Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Travel: Mt. Pinatubo

Lake in Mt. Pinatubo crater
Happy Hearts Day! When most of us does our BF/GF duties and went to Valentines dates we planned on going somewhere else. This is trip is about 4 or 5 years in the making (lol). February 14 is the day we went to Mt. Pinatubo.

You probably know Mt. Pinatubo right? The provinces of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga share Mt. Pinatubo. This volcano erupted last 1991 and the effect of the eruption almost felt worldwide. The ashes that came from the volcano almost covered the whole world. As I remembered it, we have to close our doors and windows so that the ashes won’t go inside our house.

Enough with the history, here is a guide on how we planned our trip. First you have to contact the Sta. Juliana Tourism Office for reservation of the 4x4 ride. Do the reservation 2 weeks prior to your travel dates just to be sure. For less hassle you may contact TravelMakerPH (owned by a friend of mine, he arranged it for us) to help you with your Mt. Pinatubo trip.

On the day itself we started our trip at around 2AM coming from Pasig. Then we have a stopover in Mcdonald’s Capas Tarlac, this is the common drop-off point before going to Sta. Juliana where you will be riding the 4x4 to Mt. Pinatubo.
Take off from Sta. Juliana
You should be at Sta. Juliana by 5AM for the registration and other payments. After you are finished on the registration you will now be given a guide and they will guide you to your 4x4 ride and from the drop-off point to the crater. It is preferred to have 4 guests per 4x4 but they can extend up to 5 guests.

From Sta. Juilana, it is a one and a half hour bumpy ride to the foot of Mt. Pinatubo. From drop-off, it took us two and a half hour to reach the crater. Remember to have a pee break before starting the ride because the next comfort room is 5km from the drop-off point. It took us two hours to reach it.

After 5km of trek

The trail to the crater is full of rocks and sand, there are small rivers that you will pass through. I suggest you wear you sandals for the trek. You won’t  be bored while trekking the amazing beauty of the mountains and rocks will entertain you.


Once on top, you will the crater itself, there are food and drinks vendors but it is not cheap (considering they have to carry the goods from Sta. Juliana to the crater). There are kubos where you can rest. You can have your picture taking there, and if you want to be near the lake, you have to descend from that point to the lake. It is now prohibited to swim or boat in the lake.
Mt. Pinatubo crater

Our descend from the crater to the 4x4 ride drop-off point took us only one and a half hour, then from there another one and half hour to Sta. Juliana. There are shower rooms ready for 50pesos in Sta. Juliana, so if you feel like having  bath you can do that there.
Mt. Pinatubo is really one of a kind, you don’t want to miss this in your life. It is a real beauty.

4x4 ride: 3,000
Local guide: 500 per 4x4
Conservation fee: 500 per head
Aeta passway fee: 150 per head

What to bring:
Extra clothes
Mask (to protect from dust)
Food for lunch