“There is always something good that will come out of the bad,” so they say, and this stands true for Mt. Pinatubo. More than a decade ago, it fended off people when it suddenly erupted after being asleep for hundred of years. However, at the present, Mt. Pinatubo is attracting more and more people. [Check out our list of top tourist spots in Zambales]
Mt. Pinatubo adventure can be experienced in a day. A trek to the crater will reveal the beauty of Mt. Pinatubo and its magnificent view will make you forget its tragic history. The trip actually involves a ride on a 4×4 through the lahar field surrounded by panoramic sand walls, and hours of trek back and forth. The 4×4 jeepney ride will take at least an hour from the jump-off point in Brgy. St. Juiana at Capas, Tarlac to the start of the trail in Zambales. The ride is the only way to get closer to the mountain. The trip on the 4×4 may take quite a while, but it is a very fun and exciting ride. The 4×4 will jangled through the makeshift roads, splash through shallow streams, and will send off dust clouds in its wake as it as it makes its way to the trail jump-off. The hundred-foot lahar deposits surround the field – a scenic view formed from the unfortunate event in the past. The walls may be beautiful, but it is also fragile. A mere shout directed to the it could easily cause it to crumble and disastrously fall down. As the jeep traverses the lahar field, it can pass by local Aetas and farmers going about their daily tasks at the barren landscape.
A group guide is included when you rent a 4×4. These guides are helpful especially for those who are not used to trekking. The guides assist you when crossing the streams and haul your things. The guides will also show where to head since trail to the crater is not apparent especially if there aren’t many tourists around. One can easily get lost among the ashen landscape.
The trek to the crater starts at the end of ash-ridden Crow Valley. The trail going up to the crater is not as hardcore as first-time climbers would expect it to be, but may take about one hour or so, depending on your pace. The walk, however, is still a rigorous exercise. The trek is a fun experience, and you are also surrounded with nature the whole time.
Upon reaching the top, a viewing deck of Mt. Pinatubo can be found. The deck resembles a park — complete with paved pathways and gazebos. The hike to the crater may be exhausting but everything will disappear the moment you feast your eyes on the awesomeness of Mt. Pinatubo’s crater lake located a few steps further from the viewing deck. The lake’s clear turquoise waters and surrounding land formations is a sight to behold. Swimming and other water activities in the lake is prohibited because of the harmful substances in the water. However, one can get near the edge of the water by walking down a very long flight of stairs. It may be tiring but getting close to the lake’s emerald water is will take all the exhaustion away. It is also a perfect place to capture a perfect selfie.
|Mt. Pinatubo | Big Stock Photo|