Top 10 – Best Places to Visit in Baguio.

Did you know?

Baguio, as we all know, is the summer capital of the Philippines, and it’s the best place to chill out because of its low temperature. Baguio came from the word “bagiw” an Ibaloi world for Moss. The strategic location makes it conducive for the growth of mossy plants thus the name.

Baguio is known for its “Panagbenga festival” was simply called the Baguio Flower Festival, and then it was renamed by Mr. Ike Picpican, an archivist and Saint Louis.

If you find yourself up in the mountains to relish its cool weather, why not take it up a notch and redefine your vacation experience with our Baguio Travel Guide?

Baguio City may be considered “highly urbanized” but this is one of the most natural cities on the island of Luzon. While the economy in Baguio City is booming, the urban developers have used a light hand when building, rebuilding, and planning the urban layout.

You’ll find historic buildings beautifully preserved right next to new buildings that ease the transition into modernity. All of which are tucked within green parks and rolling hills. It’s a scenic and practical use of space that clearly honors its history, roots, environment, and culture.

Also known as “The City of Pines”, Baguio City is situated in the Luzon tropical pine forest’s eco-region, which is the perfect climate to encourage the growth of moss, plants, and flowers that are indigenous to tropical climates. Meanwhile, the city sits at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level so the climate isn’t too unbearably hot.

In Baguio City, visitors can expect to encounter sites that pay tribute to the past alongside delightfully progressive attractions. Come and see for yourself.

How to get to Baguio from Manila

Several bus companies have Manila-Baguio route. You can catch a bus at the following terminals:

  • Genesis Transport: Cubao
  • Dagupan Bus Lines: Cubao
  • PARTAS: Cubao and Pasay
  • Joy Bus (Genesis): Pasay and Avenida
  • Victory Liner: Cubao and Pasay

Baguio is only 4-6 hours away from Manila, depending on which part of Manila you’re coming from, which route the bus takes, and whether or not it makes a stop along the way. Regular buses usually take Dau Exit (NLEX) or Concepcion Exit (SCTEX) and make at least one stop.

But higher-end buses like Joy Bus and Victory Liner’s first-class service use NLEX, SCTEX, and TPLEX non-stop, cutting down the travel time to 4-5 hours. First-class buses also have wider legroom and free snacks.

When we go to Baguio, we usually book with Victory Liner. No particular reason, really. It’s just out of habit. Hahaha. So I’m most familiar with their fares.

CUBAO TO BAGUIO – VICTORY LINER
Regular aircon: P485
First class: P800

CUBAO TO BAGUIO – JOYBUS
Deluxe: P720
Premier: P740

PASAY TO BAGUIO – JOYBUS
Deluxe: P730
Premier: P760

PASAY TO BAGUIO – VICTORY LINER
Regular aircon: P496
First-class: P800

From the new Victory Liner terminal, you can take a cab to your hotel.

Let’s explore the Best Places in Baguio City:

1. Lions Head

The famous Lion Head was put up as a symbol of the presence of Baguio city lions club in the area

This 40-foot tall Lion’s head was a team effort by a variety of representatives in Baguio City. The idea to carve a giant lion’s head into the mountain was thought up by members of the Lion’s Club circa 1960-1970. These members then contracted a group of engineers and miners to stabilize and prep the limestone mountain where the monument was to be carved. Finally, a Filipino woodcarver by the name of Anselmo Bayang Day-ag brought this idea to life.

In-person, the size of this undertaking is quite spectacular and makes a nice addition to a fun day of sightseeing.

Conceptualized in 1971 and unveiled to the public the following year, this giant icon was a project of the Baguio Lions Club. Ifugao woodcarver Reynaldo Lopez Nanyac was commissioned to make what was once a limestone boulder into the sculpture it is today. If you’re feeling fierce, have your picture taken next to this majestic beast on your way up to Baguio.

Lion’s Head
Location: Kennon Road, Baguio, Benguet

How to get there:

  • The Jeepney terminal to Lion’s head is called Camp 7 terminal. It is located in Carantes Street Baguio City. 
  • From Bakakeng terminal go straight to Harrison Road. Climb up the Overpass and just across it, you will see the terminal to camp 7. Fare is 16.50.
  • On the way to Lion’s head, you may pass by Kennon Road View Point where you can get a good view of the long and winding Kennon Road. 

2. Botanical Garden

This park used to be called Botanical and Zoological Garden. It has been named as Igorot Village, due to the native huts and Igorot sculptures. It was also named Imelda Park during the Marcos regimen.

During Baguio’s Centennial celebration, the name has been changed to Centennial Park. Along with the name change, the park has also undergone rehabilitation which included features that highlight the 100-year history of the summer capital.

This garden is much more than flowers and fauna, however. It is said to be a spiritual center where the spirits of the native Igorot people dwell. You’ll see native hut replicas of the local Igorot people paying tribute to their cultural legacy all around.

These huts, of course, are surrounded by bright flowers and luscious plants that encourage the development of diverse wildlife including beautiful butterflies and a range of bird species. So, keep an eye out.

Botanical Garden
Location: Leonard Wood Road, just a few minutes away from the Central Business District. You can pass it when you’re on your way to Wright Park, The Mansion, and Mines View Park.

How to get there:

  • To go to Baguio Destinations like Botanical Garden, you must first go to the jeepney terminal located near the Igorot Park and Burnham Park: 
  • Take the same route going to Mines View Park and alight at the Baguio Botanical Garden/Teacher’s camp. The fare is 8.50 (as of January 2020)

3. Burnham Park

Burnham Park, was designed by American architect and Baguio city planner Daniel Hudson Burnham who is also the namesake of the park.

Most popular for its giant swan boats that your can take out on the lake and paddle around, Burnham Park is a great place to spend a leisurely day with your family or sweetheart.

There are rose-bush lined jogging trails, cozy park benches overlooking the water, food stalls selling traditional Filipino dishes, hawkers selling souvenirs and knickknacks that you certainly don’t need but are fun to look at.

Come and enjoy the acres upon acres of shady pine forests and manmade lake that tourists and locals can’t get enough of.

Things to do:

  • Try riding the Chopper (big bike) that cost P75 per 30 minutes
  • Go-karting that cost P50 per 30 minutes
  • Boating P100 per 30 minutes (good for 5 pax) + P50 if with the rower (prices may vary depending on the season)

Burnham Park
Location: Jose Abad Santos Drive, Baguio City, Benguet

How to get there:

  • Burnham Park is located within the center of the city its near Veniz Hotel and Session Road.

4. Camp John Hay

Camp John Hay is a mixed-used development that serves as a tourist destination and forest watershed reservation in Baguio, Philippines which was formerly a military base of the United States Armed Forces.

The Cemetery of Negativism is also located nearby or the Lost Cemetery is a small area within Camp John Hay. The “cemetery” established by then-commanding general of the John Hay Air Station, John Hightower in the early 1980s. It serves as a symbolic burial site for negativism. The Amphiteather near Bell House also hosts a gazebo which is encircled by a multi-terraced flower garden. (see picture above)

It has also Tree Top Adventure, which is perfect for friends and family who want to experience nature 100 feet above the ground. It has jungle trails, suspension bridges, and a motorized canopy tour.

Aside from that, Camp John Hay is a one-stop-shop if you want to eat, shop for a bargain items, have a picnic, or just look around and take photos of nature.

Things to do:

  • Treetop Adventures, where you can enjoy thrilling rides like the Superman Ride (zipline), Canopy Ride, and Tree Drop (harnessed free fall).
  • Bell House, formerly the official vacation residence of the Commanding General of the Philippines. It now houses a museum featuring American colonial architecture.
  • Butterfly Garden, good to see if you’ve never been to any butterfly garden before or if you’re with kids. Otherwise, skippable.
  • Cemetery of Negativism, a symbolic site for the burying of negativities — thoughts, emotions, attitude.
  • Yellow Trail, aka Forest Bathing Trail, a 1.5km easy hiking path that will lead you through and around the pine forest. The trek takes around 2 hours. You can do it in 2 ways. The usual route is generally uphill, starting at Le Monet Hotel and ending at Scout Hill. If you don’t think you have the stamina, you can do it the other way around instead. (That’s what we did, LOL!) We thoroughly enjoyed it!

Camp John Hay
Location: Loakan Road, Camp John Hay, Baguio Benguet

How to get there:

  • To go to Baguio Destinations like Camp John Hay and PMA, you must first go to the jeepney terminal located near the Igorot Park and Burnham Park: 
  • To go to the terminal from Burnham Park, just walk a bit along Perfecto Street. 
  • To go to Camp John Hay, look for the jeepney going to “Scout Barrio” (P8.50 fare). 
  • Tell the driver to drop you off the gate to Camp John Hay. 
  • Walk your way to Camp John Hay.

5. Strawberry Farm

Baguio is known to carry more varieties of fruits and vegetables since the climate is colder here so it’s best to get as much as you can for home but did you know where it all started? As early as the 19th century, historical accounts show that the strawberry was brought in for production by the Spaniards to La Trinidad, then known as “Benguet”. Then became known as the “Salad Bowl of the Philippines” in the 1970’s with small patches of strawberry production of the traditional variety in the garden. The main market then was all in the City of Baguio.

By the early 1990’s, strawberry production became a mother lode of livelihood that has proved beneficial to the farmers and the municipality as a whole. This earned an added monicker for the town, from “SALAD BOWL” to “STRAWBERRY FIELDS OF THE PHILIPPINES”, an identity no other place can grab from La Trinidad.

Things to do:

  • Buy “Pasalubong” and Souvenirs
  • Eat Strawberry Taho and Strawberry Ice Cream
  • Go, Strawberry Picking
  • Buy Vegetables at Lower Prices
  • See Beautiful Flowers in Bloom

Strawberry Farm
Location: Barangay Betag of La Trinidad, Benguet

How to get there:

  • Take a walk and go to Shuntug Road (in front of Baguio City Hall).
  • From there, you’ll find a lot of jeepneys parked waiting for passengers.
  • Take a jeep with the signage “La Trinidad” and ask the driver to drop you off in La Trinidad Strawberry Farm.

6. The Mansion

The Mansion House (also known as The Mansion) built-in 1908 is the official summer palace of the President of the Philippines.

Things to do:

  • Have a photo of outside its gate or go inside and look at its mini-museum.
  • All items are collectibles from the past art collections and memorabilia of former presidents.

The Mansion
Location:  Eastern part of the city along C.P. Romulo Drive (formerly a part of Leonard Wood Road) and right across from Wright Park

How to Get to there:

  • Take the Plaza-Mines View jeepney from the Central Business District, about Php10.00/person

7.Mines View

Touch the skies from the highest point of Baguio City! Mines View Park is one of the oldest and most famous attractions in the City of Pines. The park got its name from the Benguet mountain range where gold, silver, and copper were once quarried. It was a mining area for local diggers before the Americans discovered Baguio City.

Things to do:

  • Take photos of the scenic view
  • Enjoy almost 100 souvenir shops and local’s goods and take photos with “Douglas” the famous St. Bernard dog hanging around the area.
  • Experience riding in colorful horses and take some pictures with them.
  • You can also enjoy wearing ethnic costumes and take photos of yourself for only Php 20. 
  • Don’t forget to try the local specialty strawberry taho!

Mines View
Location: Loakan Road, Camp John Hay, Baguio Benguet

How to get to Mines View

  • Go to Lower Mabini Street just  adjacent to Session Road
  • Take a jeepney going to Mines View. Fare is P10

8. Baguio Cathedral

The pink church with twin spires, the Baguio Cathedral,  is one of the most photographed landmarks in Baguio City. 

The first phase of the cathedral on its present location was finished in 1924 without the two spiral towers. The hill on which it stands was originally referred to as “Kampo” by the native Ibalois and was later called  Mount Mary by then parish priest Fr. Florimund Carlu, CICM. Twenty-five Igorot carpenters were part of the construction along with the CICM priests and brothers. 

This Neo-Gothic style cathedral sits atop a hill. It connects to the Porta Vaga mall through the parking lot and Session Road through a 104-step staircase. During World War II, the building served as an evacuation center. Nowadays, it’s a serene place to hear mass or even exchange vows.

Baguio Cathedral
Location:   Cathedral Loop adjacent to Session Road in Baguio

How to get there:

  • You can take a walk from Burnham Park, going to Session Road
  • And take the 100-step stone staircase

9. Night Market

At night, Harrison Road transforms into an ukay-ukay mecca. It gets jam-packed with people looking to score cheap secondhand finds. It is usually open for 5 hours every night starting from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM It is located in Harrison Road just beside the Burnham Park Football field. Be aware of pickpockets! They are just as common here so keep your valuables safe and out of sight.

Things to do:

  • Enjoy the ukay-ukay (cheap / second hand items like clothes, jackets, shoes bags and anything you ask for.
  • Enjoy different types of street foods.

Baguio Night Market
Location: Session Road, Baguio City

How to get there:

  • Take a walk from Burnham Park

10. Bell Church

The Bell Church was founded on August 4, 1960 in Benguet by Chinese immigrants from Canton Chine (now Guangzhou) led by Ng Pee. They were devotees of the Buddhist monk Ji Gong.

In 1954, he first preached in a dining hall of a restaurant but eventually transferred the place of worship to his residence along the Kilometer 6 mark in La Trinidad, Benguet, due to an increasing number of devotees. Then known as the “Chinese Buddhist Temple”, the temple’s membership is composed of primarily ethnic Chinese farmers. Membership continued to grow that the temple had to move again to its present site along the Kilometer 3 mark in the 1960s and has since then became known as the “Bell Church”. With support from the local Chinese community, the house in the current site was converted to a temple.

You may have been to Baguio City before but if you are like most people that visit, you probably missed one of the hidden gems of the region. I don’t know exactly why the Bell Church of Baguio City seems to fall off of everyone’s radar, but I would classify this as a must-see site for everyone who comes to Baguio City.

Things to do:

  • Take some pictures inside the temple and enjoy the Chinese culture.

Bell Church
Location: Bell Church Road la Trinidad, Benguet

How to get there:

  • Ride a jeepney going to Strawberry Farm
  • Ask the driver to drop you at Bell Church

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