Hiking Mt. Pinatubo

Our mountaineering adventure today takes us to one of the most famous (and destructive) volcanoes in the Philippines -Mt. Pinatubo

Mt. Pinatubo

Mt. Pinatubo Details 

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. It now stands 960 meters above sea level.

Mt. Pinatubo - Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales

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 a 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.

Now, we are on foot.

Finally reached Mt. Pinatubo crater

No swimming guys!

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 challenges 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

Where do you belong?

Hiking Mt. Pinatubo with friends is always fun.

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

The Backpack Adventures conquers Mt. Pinatubo

Mt. Pinatubo Itinerary 

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

(Based on Mt. Pinatubo Tours and Home Stay)

Why visit Mt. Pinatubo?

Mt. Pinatubo might be known for its destructive 1991 eruption and some might be afraid that it might happen again. Well, as of the present Mt. Pinatubo is back to slumber and it is the perfect time to explore it. It's a must-visit if you are a fan of the outdoors. Hiking Mt. Pinatubo is quite easy and it won't take more than an hour to hike to its crater. Lastly, once you reach the crater, you'd surely enjoy the magnificent view.

Getting to Mt. Pinatubo:

From Cubao, Manila or Pasay ride a bus going to the town of Capas in Tarlac. Once there, ride a tricycle going to Barangay Santa Juliana where you would register and avail of the required tour guide (P500) and 4x4 service (P3000) to bring you to Mt. Pinatubo. 

The 4x4 ride will take around 1 hour to reach the jump-off point. Once there, you can reach the crater in less than an hour depending on your pacing. 

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.

  4. Nakakainggit sa ganda diyan sir! The best talaga ang Pinatubo.

  5. Mt. Pinatubo would always be in my bucket list.


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