Lake Pinatubo is the summit crater lake of Mount Pinatubo formed after its climactic eruption on June 15, 1991. The lake is located near the boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales provinces in the Philippines and is the deepest lake in the country at 800 m (2,600 ft). It is about 90 km (56 mi) northwest of the capital city of Manila.
The climactic 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo destroyed the volcano’s original summit. In its place is a 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) diameter caldera, the center of which is offset 1 kilometer northward from the pre-eruption summit. It was created from the collapse of the volcano’s summit on June 15, during the period of abundant large earthquakes in response to withdrawal of a large volume of magma from the reservoir beneath the volcano. By early September 1991, a shallow lake formed. The high precipitation rate of the area led to a rapid transition from a small and hot acid lake to a large lake with near-ambient temperature and pH.
The lake is described as “a wide jewel of blue and green” and is now a popular bush walking destination, mostly frequented by mountaineers and adventure-seekers. Until a few years ago, a trip to the summit involved either days of hiking or hours of 4-wheel vehicle travel followed by a 2-hour hard hike. Eventually, a trail called the Skyway was made that allows 4 wheel drive vehicles a shorter route to a drop off point to trek to the crater. The skyway shortened the route to a 1.4-hour ride and a 45-minute to an hour’s trek. The best time to visit the lake is during the dry season, from November to May.