Travel Guide: Mt. Pinatubo (via Tarlac)

June 15, 1991, has become a part of our history when Mt. Pinatubo erupted. It is the second-largest eruption of the 20th century. This caused extensive destruction to the surrounding towns and was even felt on neighboring countries.

Image: http://www.phtourguide.com

The volcano released millions of tons of magma and sulfur dioxide. During the eruption, the arrival of typhoon Yunya made the surrounding severely damage bringing lethally mixed of ash and rain. This also affected the ozone in the years 1991 to 1993 making the global temperature dropped.

After a few decades, Mt. Pinatubo became a popular tourist destination. The crater reveals its charm and undoubtedly a sight to behold. The crater lake has a turquoise color which causes fascination towards its visitors.

How to get there:

There are buses from Cubao that will pass by Capas, Tarlac. We rode a Solid North Bus stationed beside Mang Inasal (Edsa Southbound). Tell the driver that you will get off at Capas Junction, in front of Mc Donalds and gasoline station.

From the junction, ride a tricycle going to Sta Juliana tourism office. This will cost you Php 300 per tricycle with a maximum of 4 persons.

Upon arrival at the tourism office, register and hire a 4×4 going to the drop off point.

*Botolan route is much cheaper but requires more time and physically challenging.

Start of Mt. Pinatubo adventure

While the view at the crater gives you a peaceful environment, the journey going there is an adventure itself. You will pass by a bumpy road while riding a 4×4 going to the drop off point. During the entire journey, you will be surrounded by lahar fields and sand walls. You will have a stop at certain areas for picture-taking.

The start of the trek starts at 5km away from the crater. It sometimes starts at 7km depending on the road. Expect a rocky terrain and some river crossing so I suggest wearing a proper footwear. The trail is easy and can be done by a first-timer. You can reach the crater for one and a half hour depending on your pace.

The view at the crater can give you relaxation from weariness.

Things to bring

  • Head cap
  • Facemask
  • Sunglasses
  • Trekking sandals/shoes
  • Sunblock
  • Drinking water
  • Packed lunch
  • Snacks
  • Camera

Reminder

  • You may contact Wendell Mercado to assists you with the registration. (+639196084313)
  • There is no communication signal at the start of the 4×4 ride
  • Swimming at the crater is strictly prohibited
  • Always practice LNT principle (leave no trace)
  • It is advisable to start before six in the morning.

Itinerary and Expenses

0230 – Departure Cubao to Capas Tarlac (Php 172)
0410 – Arrived at Capas Tarlac; Bought packed lunch
0440 – Tricycle going to Sta Juliana (Php 300/tricycle)
0530 – Arrived at registration

We paid Php 8000 for 5 persons (fix)

  • 4×4 (max of 5 pax)    – Php 3000
  • Guide (per 4×4)         – Php 500
  • Conservation fee (per head) – Php 500
  • Botolan Fee (per head) – Php 400

0600 – Start of 1 1/2 hour bumpy 4×4 ride

Walking stick – Php 20 (optional)

0720 – Start of 5 km trek
0915 – Arrived at crater lake
1130 – Descended from the crater
1245 – Arrived at kilometer 5
1330 – Arrived at Wendell’s place

Shower – Php 50
CR – Php 10

1500 – Tricycle going to Patling (Php 60/ trike)
1510 – Jeepney going to Capas Junction (Php 30/head)
1700 – Bus going back to Manila (Php 170)

 

Happy travels!

Gail

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