MOUNT PINATUBO: The Hike With A Story

Categories Local, Travel
MT. PINATUBO : A Hike With A Story

The Philippines is usually dubbed as the pearl of the orient, because of its resplendent coastlines and majestic seas, but behind that splendor, it is also the home of one of the most catastrophic volcanic eruptions in the history of Asia – most commonly known as The Devastation of Mount Pinatubo.

This post was featured at Yettio – Travel Magazine

HISTORY

June 12, 1991, a year before I was born, Mount Pinatubo is to be recorded as one of the largest volcanic eruptions of the century, resulting in huge avalanches, and gas-charged magma emulsions. Years before the said eruption, the volcano seemed like it is destined for eternal slumber, with very minimal signs of volcanic activity. So imagine how petrified I was when I finally decided to go there. What if it suddenly erupts while I was there? Well, PHIVOLCS or The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology have been keeping a close monitor of the Sleeping Mountain after that dreadful day, so do not worry – it’s perfectly safe.

4x4 at Mount Pinatubo
4×4 lined up at the beginning of the hiking trail: Photo by @catchingcarla

HOW TO GET THERE

To be honest, this trip was pre-arranged by an acquaintance, so I can’t really give you which agency she went to, but I can give you an assessment of what I can remember. If you are coming from Manila, travel time is approximately 2-3 hours depending on traffic. You can also go there via public transport- although we opted to go with a private van, costing us about Php 1,600 each, which should include other expenses like the 4×4 rent (Php 3,000 for 5 people, guide fee Php 500 and environmental fee Php 300). Also, be sure to have your breakfast before you go there because looking for an area to eat can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re not into Filipino Food.

The way to Mount Pinatubo by Catching Carla
The way to Mt. Pinatubo by @catchingcarla

THE HIKE

Upon arrival at the checkpoint area of Mount Pinatubo, via bus, van or any other means of transportation, you will be greeted by a safety officer. The Safety officer will explain the do’s and don’ts during the hike, and what you should watch for. Be very attentive on this one, because you are first and foremost entering the lair of a LIVE volcano, so be smart. There will be kids offering you support to stick for your hike, but, this is definitely not necessary. The hike is not that difficult and there is no need for additional support, so do not waste a single penny over this. Another thing you should remember is: To check the weather a day before, because the road can be extra slippery when wet, and the fog can cover the view at the peak. Fortunately for us, the rain subsided the moment we reach our hike destination. Also, in case I haven’t mentioned before, please keep in mind to wear proper HIKING SHOES, or really stable slippers (not those wedgies), or else they will not allow you to hike at all.

Mount Pinatubo 4x4 ride
4×4 ride to the hiking trail: Photo by @catchingcarla
The hike to mount pinatubo: photo by catching carla
The hike to mount pinatubo: photo by @catchingcarla

You will be required to ride a 4×4 for one hour, to go all the way to the start of the hiking trail. The reason for that is, the Mountain is massive, and you will have to pass through all the areas affected during the last eruption, so the road can be a little rough. You will see seismic rocks and sulfur emissions flowing from one stream to another. I know this will sound cliche, but after seeing the wonderful landscapes created by the eruption, all I could think about was: “sometimes bad things happen before good things can.”

The hike itself is really easy (yes that is coming from someone who struggled to hike at Mount Taal) so, no need for that pre-hike extensive exercise. There are no insane rocks or mountain climbing like my hike at The Peak in Squamish, Canada. This is easy-peasy and all you have to do is to enjoy the scenery. In case it gets a bit too hot or steamy, it’s handy to have a set of cloth to cover your mouth, accompanied by constant water intake. You will also have a chance encounter with some of the locals or ethnics who have made a living around the area (like farmers), and it can be a bit rare to see them anywhere else. To get a glimpse of what I am talking about, check out these photos:

Mount Pinatubo Land Formations by Catching Carla
Land formations and colorful rocks found along the hiking trail: Photo by @catchingcarla
Mount PInatubo Land formations
Land Formations at Mount Pinatubo : Photo by @catchingcarla
Mount Pinatubo : Streams with Sulfur
stream filled with sulfur : Photo by @catchingcarla
Mount Pinatubo Natives
Natives at the hike : Photo by @catchingcarla

THE PEAK

As I’ve mentioned, it was a bit rainy when we arrived there so the fog covered the mountains and the rest of landscapes, almost making it impossible to see anything. Fortunately, the rain subsided a few minutes in, and the view started to marvelously unravel itself. The mix of blue and green, along with fresh soothing breeze makes the entire scene captivating. To give yourself a bit of an edgy overview, there is a great photo area right by the stairs. This should be able to cover the entire look of the place, although it would probably be filled with other tourists.

Mount PInatubo breathtaking landscape
Clear Blue Skies at Mount Pinatubo : Photo by @catchingcarla

 

picture perfect view of mount pinatubo
Top peak, picture perfect view : Photo by @catchingcarla
Mount Pinatubo Lake
Me by the Pinatubo Lake : Photo by @catchingcarla
Mount Pinatubo Hiking Trip
The Hike Team : Photo by @catchingcarla

If you want to see our full adventure, watch this video too:

There are actually two routes to go back, so just tell your guide if you prefer the long route which is about 1.5 hours or the short one which is about 45 minutes. Ask the rest of your crew what do they prefer. There aren’t a lot of active volcanoes around the globe that you can visit, and I guess we were just lucky that we happen to have one here in PH. So don’t miss this opportunity. Book that trip with your friends and experience Mount Pinatubo for yourself!

Drop some comments and suggestions below, or tell us about your own experience! 

Learn more how to get there with the details below:

Mount Pinatubo – Trail Adventours

Contact: (+632) 8023401

Website: http://www.trailadventours.com

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My name is Carla Ramos and I am The Traveling Filipina. I like doing nerdy digital marketing stuff on my laptop and read interesting books - as I sing my way towards my next destination. I also believe that cats are meant to be cuddled, chocolates are meant to be eaten (by me), and that there is no greater love than FOOD.

16 thoughts on “MOUNT PINATUBO: The Hike With A Story

  1. We totally love hiking especially when it involves mountains and lakes. This hike looks amazing and would love to check out Pinatubo one day. Great post and loving the photos 🙂

    1. There are many volcanoes near Manila where you can hike! But this one is probably one of the most famous ever – plus the crater is extremely huge! meaning, the eruption must have been a hell of a scene! thanks for leaving a comment 🙂

  2. Even though it’s totally safe, I imagine it would still hold a feeling of adventure and thrill knowing that you were hiking upon a volcano which caused so much devastation the last time it blew. Glad to know the hike is quite easy – I would love to visit, the view from the crater lake is absolutely stunning. Glad the rain lifted for you!

    1. Whew! we are glad the rain lifted as well 😀 it would have been such a shame, coz the hike is fairly long. You should definitely visit soon! 🙂

  3. What an awesome adventure. The scenery looks breathtaking. I have hiked a few of the volcanos/mountains in Indonesia but I have never been to the Philippines. Will definitely have to check out Mount Pinatubo (and the Philippines for that matter) on my next trip to Asia.

    1. Yes! I would also loveeee to see the hiking trails in Indonesia! I heard it is almost same as PH, but then again, nothing is ever really the same! Thanks for leaving a comment. let me know if you decide to visit PH! 🙂 i’ll recommend some really nice places!

  4. This mountain range looks stunning. I’ve yet to visit the Philippines.But I hope to in the future. As a travel photographer, the colour and the vibrant culture attracts me as well as the natural beauty.

  5. I love the Philippines! When I was there I was reading about Mount Pinatubo but never made it there. It is so interesting and exotic – here in Eastern Europe is just not possible to see any real vulcano! Btw, your pictures are amazing, despite the rainy weather you got!

  6. I am a Filipino but I haven’t been here. I should really try my best and plan to do hiking in Mt. Pinatubo.

    You have mentioned good hiking tips. I make sure that I also wear the right kind of hiking shoes because blisters are awful. The rock formations are amazing. I can see different layers and colors on your photos. The kids look adorable too.

  7. I love the Philippines. It s my favorite country in Asia. I usually go there to scuba-dive. It looks like it is an awesome destination for hiking too. Your video was great!

  8. Mount Pinatubo is really intriguing with the story behind it. Volcanoes have always been fascinating, one of the most stunning of natural phenomena. The landscapes around Mt. Pinatubo is something out of this world. Your pictures bring alive the beauty of the place in vivid and vibrant colours.

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