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Mt. Pinatubo
Province:  Zambales
15° 09.218N   120° 21.177E
Listed in Gallery:   Volcano

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Active Volcano
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How to get there

The safest and best time to scale the mountain is during the summer months of January to April.
  This route continues directly to the Crater Lake with the highest elevation of 1000 meters
above sea level.  The Capas trail is the easiest route to Pinatubo.

From Manila, take a bus bound for Lingayen or Dagupan and alight at Capas Tarlac
(Victory Liner at 91 Php) or you can take your light vehicle directly to Barangay Sta.
Juliana or a 4X4 vehicle, 2 hours from the crater.  From the North Expressway,
exit at Sta. Inez.  Take the Mc Arthur highway then passing by Banban you
will finally reach Capas Tarlac.
From Barangay Sta. Juliana in Capas Tarlac,
trekking to the crater takes 6-8 hours on foot passing by "lahar deserts."  With a sturdy
jeep up to Bangantungul (small Aeta makeshift village), trek will only take 4 hours but
with a 4X4 vehicle up to Sitio Kalahati, trekking time will be around 1.5 to 2 hours.
 From the Capas public market, jeeps and tricycles bound for Sta. Juliana are
available.  Then from the Sta. Juliana Barangay Hall, you can get information as
well as guides from the barangay hall itself.  4X4 vehicles for rent are not usually
available from the barangay hall but if there is one, rentals cost is around 500 Php.
 The trip is exhilarating, crossing rivers, jumping from small cliffs and creeks,
truly a different kind of experience.  A lot of tourists also bring their 4X4 there to
test their skills in driving.  During weekend, tourists crowd the place.

Tips
For your safety and convenience, it is strictly advisable for you to take guide services.
 They know the current safest route to take while trekking.  You can get guides at
jump-off points.  If you have the resources, you can take packaged tours, which usually
cost around 3,500 Php inclusive of permits, foods, and transportation and guide fee.
 It is discouraged to trek during the night since it is highly dangerous.
 It is very hot during the summer months since the ashes are reflecting the rays of
the sun so bring sun block lotions and proper climbing gears.  Make the trek early morning
or later in the afternoon to avoid the noon heat.

Some of the fees might include (we are actually not allowed by the locals to trek alone because it is
basically their means of livelihood):

conservation fee : 10 Php
tour guide : 500 Php (per 5 pax)
use of sleeping quarters : (150) Php (or camp at school grounds for free)
certificate of conquest : 50 Php

During night time, the cold air's windy direction is very unpredictable and would
usually echo among the crater walls.  We have an experience that after the sunrise,
one our group's dome type tent was not able to resist the rushing wind and ultimately gave in.
 Fortunately it was already time for break camp.

Waypoint narrative by: paulperez 2002     follow paulperez on Facebook