A beautiful disaster

Last summer, me and some colleagues from the academe decided to take the adventure of a lifetime. It took us several months to plan this 9-day trip that would cover 5 provinces of North Luzon. Zambales was our last stop and Mt. Pinatubo was the highlight of this 9-day adventure. So here is a breakdown of our itinerary and expenses that might help you in planning out your next adventure.


May 9, 2016 (From Vigan)

1:00PM – Bus ride from Vigan to Capas, Tarlac

7:00PM – Arrived in Capas (Mcdonald’s Capas will be your landmark)

7:10PM – Dinner

8:00PM – Rode a tricycle for Sta. Juliana, Capas. Sta. Juliana is where our guesthouse is.

8:45PM – Arrived at Alvin’s Pinatubo Guesthouse (Contact details posted below)

10:00PM – Rest

May 10, 2016 (Alvin’s Pinatubo Guesthouse, Sta. Juliana, Capas)

6:00AM – Breakfast

6:45AM – Register at the Local Tourism Office (this is a must)

7:00AM – 1.5 hour 4×4 jeep ride to get to Mt. Pinatubo (this is part of the package tour we have arranged prior to the trip)

8:30AM – Needed to jump off the jeep and start trekking for more or less 2 hours depending on your pace

10:30AM – Arrived at Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake (Picture taking; trek down the lake; be in awe of it’s beauty)

11:00AM – Started trekking back to where our 4×4 jeep was

1:00PM – 4×4 jeep ride back to our guesthouse

2:30PM – Arrived at Alvin’s Pinatubo Guesthouse and had lunch right away

4:00PM – Departure for Manila

Alvin’s Pinatubo Guesthouse


  1. It’s a MUST that you contact a tour organizer prior to going there because the local Tourism Office is very strict with their rules and regulations. Everyone must be registered before you’ll be allowed to leave the jump-off point in Sta. Juliana.
  2. Majestic Mt. Pinatubo Tour and Homestay was our tour organizer. You can visit their website hereThey have specific packages depending on how many are you in the group. In our case, there were 4 of us so we paid Php 1,900 each for the tour (inclusive of the 4×4 jeep and 2 tour guides).
  3. Out tour organizer also owned Alvin’s Pinatubo Guesthouse. We decided to stay there the night before the tour because it’s located right at the jump-off point where the Local Tourism Office is located also. You can contact them through their mobile number, (0919) 861 4102.
  4. The jump-off point in Sta. Juliana, Capas is a dead spot for ANY mobile network. Prepare accordingly.
  5. Don’t forget to bring mask or anything that you can use to cover your face because it’s going to be dusty.
  6. Prepare your camera’s battery. It’s a long way up to the crater lake and on the way, there are a lot of majestic views where you can pose for a selfie.
  7. We heard that there are times when the trek could be longer than 2 hours. When there’s rain and big stones would somehow block the way for the 4×4 jeep, you’d no choice but to trek. Your guides will inform you ahead of time so you’d be prepared.
  8. Prepare more or less an additional amount of Php 700 per person to be collected by the LGU Botolan, Zambales once you enter their area of jurisdiction. We were not able to pay that amount though because the person in-charge to collect the money was not yet there when we passed by the boundary. It was election day so we were guessing he/she was busy that time.


Per Person
Pinatubo Tour
Overnight Stay at Alvin's Guesthouse (Quadruple Occupancy)


Still not convince that it’s worth the money, time, and effort? Well, I hope these pictures help you decide on that matter.

(click on the thumbnail to view the actual image)