One of the best known off road adventures today in the Philippines is the day trek to the Majestic Crater of Mount Pinatubo. Having seen the scenic beauty and read many interesting reviews on the internet of this once a destructive volcano, my interest of setting foot there was enough to make me fly to Manila from Davao City.
Just a little history, Mount Pinatubo became famous when it erupted violently in the year 1991. The eruption was recorded as the second largest volcanic eruption of the twentieth century. It killed 800 people and left 100,000 homeless. Not only that, the effects of the eruption were felt worldwide as millions of tons of sulfur dioxide were discharged into the atmosphere, resulting in a decrease in the temperature worldwide.
Years after the historic eruption, Mt. Pinatubo Caldera has now transformed into a well worth visiting destination especially for hikers. Surrounded by a vast expanse of lahar-filled valleys, boulders of great sizes and shapes, and inhabited by the remaining Aeta Tribesmen, Mt. Pinatubo offers a captivating view of a hidden lake inside its crater – absolutely an amazing prize after a tedious hike.
Conquering the Majestic Crater of Mount Pinatubo requires patience and endurance. It consists a 45 minute Off Road 4×4 adventure then followed by another 45 minutes of trekking. The rugged yet beautiful trail promises to be no easy climb but seeing the Majestic Crater is absolutely a worthy reward.
HERE'S MY PHOTO ANTHOLOGY
Together with my RTours Group staright from Davao City, our day trek to Mount Pinatubo started at Baragngay Sta. Juliana in Capas, Tarlac. Mount Pinatubo, though situated within the borders of three provinces namely Tarlac, Pampanga and Zambales, is easier to reach through the established Capas Trail in the Province of Tarlac, around 2and a half ride from Manila. Aboard the 4WD Jeep going to the jump off point, the 45 minutes Off Road ride became an adventure in itself. Battling against the rugged road, our ride was simply spectacular providing us the scenic view of the vast lahar-field panorama.
PHOTOS BELOW SHOW THE PANORAMIC VIEW OF THE LAHAR FILLED PLAINS AND VALLEYS GOING TO THE JUMP OFF POINT. SURELY, THESE SCENES MADE OUR OFF ROAD ADVENTURE WORTH A RIDE.
HEADING TOWARDS THE JUMP OFF SITE, it is so amazing to see various 4X4 Vehicles parked at the vicinity carrying tourists and alike excitedly eager to reach the Crater of Mount Pinatubo. Looking at the number of these vehicles, it means TOURISM in the area is so much alive and kicking.
REACHING THE JUMP OFF SITE, we made another one hour trek going to the Crater of Mount Pinatubo. I was filled with so much excitement when I started my trekking. I have traveled miles away just to see the now renowned beauty of the Crater. I knew from the start that going up there is not an easy climb but my willingness to set foot at Crater Lake was so much enough to keep me going.
THE RUGGED TRAIL GOING TO THE CRATER
The Crater Lake is undeniably the TRUE GEM of Mount Pinatubo's Crater. Its turquoise color as seen from above appears like a silent paradise alluring and enchanting its guests to dip into its water and feel the romancing charm of its splendor. Like others, I am truly enchanted by her Majestic Allure. I went down to feel the warmth of her embrace. Honestly, I was thinking that the Crater Lake's water was hot. I was wrong. Surprisingly, it is lovely cold. Dipping into the depth, the Lake's Water tastes like Soda Water. It is exactly the same like those in Camiguin Island. But here, it's different. It's really rewarding because I could feel the essence of being on the top of the world, at the Crater of the famous Mount Pinatubo.
MY TRIP TO MOUNT PINATUBO is truly remarkable. Coming from Mindanao so far from this magnificent work of nature, I feel so proud that I have finally experienced the many beautiful stories about it. Indeed, it is worth the travel. Having seen its unique enchanment, I could definitely say that MOUNT PINATUBO have changed it reputation from being the most destructive volcano into the must see, must visit destination not just for Filipinos but for mountain lovers and hikers around the globe.
HOW TO GET THERE:
The easiest way to conquer the Crater of Mount Pinatubo by passing through the Capas Trail. also known as the "Skywalk". Capas Trail is located in Barangay Santa Juliana in Capas, Tarlac, around 2 and a half hour travel from Manila. The Pinatubo Spa Town arranges day tour to the Crater of Mount Pinatubo. We paid around Php 1,200.00 for the day tour including the 4X4 Vehicle and the official tour guide.