Mount Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo
4.5
About
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.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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See what travelers are saying

  • HolgerG909
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates484 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning
    We booked a private tour through Filipino Travel and Tours. Pick up at our hotel in Clark at 4:45am, swap vehicles to a 4x4 at 6 am. Start hiking at 7:15 am and reach the crater lake at 8:30am. Very good local guide. Local vendors sell snacks and drinks at the lake. Overall a well organized trip.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 1, 2023
  • rommel620
    San Diego, California28 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Take Your Trash with You
    we showed up around 0530 at meeting place in Botolan. after checking in and all parties have showed up, we were briefed on the do’s and dont’s. we left a little past 0600 for a 2 hour 4x4 ride. the first 1 hour of the ride was not too bad especially you can see the sunrise in the horizon but the last hour was rough and dusty. after a couple of hours riding, we started a 1 1/2 hour hike. it’s an easy trail with minimum elevation and quite a few hikers that we encounter were just wearing crocs and sandals. when we reached the crater, the view was truly worth it and amazing. lots of people especially its the weekend. after taking pictures, resting and eating our snacks, we started to walk back. the 4x4 return ride was rougher compared to the morning ride due to high heat and extreme dust. this is a once in a lifetime experience so come prepared. bring water, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, mask(due to dusty ride) & food. just make sure that you take your trash with you. Some wannabee hikers that dont care about the environment, leave their trash up there.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 10, 2024
  • Gerald C
    Manila, Philippines8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magnificent view
    Absolutely a must visit, the hike was not that easy but all worth it. The beautiful view of Mount Pinatubo will ease all the body pain. Your soul will really appreciate how beautiful this place is. So happy that I made it!
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 21, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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yusrizalizri
Malaysia71 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Took approximately one hour from Clark to registration area in Pinatubo. Then take 4x4 almost one more hour to reach mount Pinatubo. Hiking only 20minute to the crater. Breathtaking view up there. For those newcomers, please prepare balaclava or mask, because of dust.
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gerald C
Manila, Philippines8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Absolutely a must visit, the hike was not that easy but all worth it. The beautiful view of Mount Pinatubo will ease all the body pain. Your soul will really appreciate how beautiful this place is. So happy that I made it!
Written March 21, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melissa Wibisono
Brooklyn, NY48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Couples
Fun stop 🛑 on our way to Indonesia from New York, easy hike - dusty that make it fun -er , husband loved and enjoyed the track. Not difficult but amazing view in the end. Paid off!!
Written June 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Evonne R
Austin, TX249 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Trekking Mt. Pinatubo is a MUST DO if you are a visitor to the Philippines or even a local. We planned this day trek thru an online company based locally in Manila. The cost for a day tour was P1,800 pp and included R/T coach service from Manila to the drop off site near the mountain. Includes cost of 4X4 that will then take you up on a 30 minute mountain climb to the jump off point where the trek begins. All entry fees are included. There is no other way to trek the mountain without using some sort of service that participates in and organizes the trek as personal vehicles are not permitted in the secured zone of the mountain.

There are many things that I want to share about this awesome journey and I will start with the most important. First off, this trek is not recommended for children under the age of 13 or 14 years, pregnant women or for the physically challenged. It is quite strenuous as you are walking and climbing up to 5 miles through water, rock and forest & the 4X4 ride was extrememly bumpy as we went through holes, grooves and uncontrolled terrain for 30 mintes each way. We found it to be an enjoyable challenge however we were pretty worn out by the end of the return back to jump off point.

There are no restroom facilities available on the bus ride from Manila to Tarlac so plan your needs accordingly. There was only one restroom located about 2 hours into the trek and you must have your own toilet paper becasue it is a basic non flushable facility.Take ALL of your food and beverage needs as well because there is no chance to purchase anything once you have arrived at the start point. Some tours will stop halfway between Manila and the mountain so that you can purchase food for your trek however our bus did not stop and if you had not already supplied your food & beverage needs from home, you were pretty much outta luck for the rest of the day. Also, the bus is cold inside so make sure to take a sweater or fleece pullover. You will also need it for the return as you might be wet from the rainfall at the high altitude and there is nothing worse than being damp AND cold for the long (at least 3-4 hours) ride home. (Traffic at that hour is a bear!) Your driver will stop for food halfway between the mountain and Manila (make sure you confirm that with the driver upon boarding the return segment of the busride back home.

The on foot portion of the trek up to the top of the crater was approx. 2.5 hours. (Make sure that you are wearing tennis shoes. (Sandals are not recommended) The skyway that is advertised is not in use as the rains have destroyed the foundation and it has collapsed so the trek can only be made on foot. Your feet will get wet as you walk through creeks so make sure to pack extra shoes for the end of the journey ( flip flops are perfect) clothes and a towel also. Oh yea, forgot to mention that the water in crater lake, in the part of the crater of which we trekked, was not hot. The hotspings may be at at a differnt part of the crater so you will have to specifically ask your tour company about this. We were also not at the part of the lake that offers kayaking so once again, check this info with your tour company prior to booking.

The overall experience was enjoyable. You may find that you are not able to book reservation or pay online. You will most likey have to call, email or text the listed # and make payment arrangents with the operator/vendor. In our case, we found it quite unusual in this manner of business as we were instructed to make cash depost to the owners bank account with specific instruction including an account #. As Americans, we are not use to conducting business this way as we usually pay thru a secured method online. We found it uncomfortable going into a strangers bank and paying cash peso to an account of someone who we have only had contact with via text or email. We had to trust the reputable tour company and in the end, it did not fail us!

Enjoyable challenge and very memorable trip to Pinatubo! Have fun!
Written April 26, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rick_HSeattle
Seattle96 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Family
If you are over 40 and want to do this hike, you will be singled out and REQUIRED to submit to a “blood pressure test”. It's a public spectacle where you will be led to a raised platform literally on the main street and while dozens of locals and other hikers watch you will have your physical capabilities questioned and your personal medical data loudly announced and recorded by a group of strangers. The whole experience is humiliating, unprecedented anywhere else in the world. It's also completely ridiculous for a day hike that any guide book would rate “medium”, not strenuous. Further if you are over 60 as I am, you will have to lie about your age to even be allowed to do the hike.

I'm an avid backpacker and climber and in better shape than most men half my age, but I would not have been allowed to do the trip just because of arbitrary rule based on no justifiable rationale. I saw lots overweight, out of shape people under 40 all along the trail and they didn't get the "special" treatment that seniors are subjected to. And their degrading public implementation is inexcusable. It's blatant age discrimination.

The crater is pretty, nothing special and there are hundreds of other tourists and aggressive souvenir vendors there. The lake is cool, blue and inviting and there is a nice beach, but you're not allowed to go for a swim. The 4x4 ride was actually the most fun. I paid for myself and three family members so it more than US$200, mahal naman! Price list is attached. Doesn't include transport to and from Santa Juliana or food.

Overall the experience was overrated, overpriced (financially and emotionally) and over regulated. I don't recommend to anyone and would boycott it as a senior on principal.
Written December 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bermondsey_7
London, UK118 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Couples
Having read about Pinatubo we wanted to see the lake crater for ourselves.

We booked a trip from Manila using Tripinas Tours as they do public tours for individuals and small groups to join. Online booking was easy - emails were answered promptly.

The Tripinas group met up at 3.00am in a McDonalds in Manila. Both being in our 50's we watched with dread as our fellow trekkers arrived. All much younger than us and well equipped with sturdy walking shoes. We are old guys in flip-flops! Are we really up for this?

After a 2 hour bus ride we transfer to the 4x4's for the rough ride to base camp. Getting off the bus on to the allocated 4x4 was very well organised. We were introduced to our guide who whisked us off for a compulsory blood pressure rate test - only for the oldies! Given the all clear, we're off.

We're on the 4x4's for about an hour. Rough and dusty but fun.

We opt for the longer trek. Great. Not easy but either too difficult if you're reasonable fit. Flip-flops are fine.

The lake is awesome. Beautiful.

We have a couple of hours rest and have a nice short talk from the guide on how the volcano erupted and the lake was formed.

Return journey was good. 4x4's were all ready at the short route - thankfully. The coach back showed an interesting film about the eruption - very informative.

After getting off the 4x4's make time for a shower - only 50 peso and makes the bus journey much more comfortable. Don't wait at the first shower place where there may be a queue - walk down the street and there are other places.

A great day. Challenging? Fairly but enjoyable and perfectly doable.

Tripinas Tours are a good option if you want someone else to do all the organising for you. All ages welcome!
Written May 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Varvara K
St. Petersburg, Russia9 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016 • Friends
We were really excited about climbing a mount Pinatubo. Actually we wanted do do it on motorbikes to get up and enjoy the road back and forth. Especially that we knew that 4 years ago my boyfriend with his father got on the top by motorbikes. So when we came to Angeles we thought it will be easy to organize this tour. But we were told that's actually the only way to reach the top is to by a package tour with a travel agency for 4500 php per person. That now it's forbidden to get on Pinatubo on 2 wheels and you can't even just rent a car you HAVE TO buy a package with a van, 4x4, lunch, guide etc. That's the thing we really didn't want to do because you can't enjoy the nature and views when you are in van and in a car, what's the point to go there? So we tried to avoid this and we went with motorbikes to the office of tourism at Santa Juliana where we can buy the permit and rent a 4x4. We checked on the Internet opening hours and it wasn't clear at all at what time do they close. Even on the official site there was nothing. So when we came (9:30am) it was open but the last 4x4 left at 5 on the morning because there are military exercises on Pinatubo and it used by the army as well. And it was written on the wall in the office as well. Ok, nice, but why it is written on the wall in the middle of nowhere and not on the official site??! The second question is why the only way to go to Pinatubo is by 4x4??! It's a shame to invent these kind of rules and impose the services that not everyone needs just because someone wants to do business on it.

I'm telling this to person who made this decision: this volcano was here before you and will be there after you and you can't just forbidden to get there, it's not yours it's national heritage and everyone can get there just by paying the permit.
Written November 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Masa1986
Udine, Italy25 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
To reach Pinatubo you should:
- leave from Angeles Mabalacat (jeepney terminal) maximum at 7Am;
- take a jeepney to Dau bus terminal (8Pesos);
- once there take a bus to Capas (direction Tarlac/Baguio; ticket on board, 45P with Five Star Bus or 20P with public buses);
- take a jeepney to Capas Market (8P);
- take another jeepney to Patling (25P);
- take a tricycle to Santa Juliana (60P);
- stop in front of the Tourist Home Office and there rent a 4wd jeep (that's the only way to reach the starting point of the trekking) for the fixed price of 3000P (max 4 persons; last departure 10am), rent a guide for 500P and pay 450/pax for permit! - travel with the jeep for 1 hour more or less to reach the starting point of the trekking;
- trek for 1 hour more or less to reach the crather!

We did this way and it's been the cheapest option! It takes more time then an organized trip to reach the Tourist Home Office (from two to three hours instead of 1hour and a half) but following these instructions you can save more than 1000P per person!
PS Bring your own water and food!
Written March 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tincoll
Honiara, Solomon Islands527 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2011 • Couples
Yeah sure, you can drive up it, walk up hit, damn you can even run up it if you like, but the best way to experience it is by a joy flight over it. It cost me 7500 pesos (up to 3 people) and I booked it though Beeline Travel agency in Angeles City. The pilot (Jimmy - American fighter pilot veteran) picked us up from our hotel in his WW2 jeep and took us to his hangar. Plane was in amazing condition. We took off from Clark field and flew around the crater for about an hour. There was very low cloud on the day so our view was somewhat restricted but Jimmy simply took the plane lower and flew right into the crater so we could see it. He is an amazing pilot and really knows how to throw his little plane around. Total time flying was about 1hr 10 mins from takeoff to touchdown. Jimmy then takes you back to your hotel. Excellent fun if you like flying in small 3 seat planes...
Written April 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lonan P
Cork, Ireland192 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Couples
The daytrip to Mount Pinatubo was one of the most exciting and unforgettable trips I have done. We went as a couple from Manila. The best price we were being offered by tour agencies in the city was 6,000 peso each, which was far too expensive. After doing some research online, we found a much cheaper tour run by Sonia Bognot, who offered us a rate of 2,300 each as we would be going along with a group. (If you are doing it privately I think the price was 3,700 each) however you have to make your own way from Manila. Sonia will send you an email with information on how to do this once you confirm you are taking the trip. It's a little bit of hassle, but the experience is totally worth it and one you won't forget!

We were staying in Ermita, so the closest bus to get is the Victory Line bus from its depot in Pasay city. The bus leaves at 3am so be sure to get your taxi in a lot of time, as the main road was unexpectedly closed for road-works on our way there. Bus tickets cost 185 peso each, one way. Ask the driver to let you off at the McDonald's in Capas. Bring a warm top for the bus as the air-con is quite cool, otherwise it is really comfortable with reclining seats etc. Once you get off the bus, tricycles will be waiting for you. It's 300 peso for the (sometimes hair-raising) drive to Sta Juliana, where you meet with Sonia. She will get you your guide and the 4x4 jeep for the ride to the base of the mountain. The 4x4 journey was incredible, the scenery was so unusual, and we drove through rivers and over terrain that at times you think will break the jeep! The drivers are skilled though. We also saw the tribal people who live on the land, and the children running around and playing in the rivers. It was fantastic. The hike up to the crater lake is beautiful in the cool morning air. If you are reasonably fit you will find it quite easy, and the guide will help you over the rivers you have to cross. The lake itself is a really magical place. It's very raw and wild, and so peaceful there. We had breakfast by the lake and then just relaxed and chilled out. Breakfast was provided by the guide, and he also kept offering us snacks and drinking water. You definitely will not go hungry! Once you feel ready, you can tell the guide you wish to leave, bearing in mind you need to leave enough time to get back to Capas and get the 3.30pm bus back to Manila. An amazing day-trip and one I won't forget.
Written March 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Mount Pinatubo - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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