Baguio or the “City of Pines” is a popular weekend, holiday and summer destination because of its cool weather throughout the year and many attractions. It is the go-to place for those who want to get away from the oppressive heat of the city or those who want to go somewhere on a whim.
Baguio has changed over the years, yet despite the many developments that occurred, it still has a charm that will keep drawing you back. The colorful Panagbenga Festival showcases the culture and colors of the region. The famous Session Road has plenty of shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants where you can eat, drink and be merry. Hang out at Burnham Park or Mines View Park to cool off and rest after exploring the city.
Camp John Hay is an old favorite that many tourists visit again and again whenever they are in Baguio. The US Army established the camp in 1903 as a place where they can relax and unwind. Fast forward to today, it is a popular attraction with plenty of things to do and see. You can try the Tree Top Adventure, see the Cemetery of Negativism, go to the Bell House and follow the Yellow Trail.
See the culture of the region with visits to Tam-Awan Village and the Ifugao Woodcarvers’ Village. Here you’ll discover the creativity of the locals through their artwork. BenCab Museum is another favorite destination while in the city. You’ll see the works by National Artist Benedicto Cabrera and other contemporary artists. Don’t leave without seeing the colorful and eye-catching Stobosa Houses – it’s technically not in Baguio but is only a short ride away. The city is also a possible jump-off point for hikes to Mt. Ulap and Mt. Pulag.
The travel time to Baguio has shortened over the years because of the many buses going there and road improvements over the years. If you’re interested in going, here are the routes you can take to the City of Pines.
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How to Get to Baguio
There are multiple buses that travel between Metro Manila and Baguio. Two of the most popular companies are Victory Liner and Joy Bus. The Victory Liner buses departing from Cubao costs P485 for regular aircon and P800 for first class. The latter has more legroom, a toilet inside, and has free water and snacks. The Victory Liner Pasay buses cost P496 for regular aircon and P800 for first class.
The Joy Bus departing from Cubao costs P720 for deluxe and P740 for premier class. Both have a toilet inside, snacks and Wi-Fi. Premier class has USB ports and entertainment devices. The bus that departs from Pasay costs P730 for deluxe and P760 for premier. The travel time is approximately 4 to 5 hours depending on traffic. We suggest traveling at night to have an extra full day in the city unless you are the type that enjoys long bus rides through the mountains and countryside.
Clark is becoming a go-to destination for those who are looking for an alternative airport to avoid the Manila traffic. However, it is also a place that offers more than a layover. You can spend a day or two seeing Clark’s attractions such as museums, the 4D Theater and the areas where the Americans used to have their base. You can also go on a day trip to Mt. Pinatubo to see the rugged landscape and marvel at the stunning crater lake.
After seeing some of the attractions in Clark, you can travel to Baguio. The City of Pines is accessible by public transportation from the former airbase. Your first stop is Dau Terminal. A taxi can take you there from anywhere in the city or you can take a jeep. Once in Dau, there are many buses bound for Baguio. The fare ranges from P340 to P460 depending on the company and class. The trip takes around three hours.
From La Union
La Union is a famous surfing destination during the right season. It also has a surfer vibe and laidback atmosphere where you can just hang out and meet people. There are also other attractions that will keep you busy during your visit. Some stops you can include are the Ma-Cho Temple and Tangadan Falls. Tangadan has a couple of spots where you can try cliff-diving.
You can extend your trip to Baguio after visiting La Union’s destinations. Go to Partas Terminal in San Fernando. Once there, ask around for the buses bound for Baguio. The fare is around P100 and the ride may take up to two hours.
Where to Stay in Baguio
Baguio City is a developed destination with several accommodations for all types of travelers. You can find budget and luxurious hotels during your stay. The ideal base for exploring the city is Burnham Park because many roads connect to it and it is within walking distance to transport terminals. Look for accommodation near the park or at least within a few minutes to it. Here are some of the best hotels in Baguio according to Agoda users, in no particular order.
- Guest Haven Baguio Bed and Breakfast. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- The Manor at Camp John Hay. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Grand Sierra Pines Hotel. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Hotel Veniz – Session. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY