We couldn’t visit the Phil without doing a Mount Pinatubo Philippines Day Tour. Climbing a Volcano was definitely on our bucket list and we were eager to cross it off. The Mt Pinatubo Volcano sits at the tripping of the provinces of Zambales, Tarmac, and Pampanga on the Philippine Island of Luzon. The crater was formed after the eruption in June of 1991 which volcanologists consider the 2nd largest volcanic eruption in the 20th century. The volcanic eruption also caused global temperatures to drop by .5 degrees Celsius.
Due to the catastrophe, Mt Pinatubo has been dubbed by some as the most ‘beautiful disaster’. While it destroyed lots of land, it also created new wonders. Mt. Pinatubo is also famous for it’s crater lake which was formed after the eruption. The color of the crater lake will depend on which season you arrive (You may see a shade of mint, turquoise or emerald green). When we arrived, the lake was a beautiful mint and green color.
Staying at Bognot Lodge (Alvin’s Homestay)
If you plan on trekking up to Mt. Pinatubo, we highly recommend staying at Alvin’s Homestay also known as Bognot Lodge. We discovered this hidden gem on Airbnb and we’re so glad we did. It’s probably one of the best Airbnb experiences we ever had. Their communication was amazing. The second we booked the property, we received and email and VIBER message laying out all the details.
When we arrived, we had a chance to chat it up with Alvin. He told us the story behind his dwelling. Back in the 90s, he took notice that many tourists needed a place to stay on their way up to Mt. Pinatubo, Alvin decided to open up one of his bedrooms as a B&B. Word of mouth began to spread and he began receiving countless requests to stay at his place. Due to the fact that he did not have enough space to accommodate everyone, he decided to slowly build additional homes on his property. Each serves as it’s own private room/dwelling and each are well equipped with a bathroom and all the amenities you will need.
The rooms in Bognot’s Lodge are very well-maintained. You will immediately feel at home. When you step outside of your private dwelling you will feel the family atmosphere at Alvin’s place. After all, his staff serves up communal dining in his gorgeous courtyard, tourists have the opportunity to get to know one another before trekking up the mountain together & there are so many little places where you can find peach and tranquility. Pull up a chair and read a book in his outdoor library, grab a coffee and take in the view in his dining area, or walk the property and take notice to the countless animals and creatures that live there: toads, pet hawks, goats, cats etc. (Pssst, the goats on the property were left at his place from two competitors in the Amazing Race. Not sure how this happened but it’s quite funny).
The best part of staying at Alvin’s place is you don’t have to worry about setting up your excursion to Mt. Pinatubo. They do it all for you! When you wake up, the 4×4 jeeps will be waiting right outside for your departure.
For the Pinatubo Shared Group Tour, here are the prices:
2 persons joiner share is Php: 2750 x 2 = Php 5,500 (We were informed the prices would drop to 4,500php if one additional person (total of 5) joined us in the jeep.
- 6am – Breakfast
- 6:45am – Departure to Mt. Pinatubo (4×4 jeepney ride to Mt. Pinatubo)
- 8am – Start hike to Crater
- 9:30am – Arrive at Crater
- 11am – Hike back down to jump off point
- 12:00pm – Arrival at jump off point, ride 4×4
- 1:00 – Estimated arrival at Bognot Lodge
- 1:30pm – Lunch at Alvin’s place
- 2pm – Checkout (Don’t worry, they gave us enough time to shower and pack up for our leave)
Alvin Bognot’s homestay is located at Barangay Sta. Juliana Capas Tarlac
Breakfast before the hike
Lunch after the hike
Things to Bring:
- Snacks or Packed lunch
- Extra clothes
- Scarf on bandana (for a dusty 4×4 ride)
Journey up to Mt. Pinatubo
The journey up to Mt. Pinatubo requires an hour ride in a 4×4 jeep. This is off roading at its best. Expect bumpy roads!
The jeep will stop at a drop off point. Getting to the top of the mountain requires a 7km hike from this point to the crater. We’d recommend wearing proper shoes and attire. Be prepared to walk through water. For this reason, I brought light weight tennis that were more like water shoes. While the trail is not difficult, it’s also not for beginners. You will get a work out and the views along the way are magnificent. It should take an hour hike to reach the top of the crater.
The ride up to the drop off point is 1 hour
You will cross many rivers and you will get wet!
You will see the local indigenous people called the Aetas.
There are numerous stop points with restrooms
Lucy was one happy dog
We hope you enjoyed reading this post. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions. We’d love to hear from you!