[DIY] A Ride to the Crater of Mt Pinatubo

Mt. Pinatubo is situated in the section of Luzon called Cabusilan Mountain Range also known as the Zambales Mountains. It became a mainstream right after its major eruption back in 1991. That eruption was labeled as the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century next to Novarupta where its effects were devastating and felt worldwide. Now, although Mt. Pinatubo and areas surrounding it is still covered by lahar deposits, it has also become a tourist attraction of the country because of the wonderful landscape it has become. Adventure seekers, nature lovers and landscape photographers will surely enjoy exploring the site most specially its crater part.

How to get there?
Me and my friends goal was to ride our mountain bikes from the jump off point of Mt. Pinatubo up to its crater. But do not worry as this blog will still show you on how to get there by commute/public transportation. Our journey starts as we arrive at the bus terminal of Victory Liner in Pasay. We chose Victory Liner because they do not charge carrying cargo such as bikes. You can take any bus that will pass by Capas Junction. Buses going to Baguio, Dagupan, Pangasinan and Tarlac are some of the bus route that will take you there. We took the bus going to Dagupan and just told the bus conductor to drop us at Capas (near the Capas Municipal Hall). We then paid 180 pesos each which was a 3-hour bus ride. As we alight at Capas, we then started pedaling our bikes in search of a hotel to stay in. The next day, we started pedaling again going to the Tourism office of Mt Pinatubo for registration. As for you, take a tricycle in Capas to take you directly to Santa Juliana tourism office. It will be a long ride as well so fare will be most likely 300 pesos, one way.

On our way to the tourism Office
The registration area
Satellite Municipal Tourism Office
Tourists who wanted to see Mt. Pinatubo must register first at the tourism office and settle the fees below. By the way, these are mandatory fees and you'll not be able to pass through the security of Mt Pinatubo without the approval of this office. Note: The office is open as early as 6am and closes by 10am. Meaning to say, visitors must settle a ride going to Mt Pinatubo before the office closes. Visitors who'll not be able to book a ride before that time will have to try their luck the next day. Aw.

4x4 Jeepney Ride - 3,000 pesos (good for 5 pax)
Local Guide Fee - 500 pesos
Registration/Conservation fee - 450 pesos/pax

For Reservation:
Ms Mai - 0947-3912134

Signing to a waiver...
Even we have our bikes and intend to ride it all through out from the tourism office, we were still obligated to rent the 4x4 jeepney. It is a policy that visitors should be accompanied by a jeep when visiting the crater. So basically the 4x4 jeepney serves as our convoy.

Approximately, it was a 1 1/2 hour jeepney ride packed with breathtaking views. I didn't mind the striking heat of the sun because of what my eyes saw during the trip. I never thought that the destruction of 1991 eruption will result to an art-like landscape now. You can even instruct the driver to stop anywhere along the road if you intend to take photos of the views as well as the locals and aetas that lives there. The aetas who lives there are really friendly, you'll see them smiling and waving their hands as you passed by them. Tip: Smile back, ok?

Can you feel the heat? hehe
More visitors that day
This way will lead you to the village of aetas
Reached the point where we have to lift and roll our bikes
After the bumpy with river crossing ride, you'll reach the point where will lead you to the crater of the mountain. In this case, you'll have to walk. I saw a sign that says, it will be just a 1km trek to reach the top. More or less it will be just a 20 minutes trek. In our case, it took us 30-40 mins as we have to lift our bikes up to the crater. Haha. I felt sorry for my bike because it was a hard one for her. I bumped her so many times and even scratched some of its part. Huhu. But nonetheless, as we've reached the top, it was all paid off. The fresh air, the crater, the view... it was a site to see! Time for more photo op! Note: There are comfort rooms in the area. Tip: Packed your own food and water. Yes, there are stalls on your way up however they sold it like 3-4 times of its original price.

Finally! Our goal!
So calm... so relaxing...
Thanks "Kerida" for not letting me down :)
Time for some groupfie...
...and selfies as well :)

We stayed in the crater for an hour  and it was already 3pm when we decided to go down again. We were excited on our way down because it will be an epic ride for our mountain bikes. We were like jets with our speed. The 4x4 jeep who convoyed us even had a hard time keeping with our pace. We reach the tourism office by 5:30pm and went all the way back to the terminal with our bikes.

Travelling and biking... this is life!!!
Yup, there are streams along the way
And rivers too!
More 4x4 jeepneys
Thank you Mt Pinatubo for this epic ride!
It was indeed a memorable bike ride for each of us. Mt. Pinatubo surely left a mark on our lives which we will never forget.

Breakdown of expenses:
Bus (Pasay Terminal - Capas Junction) - 180 pesos
Tricycle (Capas - Tourism Office) - **.**
4x4 Jeepney ride - 3,000 pesos
Local guide - 500 pesos
Registration/Conservation fee - 450 pesos
Tricycle (Tourism Office - Capas) - **.**
Bus (Tarlac Bus Terminal - Pasay) - 211 pesos
Food - *.**


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