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Mount Pinatubo – A sleepy stratovolcano some 54 miles northwest of Manila, Pinatubo is a beautiful spot for hikers and walkers. An eruption in 1991 destroyed the volcano’s original peak, forming a caldera which accumulated rainwater that eventually grew into a stunning crater lake. The natural minerals in the water give the lake a vivid blue hue, making it a favourite of photographers.
The volcano reaches a height of almost 1500 metres; much of the ascent can be done by 4x4, but the lake itself is well worth the final hike to the top.
On the return journey, we recommend stopping to meet the Aetas, the indigenous group who own Mt Pinatubo as part of their ancestral lands. The Aetas resisted Spanish colonisation for centuries, successfully preserving many of their traditions, but were ultimately displaced by the 1991 eruption and evacuation. Over the past decade, the Aetas have successfully fought for legal recognition and the right to return here and rebuild on their ancestral lands.
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