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“Very informative hike” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mount Pinatubo

Mount Pinatubo
Botolan, Luzon, Philippines
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Visit Mount Pinatubo like an insider
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Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Botolan
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano in the Cabusilan Mountains on the island of Luzon, near the tri-point of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. Before the volcanic activities of 1991, its eruptive history was unknown to most people. It was heavily eroded, inconspicuous and obscured from view. It was covered with dense forest which supported a population of several thousand indigenous people, the Aetas, who fled to the mountains during the Spanish conquest of the Philippines.
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Very informative hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013 via mobile

The bumpy 4x4 ride complements to the slow rocky hike to the crater, the detailed landscape makes it overall exciting and interesting to explore. The lake at the crater makes you ponder on the evolution of the landscape from conception to the successive catastrophes that formed it. Ultimately completing the hike enables you to travel to three places (pampanga, tarlac, zambales) in just one trip! Make sure to hire a guide so you wouldn't miss all the trivias and explanations.

Visited January 2013
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169 reviews from our community

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Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Mount Pinatubo crater lake trek”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

This is a day activity from Manila that can easily be done. Not for the fainthearted as it is quite a bit of a hike. (you need to bring lunch, PLENTY of water, and good shoes that can get wet as you are walking in and through a river bed till you are at the crater).
Drive time from Manila to Capas is around 2 hours +. It is important to arrange this with an accredited tour operator. Collection at the Hotel is usually at 3am. (!) The transport drops you off at Camp O'Donnel. From there an open 4x4 brings you up closer to the to the vulcano. The ride takes about an hour over very rough terrain. Then the walk starts. Depending on how close the Jeep can get this can be over 2 hours and then it is another 15 - 20 mins a steeper incline up to the top overlooking the caldera and crater lake. From there you have another 10 min decent over stairs to the lake (and then back up again.) After a rest you go back to the Jeep drop off point. Swimming in the lake is forbidden since early 2013.
On the way back you can visit the "Capas Shrine" - a memorial to the WWII US and Filippino fighter of Bataan and Corregidor and the "Death March".
Overall well worth it and a fantastic day trip!

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
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Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Pinatubo was beautiful, exciting and challenging”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

We wanted an affordable day tour to Pinatubo that could pick us up in Angeles City, Pampanga and bring us back after the day trip. We also wanted a tour company that was willing to do a day tour during the rainy season (sept). Pinaykeypoint was the best option and we are thankful we found them. We called their office up and they told us that they required a 1000 pesos deposit that would be picked up from our hotel in angeles city the night before our hike. Meeting the person to pick up our deposit was strange since the person we met was shy and nervous. He initially did not introduce himself as a representative of Pinaykeypoint. He was not wearing a name tag and they did not provide us with an invoice or contract for the day tour (maybe our fault since we only booked less than one day before the day tour).

Our guide (Robbin), driver, porter and radioman were all professional. The drive and hike to the crater lake was amazing. At times it was like an obstacle coarse making our way through the small streams (at times knee high) but in general, the hike was moderate in difficulty. The hike took about three hours to reach the crater where they set up a tent and lunch for us to rest in. We were the only tourist on the mountain making the trip worth every penny!

The hike back to our 4X4 was complicated by rain and flash flooding. At times the streams which were now rivers were thigh high, muddy and fast. Our guide and crew remained calm and stuck close to us while we crossed the rivers. Robin even held my girlfriends hand when the rivers got faster and deeper to make sure she was never in danger. The porter and radioman even helped me across the rivers when they noticed I was hesitant to cross. I never felt in danger as Robbin informed us of plans we would take in case the flooding became too dangerous.

When we reached our 4X4, we were glad to finally be out of the water but realized our trip was not over as we approached tall fasting moving rivers. The 4X4 vehicle became stuck in one of the rivers and the crew could not push it out. My girlfriend and I jumped out of the jeep and waited on dry land till help arrived. Since the Philippines is a third world nation the Department of Tourism didn't respond to our tour's call for help/rescue. So the crew took matters into their own hands and called Aeta from the Turukan village that lived in the mountain side. About fifteen males, ranging from the age of 10 to 50, came to our rescue. The way our crew and the Turukan villagers run across the rapid rivers was amazing. Its was like they were running through fire!

Anyway, the jeep got out of the river and we headed home. Hiking to the crater, seeing the crater, and surviving flash floods was awesome. However, getting stuck and seeing how the tour crew and villagers worked together to get the 4X4 out of the water was a major highlight in my vacation. Its amazing how a whole village will come out to help ignorant tourists hiking during the rainy season in pinatubo.

Equipment: Sandals, dry sac, backpack, rain gear, water, snacks. Umbrella (sun/rain) is acceptable in Asia - elsewhere it is frowned upon.

4X4 Jeep: We had frequent mechanical problems with the jeep. Our guide explained to us that it was the first time that he ever used this particular jeep. They are now being forced to rent from random companies that assign the jeeps by lottery.

All in all, I recommend Pinay Key Point since they were able to handle all the obstacles that day in a professional and safe way.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Excellent view from the crater of Mount Pinatubo..”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

Wear proper outfit and good shoes for walking.
bring some water and foods because you can't buy anything..
wear cap and sunglasses..

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Be physically prepared before going here”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

My first time to experience such a long 6-hr trek (2-way) going to this volcano attraction. I must say that one must be physically prepared before going here because aside from the bumpy 4x4 ride going to the foot of the trail, you will experience rocky trek all the way to the crater. it is not adviseable to bring heavy bag and must pack light stuff that includes water, food and light clothing. Please wear comfortable trekking sandals because your branded sneakers will not last a day because of the rocky trail and ankle-deep waters that you will pass through. And make sure to do some stretching if you don't want to end up having a week of muscle ache.

Once you see the crater it was all worth it. Going down to the foot of the volcano will be a breeze because you get to familiarize the way already but better stick closely to your group just to avoid getting lost. Best time to go here is summer months.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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