Mt. Pinatubo is famous for the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century when it erupted in 1991. Although still an active volcano, Mt. Pinatubo's crater has fast become a popular and must-see tourist spot in Luzon. I finally understood why when, after a 2.5-hour trek, I laid eyes on the breathtaking beauty of the Pinatubo crater.
Mt. Pinatubo is located around 55 miles, around a 2-hour drive from Manila. Upon arriving at the Pinatubo Day Spa, you and your group need to register in the office. Packaged tours including the ride from Manila are available but you also have the option to “walk-in” and sign up for a tour then and there. It costs around Php1500 (USD$35) for the “walk-in” tour and Php1800 (USD$40) for tours from Manila.
The adventure officially starts with a bumpy 4×4 ride across the rough lahar-filled terrain. It takes around an hour to get to the trek start-off point. We started our trip early. The sun rising in the horizon was truly a beautiful sight.
There are two trails to the crater: an easy 40-minute one and a relatively harder 2.5-hour one. Since the easier trail was still unavailable, we had no choice but to go for the more challenging trek.
Walking across the lahar and rock-strewn ground, jumping across streams, pausing to take pictures and taking sips of water was indeed an unforgettable experience.
My group was lucky because the weather cooperated with us that day. It was the right amount of cloudy during the trek but the sun came out to greet us when we got to the crater lake. Truly a breathtaking sight!
Constant rains have significantly lowered the acidity of the crater lake since the eruption and everyone’s invited to take a dip in the beautiful blue-green waters of the lake. We parked our picnic basket by the shore and ate before we plunged into the icy-cold waters of the Pinatubo crater lake.
Did I mention the water was ice-cold? There is an option to take the boat out to the hot springs located in the center of the lake but my group decided against it. Perhaps when I return, I’ll take that option.
We ate, chatted, swam, sunbathed and napped while basking in nature’s beauty.
Before starting another 2.5-hour trek, this time back to our 4×4 vehicles, I couldn’t help but take one more look at the majestic beauty of the Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake. So much beauty has sprung out of so much destruction.
I would like to thank http://www.e-philippines.com.ph/ for arranging my group’s tour.