Metro Manila · Mount Pinatubo (Volcano)
Leading through ash-covered wastelands, rocky valleys, over creeks in spate and through lush forests, the trip to Mount Pinatubo is an epic, adventurous journey – but one that can be done in just one day, starting and ending in Manila.
Climbing Mount Pinatubo
It takes around 2.5 to 3 hours from Metro Manila to the village of Santa Juliana, where a long line of Four-by-Fours awaits the traveler just after sunrise. These all-terrain vehicles take four to five persons on a rough and bumpy 1.5 hour trip through a vast, dusty lowland, formed by lahars in the aftermath of the devastating eruption of the volcano in 1991.
The following seven-kilometer hike to the Crater Lake takes about 2.5 hours. It leads through an impressive river valley, covered all over with rocks and stones in different shapes and colors, but without much vegetation. A little winding creek needs to be crossed many times, either via slippery stepping stones or by just wading through the water in flip flops. Local guides carry the food for the day and ensure that nobody gets lost.
The last kilometer of the route is the steepest, but also the most beautiful. A narrow path follows the creek through a small green and shady forest, making it necessary to constantly cross the stream. When finally reaching the top of Mount Pinatubo, a wide panorama unrolls, providing a view over the Crater Lake and the steep surrounding crater rim.
Swimming in the lake has recently been forbidden for safety reasons. Instead, the successful hikers just sit down at the lake’s beach or in the more highly situated park area, get some rest and a little merienda, and take in the unique and majestic atmosphere of Mount Pinatubo.
All-Inclusive Tour Packages
It is highly recommended to book an all-inclusive package for Mount Pinatubo. Those are not exactly cheap (the bigger the group, the cheaper it gets), but organizing every step by yourself is quite a hassle and hardly worth it. Day-trip packages including transfer by Van or Minibus from Manila to Santa Juliana and back, ride in the Four-by-Four, registration and entrance fees, local guards, as well as several meals, snacks and water are available for around 2500 Pesos per person.
This tour operator offers a wide range of customized tours and promo packs:
Majestic Mount Pinatubo Tour And Homestay
Tel: (63) 9186 0219 43 (Sonia)
For further options, have a look at our list of tour operators.