Tag: volcano

Mt Pinatubo

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I had to get up at 4am to hike to the top of Mt Pinatubo. 4am. A time normally reserved for waking up for early flights or returning from a night out. The reason for this is that Mt Pinatubo is kind of difficult to get to on public transport, even from nearby cities. This involved:

  • A tricycle from the hostel in Angeles to the Dau bus terminal
  • A bus to Capas
  • A tricycle from Capas to the tourism office for Mt Pinatubo
  • A 4×4 from the tourism office to the bottom of the hiking path
Mt Pinatubo

Interesting rock formations on the way to the start of the hiking trail

By the time we started walking it was after 7am. Fortunately, the walk wasn’t particularly challenging. There were a few river crossings and the path was uneven with rocks, stones and boulders. I managed not to fall or step in the river despite being one of the clumsiest people ever to live.

Mt Pinatubo Crater Lake

Mt Pinatubo Crater Lake

We made it to the crater lake at 9am. We’d seen reviews on TripAdvisor from people saying they’d eaten their lunch at the crater lake. Either they set off much later than us, are very slow walkers, or they eat lunch at a weird time. Anyway… the crater lake was nice. Unfortunately, no swimming is allowed in the crater lake but it still looked amazing.

I wore trainers to hike in which were more than adequate for this trail. As I mentioned earlier, it wasn’t particularly demanding. We saw a few people wearing dust masks but I honestly don’t think they’re required because it wasn’t too dusty. I also took water, some snacks to eat at the crater lake and of course, my camera.

This hike was great and I was surprised at how easy it was. Definitely worth seeing if you’re in the area. Although, if you’ve only got chance/time to see one volcano from Manila, I would say that the Taal Volcano is much easier and cheaper to access.

It’s possible to take a day trip to Mt Pinatubo from Manila, more details can be found here..

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Taal Volcano – An Easy Day Trip From Manila

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The Taal Volcano is the smallest volcano in the Philippines and is actually a volcano within a volcano (sounds a little Inception-esque). It’s easily accessible from Manila, but we decided to stay in Tagaytay.

Getting to the Taal Volcano

Staying in Tagaytay made it easy to get to the Taal Volcano. We could see the Taal Volcano from the hostel we stayed in. We got a trike downhill to the edge of Taal Lake and got a boat over to the volcano. We were offered the chance to go up the volcano on horseback but declined because the horses didn’t look like they were in the best condition. We were also offered a guide but refused because the volcano is only 311m high. How hard could it be?!

The Ascent

The ascent to the crater lake was not difficult and took around 40 minutes at a leisurely pace. We set off around 2pm so the sun was blazing. Add that to the fact we were walking on an active volcano and I was probably 50% sweat by the time I reached the top.

 

Taal Volcano crater lake

Me at the crater lake

Once at the top, the crater lake looked amazing. Definitely worth the sweaty, dusty 40 minute walk to the top. On the way down we stopped for a coconut water/beer. This was probably around halfway down and the views of the lake from this point were fantastic.

How much did I pay? 

  • 200PHP – Return bus trip Manila -Tagaytay
  •  100PHP – Return trip on a tricycle from Tagaytay to Taal Lake
  • 500PHP – Return boat ride to Taal Volcano
  • 100PHP – Tourist fee on the island

I was in a group of 4 so the tricycle & boat prices are what we paid individually.

All in all, visiting the Taal Volcano is a great way to experience the countryside of the Philippines without straying too far from Manila.

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