Mount Pinatubo was the 3rd and last volcano on our volcano-themed road trip in the Philippines. Among the three, it was the most challenging to reach.
It was before 4:30 in the morning. The kids were still half asleep. We drove from Pampanga City where we stayed the night before, to Capas Tarlac, the jump-off point of our adventure. We would have to take a 4×4 vehicle in order to traverse the rough terrain to get to the volcano. When we reached Capas, most of the 4x4s were already gone, we were the last ones to arrive, and so we ended with a rickety-looking but nevertheless reliable jeep.
The 4×4 ride was an hour. After that was 5.5 kilometers on foot to the crater lake, roughly about 2 hours. Going back was the same – trekking down to the valley and then the 4×4 back to the jump-off point. (See our tips below for those who are thinking of climbing Pinatubo.)
This concludes our December 2019 road trip in Luzon, Philippines.
- Arrive at the jump-off point early so that you could choose your 4×4.
- Bring your own food. There was a pork dish, white rice and banana included in the trekking package but not so appetising. Fortunately we brought bread and jam.
- Bring an isotonic drink like gatorade and 100 Plus, in addition to your water. It’s a long, hot trek, the isotonic drink is important to quickly replenish your electrolytes and minerals requirements.
- You will need a mask for your nose and mouth. The 4×4 ride is very dusty. You could buy this at the drop-off point.
- We engaged the services of Mt Pinatubo Adventures Philippines. We do recommend them, but there are many other tour agencies as well.
- One last thing, wear proper hiking shoes please. Don’t be like me. I was wearing house clothes and espadrilles (ikr!) because I thought I would not be able to join them. My blood pressure was elevated the day before the trek (they’re quite serious about this, they do check your blood pressure at the jump-off point) so I thought I’d just wait in Capas. But on the morning of the trek my BP became comfortably low that I knew I would be able to handle the adventure. By the way, at the end of the trek, my espadrilles surrendered.
Here are the earlier posts on the road trip: