You’re picked up in the predawn hours from your Manila hotel for the approximate 2.5-hour drive to Capas Tarlac, where you’ll depart for Sta. Juliana Base Camp, located another 45 minutes away. Relax (or catch up on some sleep!) aboard your comfortable vehicle and enjoy any breakfast you brought along to fuel up before your Mt Pinatubo adventure begins.
After a safety briefing and orientation at base camp, hop in your enclosed 4x4 vehicle and follow your guide for 1.5 hours along a rugged lahar trail made of volcanic mudflow and rock debris. Drive (or ride in the passenger seat) along the bumpy route, referred to as the Sky Way, as you make your ascent over the volcanic landscape until arriving at the starting point for your trek.
Disembark your 4x4 at the base of Mt Pinatubo, and begin your guided hike on foot, starting down a lahar slope and then climbing into the forest toward Mt Pinatubo Crater. Along the way, your guide points out natural features such as valley streams and volcanic rocks The geological remnants are reminders of Mt Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991, the world's second largest eruption of the 20th century!
It’s a leisurely, but moderate, 1.5-hour hike to the crater, with cairns (piles of stones) marking the path. Upon arrival, climb the stairway to the viewing deck, where you're rewarded with a phenomenal vista of the crater-filled lake. Admire the sparkling blue-green waters from afar — swimming is prohibited — shimmering like a gemstone in the surrounding landscape.
Stop to enjoy a snack that you brought along and spend an hour exploring the region before starting your 1.5-hour trek back. When you reach the area where your 4x4 is parked, hop in for the 1.5-hour rugged ride back to base camp.
You’ll be rewarded with a late-afternoon lunch at V.E.S. Food Resort and Villas. Enjoy authentic Filipino cuisine, such as seafood fried noodles or barbecued chicken, at the onsite restaurant amid a garden landscape. You’re free to take a shower here before your return 2-hour drive to Manila, with drop-off at your hotel in the evening.