,Niskie