February 07, 2020 Baguio, Benguet, Philippines

Baguio Travel Guide: Where To Go + Sample Itinerary


I was still in high school when I last went to Baguio. My Mom and I went there for a couple of times already when I was still a child. I'm really happy I was able to visit Baguio again after a long time. Sadly, not with my Mom anymore. Maybe it's time to create new memories here in Baguio.

After more than 10 years, a lot has changed in Baguio. Or maybe I just expected too much? I feel like it lost its spark. Anyway, I will be sharing with you my last trip to Baguio last January 2020 and a few travel guide & tips. Another long post ahead! ⚠️

HOW TO GET TO BAGUIO

My Tita has a private van so we just contributed for gas and other transport expenses. Please also note that Kenon Road is only open during weekends.

Commuting to Baguio is now easy. PITX has buses P2P buses going to Baguio for as low as 525.00 pesos per way (with free snacks). Since it is a P2P bus, travel time is only about 5 to 6 hours.


For more info about the P2P Buses from PITX and other parts of Metro Manila, you may check out Langyaw's post: Riding the P2P Solid North Baguio To PITX Bus.

You can also join TOURS from Travel Agencies which is also convenient than commuting.

GETTING AROUND

If you have a private car, getting around Baguio won't be a hassle. You can just use Waze. But please take note that Baguio has a number coding scheme. For more info about the coding scheme, you may check out Philkotse's post: A short guide to the number coding scheme implemented in Baguio City. Though the parking is another thing. Since Baguio is almost crowded throughout the year, parking spaces might be always full. Please make sure to park at the right places to avoid penalties.

Commuting and walking around Baguio is kinda.. I honestly don't know how to describe it. Haha! If your destination is just a kilometer or less than a kilometer away, the locals will advise you to just walk which is exhausting for us who are not used to walking, I know. Haha! Especially that most roads there are uphill. 🤣 Please do understand that this is how they live here. They prefer walking unlike here in the Metro where we have tricycles.

If you don't want to walk, they have jeepneys, regular metered taxis and Grab. They also have the what they call "jeep". It's their version of FX here in the Metro. The jeepneys pass through main and specific roads especially to the tourists spots. Minimum fare is 8.50 pesos. Their regular meter taxis are like the ones in the Metro. Some drivers don't give change and some drivers will detour you so the meter will be higher. Hindi naman lahat, but based on our experience. The taxi fares are somehow cheap since they don't use a/c. Just always be careful in commuting.

WHERE TO STAY

There are a lot of budge hotels and transient rooms/houses in Baguio. We stayed at a simple transient house for 350 pesos per night per person. It was a discounted price. The advantage of getting a transient house is you can cook which is ideal for big groups and families. Regular transient rates are from 450 pesos to 500 pesos per night per person. For hotels, you may check Agoda or Booking.com for low rates. During the high season, I advise that you book or reserve weeks prior to your trip.


TOURIST SPOTS

LION'S HEAD

Kenon Road is only open during weekends. We went to Baguio on a Sunday morning so we had a chance to took a photo at the famous Lion's Head. It was still under renovation when we went there but I saw on the news that it is now finished. 😀


CAMP JOHN HAY

Camp John Hay is the best place to go for picnic and leisure. They also have restaurants here. It is also known for the pine trees. Getting around here is best if you have a private car. They only have taxi here if you're just commuting.


CEMETERY OF NEGATIVISM

It's actually just a small part inside Camp John Hay. It is also known as The Lost Cemetery. Since we were already at Camp John Hay, we decided to drop by. It has tombstones with witty phrases. Hence the name, Negativism, which means the practice of being or tendency to be negative or skeptical in attitude while failing to offer positive suggestions or views. No entrance fee.


I've read a few other blog posts online and I must say that this one also changed over the years. The cemetery is now very simple. We actually didn't notice it. Na parang eto na yun? Most of the writings on the tombstones are barely visible/readable. Looks like they didn't focus to take care of this anymore.


VALLEY OF COLORS

Baguio's newest tourist attraction and is also known as Colors of StoBoSa. It is an artwork by Tam-Awan Village artists where they painted 150 to 200 houses. StoBoSa means Stonehill, Botiwtiw, and Sadjap which are the names of the sitios. There is no entrance fee but they will ask you to write your names for documentary purposes. It is best to go here if you're on your way to the Strawberry Farm.


STRAWBERRY FARM

The most must-visit place in Baguio! Hehe. There is no entrance fee if you will just stroll around the farm. The rate of the Strawberries as of January is 600 pesos per kilo. You'll only get to see the Strawberries up close if you will avail and do the picking. There are some people who try to grab the fruits and try to break in. Please don't do that and respect the farm :(


There are also vendors at the stalls outside the farm who sell strawberries, vegetables and other pasalubong. If you will not go to the city market, I suggest that you buy your vegetables and souvenirs here. It is fresh and much cheaper than the other tourists spots (I think).


It is best to go here at your last day so the vegetables and strawberries are still fresh when you get home. :)


BURNHAM PARK

The classic tourist attraction in Baguio. All I remember here are happy thoughts from my childhood. Good old days! This has no entrance fee. You'll only pay if you will ride the bike or the swan. There are a lot of vendors around here too.


We only got to ride on the bike. We skipped the swan boat.

Here are the rates of the Swan Boat (as of January 2020):

🦢 Swan Boat Pedal (Good for 3) - 200.00 pesos
🦢 Swan Boat Small Paddle (Good for 5) - 150.00 pesos
🦢 Swan Boad Big Paddle (Good for 6) - 200.00 pesos
🚣 Pontoon Jumbo Paddle (Good for 7) - 250.00 pesos
🚣 Pontoon Small Paddle (Good for 5) - 150.00 pesos
🚣 Pontoon Pedal (Good for 2) - 200.00 pesos
* Additional 50 pesos per guide/rower.


They phased out the old classic bikes so it looks more modern now. We rented the bike which is good for six persons. We paid 200 pesos for 1 hour. The rates range from 150 pesos to 300 pesos depending on the kind of bike you want to use.


BAGUIO NIGHT MARKET

It is located at Harisson Road, just a few meters away from Session Road & Burnham Park. Their night market opens at 9PM and closes until 12MN. There are a lot of things to buy here from ukay-ukay, cheap finds and street foods. I was only able to buy a cheap flats because most of the items were for men. The ones for women are not my type and some are for petites only. Haha! Mind you, this place is really crowded. Always be careful of your belongings.

BAGUIO NIGHT MARKET
Photo credits: https://flic.kr/p/qnd4uJ

SESSION ROAD

Session Road is known for the restaurants, cafes, ukay-ukay, architectural buildings and is the commercial center of the city.

Session Road during the day.

Session Road during night.

OUR LADY OF LOURDES PARISH



BAGUIO CATHEDRAL



There are photographers outside the church. One took a lot of photos of me there. He used my camera. He doesn't ask for payment of a specific amount, only donation he said. Though I did anticipate that already so I gave him a few bucks. Love how my photos turned out!

He also opened up that most tourists prefers their own camera and mobile phones nowadays so their job isn't really stable anymore and I do understand his sentiments. So if ever you'll go here, just give them a few bucks and you'll have great photos.


THE MANSION HOUSE

No entrance fee. The Mansion House is located just across Wright Park. As in tatawid ka lang. The mansion is the official summer palace of the President of the Philippines. It is more on photo ops only.



WRIGHT PARK

We decided not to go here anymore but we saw a glimpse just across The Mansion. No entrance fee.

WRIGHT PARK (Wright Park, Baguio City)-Photo by Ver Paulino


MINES VIEW PARK

Another famous tourist spot in Baguio is the Mines View Park because of the picturesque view here.


It's really beautiful. There is no entrance fee. But here's the reality:

It is hard to take a decent photo here because of the crowd. Unless you put effort into angle and editing. Haha! It is crowded when we went there and to think that it was Tuesday, a weekday.


I also got to try their traditional clothing. I paid 30 or 35 pesos for it. The clothing is just fine. I think they take care of it. It is not smelly.

BENCAB MUSEUM

We were also not able to go here because I made a mistake in doing our itinerary. Haha! I thought we can go there on a Monday, but it is closed pala every Monday. I really wanted to visit this place though. :(

They are open from 9:00AM to 6:00PM. The last entry is at 5:30PM. Entrance fee is 100 pesos and 80 pesos for students, Senior Citizens and PWD. It is located a few minutes away from the city center.

https://jacarandatravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/BenCab-Museum.jpg

BELL CHURCH

No entrance fee. Read more about Bell Church here: https://www.lakadpilipinas.com/2013/02/a-quiet-afternoon-at-baguio-citys-bell.html

Photo credit: https://www.lakadpilipinas.com/2013/02/a-quiet-afternoon-at-baguio-citys-bell.html

TAM-AWAN VILLAGE

Another tourist spot that we weren't able to visit. Entrance is 50 pesos for adults, 30 pesos for Senior and 20 pesos for children. Know more about Tam-Awan Village here: http://www.tupanggala.com/tam-awan-village/

Photo credits: http://www.tupanggala.com/tam-awan-village/

UKAY-UKAY SHOPS AT SESSION ROAD

https://travelhardhannah.blogspot.com/2017/10/three-of-baguio-citys-most-popular-ukay.html
There are a lot of ukay-ukay in Baguio and the ones in Session Road are some of them. There are alleys leading to the shops. I was able to buy more clothes here and it's also cheaper than the Night Market. You can find clothes here for as low as 30 pesos, 50 pesos, 60 pesos and 75 pesos. Most of the items are not damaged.

BAGUIO CITY PUBLIC MARKET

If you're going to buy vegetables, I advise that you buy it here. It is the cheapest you can find.

https://baguiopublicmarket.blogspot.com/2018/10/guide-to-shopping-in-baguio-city-public.html
I was able to buy a lot of vegetables like baby potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and more for only 700 pesos. Good thing we have a private car. I can't buy that much if I was on a commute. I bought a lot of veggies as pasalubong. :)


The cheapest broccoli I found was 50 pesos per kilo. That's waaaay to cheaper than the ones here in the Metro!! The cauliflower was 45 pesos per kilo. Kale was only 50 pesos per kilo. And they are all fresh!! Wow. Since my lifestyle has changed, I am really into veggies now (somehow. lol).


WHERE TO EAT

There are a lot of restaurants and cafe in Baguio but I only got to try a few ones. At least, I have reasons to go back to Baguio. Haha!

OH MY GULAY

I have a separate blog post for this. You may check it out for a more detailed review. Click here.


VIZCO'S STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

📍 Vizco's Restaurant and Cake Shop, Porta Vaga Mall, Session Rd, Baguio

I ordered once slice for me at it costs 125 pesos only. The 6-inch strawberry shortcake is P580, the 8-inch cake is P875, and the 10-inch cake is P1,660. I love it! The strawberries are fresh and might be a bit sour but the cake balances it. They now have a branch at SM Baguio.


BAGUIO CRAFT BREWERY

I don't why I was able to include this on my itinerary and really make it here. Haha! But good decision 'cause I was able to try on the best beer I had in my life. Haha! I do drink whenever I travel anyways.


Baguio Craft Brewery is located along Marcos Highway. They are open from 5:00PM to 12:00MN. It is two kilometers away from where we were staying. I took a taxi and paid 70 pesos to 80 pesos one way.


I ordered their best seller, the Englishman in New York. I came just in time before happy hour so I got my first glass for only 175 pesos. The beer tasted so good so I asked for another glass. It's back to the regular price of 200 pesos. Highly recommend!


STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM & TAHO

No one leaves Baguio without eating these famous and crowd favorite. Fresh and natural! For the Strawberry Taho, price starts at 30 pesos, depending on the size of the cup. For the Strawberry Ice Cream, price starts at 30 pesos, depending on the cone.


PANAGBENGA FESTIVAL

Another reason to visit Baguio is the Panagbenga Festival which means "Season of Blooming". It is a month long annual flower festival and is held every February.
The month-long festival starts at the 1st day of the month, with an opening activities organized by the City government and private sectors. Many activities were also celebrated on the duration of the month. But the most crowd-generating events were in the last week of the festival, the Street Dancing and Float Parade, after it, Session Road was closed for a week for exhibits. Simulcast, Wright Park honors their pony boys and horse trainers. Closing ceremonies were at the night of the last day of the fest.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panagbenga_Festival

Photo from https://tribune.net.ph/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Panagbenga-festival.jpg

BEST TIME TO VISIT BAGUIO

You can visit Baguio any time of the year. If you are after the cold weather, it is best to go there in November to January. December is the most crowded month and tourist's peak season because it's the Christmas season. Rainfall is quite low in December and January. February is the month for the Panagbenga Festival. It is best to book your hotels a month prior if you are going there in December to February.

TIPS & SAMPLE ITINERARY


When I was making our itinerary, I arranged the tourist spots and restaurants which are close to each other and where they are located. I made it so it will easier for us to get around. For that, I looked for a map and I found one from lakadpilipinas.com.

NORTH
La Trinidad Strawberry Farm
Valley of Colors
Bell Church *

WEST
BenCab Museum *

NORTH WEST
Tam-Awan Village *

CENTRAL
Burnham Park
Session Road
Baguio Public Market
Baguio Night Market
Baguio Cathedral
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish

SOUTH
Camp John Hay
Lion's Head

EAST
Mines View Park
The Mansion
Wright Park
Botanical Garden *

* The places we weren't able to visit. Most tourist spots have no entrance fee (unless you avail the activites) except Tam-Awan Village and BenCab Museum.

OUR ITINERARY

Day 1, January 5, 2020 (Sunday)
2AM Left Tagaytay (Going to Sto. Tomas, Batangas)
3AM Departure (Going to Pangasinan)
4:38AM NLEX (Marilao)
7:00AM Manaoag, Pangasinan
8:30AM Off to Baguio
10:30AM Lion's Head, Kennon Road
11:45AM Camp John Hay
12:10PM Lunch
12:45PM Cemetery of Negativism
2:00PM Colors of Stobosa
2:30PM Strawberry Farm
4:00PM Look for transient
5:00PM Rest
8:00PM Evening Walk (SM)
9:40PM Dinner
10:30PM Night Market
12:00PM Back to transient

Day 2, January 6, 2020 (Monday)

9:30AM Burnham Park
10:00AM Biking
12:30PM Lunch at Oh My Gulay
1:30PM Vizco's Strawberry Shortcake
2:00PM Back to transient & rest
6:00PM Baguio Craft Brewery
8:30PM Back to transient

Day 3, January 7, 2020 (Tuesday)

6:00AM Baguio City Public Market
9:00AM Back to transient & pack up
10:30AM Baguio Cathedral
11:00AM The Mansion
12:00NN Lunch
12:30NN Mines View Park
1:30PM Departure to Tagaytay

Since most of the tourist spots have no entrance fee, your budget will mostly cover your transportation, transient/hotel and food. You can prepare at least 3,000 to 5,000 pesos per person for a three days and two nights trip in Baguio. Prepare at least 1,500 to 2,000 pesos for transpo and another 1,000-2,000 pesos for your accomodation. You will save more if you will be in groups.

So are you ready for your Baguio trip? I hope this article will help you on your itinerary! 😄 Please note that this is based from our experience. If I did write something wrong or if my post lack information about these tourist spots, please let me know. Most of the photos are mine but I gathered a few ones with credits.



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