Pinatubo Crater Trek: 6 Reasons Not To Miss It
When in Manila, we tend to overlook the fact that the city is just a few hours drive away from some of the best treasures that nature has to offer. This is one of the greatest things about Manila that we should take advantage of, though: pristine nature near the modern city. Beaches, mountains, waterfalls and other nature trips are too awesome to miss. Since rainy weather doesn’t encourage this kind of activity, though, we decided to take the breathtaking Pinatubo crater trek before summer officially ends. Here are 6 reasons why you should, too!
6 Reasons Not To Miss the Pinatubo Crater Trek
1. It’s Convenient.
Pinatubo is just a 2 hours drive away from Manila if you travel at a traffic-free hour. It will also just take up a day of a busy person’s tight schedule. Also, using a Starex with the gas bill split into 5, including the toll fees, 4×4 rent, environmental fees, driver and guide fee and other expenses, a budget of Php2000 is more than enough for one person.
2. It’s Beginner-Friendly.
The 4×4 drive took almost an hour while the Pinatubo crater trek itself only took 2 hours. Yes, it was challenging, but still doable for a beginner like me since it is considered to be one of the Level 1 trekking sites. It used to be a 1 km trek, but now it has been extended to a 7 km one, turning it into a longer and more awesome adventure.
This is the last 1 km marker from the challenge. I tried really hard, but I still fell under the Senior Citizen time at 19 minutes. :) Guess I need to go trekking more often. Take note: I did most of the trek in my Ipanemas because of the water streams along the way. You can also go in rubber shoes, though, because the guides can help you across the streams without getting wet. There are also a few nipa huts along the way serving as rest stations, where there are drinks available in case your jug runs out.
3. It Helps the Aetas.
You will see some of the natives selling the best mangoes for a really cheap price here. We bought ours at only Php25/kilo and my biggest regret was not buying more! Their bagoong is also one of the best. A part of your payment for the Pinatubo crater trek actually becomes a donation to these Aetas to help them with their livelihood.
4. There are Unbelievable Sights.
Indescribable feeling! The trek doesn’t seem to all that tiring when you have this view ahead of you. Some parts of the trail look like Jurassic Park – as if a dinosaur could possibly appear out of nowhere. Look at those Toblerone mountains. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Gate of Mordor could be found in this landscape.
Even the water comes in different colors here! It’s not very often that I see cool stuff like this, so it definitely brought out the nerd in me along with my ultimate curiosity. Turns out the rust-colored water was because of the sulfur. (I forgot Pinatubo used to be a volcano.)
5. It Has Serene Postcard Views.
This is it. The beautiful Pinatubo scenery that can make anyone forget the devastation it brought about 14 years ago. My fast heart rate went back to normal instantly when I saw this view. Now I get why hikers say that the view from the top will take away all of your fatigue. When at the crater, you’ll be assured of the peaceful setting, as well, because shouting is not allowed.
All you’ll have to do is sit back and enjoy the view that you once only saw in postcards. To top it all off, the cool windy breeze will be there to make it all the more relaxing. An overnight stay in a tent is also an option. I wish I had tried that. It would be amazing for sure.
6. You Will Get a Sense of Fulfillment.
It will be totally different if this crater was accessible through cable cars or something like that. There is something with the sense of fulfillment that makes it more rewarding. After the trek, you can even wash in the hot and cold water (yes, some streams are hot and some are cold!) or even get the massage and mud bath you deserve.
So, when in Manila, you now have zero reasons to miss out on this paradise. The trek, the crater and even the 4×4 ride are totally enjoyable and worth your money and effort! :)