February 05, 2008
We visited Mt. Pinatubo Spa last November 2005 and vowed to go back to hike Mt. Pinatubo. After two years, I was able to fulfill that vow last January 20 2008!
I was flabbergasted with the awesome 2.5 hours trip to the top of Mt. Pinatubo. It was a combination of a one hour 4x4 ride, and a 1.5 hours leisurely hike up to the Mt. Pinatubo crater. Upon reaching the crater, you'll be rewarded with the scene of blue green waters that you can dip in. We celebrated our conquer of Mt. Pinatubo with a Korean and Filipino lunch back at Mt. Pinatubo Spa. We indulged in a shiatsu-thai massage before heading back home to Manila.
Pictures will not do justice to the experience but this is a humble attempt to capture the Mt. Pinatubo Hiking Experience.... Enjoy!
We started off in Mt. Pinatubo Spa. The package which includes a hike to Mt. Pinatubo costs P1,500 inclusive of lunch. If you want to avail of the massage, you have to pay extra P500 pesos. Mt. Pinatubo Spa is 3 hours away from Manila. We would recommend that you take the Mabalacat road instead of the Concepcion route. Please read related post below:
We started the trip with a ride on a 4x4. It would take a one hour ride through deserted lahar and mountains before reaching the Sky Way point.
It was a nice sunny day and we recommend to go here in January when the air is still cool.
How I wish I could have my own 4x4 to try out on these lahar roads... Beautiful scenery isn't it?
This is the Sky Way. This is the short cut and it made it possible to be able to hike MT. Pinatubo for one hour. In the past, after the 4x4 ride you have to hike for 3 more hours up to the top of Mt. Pinatubo.
We made our ascent up to the sky way. It would take 40 more minutes before we reached the take-off point for the hike.
After going down the 4x4, this is the sight that you will see before you start the hike up Mt. Pinatubo.
We hiked down a slippery lahar slope.
This is the base of the level grounds going up to Mt. Pinatubo. We saw different volcanic rocks, streams of water, and tints of sulphur along the way.
Ivan of Ivan About Time, Lauren of Laurganism and my friend Maong joined me for the hike.
Mt. Pinatubo erupted and created these huge Mountains of lahar. Landslide is still possible so we have to be very careful. We truly enjoyed the hike.
At this point, I was feeling cold already and how I wished I brought my jacket! But it is cool, we love the weather in January.
After the valley of rocks and streams, we made our ascent into the forest going up the Mt. Pinatubo crater. After 2 hours, we can't wait to see how the crater looks like.
It is common to see these rock signs along the way which serves as a marker for the guides that this is the right way.
At 12.06pm, our guide said, yes we are a stairway away from the crater!
The hike is manageable for any individual. Because you gradually go up to the crater.
Finally the Mt. Pinatubo Crater!!
Ivan was already shouting at this point on how beautiful the crater is!!
We were not prepared for the beauty that was in front of us. I cannot describe in words how beautiful this experience of reaching the crater. You have to experience it yourself!
At this point, we decided to swim in the blue-green lake. During the rainy season, the color of the lake is brown so the best time to go is January.
The most difficult part of the hike was descending / ascending down this steep stairs going to the summit lake.
The water is cold and it was raining. But these did not stop these brave souls from conquering the waters of Mt. Pinatubo crater.
The hike was about 80 minutes on average.
At 2.30pm, we are ready to ride back on our 4x4.
A souvenir photo for conquering Mt. Pinatubo!
In total, you have to allot 6 hours for your hike to Mt. Pinatubo from the Mt. Pinatubo Spa (which is 3 hours away from Manila). I would recommend to leave Manila before 6am so that you can also go back home early.
I tried the hot volcanic ash treatment last time we went here. I would not recommend this because this is an additional P500. If you want to do it just for the experience, then go ahead.
This is the best part of the experience -- dry shiatsu with combination of Thai massage!
There is a free mud pack facial that would cool your face. Ivan was happy.
January is the best time to go to Mt. Pinatubo crater.
Mt. Pinatubo Spa Contact Numbers:
Warning: Please don't book it through Jovi who would charge you P1,750 instead of the usual P1,500/head.