April 2014 (Updated December 2015)
The Beautiful Disaster: This stratovolcano of Zambales,Tarlac and Pampanga erupted on 15 June 1991 and produced the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century next to the Novarupta of Alaska. On the same year, the area experiences continuous monsoon rains leaving the crater filled with water thus Lake Pinatubo was formed.
If you are commuting and will be coming from Manila, ride a bus that will pass thru Capas, Tarlac. Buses bound to Dagupan or Baguio (not via SCTEX), usually ply this route. Just tell the driver to drop you off at McDonald’s Capas. The travel time is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes and the fare is around 170php to 190php. Be sure to be there between 5am to 6am because the cut off time for the 4×4 jeepney leaving for Santa Juliana is 10am.
From McDonald, hire a tricycle going to Mount Pinatubo Tourism Office/Starting Point in Barangay Santa Juliana. The distance is quite long with a 30-40 minute travel time and the fare is around 300php for a one-way ride. The tricycle can accommodate up to 3 persons.
Victory Liner and 5 Star Bus usually have trips that are bound to or passing thru Capas, Tarlac. Just check their sites or contact number below for any additonal information.
5 Star Bus:
Victory Liner Inc:
Caloocan: (02) 361-1506/(02) 361-4665 to 66
Cubao: (02) 727-4688/ (02) 410-8986/ (02) 727-4534
Kamias: (02) 920-7396
Pasay: (02) 833-4403/ (02) 833-5019 to 20
Manila: (02) 559-7735
OUR TOUR CONTACT PERSON
If you do not have any contact person in the tourism office, I can recommend Kuya Robert. He arranges trips to the crater lake and he also provides a transfer from Capas to the Tourism Office for an additional fare of 100/head/ride. You can contact him in his cellphone number, +639215283254/ +63909908622.
Kuya Robert’s Tour Packages:
Package A: 7,500php- this includes vehicle fee, environmental fee, entrance fee, tour guide’s fee and driver’s fee. (This is good for a maximum of 5 guests).
Package B: Same rate with Package A plus an additional 200/head for the breakfast and lunch. (You can advise him ahead of time if you have any special request or preference. The food is PLENTY and DELICIOUS).
If you like to spend a night, he can also arrange a place for you to stay in Sta. Juliana. The rate is 150/person. The place is decent enough with a fan, pillow and a comforter you can use.
WHERE TO EAT
If you are keen on your budget and do not want to include the breakfast/lunch in the tour package, just be reminded that stores and restaurants are very limited in Santa Juliana. Your only option is to bring your own lunch pack and snacks and a lot of water. You can also have your breakfast in Capas if you want to.
WHAT TO BRING
- PLENTY of water
- Jacket, Umbrella or Hat/Cap for sun protection
- Towel and Extra clothing
WHAT TO DO
- Picture taking at the ‘Alpine like structure’
- Interact with the Aetas
- Go to the Mount Pinatubo view point
- Have lunch at the base of the crater lake
- Trek to the crater lake and try their mud spa
- And of course, enjoy the 4×4 jeepney ride
****Swimming is not allowed at the Crater Lake Lake 😦
7500php / 5 pax =1,500php + 200php (breakfast and Lunch)= 1,700php/head
***We did not stay overnight in the area and we also have a private car 🙂
All pictures are unfiltered!