Mt Pinatubo, Botolan, Zambales, Philippines

MT. PINATUBO, TARLAC: Day Trip Hiking Itinerary and Budget



6AM - A 4X4 RIDE

It was roughly ten kilometers from the jump-off to the crater of Mount Pinatubo. The familiar fresh “province” air greeted our faces for a while as we traverse to the sand and ash trail. It was bumpy ride, i won’t be surprised if some 4x4 vehicles broke down or tore a tire because of sharp rocks scattered around the area.

As the road gets rough, a more detailed view of mountain ranges appeared. My heart was filled with adrenaline and excitement. It felt different, I know that I’ve made the right decision to go on this adventure.



With a view of 4x4 vehicles parked near a stream, we assumed that it’s time to get up and trek the mountain. 

It was definitely an all-ash trek so far. But alongside these rocky trail were greens growing on the sides of these gigantic mountains, a true example of “there’s always a rainbow after the rain.”

So far, the trek, (or should I call it a walk?), was easy. It has little to no vertical difference or assault, the only enemies were heat and sand inside my shoes, making it uncomfortable to walk.

Five kilometers in and I’m a little impatient.It was just a horizontal trek— ash, rocks and soil. 

In different parts of the trail, we saw groups of Aeta kids playing around and running. We tried talking to them, they only caught a few words when we spoke in Tagalog, but they somewhat understood.

Mount Pinatubo is a home to the Aetas. They are indigenous people who would willingly interact to tourists and even pose in front of your camera. Maybe they were so used to tourists visiting their area.

A good assumption hit my mind about the Aetas: We may not share the same language, but when you smile at them, they smile back— there’s a little connection, yet for a traveler, it means, “You’re in my land, and you’re welcome here.”

From afar, we saw two concrete pavilions and a signage saying,


“So the thing we did for roughly three hours wasn’t trekking?” I said an ironic joke inside my head. After a short break, we headed back to trek. A thinner path appeared and the ash trail was replaced with rocks, soil and stream. Because of the excitement, we forgot to wait for the group we shared a guide with and just followed the trail.

And the vertical assault begun.


I can’t put into words how beautiful the view was.

All hunger and tiredness seemed to disappear and were replaced with excitement and adrenaline as we walk down towards the crater. Pictures aren't enough to define its sublime details.

It may be a short stay in Mount Pinatubo, but every sweat was worth the take. Sore feet and body pains to get a view like this? I’ll do it all over again.

And now we go back.



We booked a day tour worth P2100. Check out Mt. Pinatubo Adventure on Facebook.

A video compilation of our day trip made by: Dan Fugrad

Photos taken with Sony Xperia M2 and GoPro Hero 4. Some shot by Luis Zulueta and Julius Caballero| October 2015 | Capas, Tarlac | Updated March 2018

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