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Hiking Mt. Pinatubo

Our mountaineering adventure today takes us to one of the most famous (and destructive) volcanoes in the Philippines -Mt. Pinatubo. Located in the provinces of Tarlac, Pampanga, and Zambales, Mt. Pinatubo is actually a volcano that once stood at about 1,745 meters above sea level. However, its powerful 1991 eruption reduced it to almost half its size. In now stands 960 meters above sea level.

Speaking of Mt. Pinatubo's historical 1991 eruption, Here are some trivia about it.

  • Prior to the 1991 eruption, the last recorded eruption of the volcano happened some 500+ years ago.
  • Ash from the eruption is said to have reached as far north as Russia.
  • Ash from the eruption damaged several airborne planes.
  • Ash from the eruption also caused massive casualties and damages to the nearby provinces when it got mixed with rain from the monsoon season. This deadly mixture is known as lahar.
  • Speaking of lahar, it buried several towns around the volcano. It is said that the lahar caused more damage than the eruption itself. The word lahar then became synonymous with destruction.
The eruption made the place look like a mini Grand Canyon
4x4 Jeeps are vital to your trip.
Go! Go! Go!
The crater lake is just meters away from here
Reminds me of the movie Piranha 3D
What makes Mt. Pinatubo unique among other mountaineering adventures is that one will spend more time riding a 4x4 jeep going to the hiking point than the hike itself. Due to the relative ease of the trek, it made Mt. Pinatubo more of a walk-in tourist attraction than a serious mountaineering site. As a matter of fact, tourists could even rent a kayak and even swim in the crater lake of the volcano. (Swimming and kayaking activities have been suspended recently.)  Not only that, well-trained mountaineers carrying light packs could reach a peak under only 10 minutes probably less.
You want the long trek huh? Good luck!
On the other hand, serious mountaineers who wanted more challenge could ask the tour operator to drop them around 5 kilometers away from the hiking point. This activity is called the long trek. In doing so, one could experience more the desert-like atmosphere of Mt. Pinatubo plus they would also experience several rivers (those are small shallow rivers though) crossings along the way. The long trek also extends the hike time from an hour to 2 and a half hours. 
4x4 of different shapes and sizes
Can you beat that?
Pose ala album cover
The Travelling Teachers
I visited Mt. Pinatubo with my co-teachers during our mandatory summer leave of 2015. We did not only enjoy riding the 4x4s and hiking to the peak but also enjoyed making a short video clip that you could (and should) check out below. 
It looks shallow but it's deep as hell.
You can go down there if you want to.
Overall, Mt. Pinatubo's unique beauty is a must-see for everyone. If you have a chance you really should because a few decades from now the desert-like surroundings of the volcano would be reclaimed by the trees and vegetation that once dominated it. Unless the volcano would erupt again with the same ferocity as before (which no one wishes).
Overall we enjoyed our Mt. Pinatubo "Tric"
Mountain Volcano Details:
Height:1,486 m
Major Trailhead: Barangay Sta. Juliana, Capas Tarlac
Climb time: 15-30 minutes
Another destination conquered

Getting there:

Itinerary (Based on Mt. Pinatubo Tours and Home Stay)

2:00AM PICK UP FROM Manila / Alabang
5:00AM Arrival at Brgy. Sta. Juliana
5:30AM Breakfast
6:00AM Briefing
7:00AM Meeting our Aeta guides and 4x4 drivers
7:10AM Boarding our designated 4x4; Tour begins
8:30AM Arrival at the 4x4 drop off point AKA hiking point; Start trek
9:30AM Arrival at Mt. Pinatubo Peak
9:30AM onwards photoshoot/exploration etc.

11:00AM Lunch
11:30NN Head back to hiking point to ride the 4x4
12:30PM Return drive to Brgy Sta. Juliana
2:00PM Drive home to Manila
5:00PM ETA Manila

Overall rating


  1. wow very nice trip cool.... Pinatubo cool....

  2. Already added this on my list of places to visit in pampanga. Maaya nga ang aking mga friends to visit this summer vacation. Sarap mag trekking!

    1. True sarap talaga magtrekking. Enjoy your trip with your friends.

  3. Masayang tingnan ang mga pictures natin. Ang saya jan.

    1. We miss you Mar! Looking forward to more adventures with you guys again.


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