We took YPO on this trail on Oct 26, 2003. It was fantastic. The trail was in incredibly good condition, in stark contrast to the usual “tourist trail”.
This was my first time on this “new” trail which was blazed by “Mangulings”. These people are uneducated and jobless. They chop down trees and turn the wood into charcoal. Its a hard life.
It is certainly another sad commentary on the results of overpopulation in this Catholic country, but that’s another story.
The trail is quite far from the usual trail, and that means the banca costs more than the regular tourist trail But it is definitely worth it.
The price isn’t going to go down over time, but the trail will surely deteriorate quickly. There is probably very little that either the government, or the private sector will be able to do fast enough to SO, TREK THE TRAIL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! It won’t be a secret forever. The fact that its an easy trail, will mean that the pressure on this trail from an environmental impact standpoint, will be even greater than the “Daan Kastila”.
We anchor the bancas behind a point to protect them from getting battered by the waves.The banca landing area is several hundred yards from where the trail begins. At high water, the horses even need to travel through the water to get to the main trail. Taking horses is recommended, especially for kids. This is a really kid friendly trail. The horses can go all the way to crater lake. If you take horses to the rim, it costs P750 per horse ( see current pricing on main page) . The ride to the rim takes about 30 minutes each way, and the views are truly spectacular. The ride into the crater, and back out, takes over an hour EXTRA in total, That’s only an extra P250, for more than double the distance, so thats pretty much a no brainer. Go all the way!
One of the great things about this trail is that you get to swim in the crater lake. A word of caution though. The crater water is highly sulfuric. This might do wonders for getting rid of microscopic bugs that damage your skin, but its probably going to be hell on your clothes!!! Rinse them when you get home! This picture shows cliffs in the background. That’s the ridge where most of the tourists go. Getting down to the lake for a swim is not going to be easy from there!!