Baguio City has always been part of my childhood dream. I often heard about its cold climate and cool breeze on televisions and book articles that added fuel on my desire of visiting it someday. It was 2016 (I was 21 years old then) when I first stepped my foot on the grounds of Baguio City and the city didn’t failed to capture my heart.
Knowing Baguio City:
Baguio City is often tagged as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” or “City of Pines” and continuous to encourage tourists to visit it and experience the cold breeze of its air. Situated about 1500 meters above sea level, its cool temperature made it a suitable place for growing flowers and vegetables. The city is known as well for its Panagbenga Festival which means “Flower Festival”, cheaper fresh vegetables and of course, strawberries!
How to Get to Baguio City?
Getting to Baguio City from Manila is quite easy since it is just one bus ride from few bus terminals around the Metro. Here are some of the list of bus companies that offer Manila-Baguio trip:
- Victory Liner- Pasay, Cubao, Caloocan
- Genesis Transport- Cubao
- Joy Bus- Pasay, Cubao
- Dagupan Bus- Cubao
I’ve been to Baguio twice and we always choose Victory Liner as our bus line. There’s no particular reason but probably it’s the bus line that stucked on my mind when I watched the movie “That Thing Called Tadhana”.
Regular aircon bus to Baguio would cost you around P485 and travel time would take 6-7 hours with two stop overs. Victory Liner and Joy Bus offers first class and premier bus service that would cost you around P750-P800. It is a non-stop ride with own CR, lazy boy chairs with wider leg room, free snacks and provided blankets for you to use. Trip would take around 4-5 hours.
For full bus schedule of Victory Liner, here’s the link.
Getting Around Baguio City:
Getting around Baguio and visit its attractions is fairly stress-free since public jeepneys are highly available. If riding public transpos with various signage confuse you, taking taxis can be your alternate option. Taxis would not cost you that much since taxi fares in Baguio is relatively cheaper than Manila.
Most jeepney terminals are located beside Baguio Public Market and Burnham Park so if you are a budget traveler, I suggest that you book a stay near Burnham Park so jeepney terminals and other tourist attractions are just a stone throw away.
Places to Visit Around Baguio City:
Burnham Park is one of the most famous and most visited park in Baguio City. It is a huge park where a lot of leisure activities can be done. You can rent a boat and paddle around its lake, rent a bike and ride around the park, visit its orchidarium and attend various Zumba sessions every morning. It is a leisure park perfect for families and friends.
Mines View Park
Another most visited park in Baguio is Mines View Park. It offers an overlooking view of Cordillera’s copper and gold mine and it is said to be a good venue for sunrise watching. The park’s current attractions/activities are its Cordilleran native outfit rentals and its souvenir shops that sells various Cordillera delicacies.
Don’t forget to drop by at Good Shepherd which is just few meters away from the park to buy pasalubong and its famous ube jam!
How to get there? Ride a jeepney with Mines View sign located at Lower Mabini Street.
Wright Park is famous for its horseback riding activities with plenty of horses (pink pony) to choose from. You can pay for a picture taking only or ride the horses itself. You don’t have to worry if you are a beginner since you will be accompanied by the “Pony Boys” who is an experienced trainer or owner of the horses.
How to get there? Ride the same jeepney bound to Mines View Park and asked the driver to drop you off in Wright Park.
The Mansion is just located right cross the Wright Park and used to serve as an official residence of the US Governor-General in our country. Today, it is the official summer palace of the President of the Philippines.
Botanical Garden is located in between Teacher’s Camp and Wright Park. The place is quite wide and full of various flowers and of course, pine trees. Huge statues of Cordillera folks can also be seen on the park and you can be welcomed by some native Igorots who can happily pose a photo with you in exchange of a small token.
BenCab Museum is one of the most scenic museum I’ve ever seen and it is being owned by our very own National Artist for Visual Arts, Benedicto Cabrera. The museum showcases the colorful and rich art of the Cordillera Region.
Though the museum is located in Tuba, Benguet it is just 15-20-minute ride from Baguio City. I wrote a more detailed blog about BenCab Museum. Here’s the link if you wish to read.
How to get there? Ride a jeepney bound to Asin Road. Jeepney terminal is located in Kayang Road. Fare will be P11 each.
Camp John Hay
It is one of Baguio’s known attraction. It served as a recreation facility of the U.S Armed Forces and now known for its lined-up pine trees on its roads and beautiful backdrops. Some of the activities and attractions you can try doing here is to try extreme activities in Treetop Adventure, visit Bellhouse, do food trip to full your tummy on its iconic restaurants or simply do a photo walk around its picturesque pine trees.
La Trinidad Strawberry Farm
Baguio City is known for its strawberries but the most visited and most known strawberry farms are located in La Trinidad, Benguet which is around 20-30 minutes away from Baguio City. Strawberry picking is available from November to May which would cost you around P400 (twice of its market price). Outside the farm there are a lot of souvenir shops and vendors that sells strawberry dirty ice cream and strawberry taho.
How to get there? Ride a jeepney bound to La Trinidad. Jeepney terminal is on front of Baguio City Hall and fare will be P12.
Valley of Colors (Colors of Stobosa)
Stobosa is a word formed from the names of three sitios that made up Valley of Colors namely: Stonehill, Botiwtiw and Sadjap. It is a hillside communal where houses are painted in various colors by the artists of Tam-awan Village. It’s such a vast artwork that will never failed to amaze you.
How to get there? Ride the same La Trinidad jeepney bound to the strawberry farm just asked the driver to drop you off in Stobosa. Fare will be P9.
Bell Church is a Chinese temple that was founded on 1960 located between Baguio City and La Trinidad. The street that leads you to the temple is just beside La Trinidad welcome arc. It is open from 7am-5pm for both worshippers and non-worshippers. Bell Church is just few walks away from the Valley of Colors so you can ride the same La Trinidad bound jeepney to reach it.
Mt. Kalugong Cultural Village and Café
One of my favorite spot in Benguet! Mt. Kalugong is located in Brgy. Tawang, La Trinidad and famous for its rock formations with an overlooking view of strawberry farms and local houses of La Trinidad. They also have a beautiful café on the top that serves in-house coffee and cakes. Trekking is required in visiting this spot.
I wrote a more detailed blog about Mt. Kalugong. Here’s the link if you wish to read it.
It is a shrine and a place of prayer located in Mirador Hill in western part of Baguio City. You have to take the 252 step stairs to reach the top and be stunned by the excellent view of Baguio City. Inside the grotto is a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes.
When was the last time you’ve been to Baguio? Share your thoughts below!