Baguio City Bound: Your Swift Travel Guide To The City Of Pines
Nestled in the Cordillera region, Baguio city boasts a cool climate and vibrant cultural experiences. Let's unpack a few good practical tips on reaching the destination, choosing accommodations, and engaging in a variety of activities, including the renowned Panagbenga festival and exploration of local attractions.
Nestled amidst the picturesque mountains of the Cordillera region, Baguio City beckons travelers with its cool climate, lush landscapes, and vibrant cultural scene.
Just a few hours away from Metro Manila, Baguio is a captivating destination that promises a unique blend of tranquility, natural beauty, and exciting activities.
Escape to the City of Pines with this comprehensive travel guide, including the highlight of the Panagbenga Festival.
How to get there
Embarking on your Baguio adventure offers various options:
- Private Vehicle: A scenic drive from Metro Manila takes approximately 4 to 6 hours. Enjoy the picturesque landscapes along the way and consider making stops at viewpoints for breathtaking views.
- Bus Services: This is perhaps the most popular means of going to Baguio from Manila. The journey also provides a comfortable and cost-effective option for public transportation
Several reputable bus companies operate on the Manila-Baguio route, providing convenient options for travelers. Here are key details to assist you:
- Genesis Transport: Cubao
- Dagupan Bus Lines: Cubao
- PARTAS: Cubao and Pasay
- Joy Bus (Genesis): Pasay and Avenida
- Victory Liner: Cubao and Pasay
Baguio is approximately 4-6 hours away from Manila. The duration varies based on your departure point in Manila, the chosen route, and potential stops along the way. Regular buses typically use Dau Exit (NLEX) or Concepcion Exit (SCTEX) with at least one stop.
HIGH-END BUS OPTIONS:
For a quicker journey and added comfort, consider Joy Bus and Victory Liner’s first-class service. These buses utilize NLEX, SCTEX, and TPLEX non-stop, reducing travel time to 4-5 hours. First-class buses offer wider legroom and complimentary snacks.
VICTORY LINER (Cubao to Baguio):
- Regular aircon: ₱485
- First class: ₱800
JOYBUS (Cubao to Baguio and Pasay to Baguio):
- Deluxe: ₱720 – ₱730
- Premier: ₱740 – ₱760
If unsure, Victory Liner is a reliable choice. Fares for regular aircon and first-class services are competitive.
BOOKING AND SCHEDULES:
Refer to the official websites of Victory Liner and Joy Bus for accurate schedules and bookings.
TRANSFER TO YOUR HOTEL:
Upon arrival at the new Victory Liner terminal in Baguio, taxis are readily available. A cab ride to locations near Burnham Park typically costs around ₱70.
Other modes of transport
While Baguio doesn’t have its own airport, you can fly to nearby airports like Clark International Airport or Ninoy Aquino International Airport, then proceed by land to Baguio.
Consider renting a vehicle for the freedom to explore the scenic surroundings at your own pace.
Where to stay
Baguio offers a diverse range of accommodations, catering to different preferences and budgets.
The Manor at Camp John Hay
- Location: Camp John Hay, Loakan Road, Baguio
- Price Range: ₱8,000 to ₱25,000 per night (depending on room type and season)
Nestled within the historic Camp John Hay, The Manor offers luxurious stays with colonial-inspired architecture and modern amenities.
Azalea Hotels and Residences
- Location: Leonard Wood Loop, Baguio
- Price Range: ₱6,000 to ₱15,000 per night (approximate)
Azalea provides spacious and family-friendly accommodations with fully furnished suites, perfect for a comfortable stay.
The Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay
- Location: Camp John Hay, Loakan Road, Baguio
- Price Range: ₱5,000 to ₱15,000 per night (may vary)
Set amidst pine trees, The Forest Lodge offers a cozy retreat with a rustic ambiance, providing a peaceful escape.
Baguio Country Club
- Location: Country Club Road, Baguio
- Price Range: ₱6,000 to ₱20,000 per night (subject to change)
Known for its classic charm, Baguio Country Club offers elegant accommodations, a golf course, and a range of recreational facilities.
The Podium Boutique Hotel
- Location: 3 Villamor Street, Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio
- Price Range: ₱4,000 to ₱10,000 per night (approximate)
A boutique hotel with a modern and artistic vibe, The Podium provides stylish rooms and personalized service.
Le Monet Hotel
- Location: Ordonio Drive, Camp John Hay, Baguio
- Price Range: ₱6,000 to ₱20,000 per night (may vary)
Inspired by Monet’s gardens, this hotel offers a sophisticated retreat with comfortable rooms and proximity to key attractions.
Baguio Burnham Suites
- Location: No.6 Kisad Road, Burnham Park Area, Baguio
- Price Range: ₱4,000 to ₱12,000 per night (approximate)
Conveniently located near Burnham Park, this hotel provides modern amenities and a comfortable stay for travelers.
Accommodation tip: Check the official websites or contact the accommodations directly for the latest rates and promotions.
Things to do
Panagbenga Festival In February
The Panagbenga Festival, or the Baguio Flower Festival, takes center stage in February. This month-long celebration showcases the region’s vibrant blooms and rich cultural heritage. Marvel at the Grand Float Parade, where intricately decorated floats adorned with colorful flowers parade through the streets, creating a visually stunning spectacle. The Street Dancing Parade features lively performances by various groups, each telling a unique story through dance and music. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, where the scent of flowers and the rhythm of traditional beats fill the air.
A scenic stroll through Mines View Park
Mines View Park offers more than just breathtaking views; it’s a cultural and shopping hub. Take in the panoramic sights of the Itogon mining town and the Cordillera Mountains. Capture the beauty of the landscape, and don’t forget to try on traditional Igorot costumes for a memorable photo opportunity. Explore the market stalls for local handicrafts, souvenirs, and traditional snacks, adding a touch of Baguio to your journey.
Recreation and relaxation in Burnham Park
Burnham Park, at the heart of Baguio, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking tranquility. Rent a boat and paddle across the serene lagoon or enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the scenic paths. The park’s well-manicured gardens provide a perfect setting for picnics and relaxation. Embrace the local vibe as vendors offer unique street food and snacks, creating an authentic Baguio experience.
Historical exploration in Camp John Hay
Discover the historical significance of Camp John Hay, a former rest and recreation facility for the United States Armed Forces. Explore The Bell House, a colonial mansion with an interesting history, and The Amphitheater, an open-air venue surrounded by towering pine trees. The Historical Core showcases remnants of the camp’s past, allowing visitors to step back in time. The lush surroundings and cool climate make Camp John Hay a delightful place to unwind.
Agricultural adventure in La Trinidad Strawberry Farm
Venture to La Trinidad, Benguet, just a short drive from Baguio, and explore the Strawberry Farm. Engage in hands-on picking of fresh strawberries, a delightful activity for visitors of all ages. Learn about the cultivation process and taste the sweetness of freshly picked strawberries. The farm also offers a variety of strawberry-based products, making it a perfect spot for a unique gastronomic experience.
Spiritual reflection in Baguio Cathedral
Visit the Baguio Cathedral, also known as Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral, a prominent religious landmark in the city. Marvel at the stunning architecture and panoramic views of the city from its elevated location. The cathedral provides a serene atmosphere for reflection and prayer, offering a peaceful contrast to the bustling city life.
Arts and culture appreciation at BenCab Museum
For art enthusiasts, the BenCab Museum is a must-visit. Located in the nearby town of Tuba, this museum showcases contemporary and indigenous Philippine art. Explore various galleries featuring the works of national artist Benedicto Cabrera and other Filipino artists. The museum’s lush surroundings and panoramic views of the mountains create an inspiring backdrop for a cultural excursion.
Culinary discoveries at Baguio Public Market
Immerse yourself in Baguio’s vibrant culinary scene by visiting the Baguio Public Market. This bustling market offers a plethora of fresh produce, local delicacies, and unique snacks. Engage with friendly vendors, sample local treats, and discover the flavors that define Baguio’s gastronomic identity. From vibrant fruits to traditional snacks like ukoy (shrimp fritters), the market is a treasure trove for food enthusiasts.
Cultural immersion at Tam-awan Village
Experience the rich culture of the Cordillera region at Tam-awan Village. This reconstructed traditional Cordillera village provides a glimpse into the indigenous way of life. Explore huts made of indigenous materials, witness cultural performances, and engage with local artists. Tam-awan Village serves as a cultural sanctuary, preserving and promoting the heritage of the Cordilleran people.
Gourmet dining experience
Baguio’s culinary scene is a fusion of local flavors and international influences. Explore these gourmet establishments:
Location: Otek Street, Baguio
Known for its extensive menu and affordable prices, Good Taste is a favorite among locals and visitors. Try their specialties, including buttered chicken and chopsuey.
Location: 777 Tiptop, Ambuklao Road, Baguio
Arca’s Yard is a charming café with an artsy atmosphere, serving Filipino and international dishes. The terrace provides stunning views of the mountains.
Location: Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio
Set in a historic building, Hill Station offers a diverse menu with a mix of international and local cuisines. The cozy interiors make it a perfect choice for a relaxed dining experience.
In Baguio, time slows to let you savor each moment—a cup of Cordilleran coffee, the rustle of pine trees, and the laughter that dances through Burnham Park. Depart not just with souvenirs, but with intangible treasures, stories etched into your very being.
Cocina del Sol
Location: Outlook Ridge Residences, De Los Reyes St., Baguio
Nestled within the scenic Outlook Ridge Residences, Cocina del Sol invites you to indulge in a culinary journey that fuses traditional flavors with contemporary flair. This restaurant showcases a diverse menu, featuring a harmonious blend of local and international dishes. The warm and inviting ambiance provides the perfect setting for a delightful dining experience, where every meal becomes a memorable celebration of taste.
Discover the artistry of Baguio as you dine at Cocina del Sol. Surrounded by the mountainous landscape, breathe in the crisp air and relish the flavors that reflect the rich tapestry of the region. With each dish, create lasting memories against the backdrop of Baguio’s picturesque charm.
Baguio Craft Brewery
Location: 106 Marcos Highway, Baguio
Elevating the craft beer scene in Baguio, Baguio Craft Brewery is a haven for beer enthusiasts and food connoisseurs alike. Situated along Marcos Highway, this brewery offers a selection of handcrafted beers, each brewed with passion and precision. The rustic yet vibrant atmosphere complements the experience, making it an ideal spot to unwind with friends or family.
Immerse yourself in the lively spirit of Baguio at Baguio Craft Brewery. Sip on uniquely crafted beers while savoring delectable dishes that complement the robust flavors. Whether you’re a beer aficionado or simply seeking a distinctive culinary adventure, this brewery promises a taste of Baguio’s creativity and a toast to the vibrant culture that defines the City of Pines.
Carry with you the essence of Baguio
As you bid adieu to Baguio, nestled in the arms of the Cordilleras, remember it’s more than a destination—it’s a living narrative of cultural richness, natural splendor, and the rhythmic beats of Panagbenga Festival. Baguio is a sanctuary where history meets modernity, and nature twirls with culture, creating moments that linger in your memories. Carry with you the essence of Baguio—a city that captivates with its scenery and etches an indelible mark on the wanderer’s heart.
May the spirit of Baguio continue to guide you towards new horizons, where each step is an invitation to uncover the extraordinary in the ordinary. Safe travels, and may the timeless melody of Baguio remain a cherished refrain in the soundtrack of your travel tales.