Woke up at 2am for this hike. We left Manila at around 3 am or 315am on a Sunday morning to head to Pangasinan. We arrived at the Pinatubo bump off at exactly 6am. From here we rode a 4×4 jeep. Note: Bring sun glasses and a bandana or a towel to cover your mouth. As the lahar flies around while you are on the jeep and it becomes very dry and dusty. The jeep ride took approximately 1 hour. After the jeep ride is a long hike of about another 2 hours or so depending on your speed. My friend and I took about more than two hours because I took a lot of stops along the way and the air got very hot at around 10am. Note: Bring an umbrella, even if it will make you look stupid while hiking. It is better than burning to death under the heat of the sun. Also bring TONS of water. They sell water along the way but it costs 100php per bottle. CRAZY.
After another few hours of walking we finally reached our destination! The crater of Mt. Pinatubo. The water was not as warm as I hoped it would be, and swimming wasn’t allowed because apparently someone had drowned here before. Most of the people here just stay in this one area taking pictures and then they just go back to the hut to talk and to eat lunch. Meanwhile the foreigners went under the sun and sunbathed. It was a beautiful view though and my friend and I felt great after our long hike. Note: Bring a lot of food as you will be very hungry after this hike, and YOU WILL HAVE TO HIKE BACK THE SAME WAY. HAHA. No joke. My friend Michelle and I just went crazy after hearing this. Although the hike back was shorter since most of the roads were already sloping down and the sun was going down. We were all so tired by the time we got back to the 4×4 jeep and we were all so dirty by the time we got to the van. To shower would have cost you 50php, so my friend and I just opted to shower at home. We just used some baby wipes and changed our clothes. We got back to manila at 6pm sharp. It was definitely a very tiring yet fulfilling day. I would recommend anyone to do this hike.
We availed of our hike with http://www.trailadventours.com/ The tour guide was a friend of my friends and it was a very fun and successful trip. The whole trip only cost us 2700Php, not including the food that we bought and brought. We probably just spent about 3500 or less. I would recommend this to anyone who would like to get out of the city and to get A LOT of exercise. Another last NOTE: There isn’t any signal once you reach the Pinatubo bump off. So expect that you won’t be needing your phone for the entire trip. A great trip for anyone who wants to escape the city life. Even just for a day. Get tons of sleep before the trip!