The Trek to Mount Pinatubo.


My two-year overdue wish to see Mount Pinatubo finally came true! At around 3:30am last Saturday, I met up with the group to go and see the famous volcano. 

Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Luzon, at the intersection of the borders of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. The volcano's ultra-Plinian eruption in June 1991 produced the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century and the largest eruption in living memory. The effects of the eruption were felt worldwide.

Since I was asleep from the last pick-up point until the end of NLEX, I'll be no help in giving directions.  So instead, here's a map I got from the Mount Pinatubo's Spa Town website.


As far as I know, we took the Mabalacat route and ended up in Pinatubo spa town in 3 hours or so.  there aren't too many signs along the way so make sure you have this map with you before traveling.


The price for Mount Pinatubo trekking is already fixed, which is good since you'll do away with the hassle of haggling your way through the best bargain. For a group of 3 and up, the Pinatubo trek package would be P1,500/person inclusive of a 4x4 vehicle (capacity of 4-5 persons per vehicle), a tour guide, conservation fee, skyway fee, lunch (Filipino or Korean food) and use of locker rooms and facilities.


There's a whole row of 4x4s in front of Mount Pinatubo Spa Town.  after registering, they'll ask you to take your pick. initially, you'd think it feels cooler to ride in an open 4x4 but trust me, you'd be better off with a roofed one. 



The 4x4s are actually 1980-ish models of the Toyota Land Cruiser.  They might look a little weak but boy, do these machines have power!


It's tempting to bring your own 4x4 but I suggest against it. The road leading to Mount Pinatubo, called the "Skyway" is a very, VERY rough terrain composed of lahar beds, streams, huge rocks that fell from the landslide, canyons, and mountain ranges.




Traversing the Skyway would take about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your driver.  Our driver was the Mclaren of Mount Pinatubo!  He drove so fast and even tried to go up an 80 degree cliff (I am not kidding) because it was the shorter route.  To cut the story short, we didn't make it up the cliff.  Luckily though, our vehicle didn't topple over but it almost did.  I think someone in the group got a shot or a video of the whole incident.  I'll try to upload it as soon as I get a hold of it.  I was too busy screaming my head off to take a photo or a video.



After that scary incident, we took a 5 minute break to take photos and to catch our breath.  By that time, the sun was high and among the mountain ranges.  What a gorgeous sight to see!



We continued on our journey but I knew we were only half-way there.  After 2 hours of grueling skyway, there was still the trek up the crater. 


At the beginning of the trail, there's a sign that says:

Welcome to Mount Pinatubo
your trek starts here

for:
        young age        -   15 minutes 
        middle age       -   18 minutes 
       senior citizens   -   20 minutes

where do you belong?

Funny, huh? I'm not sure how I fared but I was first among the group to reach the top... Only because I was scared to be left behind by our manong tour guide.  He was so fast and he was only in rubber slippers!  Just so you know, the trail consists of wild plants and trees, streams, puddles, mud, stones and everything else in between.  So make sure you have the proper footwear before going into this trek.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know Crocs isn't 'proper footwear'.  I heard it from T because he wanted me to wear Nike ACGs instead of Crocs.  But personally, I was alright with my because not only was it ok to get wet, it also prevented little rocks from hurting my feet!


At the end of the trail are steps leading towards the crater.  I couldn't really see what's on the other side from where I was standing but I was practically running and almost out of breath when I saw something totally out of this world!




WOW. WOW. WOW.  It was like nothing I've ever seen before.  The picture above was taken using a simple digital camera, no effects, no post photo production.  It really is that gorgeous!



After taking a dozen pictures, we headed down towards the crater to have lunch.  Some people chose to end their journey there but we weren't contented.  We wanted to see what was on the other side so we hired a boat for P350/person ($6/person).  


After a 10-minute boat ride, we were on the other side.  This end of the crater is full of huge rocks, probably a result of both the eruption and land erosion.  Since there weren't much people there, we went swimming in that area.  A bit of precaution though.  The sand near the water on that area is extremely hot that it could burn your feet!  Never go barefoot. 

While we swam, some members of the group went trekking and saw a waterfalls behind the huge rocks.  Too bad I didn't see it.


After we had our fill of Mount Pinatubo's beauty, we went back to where we started --- Mount Pinatubo Spa Town.  Now it was time to relax.


The first thing you'll see upon entering the spa is the Massage Area.  They offer an hour and 20 minute massage session using a combination of Thai and Shiatsu Massage to relax tired muscles and joints and improve blood circulation.



There is also a Hot Volcanic Sand Spa where you'll be buried for 30 minutes in hot volcanic ash.  This treatment relaxes and refreshes tired bodies and lessens body cholesterol.


Another service that they have is the mud spa wherein you'll be dipped into a pool of volcanic mud.  this treatment is believed to soften and stretch the skin.



All of the services cost P500 each.   After taking a shower, you can now proceed to their restaurant to have a quick snack before heading home.



For those who want to go on a Mount Pinatubo trek, here's a list of things that I brought:
  • hoodie
  • dri fit top and shorts
  • crocs
  • sunglasses
  • extra clothes
  • havaianas
  • bottled water
  • off spray
  • bath stuff: shampoo, conditioner and soap
  • sunblock
  • camera
  • money
  • food 
So this ends my Mount Pinatubo adventure.  Until my next trip! 









    37 comments

    1. hey girl, ive put up your link as well : )

      xx lue

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    2. Is Russ Boy your Pinatubo contact?Ü We have similar Pinatubo posts. I super enjoyed that trip. D wants to go back this summer.

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    3. lue. great! ;)

      russ. nope, it was just a diy thing. my friend's sister organized it for us. i think the prices and everything are about the same since it's regulated by the local government. sige i'll check out your post now :)

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    4. russ. i read your post already. did you get to go to the other side? :) i wanna go back with T also!

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    5. Hahahaa! You mean with the boat ride? I didn't join them because they wanted to swim. I don't trust my swimming skills with the soft volcanic "sand" and the super cold weather + water.
      ••
      You want to join forces para we'll be one group?Ü Si Russ Boy does trips talaga and he told me there's going to be another one this summer. Sakto, D might be back. Iza wants to go. Ben wants to go back. I want to go back too ☮.♥.☆

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    6. russ. sure! i'd do it again. i just need a bit of rest. i strained my ankle before going into this conquest so i'm still sore until now! but it was worth it. i wanna explore the other side more. i think they call it the zambales point or the pampanga point. i forgot which was what :P

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    7. you're such an adventurous gal... I wish I can still do that but my knees won't even let me do the treadmill. Glad you had a fun weekend!

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    8. sassy mom. and now i'll be having another reason to look for adventures during the weekend!
      (yey to pixel bug weekend ;))

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    9. What an awesome first PBW post. Makes me wish I was single again..:)

      Will talk t hubby about making the trip too. Seems exciting and the lake looks beautiful. :)

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    10. motheeeeer! ambilis haha! bilib ako :p

      grabe, paggising ko sunday morning ansakit ng buong katawan ko! hahaha. looks like we won't be having a take 2 for a very loooong time.

      i haven't suggested friends yet. by tonight maybe!

      i can't wait for the screaming video also. riot 'yun! hahaha.

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    11. wait, why not the title "pinatubo virgins"? :p

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    12. Let me, let me know when you guys are going back... I want to go there!

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    13. mommy judy. did i do the pbw thing right? and why not! you don't have to be single to go on this trip. i think you and the hubby will enjoy it as much as me and my friends did ;)

      koryn. mother! im not yet done with the post actually. still waiting for pics from you. you have the best shots (i want my stalker pic! hahaha!) and yes. my whole body is aching.. from head to toe. my friend and i were talking about it over dinner. i can't believe she and her boyfriend did the 2 hour trek instead of the skyway! omg. (hello kat! ;))

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    14. iza. sure! maybe during summertime. gosh. this trip awakened the travel bug in me! :))

      koryn. i forgot about the 'agreed' album title. shoot! i just wanted to post this before i forget everything i wanted to say about the trip (especially the scary cliff part :))

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    15. Some of your journey to the top sounded hair raising... glad you made it though. Stunning pics :)
      Hugs, xx

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    16. lailaa. thanks! still waiting for my friends' pictures though. they took better ones ;)

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    17. Wow thanks for the Pinatubo tour. I haven't been there but hubby helped cleaning the ashes when it erupted years ago.

      I am a bit late but I hope you can still take a peek on my PBW entry.

      By the way, I just followed your blog.

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    18. Wow your photos brings back memory but of course it looks different when I was there shoveling the erupted stuff from that mountain. By the I am now your follower

      Trying to catch up for my Pixel Bug entry

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    19. You went there in flats? Wawa your cute shoes :)

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    20. chubskulit. thanks! ill check out your pbw entry and ill add a link to your blog, too so i can visit you more often.

      joops. when did you go there? :) anyway, ill check out your pbw entry and follow you as well. thanks for dropping by!

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    21. ariane. its ok. its rubber anyway, easy to clean. and yes, i agree. it is cute. and that's the only reason that made me get a pair of crocs ;)

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    22. welcome to PBW gorgeous!...thank you for sharing all those pics. my husband would love to see them...and to take this trip as well :)

      salamat din po sa pagbisita. have a great Tuesday and enjoy the rest of the week!

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    23. kero. i finally did it! hope you and your husband get to visit pinatubo soon, too ;)

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    24. SWEAR??? yung supposedly 15-minute trek nga pamatay na eh! haha.

      will try to post some pics by tonight! :D

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    25. Russ let's take the boat ride na next time! Baka matulog lang ulit tayo dun sa 'beach'! Hahahaha.

      Joei, would you believe hindi man lang ako nag ikot dyan sa spa na 'yan. Naintriga tuloy ako dun sa mud thingie. Ma try nga. LOL.

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    26. koryn. yey! you took the best photos! ill be waiting for it ;)

      ben. at least you have something new to do when you go back. i wanna try the 2 hour trek!

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    27. BEN & JOEI.
      No prob! We shall do it next time. If D's with us, he won't make me leave Pinatubo without getting on that boat. Haha. I'm excited na!

      ARIANE.
      Eto lang yun dear, kung kaya ng mga Manong to go up there in regular rubber slippers, flats will do. I was also wearing crocs when I went there last December.

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    28. russ. true. i found it easy to jump from one stone to another and to go through the streams and wild plants using my crocs!(actually, some of us were only wearing havaianas ;))

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    29. Whoa, I can't believe you climbed all the way up there with wearing just crocs!! I love the pic of the crystal green water, so surreal:P

      xx

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    30. sher. i know! LOL and yes, seeing the crystal green crater lake was definitely surreal :)

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    31. Wow!! Super adventure!!! Bilib ako sayo Jo! Na-document mo talaga! Maybe i'll try this someday. Problem with me is tamad ako sa mga ganito. Requires too much work and energy. Haha.

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    32. ang saya naman.. . sama ko pinatubo sa list ko ng options to visit... the first (hopefully not the last) hiking ko Makiling.. long time ago na hehehe..

      I hope u can visit my PBW post too..

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    33. vea. i think i'm an adrenaline junkie! haha! you watch chuck? i can relate to captain awesome :))

      reyapot. sure! i'm visiting your blog right now. thanks for dropping by my site :)

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    34. miles. i think russ is planning another pinatubo trip. lets go! ;)

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    35. As a geologist I'd love to visit Pinatubo - it's one of my dream destinations! SO jealous.


      http://dreamingspiresandoldcartyres.blogspot.com/

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    36. mj. you're a geologist?! cool! you should visit the volcano soon then! ;)

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    Thank you for the love!

    I enjoy meeting fellow bloggers and readers from all over so feel free to comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can :)

    ♥ joei