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From Manila, take the North Luzon Expressway, exit at Sta. Ines toll gate. From there, take the MacArthur Hwy towards Bamban and Capas in Tarlac. Drive past the Capas market, take a left turn to Brgy. Sto. Rosario (first left turn after junction at Caltex Station). Drive straight ahead until you reach Brgy. Sta. Juliana, the gateway to Mt. Pinatubo crater. From there, you'll have to transfer to a 4x4 jeep and take a long drive through O' Donnell river and lahar fields for about an hour and a half. Finally, when you reach the 4x4 jeep terminal, you'll be on your trek on foot for about 25 minutes up to the crater.
Written Jan 1, 2010
While Mt. Pinatubo is geographically part of Botolan (Zambales Province), the jump off point to the trek is Brgy. Sta. Juliana in Capas (Tarlac Province). It is the most accessible and nearest point from Manila.
Capas is about 2 hours drive from Manila via the North Luzon Expressway. At the end of NLEX, there are 2 routes that can be taken: via Magalang or via Mabalacat. Whichever way, both will end up at McArthur Highway. From Capas public market, Brgy. Sta. Juliana is another 30 mins drive towards Camp O'Donell.
Watch out for Spa Town which serves as the tourism center. Here, there are 4x4 jeeps that will take you to the starting point of the trek which is about 1 hour travel on rough and dusty (or muddy) roads. The jeeps are the ONLY mode of transpo available and can be rented at P2,500 (max of 6 pax).
A local guide is a MUST during the trek who acts both as "navigator" and porter. A service fee of P500 is charged, while P50/pax serves as entrance fee.
Updated Mar 19, 2008