Set on the Philippine island of Luzon, 89kms northwest of Manila, the inconspicuous Mt Pinatubo is an active volcano covered in dense forest populated by the indigenous Aeta people. It was rather unknown to the world until its colossal eruption in 1991, which took place after 500 years of dormancy.

The second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century (after the eruption of Novarupta in 1912) killed up to 800 people and left 100,000 homeless. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated after predictions of the eruption, saving many lives, but thousands of houses were destroyed and the surrounding regions were severely damaged.

The effects of the eruption could be felt worldwide as huge quantities of aerosols were ejected into the stratosphere resulting in a drop of global temperatures by about 0.5°C and a substantial increase in ozone depletion over the next few years.

Since its eruption, the majestic Mt Pinatubo has been frequented by mountaineers and backpacker alike and organized guided expeditions are being offered to the more adventurous traveler. The one-hour jeep ride leads to a hidden entrance from where it is either a one-hour or three-hour hiking ascent.

Getting There & Away

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark Freeport Zone is approximately five kilometers from central Angeles City. However, the most common and cost-effective option to get to Angeles from Manila is by bus and several air-conditioned bus lines have terminals dotted across the metropolitan area, the journey taking around 1 hour, 30 minutes. The best way from Manila by car is to take the North Luzon Expressway, which extends until St Ines in Mabalacat, Pampanga, from where you exit either to Angeles or to Dau.