I can’t help myself but to marvel at its magnificent landscape . when Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 , the crater was filled with water and finally a crater lake was formed which is now called Lake Pinatubo. So these days, this volcano gently sleeps , a spectacular backdrop for your outdoor adventure.Mount Pinatubo is located in Luzon near the provinces of Zambales , Tarlac and Pampanga.
The fastest and perhaps the quickest way to get acquainted with this land is to traverse it using a Filipino 4×4 Jeep. I am not talking about a boring road trip using an old car. This 4×4 jeepney ride is truly a breath of a brave adventure.
The action started with a bumpy ride along a dusty ground. We crossed streams that are surrounded by mountains and lava walls and passing through smiling locals . Hiring a 4×4 off-road vehicle from the Pinatubo Spa Town in Sta Juliana , Capas, Tarlac is a great option. There are 4X4 vehicles to choose from . You don’t have to worry because they are up for grabs or you can simply rent a car. Now, if you have your own car, parking it at the dispatching area is highly encouraged . It is within the military vicinity so I would say it is safe. Parking lots are managed by the villagers . All you have to do is to pay for the parking fee. That journey will definitely take you approximately an hour to take you to the drop off point where you can start trekking. Just make sure you let the driver know that you are planning to take photographs and that way he will stop .
It was almost 6:30 in the morning . We were ready to take off to the final dispatching. The Philippine military is in charge of the peace and security in the area. And at the same time they will be the one to decide if they will allow you to climb during the rainy months. There are also time frame as to when the road will be closed . Usually the road closes from 7-7:30 am .So you better be early.
Everyone of us were so excited as we headed to Zambales,which is where Mount Pinatubo is located . Mount Pinatubo is tri- boundaries of Tarlac Wall, Pampanga Wall and Zambales Wall. And Capas in Tarlac is the safest Way to Mount Pinatubo crater.
The four-wheel joyride is one of the thrilling highlights of our trip. This is totally one hell of a ride. The things you expect are crossing the stream and watching the sensitive and beautiful lava walls. By the end of the rocky and bumpy ride , expect you will be covered with dirt and dust , but I bet you will surely be loving it.
We reached the jump off point at the base of Mount Pinatubo around 9:30am . The real adventure starts by trekking uphill. The trek can be longer or shorter depending on the climber’s speed but normally the trekking time takes approximately two hours. I strongly suggest to pack very light. I felt the weight of my backpack after a few minutes of trekking. It was not a hard climb but expect yourself with a very rough terrain. Crossing a river is not a joke .
It was extremely an adventure to remember . I really did not mind getting dirty at the end of the day . This kind of action packed outdoor activity is something a travel nuts like myself would definitely want to be engaged into. It was also a great opportunity for everybody to capture photos of the scenic Mount Pinatubo and once the home of the large population of indigenous people called Aetas.
Finally , The scenic Mount Pinatubo . I felt so proud of myself. It’s all worth it. So grab your camera and spend an hour to enjoy , relax and take the best shot of Mount Pinatubo.