The Best Baguio Travel Guide And Itinerary

Do you like the feel of the sun on your skin as you explore a breathtaking city with amazing scenery? A place that reminds you of summer? That feeling of holding a warm, beautiful gift in your hand?

Okay, let me stop with all the imagery; I know you get the point. But which city do you think I might be referring to? I am sure you are listing some islands, but did you think of Baguio in the Philippines?

Yes, you heard me! I said Baguio. Let me show you why Baguio is an exciting choice of a visit.

Baguio (pronounced ‘BAG-ee-oh’ (UK), ‘BAH-ghee-oh’ (US)) is fondly referred to as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines”. It is located in the Province of Benguet and is 250 kilometers north of Manila.

This city is noted for its cool climate, foggy hills, breathtaking views, pine trees, and beautiful topography. The history of this city will melt your heart. It is said that it all began with the arrival of Americans in the early 1900s.

The then American Governor, Luke E. Wright commissioned an architect to develop a plan for a health resort where American soldiers and civilian employees could rest from the intense lowland heat. This plan, called the Burnham Plan, was the first physical development for the city. Source

Since then, the city has undergone a lot of physical development at a fast pace and is regarded as one of the most “urbanized” cities in the country.


 

Baguio Travel Guide: About Baguio City

Baguio Travel Guide And Itinerary
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After the Burnham Plan was developed, a charter was enacted to provide administrative and managerial independence for the city. This led to the opening of some major roads leading into the city and consequently led to the city being in the middle of operations during the mining boom.

This, of course, spurred economic growth for the city. This growth was paused due to the Second World War, but soon picked up after and rapidly made Baguio what it is today.

Baguio city is called the Summer City because it is averagely cooler than any other place in the lowlands with at least 8-degrees. On the flip side, however, Baguio gets the largest amount of rainfall in the country, twice the volume of rainfall compared to Manila.

The rainy season in Baguio is from June to October, while the summer weather (hot and humid climate) is from November to May (March-May is when the summer weather is best enjoyed).

The major languages spoken in Baguio are Ilocano (the local dialect), Filipino (the national dialect), and English. The residents of Baguio are very religious, with almost 80% of the residents being Catholic. The currency used in Baguio is the Philippine Peso (PHP).


 

Baguio Travel Guide: Where To Stay In Baguio

When considering where to stay in Baguio, it is important to plan your accommodation as being central to your itinerary. Baguio is a major tourist spot, with notable parks like Burnham Park, Rizal Park, Mines View Observation Deck, etc. and you will want to stay at a place that is not too distant from the major sightseeing spots.

If you want to also immerse yourself in the Baguio way of life, you might want to stay in a hotel that is located in the semi-urban part of Baguio. Places like these are usually far from the sightseeing spots, but you will enjoy living among the locals.

You should also remember to choose affordable hotels in Baguio; your budget is the most important factor, after all!

According to the factors I listed above, here are some Baguio hotels that you might want to look at;

1. Travelite Express Hotel

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2. Casa Bel Inn

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3. Hotel Henrico Kisad

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4. Griffin Lodge

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5. Baguio City Center Hotel

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6. Villa Silvina Hotel and Restaurant

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7. Ibay Zion Hotel

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8. Dejavu Bed and Breakfast

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9. Baguio Vacation Apartments

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10. Paladin Hotel

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11. The Manor at Camp John Hay

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12. Holiday Inn Baguio City Centre

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13. Hotel Veniz

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14. Vybe Travellers Pad

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15. French Nest at Baguio

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Baguio Travel Guide: How To Get To Baguio From Manila

The fastest way to get to Baguio from Manila is to drive, although you can also take a flight to the Baguio airport located in Barangay Loakan.

Baguio city is accessible through 3 national roads, namely Kennon Road, Marcos Highway, and Quirino Highway (Naguilian Road). The drive from Manila to Baguio takes an average of 6 hours and could be less or more depending on the route you take.

Usually, night trips take longer than day trips. You can either hire a taxi or car to drive, or you can also hire someone to drive you. Hiring a driver is quite expensive as the driver’s fare includes the fee for petrol and toll gate fares as well. This would cost you between $118 (PHP6, 000)-$295 (PHP15, 000) to hire a driver.

You can also go by bus; there are many deluxe bus companies that take the Baguio-Manila trip. The popular deluxe buses are Victory Liner, Joy Bus, and Genesis Bus that have air-conditioned buses and offer more legroom and snacks to passengers. Their terminals are located in Cubao, Avenida, Pasay, and Monumento.

These buses cost an average of $10 (PHP 500) for regular air-conditioned buses and an average of $16 (PHP800) for first class. The fastest and shortest road to Baguio is Kennon Road, but because it is a two-lane road, the trip might take a bit longer than planned due to traffic and understanding the terrain.

Also, the road is mostly closed during the rainy season due to landslides. If you want a wider, safer road option, then Marcos Highway is the better option.


 

Baguio Travel Guide: How To Get Around Baguio

Whenever you think of getting around Baguio, the word that should come to mind is “EXPLORE”! No matter the mode of transportation you take, you have the intention to explore, and you will experience the fun in Baguio city. The major ways of getting around Baguio include:

1. By Foot

This depends on the distance between your hotel and your destination. If you are going to a spot not too distant from your hotel, you can walk and get to know your area quite well. Also, if you are getting around by other means of transport, you can park some distance from your destination (at a safe spot), and then walk the rest of the way.

2. By Cab

You can use a cab to take you around the city. There are a lot of taxis in Baguio, with a lot of taxi drivers who even work at night, to help you with your late-night trip. The standard taxi fare is $0.65 (PHP35) for a start and an increment of $0.39 (PHP20) per kilometer.

A better deal would be to hire the cab for a whole day at an average rate of $3.95 (PHP200) per hour (up to a group of 4 passengers).

3. By Jeepney

The Jeepney is like the symbol of the Philippine movement. The Jeepney average fare is $0.16 (PHP8), with a $0.02 (PHP0.90) increase per succeeding kilometer.

You have to be extra patient to take a Jeepney though because it is quite slow compared to using a cab and most Jeepney drivers wait for until it is filled up before they go, and they drop off and pick up passengers at most stops before getting to their destination.

Most Jeepneys work until early evening, not at night. They also take different routes, which can get confusing at times. If you are up to 10 or more in a group, you can hire the Jeepney for the whole day.

4. By Private Car

You can rent a private car or drive your car within Baguio City, especially if you have young children going on the trip with you. The snag here is you can only drive to places with a huge parking lot. Driving your car to places where there is a crowd and not enough parking spaces can be very frustrating.

So, plan your movement and decide on the best mode of transport accordingly. There are car rental services in Baguio if you decide to rent a car. You can also decide to use more than one mode of transport if you want to explore a whole new level!


 

Baguio Travel Guide: Things To Do In Baguio And La Trinidad

La Trinidad is a city just beside Baguio and is the capital of Benguet Province. It is notable for its strawberry plantations. You cannot visit Baguio and not enter La Trinidad for sightseeing and to visit the tourist attractions there.

Places to visit in Baguio and La Trinidad are:

1. Burnham Park

Burnham Park
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This is one of the biggest parks in Baguio, named after the Urban Planner who developed Baguio City. You can either ride a bike, jog or walk or even ride a swan boat across the lake in Burnham Park. The park also has a skating rink, a rose garden, an orchard and the Igorot garden for you to explore.

2. Camp John Hay

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This is considered one of the top picks when visiting Baguio. Camp John Hay is a site that was originally created for the American Soldiers to rest and for recreation, so it still contains some of the historic buildings that tell the story of Baguio.

Another notable spot in Camp John Hay is The Bell Museum, which is a museum with a secret garden, a library, and an amphitheater. Be sure to also explore the Cemetery of Negativism and the Tree Top adventure when you visit Camp John Hay.

3. Strawberry Farm

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If I do not mention the Strawberry Farm, you might have to do a double-take to confirm if I am talking about Baguio City. The Strawberry Farm is in La Trinidad, and it spans 20 hectares. It is the only spot in the country where the fruit is grown on a commercial scale.

You can also handpick strawberries when you visit, although it is almost twice the commercial price (it costs about $2 (PHP100) to handpick a kilogram of strawberries).

You can also taste the different things made from strawberries on the Strawberry Farm e.g. Strawberry Ice-cream, Strawberry Wine, Strawberry Tohu (a drink made from tofu and sweetened with liquid sugar), etc.

Strawberry Picking is done between November to May, and there is even an annual Strawberry Festival in March in La Trinidad.

4. Stobosa Hillside Homes Artwork

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This is more famously known as the “Valley of Colors”. It is a community of homes that are painted all over with murals to give an instant tourist attraction.

5. Philippine Military Academy

The Philippine school of the Armed Forces is located in Baguio, and also offers a great adventure for sightseeing.

6. Mount Pulag National Park

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Baguio has some notable Parks, and this is one of them. You can take exciting walks in this park, as you appreciate the landscape of the city.

7. City Market and Ukay-Ukay Night Market

You can explore Baguio City Market during the day, and also experience the thrill of the Ukay-Ukay Night Market.

8. The Mansion

The Mansion
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The Mansion is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines. You can take great pictures as you explore the site.

9· The Bell Church

The-Bell-Church
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The Bell Church has exquisite architecture such that you cannot resist visiting this spot when you are in Baguio.

10. Pink Sisters’ Convent and Chapel

The majority of the people in Baguio are Catholics, and the Pink Sisters’ Convent and Chapel are famous because it is believed that all wishes that are prayed for come true.

11. BenCab Museum

Apart from being highly religious, the Baguio locals also have exquisite taste in art, as you will find out when you visit the BenCab Museum. The BenCab Museum is a gallery of some of the finest works of Philippine National Artist, Benedicto Cabrera.

11. Japanese Tunnel

The Japanese Tunnel is located in the heart of the Baguio Botanical Garden. It is 150 meters long and was first made public in February 2014.

The truth is, Baguio tourist spots is almost inexhaustible, as there are a lot of things to do and explore in Baguio.

Like visiting Wright Park, exploring Tam-Awan Village, visiting the Laperal House, exploring the Mines View Park, Mount Costa, Lion Head, Bridal Veil Falls, Woodcarvers’ Village, Baguio Cathedral, etc.

And the catch here is that they range from simple activities to exciting, fun adventures.


 

Baguio Travel Guide: Where To Eat In Baguio

Like accommodation, food is also a very important factor when choosing a tourist spot. In fact, some of my friends that are foodies will tell you that you have to think of food before you think of a place to stay.

Baguio has quite a number of restaurants that suit a variety of palates, and they range from cheap eats to luxurious restaurants. I have selected some places to eat in Baguio according to what they are most famous for and their prices.

1. Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna

This is a Greek restaurant (the first in the city) and their menu prices start from $10 (PHP500) and above.

2. Amare la Cucina

If you need Italian Cuisine, Pizza, Gelato, and the mix, this should be your top pick! The menu prices start from $6 (PHP300) and above.

3. The Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant

This family-style restaurant is home to some authentic local dishes. The menu prices start from $3 (PHP150) and above.

4. Red Rustikz

This restaurant gives you a range of cuisine, from Italian to European to American. You will enjoy your meal at this restaurant from as low as $4 (PHP203).

5. Le Chef at The Manor

If you want to experience fine dining, then Le Chef is a great option. You can get luxurious dishes starting from $10 (PHP500).

6. Mario’s Restaurant

Think Buffet, think Mario’s! The dishes served here cost an average of $8 (PHP400).

7. Camp John Hay

Camp John Hay actually contains a hub of restaurants that range from luxurious dining to buffet to grills to burgers and pizza, etc.
You can browse through any of the restaurants for dishes between $4 (PHP200) and $16 (PHP800).

8. Baguio Craft Brewery

The Baguio Craft Brewery is a combination of freshly brewed beers and food. The beers are brewed and dispensed right there through 18 rotating taps, and a combination of both food and beer will cost you an average of $11 (PHP550).

9. 456 Restaurant

This restaurant is synonymous with Filipino BBQ and Grill. Enjoy great tasting meals for as low as $4 (PHP200).

10. Rumour’s Bar

This bar serves great alcohol and food, a combination you can get for as low as $6 (PHP300).

11. Agara Ramen

If you need a restaurant that serves Japanese Cuisine, especially Ramen, Agara Ramen is the top pick. The dishes served here are priced for as low as $6 (PHP300).

12. Craft 1945

This restaurant serves great Spanish Cuisine and craft beer, starting from $8 (PHP400) and above.

13. Vincent’s Place

Vincent’s Place is considered to be a mixture of food and indulgence. Try out their meals for as low as $5 (PHP250).

14. Fortune Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant

No need to look further for seafood dishes, as this restaurant has got a variety of them. Check out their food for as low as $10 (PHP500).

15. Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl is home to Chinese Cuisine, and their prices start from $6 (PHP300) and above.

16. Good Taste Café

This restaurant is a walking distance from Burnham Park and is perfect for lunch especially if you like Chinese Cuisine. They also serve bread and western pastries. All of these go for as low as $8 (PHP400) and above.

17. Grumpy Joe

Burgers, Pizza, Fries, Pasta, and foods that can take that grumpiness away? Try Grumpy Joe! The menu price starts from as low as $6 (PHP300).

18. Vizco’s Restaurant and Cakeshop

This serves what is believed to be some of the best cakes in the city, along with some Oriental dishes, starting from $10 (PHP500).

You might also want to check out restaurants like Hill Station, Forest House, Roadhouse Barn, and Meal Lab for burgers, burritos, and a range of cuisine you will love.


 

Baguio Travel Guide: Sample Baguio Itinerary

I have drawn up a sample itinerary for your visit to Baguio (because I am sure that you cannot wait to visit the city by now). But note that this itinerary is not cast in stone, i.e. you can tweak and change some of the plans to your preference.

This itinerary is for 4 days (a weekend starting from Thursday and ending on Sunday) and it assumes that you are traveling with a partner, so it is drawn up for 2 people unless otherwise indicated;

Day 1:

12noon: Arrival and Check-in

1:00pm: Lunch ($4 (PHP200) per person)

2:00 pm: Jeepney tour to Baguio Cathedral, City Market, Burnham Park, and Session Road. ($1.6 (PHP80) per person)

6:00pm: Taxi to Baguio City Center ($3 (PHP150) for 2 persons)

7:00pm: Dinner and Night Out ($6 (PHP300) per person)

Day 2:

8:00 am: Breakfast

9:00 am Jeepney tour to The Pink Sisters’ Convent, Botanical Garden, The Mansion, Wright Park, and Mines View Park. ($2 (PHP100) per person) (Strawberry Taho, $0.60 (PHP30) per person)

1:00 pm: Lunch at Camp John Hay ($4 (PHP200) per person)

3:00 pm: Philippine Military Academy

7:00pm: Dinner and Night Out ($6 (PHP300) per person)

Day 3:

8:00 am: Breakfast

9:00 am: Jeepney tour to Tam-Awan Village, BenCab Museum (Entrance Fee of $2.4 (PHP120) per person), Lourdes Grotto, Easter Weaving Room, Stobosa Homes Artwork. ($2 (PHP100) per person) (Strawberry Taho, $0.60 (PHP30) per person)

1:00 pm: Lunch at Camp John Hay ($4 (PHP200) per person)

3:00 pm: Jeepney tour to Brides Veils Falls, Strawberry Farm ($0.39 (PHP20) per person) ($6 (PHP 300) for strawberries and ice-cream)

7:00pm: Dinner and Night Out ($6 (PHP300) per person)

Day 4:

8:00 am: Breakfast

9:00 am: Souvenir Shopping at Baguio City Market

10:30 am: Jeepney tour to Laperal White House ($0.18 (PHP9) per person) (Entrance fee of $0.99 (PHP50) per person)

12noon: Check-out of Hotel

I did not include hotel fees, as that depends on your choice, but you can budget a total of $138 (PHP7, 000) per person (including hotel fees and excluding shopping/souvenir budget) for your trip to Baguio.

You might need to add miscellaneous expenses and souvenir costs to have a great trip without having to worry about making adjustments to your itinerary due to financial constraints.


 

Baguio Travel Guide: When Is The Best Time To Visit Baguio

Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we? The best time to visit Baguio is between February to May, as the weather is beautiful almost all year round in Baguio, but you will have more time to explore the city during these months.

There is a flower festival held in Baguio in February known as the Panabenga Festival, where you will see an array of beautiful flowers and lots of people.

There is also Holy Week in late March, where there is a lot of walking. Truth is, there is no period that there isn’t a festival in Baguio. You will also encounter tourists like you almost every time you visit Baguio.

The wet season is not a favorable time to visit the city, which is between June to October as the volume of rainfall is much during the wet season in Baguio.

The thing to note when visiting Baguio is to double-check if you will be visiting during a festival period. If you are, please buy return tickets for bus fares to avoid long queues that will tire you out. Also get ready for long walks if you visit during festive periods, especially during the Holy Week.

But you can rest assured that you will have a great time in Baguio no matter the period you visit!


 

Final Words On Baguio Travel Guide And Itinerary

I hope you learned something from this article? I wrote this comprehensive guide because I feel like Baguio as a city is too beautiful not to visit and explore. It gives the summer feeling and leaves you with good vibes.

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