There are now a slew of accommodations in Baguio City, as tourism has steadily increased over the years. From the cheap or moderately-priced to the most luxurious and expensive, there are lodgings to fit anyone’s budget. Below are just some of the hotels in Baguio City.
- Baguio Holiday Villa Court
- Bloomfield Hotel
- Holiday Park Hotel
- The Manor Hotel at Camp John Hay
- Microtel Inns & Suites Baguio
- South Drive Manor Hotel
- Baguio Country Club
- Hotel Veniz
- Hotel 45
- Hotel Elizabeth
- Ridgewood Residence
- Baguio Burnham Suites
- Golden Pine Hotel
- Starwood Hotel
The Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City is just the antidote for those who are tired of the heat and seek to enjoy the invigorating and fresh mountain air.
Baguio, located in northern Luzon, Philippines, was established as a city in 1909 and has been dubbed the Summer Capital of the country owing to its cool mountain weather. It has maintained its position as a favorite tourist destination and has progressed to become the center of business, commerce and education in the entire northern region of Luzon.
It offers numerous tourist attractions and breathtaking vistas; one would find it difficult not to revel in the gorgeous backdrop of beautiful mountain scenery.
Baguio City is at an altitude of approximately 1,500 meters (5,100 feet) and it is owing to this fact that the city average temperature ranges from 15 to 23°C, usually going even lower during the late and early months of the year. The city also sees acutely less rainfall during its “low-sun” months. However, it does endure an unusual amount of rainfall during the wet season and averages over 4500mm of rain in one year.
Currently, the only way to get to Baguio City is by land transportation, as there are no commercial flights to Baguio.
The most common means to get to Baguio City is by bus, whether you are coming in from Manila or Clark International Airport in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Metro Manila is strewn with bus terminals of several bus lines that travel to and from Baguio City on a daily basis. Travel usually takes between 5 to 7 hours with stopovers along the way.
Victory Liner: Travelers can choose from regular air-conditioned and deluxe bus services which are equipped with free Wi-Fi, better seats and toilet. Passengers are advised to reserve seats in advance and in person.
Dagupan Bus Lines serve the Manila-Baguio route daily as well. Buses leave hourly from its Cubao Terminal.
From Clark International Airport
Partas Bus serves the Clark International Airport and departs the airport at 5PM to head north. Passengers bound for Baguio should disembark in Sison and cross the road to the restaurant stop to get on a Victory Liner bus that stops for dinner there.
From Angeles City
Philippine Rabbit departs for Baguio from Dau Terminal.
Travelers from Manila using private transportation take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) from Quezon City and then utilize the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) all through Tarlac City, Tarlac (cutting travel time by about 2 hours or more). From there, motorists traverse the old McArthur Highway until Rosario Junction in La Union. There are 3 main routes leading to Baguio City:
- Kennon Road is the shortest taking only forty-five minutes to one hour from the foot of the mountains in Rosario, Pangasinan. It has long winding stretches and is considered more dangerous because of the narrow roads.
- Marcos Highway begins in Pugo, La Union (a little farther northwest from Rosario) taking one hour. It is a wider and less winding road and is considered to be generally safer especially in the rainy season.
- Naguillan Road is the route taken by those from the north and takes longer.
Motorists are advised that all three routes can get blocked by landslides. Those unfamiliar with the terrain are also strongly recommended against driving to Baguio themselves and should hire a chauffeur along with their rented vehicles as most car rental companies in the Philippines offer this service.
The whole city of Baguio is easily accessible by land transportation. Jeepneys and taxi cabs abound in the city proper; however taxis are harder to come by in the outskirts. Private car rental companies offer vehicles for hire with self-driven or chauffeur-driven options.
Things to See and Do
Imagine relishing freshly-picked strawberries. Now imagine relishing fresh strawberries from a vast strawberry field that you hand-picked yourself. This should be one of the top things in your list of to-dos in Baguio City. The strawberry fields are a short jeepney ride out of the main city.
The Mansion House
The Mansion House, the official second residence or holiday home of the President of the Philippines, is located in the eastern part of the city. Entry to the Mansion House is restricted to the public; however, they can view it through its elaborate main gate which is said to be a replica of the Buckingham Palace main gates.
Mines View Park
Tourists flock to Mines View Park to take in the stunning mountain vista, breathe in the pine-scented air and munch on grilled corn. If you’re lucky, you might even have your photograph taken with local celebrity, Doglas the St. Bernard, for a minimum fee.
Baguio Botanical Garden
Steep yourself in the ethnic spirit and cultural heritage of the Igorot dweller in this Igorot village that features native huts that are distinctive to the Cordillera architecture.
Wright Park is a pine tree park reserve that also features horseback riding for both adults and children. You can choose to ride within the confines of the park or avail of guided tours if you want to venture out of the area.
For a boat ride around the man-made lake, bike-riding and even a little bit of skating, people of all ages visit Burnham Park. The park features a large football field with a stage to the side that is the usual venue for concerts, tennis and basketball courts, an athletic oval and orchidarium.
Philippine Military Academy
The Philippine Military Academy is the country’s foremost military institution that has complete facilities for training and educating the future officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Tourists visit the Philippine Military Academy to see old aircrafts from the Philippine Air Force, tanks, the Sun Dial and the relief map of the Philippines, and many other historical artifacts within the PMA Museum. Another famous attraction inside the PMA grounds is the Tree House which is a great photo-op. And if you’re lucky, you might even see the nation’s future officers on parade.
Camp John Hay
During the American occupation, Camp John Hay served as the R&R facility for American military personnel. It was turned over to the Philippine government in 1991 and has since been a popular tourist destination featuring a condotel, an 18-hole golf course, bowling lanes and dining and shopping sites.
Pilgrims from all over the world brave the 252 steps leading up to the shrine of the Lady of Lourdes to offer their sacrifices and prayers, and doing so are rewarded with a panoramic view of Baguio City.
Every February, Baguio City’s main thoroughfare sees a transformation with splashes of color brought about by the Baguio Flower Festival or the Panagbenga. Crowds are drawn annually by the beautiful floats on parade and costumed dancers and participants.
Eat, Drink and Shop
Since Baguio City is a highly urbanized city, there is an abundance of dining and shopping destinations to choose from. The operation of one of the country’s largest chain of malls in recent years has further contributed to the gastronomical and retail delights to be found in Baguio City.
Forest House Bistro & Café – presents international and local cuisine against a relaxing, cozy and country home-style backdrop as diners are serenaded by some of Baguio’s best musical talents with their repertoire of jazz, classics and standards. Bagnet (Ilocano pork dish) is the house specialty and is highly recommended. Bottomless Forest House Coffee and free Wi-Fi are a huge bonus!
Café by the Ruins – is a fine dining restaurant offering delectable fare made from the freshest local produce. The website explains that it is so called for the fact that it stands “on the remains of a garden theater which was later converted into the gracious home of Phelps Whitmarsh, the first civil governor of Benguet. The house was built early in the last century and destroyed in World War II.”
Don Henrico’s – is a favorite Italian restaurant serving great tasting pizzas and pastas that traces its roots from the founder’s kitchen in Baguio City. It opened its doors to the public in Session Road in 1993 and became an instant hit. It now has 10 branches across the regions of Luzon and Visayas.
Muang Thai Restaurant – offers savory Thai dishes. Muang Thai Restaurant is found in Baguio City along Kisad Road.
Mario’s Restaurant – serving Greek, Spanish as well as a wide variety of seafood cuisine as well as tasty desserts, this restaurant first opened its doors as quaint and romantic Casa Mario’s along Upper Session Road in Baguio City.
Tien-Tien Hotpot & Restaurant – offers Asian cuisine and specializes in appetizing hotpot dishes cooked in extremely high temperature. The restaurant is located in Leonard Wood Road.
Mandarin Restaurant – presents classic Chinese dishes such as shark’s fin with crab meat, roast duck, noodles, crispy chicken, Hototai soup and more.
50’s Diner – as the name implies, the setting is reminiscent of the 1950s (when Americans still occupied the Philippines), with servers wearing the era’s diner uniforms and it serves burgers, fries, pasta and much more in huge servings. Find 50’s Diner along Leonard Wood Road.
Baguio City is a haven for those who are seeking retail therapy, with almost every tourist spot offering souvenir items, clothes, household items, jewelry and art pieces. Shopping can be found at:
- Camp John Hay – Mile Hi Center: features high-end brands as well as souvenir and bargain shops.
- Mines View Park
- Burnham Park
- Philippine Military Academy
- Session Road
- And many more
One must not miss the Good Shepherd convent where delicious Peanut Brittle, Strawberry Jams, Sesame Crunch and Ube (purple yam) Jam can be bought.