The Mt. Pinatubo Spa Experience


There are only a few write ups about this 7 month old spa owned by a Korean and mostly ad or press releases. I’ll give you the real score on what this is and what this is not. I have a few learnings that I want to share with you so that if you consider to visit this place, you are more prepared on what to expect.

What is it and is it not?

1. A Day Trip Experience. There are a lot of misconception that Mt. Pinatubo is too far away that you cannot do it on a day trip. This is a fallacy and this can be done in a day. If you are planning to go to the crater, you need to go there earlier before 8am. Going to the Mt. Pinatubo Spa is about two and a half hours (2.5 hours) and going up the crater is a total of six hours (6) which already includes going up and going down. So if you should leave manila at around 5.30am to arrive in the Mt. Pinatubo spa at 8am. By 11am, you will already be in the crater and back to the spa around 2pm. Enough time to get a sulfur sand shower and shiatsu massage before heading back for Manila.

2. A “communal” Spa. This is not your typical spa where you have your own privacy in the massage rooms. There are no rooms, only a communal massage center in the middle and even the sand area is communal. So stripping down to get a sulfur sand shower needs courage ๐Ÿ™‚ The massage area can occupy 20 or more at the same time. It is very cool since it was design for winds to pass through it and cool the place. You’ll get a shiatsu massage so you have a shirt and shorts on, and won’t be a problem. Although, you would see the person besides you.

3. Be prepared for Tourist prices. All the costs are peg in dollars and it is a shame that there are no local prices for local tourist ๐Ÿ™ Here is a run down on the costs which could total $45/ person for the overall experience (P2,475) for a day trip event. I was not able to go for trekking since I’m with my son, I might look at the local tourist office to get a tour guide and rent a 4×4 to get to the crater rather than pay $20 / person.

Buffet Lunch ($5) or (P250)
Sulfur Sand Shower ($10) or (P550)
Shiatsu Massage ($10) or (P550)
Trek to Mt. Pinatubo ($20) or (P1,100) either Crater or to the Hot Springs
(don’t even think about buying in their souvenir shop)

4. Korean all over. This is owned by a Korean and targeted mainly for Koreans. You could feel the love of the Koreans for their own when you see that there are a lot of Korean characters in the bathrooms, massage area and sand area. The manager is Korean also so it was very difficult to get a discount. I’m sure if you have a Korean nationality with you, you can get preferential treatment and rates. My brother had a Korean girlfriend before so I should have gone to this place with her at that time. But I’m glad they decided to invest in Mt. Pinatubo.

5. No signs and poor directions. I got lost a number of times going to this place, because there are no signs along the road and the person in the spa was not very helpful. Hopefully, I’ll be able to detailed out the directions for you here:

  • Take North Luzon Hiway (NLEX) up to the very last exit — Sta. Ines. We were driving at 100kph and it took me 1 hour to drive the entire NLEX.
  • You should follow the signs going to Baguio and there are two routes — one via Concepcion, Tarlac, and the other one via Mabalacat, Pampanga. You choose on which one you prefer, and for the purpose of this direction, I took the one via concepcion which should take you 1 hour to Capas, Tarlac.
  • There are a lot of signs which says that you are already in Capas, Tarlac. If you took the Concepcion route, the end of this is the Mc Donalds and Caltex Station in Capas, Tarlac. If you are familiar with this route, when you arrive at this junction, you need to make a U-turn in Caltex to go to Baguio. Don’t do that in this case, you should go straight until you get to the Capas Market where you will see Jollibee. At this point, you should be facing Pampanga going back to Manila. When you are in front of Jollibee, turn RIGHT in side the Capas Church. If you took the Mabalacat route, you should be facing Baguio, so you should turn LEFT going inside the Capas Church.
  • From here onwards, it would still take you 30mins to arrive in Mt. Pinatubo Spa. Once the Church is in front of you (short distance), turn RIGHT. Then turn LEFT on the first available turn (another short distance). Then turn RIGHT again (another short distance) where you should see a Church of Christ I believe on your left. At this point, you should have make a short zigzag to reach this road. You should go straight for 5-10minutes past cementaries, and you should see a fork road where you need to turn LEFT. The landmark for this turn is that you should see an Ignesia ni Christo on your left.
  • There is only one way and it is a long road passing by two barangays going to Brgy Sta. Juliana. You know you are on the right road, when you see the Capas, Memorial, a road sign “Tanks crossing”, a Light infantry head quarters, and a Lahar portion where the roads are bad already. Better bring an SUV when you go to this place. You cannot miss the Mt. Pinatubo Spa, after the Lahar portion and it is not a gated compound but it is the only nice place in the area. You should see a big sign and map of Mt. Pinatubo. Parking is right outside.

For sure, I’ll be back again to conquer the Mt. Pinatubo Crater with my brother or Maong and Di ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know if you have a similar experience on this place and maybe you have some more tips.


21 thoughts on “The Mt. Pinatubo Spa Experience

  1. I will not go there. It is Korean owned. And what the hell are they doing in the Philippines. They do not even talk English ,let alone, speak tagalog? TSK tsk tsk, here we go again. Nagbabayad ba ng buwis yaang mga yaan. If I have the money, tatapatan ko sila of my own resort. I am not pleased with this.

  2. hello. do you have contact info or a website where i can get details about the trek. one and half years old na kasi yung blog entry e, baka nagbago na ng pricing =) thank you!

  3. we went to the pinatubo spa in feb 2008. it is no longer korean-owned. we booked everything through jovi (cellphone number posted by anton in one of his blogs). here are their latest rates.
    4×4 – P2500 (good for 4 tourists)
    4×4 contribution – P350
    local guide – P500
    skyway fee – P500
    conservation fee – P50/person
    food – P250/person for pinoy food, P350/person (i think) for Korean food
    shower – P100/person (includes smelly bamboo soap, towel, locker, but no shampoo)
    beware of jovi’s package rates. she quoted us P1750/person for everything included above, but when i broke it down for 4 persons, it turned out to be just P1360+/person.

  4. ….if foreigners like the koreans are paying right on time taxes including vat complying with health enviromental building codes & legally employing paying local folks then there’s nothing wrong with koreans opening businesses or homes in the philippines so long they are legally staying and complying to all philipines laws means ‘welcome koreans’ they’re are also humans like us….philippines should not forget the ‘main’ rule of the country that you cannot sell lands to foreigners….only joint projects….filipinos who wants to compete face to face to this kind of business then go to your nearest biggest or medium banks for a big loan and do’nt forget to pay the pay the bank when you made money lol!….so others can have the same chance you will have….good luck caring creative talented smiling filipinos lol!….

  5. Hi, I am interested in taking some visitors on this Hike this April. How do I contact the people to arrange this?
    Thanks, Mary

  6. Mt. Pinatubo Crater Expedition
    May 10, 2008 Saturday
    ETD:6AM/ ETA: 8PM
    12 out of 20 slots left. Book and buy.
    P2,199/ pax
    Inclusions: RT aircon transfers from Metro Manila, 4×4 vehicle and driver, buffet lunch, fees, etc
    Pls text me at 0920.952.5285 or email me at
    Look out for our upcoming adventure trips for the rest of the year: whitewater rafting, diving, many more

  7. We went and “conquered” Mt. Pinatubo over the weekend. Those who are planning to go should ask about whether the skyway is open as this could potentially reduce the walk/trek by half the time it would take if you took the longer route. Apparently, the skyway is not open year-round. The guide told us that without the skyway, the trek usually takes 2 hours. But since we were not in the best shape, what should have taken 2 hours, took about 3 hours (each way!). Having said that, I would still recommend going to Mt. Pinatubo – but be mentally prepared!
    Warning – there are no dressing areas at the crater lake. So if you decide to swim, be prepared to change in the bushes. Or, just prepare to “air-dry” your clothes on your back as you make your way down.
    Through recommendations of friends, we coordinated with Wendell Mercado. We were more than satisfied with the service and did not get lost c/o of the detailed instructions he gave. He also was able to advise us as to what we needed to bring. He told us to bring an extra pair of shoes which did come in handy!
    You can reach him at 0919-608-4313 or 0923-384-6745.
    Since we spent more than 7 hours with our guide, we learned that although they receive a good portion of what you pay through the Philippine Tourism Authority, they only get to accompany guests roughly once every two weeks! Based on our guide’s experience, local tourists are more generous as some of the foreign guests (mostly Koreans) are told not to tip ๐Ÿ™
    After the trek, we rewarded ourselves with dinner at May Farm after the Bamban bridge – perfect ending to a physically challenging but worthwhile day ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope this helps!

  8. ive’d been at mt.Pinatubo for 3 times with my friends and jovi who’s the one who assist us and nothing happen she really did her best to accommodate us and prepare everything for us i’m just wondering how people make this silly comment to her.

  9. oct 11,2008
    I book our tour with miss jovi we are 6 and the rest of my friends my mother in laws and my wife.we took a massage after trek.we arrived at the spa around 7.30 am she make a short briefing and give as a hand towel and mineral water before we depart,she gave us two local guides with us
    coz my mother in laws are old, we eat at the crater and come back and get the massage and after that she gave us the certificate and tell the story of mt.pinatubo how deep how high,a etas story and their livings,guides couldn’t speak English well so all questions we wanted to ask was answered by jovi,i think we can gave her a 5star service on that and we gave her a tip.

  10. Good Day! How can we contact you? Please reply to this message for we are very interested in going there.. Phone numbers?
    Thank you…

  11. my advice, DON”T rely on this blog for directions! there are so many UNNECESSARY instructions… you will just get lost!

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