Mt. Pinatubo is a stratovolcano located at the tri-border areas of Pampanga, Zambales and Tarlac. It erupted in 1991, which is my birth year. I lived in Pampanga so technically, I experienced the eruption, but I didn’t really know how it felt like. My old folks used to tell me stories about volcanic ashes falling from the sky even though we’re 48 miles away from the volcano. It was scary times back then.
Two decades later, Mt. Pinatubo has flourished into something majestic. It has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Luzon. The trek itself is very easy. You don’t even need to be an experienced hiker to get to the lake crater.
If you want a challenging trek to Mt. Pinatubo, Delta V trail is for you. That’s a 12-14-hour trek to the crater. I don’t see a lot of organized trips via this trail though, so I asked our contact in Mt. Pinatubo about it. He said that trekking via Delta V is not allowed for now because of a previous accident that injured some mountaineers.
4:30 am: Arrival at Sta. Juliana in Capas, Tarlac
5 am: Registration, breakfast & preparation before onboarding to the 4×4 trucks
6:30 am: Start of 4×4 ride
8 am: End of 4×4 ride & start of trek to the crater viewpoint
9:30 am: Arrival at the crater viewpoint, rest & free time
11 am: Start descending
12:00 pm: Onboard to 4×4 back to jump off
1:30 pm – 3 pm: Arrival at jump off, lunch, rest & wash up
6 pm – Arrival in Manila
The trip organizer gave us a cheaper option if we share the 4×4 ride with 3 more people. We happily agreed so instead of paying Php 2,950/person, we only paid Php 2,200 + lunch. Not bad at all. We ended up spending what we saved on food anyway.
Mt. Pinatubo’s Crater Viewpoint
Things to remember:
- Pack lightly
- Bring at least 1 liter of water
- It’s a rocky trail so wear your trekking shoes/sandals
- Put some sunblock
- Bring your facemask. It’s usually dusty at noon
- It is not allowed to swim on the lake
- Keep the environment clean
- Respect the Aetas living nearby
- Lastly, enjoy the view!
We very much enjoyed this trip. I was glad about the fact that the organizers and tour guides speak kapampangan. I got to talk to some of them with ease and comfort. If you plan to stay the night before the tour, we suggest booking a room at Mr. Allan Bognot’s Casa Hermogina. Contact Mr. HP Mendez via Facebook or his cell # 0912-174-0522 for your tour arrangements.