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Information about Mt. Pinatubo

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Mt Pinatubo, Botolan, Zambales, Philippines
Distance from center
18.6 km
High season
Number of reviews

Mount Pinatubo

Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales

​Mount Pinatubo is a popular attraction in the Philippines. For centuries, this historic site lay dormant. Only the second-largest terrestrial volcanic eruption of the 20th century took place there. What made it most cataclysmic was right as Pinatubo was spewing 10 billion tons of ash and rocks, an incoming typhoon triggered lahar, a violent mudflow that swept the plains just 600 meters below the volcano.

The lahar sank entire villages and infrastructure in Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga, all agricultural provinces. The vulnerable indigenous Aetas were displaced and key ecosystems were disrupted beyond recovery. There would have been a catastrophic death toll if not for the vigilant monitoring and months-early evacuation plans by the PHIVOLCS and USGS. 

Because it was obscured from view by a chain of mountains, Pinatubo previously did not have a proper representation in pictures. That is until the Manila Bulletin published Alberto Garcia's iconic photograph of a lonesome pick-up truck fleeing from the angry eruption, dwarfed by a doomsday cloud of volcanic ash. 

This image brought forth to the public the shock and destruction of which Pinatubo is capable. It has been included in National Geographic's '100 Best Pictures' list and Time's 'Great Images of the 20th Century'.

The lake has since become a nature park that ends a trip from Capas, Tarlac, where you'll see a lot of beautiful scenery. The starting point for these treks is Crow Valley, which is sometimes used by the Philippine army to train.


How to get there

Mount Pinatubo is located at Capaz, Tarlac. The best way to get to Mount Pinatubo is by renting a 4x4 vehicle at Sta. Juliana Tourism Center. Depending on the number of people on the group, you will then ride for an hour and then trek for two hours.


Best time to visit

It is best to visit in summer when the riverbed is dry, specifically from the end of October to May.


Entrance fee

In order to fully enjoy Mount Pinatubo, you have to pay for the 4x4 rental going there, as well as activities like volcanic ash massage and others surrounding the area.

Frequently asked questions

What is the brief history of Mount Pinatubo?

The 1991 eruption obliterated Pinatubo's summit by 300 m. The top became a caldera 2.5 km wide. In the years that followed, monsoon rains turned the caldera into a crater lake.

How long is the trek going to Mount Pinatubo?

Treks begin with an hour-long ride on a 4x4 jeep. This trip takes you through the ruins of the lahar flooding: a long, desolate gorge with imposing lahar walls, carpeted with rocks and boulders. There are also swaths of greenery that has grown regardless. Visitors then hike for 30 minutes toward the crater lake, now picturesque and peaceful.

Is Mount Pinatubo a safe destination?

Despite its anticlimactic past, this historic attraction is now considered a safe destination provided everything is in order.

What are some of the nearby attractions in Mount Pinatubo?

Some of the nearby attractions include Bamban Hills, Crow Valley, Sacobia River, Kalaw Forest/Falls, Lake Canarem, Kamikaze Memorial Shrine, Anao Quina Buntok Creek, and many more.

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