May 1, 2013

Posted by in Mountain Climbing, Mt Pinatubo | 2 Comments

Mt Pinatubo Tour Package Organized by TriPinas

Me and my friends booked a Mt Pinatubo Tour Package from TRIPinas two months ago.  We went up last week, April 27 so this post is actually a couple of days late hehe. I wanted to write about the trip immediately after, but I’ve been busy with some stuff and didn’t have the time. I’m free now though so here it is.

Getting to Mt Pinatubo

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Mt Pinatubo is an active volcano located in Luzon, between Zambales, Pampanga and Tarlac. It’s one of the biggest Volcanoes in the Philippines and became really popular because of the devastating 1991 explosion. That singular explosion is essentially the cause of the unique landscape that you’ll find in the areas surrounding Mount Pinatubo.

It’s really popular among trekkers and pretty much anyone looking for an outdoor adventure because it’s so close to Manila.

Going there from Manila is actually pretty easy. You can either commute to Tarlac first and book a 4 wheel drive jeep when you get there or you can book a Pinatubo tour package like we did.

We got TRIPinas because that’s what my friend picked lol. I was only invited to join their group to be honest so I don’t know why they picked TRIPinas, but it was a pretty good experience in my opinion.

How to commute to Mt Pinatubo

First of I want to let everyone know that I’ve never actually commuted to Mt Pinatubo lol. I have commuted to Capas, Tarlac though and that’s where you need to go first. Me and some friends commute to Capas because we visit some Aeta communities in the area.

If you want to get to Capas, look for a bus that goes there or a Victory Liner that passes by the place and get off at the Mcdonalds in Capas. It’s the one right in front of Caltex, the one with the 7/11. Just tell the conductor/driver you’re getting off there so you don’t miss it.

You’ll find tricycles in the area and from here you’ll be taking them to Brgy Santa Juliana. This is where all the 4×4 jeeps hang out.

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This is where you get your jeeps. They’re all lined up here.

You then go to the Barrangay office to register and pay some fees, then you hire one of the Jeeps and a guide to bring you to Mt Pinatubo.

I’m not sure exactly how much all this will cost though hehe since like I said, I haven’t commuted to Pinatubo before. By my estimate (and some research) though, getting to Sta Juliana will probably cost around 500 pesos (bus and tricycle). Then the jeep is around 2,500 -3,000 I think and that one seats around 5 people at the back. I’m not sure how much the registration at the Barrangay is though. And I don’t know how much a guide costs or if it comes with the jeep already.

So just play around with the total of those numbers.

Mount Pinatubo Tour Package – TRIPinas

Now if you go by the packaged rate, ours was 2,090 pesos. It’s a bit cheaper if you don’t have to be picked up in Manila & a bit more expensive if you want to book a private group package (just you and your friends I’m assuming).

The Pinatubo package includes everything except food and water. So it’s got the Van from Manila to Capas, the registration fee, the guide, and the 4×4 jeep covered.

Here’s a link to their site and FB page if you wanna check them out:

http://tripinas.blogspot.com/

http://www.facebook.com/TRIPinas

Our call time was for 2:30 AM Saturday Morning at McDonalds, Panay. The one below the Quezon Avenue LRT station.

With TRIPinas it’ll be a big group if you got the public tour package. With the one I was with, there were I think a total of 5 or 6 vans that seated 10-11 people each.

We left at around 3 AM I think. We got to Santa Juliana at around 5:30 AM and we waited to be assigned a jeep and a guide.

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My companions on this trip. We were a fairly big group (TRIPinas) though that’s why there are so many peeps behind us.

From Santa Juliana, it’s another hour and thirty minutes to the drop off point. There’ll be stops along the way for picture taking.

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One of the stops on the way to Mt Pinatubo, picture picture muna hehe

Drop off point and the trails

I’m given to understand that there used to be 3 trails up to Mt Pinatubo. But the “sky way” was closed due to heavy rains a couple of years back. The ones commonly used today are the “New Way” and the “Old Way“, very creative names ;).

The Old Way is the one with the drop off point that’s 7 KM from the crater and the New Way drop off is just 1 KM or 30 Minutes to the crater.

The trek is actually really easy so if you’re planning to head up to Mt Pinatubo, just take the Old Way. It becomes too easy if you take the New Way in my opinion.

Make sure you tell your guide where you want to start walking. Because you can pick where you want to be dropped off.

You’ll be crossing some small rivers on the Old Way and there’ll definitely be lots of things to see.

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This is where you start walking if you decide to get off on the 7 KM mark

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The trail is pretty flat so it’s not difficult

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Lots of high rock walls on your sides

Once you get to the 1 KM away mark, you’ll enter a forest trail that also has some small creeks in it. From here it’ll only take 20-30 minutes to get to the crater. You’ll know you’re there when you start seeing steps.

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This is where the Jeeps will wait for you and is also the start of the “foresty” part of the trail

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Just a little bit more

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This is what the last leg of the trek will look like

Mt Pinatubo Crater Lake

At the top you’ll immediately see the Pinatubo Crater Lake. Start taking pictures :).

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And we finally arrive :)

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Crater view from the top

 

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Group pic muna sa taas hehe

If you want to get to the banks of the lake, you’ll have to go down a good number of steps.

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Steps down to the lake, you can’t see them but they’re there lol

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View from the lake

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Take pictures, get your feet wet, etc…

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Didn’t sleep the night before, couldn’t sleep on the way… I needed this one lol

You’ll find people selling some food and drinks here. Be warned though that they’re 3 or 4 times the normal price. A coke costs 100 pesos up there.

Oh and NO SWIMMING people!!!!!

It’s not allowed so don’t try it.

Going home

After a couple of  hours of walking around, eating, picture taking and some much needed relaxation, we started heading back to the 1 KM point where all the 4×4 jeeps were waiting.

We traveled back to Brgy Santa Juliana then rode the Vans back to manila. We were dropped at McDonalds, Panay.

That’s it.

Hope you guys liked this post and be sure to check out Mt Pinatubo if you’re looking for a day trip adventure that’s close to Manila.

Find more pictures with higher resolution at my Facebook Page: Mt Pinatubo FB album.

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Malds Menzon is the owner and main writer for The Fit Pinoy blog. He's a law student, blogger, internet marketer and fitness enthusiast who enjoys writing about all the gyms he's been to and fitness classes he's tried. He spends most of his time either at the gym or studying/writing at one of the Starbucks places in the Metro Manila Area. He usually looks a little too serious but he's a nice guy so don't be afraid to say hi if you run into him :). You can follow or add him on Twitter and Google+ by clicking the appropriate buttons on your left (below the picture).
  1. ohhh I like to try that next time! I heard trip Pinas is better compared to other orgs. :)

    • hmm I dunno, I’ve done other packages but they’re mostly the same in my opinion so i can’t compare them. TRIPinas was good though and the organizer Mr. T is really nice. He’s a frenchman who’s lived in the Philippines for 6 years now. He really likes it here and to be honest I’d love to be in his shoes :). He gets to travel to different places all the time and earn money doing it.

      Logistics must be a pain though coz with our group we were close to 50 I think, 5-6 vans, and I don’t know how many jeeps and guides.

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