Before 2017 ended, me and my friends decided to have a year-end hike at Mt. Pinatubo. To be honest, this hike was last minute and we almost moved it to next year because of bad weather during that time but our desire to witness this beautiful disaster before year 2017 ends was way higher than moving it to next year. Since we're not sure about the weather and we're a bit afraid that we will not enjoy it if the weather is not safe for us to climb the mountain, we did a little bit research and I contacted one local there based on what I've searched. Luckily, they replied and told us that it's safe to climb and even offered us a 4x4 ride package (includes all the expenses and fees). Before I continue, let me give you first a quick overview of Mt. Pinatubo.
After the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in June 15, 1991 it was considered as the second largest volcanic eruption in the 20th century, the caldera was filled with water that created the crater lake. The water in the crater was actually adored by many because of its ability to change color depending on the weather from shades of mint, turquoise to emerald green.
HOW TO GET THERE
There are several ways to go to Mt. Pinatubo. it's either by car, public bus, or chartered van. If you're in a budget, Victory Liner has regular schedule of buses bound to Baguio, Pangasinan or Olongapo that passes by in Capas, Tarlac. Just tell the driver to drop you off at Capas Public Market and from there, ride a tricycle to take you to Sta. Juliana. One tricycle can fit up to 3 persons, maximum. Since we avail a 4x4 ride package and our tricycle driver knows our contacted person, he brought us already to the exact location. From there, we register, signed a waiver, and paid all the fees. After that, the adventure began in our 4x4 ride.
4x4 OFF-ROAD ADVENTURE
This would probably the highlight of our trip. Riding a 4x4 land cruiser was thrilling and exciting combined. The one-hour ride is the only way to get closer to the mountain, however, we took longer than that as we stopped in one spot to take photos. Actually, the first part of the ride was not that good because it rained but later on, we finally able to stand up and enjoyed our ride. We took a while but it's a very fun ride.
My hiking besties
Someone's going to conquer his 2nd mountain. Hi love! haha
By the way, we met this three aeta kiddos before we continue our ride. Antonino and I also bought some bananas to them for 20 pesos. Just pay attention when they say that they want to take a photo with you because after it, they will ask you to pay another 20 pesos for their "appearance" in the photo, but I don't mind it, they're still cute anyway and that money is also a help for them.
We continued passing through the bumpy road with beautiful mountains at the backdrop. The off-road ride experience somehow also relaxing though, I'm imagining how it actually become a beautiful distraction after that big eruption. This is such an amazing view. Wait til you see the main attraction, the crater.
At around 9:00am, we reached the take-off point and we started the 7 km walk. The trek was actually easy but expect the long walks, rocky, slippery road and shallow streams. I suggest wear the right shoes for this for an easier trek for you. Plus, bring at least 2 litters of water, some snacks and a packed lunch. We took 2hrs and 30 mins to reach the crater but it was definitely worth it when we finally arrived the main attraction.
MT. PINATUBO CRATER LAKE
The crater is huge, the color of the water is emerald green, the backdrop mountains, and the whole view itself is truly picturesque. As I've said earlier, how could a disastrous eruption will be a beautiful scenery after? My country really never failed to showcase its unique beauty and the photos say it all already.
- always check the weather before heading there for a safe and fun hike.
- bring food and at least 2 litters of water
- pack light
- wear water-resistant shoes as you will be walking across streams
- bring extra clothes and towels
-usually the shower area is found at the base camp or wherever you get the 4x4 rental package.
- bring cap and face masks as you will across a sandy and rocky road.
Php 170.00 - bus fare/each
Php 300.00 - each tricycle ride going to Sta. Juliana / max 3 persons per tricycle
Php 1,600.00 - 4x4 ride package including all fees (conservation fee, tour guide, botolan fee) / each - group of 5 persons
Php 300.00 - each tricycle going back to Capas / max 3 persons per tricycle
Php 350.00 - food and drinks
xo, esca ♡