Baguio is a highland city of 345,000 people (2015) in the province of Benguet, Philippines. Due to its cool mountain weather relative to the rest of the country, it is considered the "Summer Capital of the Philippines." The city is abundant in pine trees, so it is nicknamed the City of Pines.
Baguio, to many, is best known as the "Summer Capital of the Philippines", with its cool climate making this a spot to escape the chaotic scenes in Manila. The city is also home to tropical pine forests, lending the city the nickname "City of Pines". It serves as a tourist hub in the Cordilleras, serving as a jumping point to other tourist spots like Mount Pulag, Sagada and Banaue.
Baguio is considered a city separate from the province of Benguet, but it is considered part of Benguet practically, and it is the economic center for both the province and the Cordillera region. Some of the city's tourism promotions also point to nearby La Trinidad, which is both administratively and geographically in Benguet, and is the provincial capital.
The city originated as a hill station built by the Americans in the 1900s. Road connection is provided by the zigzagging Kennon Road, and the city is planned by the renowned American architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham. It was intended to be the summer capital of the Philippines, then an American colony. It soon gained its position as a popular tourist destination to many Manila residents escaping the heat, noise, and crowds of the metropolis. The city has been badly damaged by the destructive Central Luzon earthquake in 1990, but the city since recovered.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Lying at 1,540 m (5,050 ft) in the Cordilleras, Baguio has milder temperatures, and is quite temperate compared with the rest of Luzon and the country as well. The climate is highland subtropical, with temperatures 7–8 °C (45–46 °F) cooler than the lowlands, and conditions reminiscent of spring. The coldest temperatures ever recorded in the city is 6.3 °C (43.3 °F). Chilly northeastern monsoon winds from Siberia can cause nighttime lows to drop almost near freezing, with frost forming from moisture turning into ice due to wind chill. Despite its altitude, Baguio has not experienced any snowfall.
The city is best visited during the dry season between November and April, when the northeast monsoon blows through northern Luzon, and rainfall is at its lowest. The cool dry season is Baguio's peak season for tourists. The rest of the year is rather rainy, and it is the off season for tourists.
To get to Baguio from outside of Luzon, you still have to pass through Metro Manila or Clark airport and from there get to Baguio by either of the following ways:
- This is the most common and economical way to get to Baguio from Metro Manila. Several bus lines ply the Metro Manila to Baguio route with terminals scattered across the metro. It generally takes about 5-7 hr to get to Baguio by bus. An hour longer than it would by car due to stopovers along the way.
- 1 Victory Liner, ☏ +63 2 727 4534, +63 2 833 5019. Victory Liner has hourly bus service to Baguio from its Monumento main terminal in Caloocan City, Cubao and Pasay terminals. Buses are generally modern and air-conditioned, but seats are sized generally for Filipinos and tall people would need to take advantage of the various stopovers to stretch their legs. Fare is ₱616 per person one way (most expensive among Aircon buses going to Baguio). A non-stop deluxe bus service is also available for ₱999 per person one way, water and snack are served during the trip. Some buses have free WiFi.
- 2 Dagupan Bus, New York St., Cubao, Quezon City, ☏ +63 2 929 6123. Also serves the Manila to Baguio route via its Cubao Terminal. Buses leave on an hourly basis.
- 3 Genesis. Buses depart every hour from Cubao, Pasay, and Avenida bus stations. Since July 15, 2019, they operate a premium bus service (via the expressways) from Parañaque with stops at all terminals of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, between 5AM and 9PM.
From Clark airport
- Partas Bus operates a bus service that stops at Clark airport and heads north from there, departing the airport at 5PM. Get off at Sison, Pangasinan (arrival there around 8PM) and cross the road to the restaurant stop opposite and get on a Victory Liner bus that does a dinner stop there. The fare from Clark airport to Sison on Partas Bus is ₱193, then from there by Victory Liner to Baguio is an additional ₱90. Travel time is 3 hours Clark to Sison, then 1½ hours Sison to Baguio, plus some waiting time at Sison.
From Angeles City
- Philippine Rabbit operates from Dau Terminal. ₱306. Journey takes about 4-5 hr.
Baguio has an airport, the 4 Loakan Airport (BAG IATA). Visibility challenges, its high altitude, and the short runway affect operations to this airport. The airport receives commercial flights from Cebu, with Philippine Airlines being the only airline serving Baguio four times a week.
From Manila to Baguio by car, the fastest route is through the expressways. Take the North Luzon Expy (NLEX) up to Angeles, then exit to Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), then continue to the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expy (TPLEX) up to Rosario. From there, you can take Kennon Rd (Rte 54) or Marcos Hwy (officially Aspiras-Palispis Highway, Rte 208) via Pugo-Rosario Rd (Rte 209). Kennon Rd is the shortest, taking only three-quarters to one hour from the foot of the mountains in Rosario, La Union. Marcos Hwy starts at Agoo, La Union (a little further to the northwest from Rosario) and takes about one hour but is a wider, less winding road with a more gradual uphill incline and is safer in the rainy season. It has spectacular vistas of the South China Sea on a clear day.
From Ilocos, Naguillan Rd (Rte 54) is usually taken by travelers from the north and will take longer.
All three roads can get blocked by landslides and Kennon Road with its long winding stretches is both scenic and dangerous. If you want to drive to Baguio, it would be best to hire a Filipino driver for this purpose. Most rental car companies in the Philippines offer chauffeur driven rentals in addition to the usual self-driven rentals. As anywhere in the Philippines when traveling by land, don't underestimate the distance, as while it is over 250 km (160 mi) as the crow flies, it is a 4- to 5-hr drive if you account the traffic and road conditions on the route.
From Cagayan Valley, the primary route is Benguet-Nueva Vizcaya Rd (Rte 110). It starts at the junction at Aritao in southern Nueva Vizcaya and ends at the vicinity of SM Baguio.
Similar to Manila, jeepneys ply various routes within Baguio and its immediate surroundings. Majority of jeepneys going out of the city (P.M.A., Country Club, etc.) are stationed in Burnham Park where they normally load passengers to their destinations. It is possible to a rent a jeepney but it is not advisable when trekking long distances.
More convenient for tourists perhaps, taxis are also common but once you are in the outskirts may be a bit hard to come by.
Taxis abound in Baguio. The rate is ₱35 for the first 500 m (1,600 ft), with ₱1.50/100 m (330 ft) increments thereafter. All Baguio taxi cabs are painted white and have the proper identification markings on them. Maximum capacity in each taxi is 5 persons (4 passengers, 1 driver).
Taxis can also be booked for a whole day tour at ₱1800-2000 for a 8-9 hr tour of all the main attractions in and around town. Find a taxi at the Tourist Information Counter at the Victory Liner terminal or through your place of accommodation.
Car rental in Baguio is a good option for short out-of-town trips and traveling around the city. There are several agencies offering car hire in Baguio and there are self-drive and with driver options available. To rent a car in Baguio you should have an international driver's license. Baguio usually involves navigating a series of winding mountain roads.The traffic is on the right side of the road. As the Session Road and the public market have a very limited parking space, consider leaving your car outside the city center. Rates for car rental Baguio companies can go by the hour, the day or by the week.
- 1 Burnham Park. Go for a walk or go rowing on Burnham Lake. Visit the Rose Garden or have fun with the kids in the Burnham Park Playground.
- 2 Camp John Hay. This former R&R facility for American military personnel during the American occupation was turned over to the Philippine Government in 1991. Now under the auspices of the Bases Conversion & Development Authority (BCDA), Camp John Hay is a sort of country club complete with an 18-hole golf course, horseback riding and camping, among other activities. A condotel is in operation. Renovations in the resort have added different activities such as a paintball arena and zip-lining. This place can get very crowded on weekends.
- 3 Mines View Park. Enjoy the view of the beautiful mountain scenery with other various attractions. If you're looking for the special "Man-In-A-Barrel" souvenir and other phallic souvenirs you will find them here.
- 4 Philippine Military Academy. The Philippines' premier military cadet training center. It is recommended to visit P.M.A. during Saturdays as this is where the cadet groups practice field activities. The "Hundred Night Show" is a yearly play conducted by cadets and officers during December.
- 5 Session Road. The main thoroughfare of Baguio, where most of the city activity is centered. SM mall and Burnham Park are walking distance.
- 6 Lion's Head, Kennon Road, Camp 6. Limestone sculpture of a lion by the Baguio chapter of the Lions Club. It is carved by Ifugao artist Anselmo Bayang Day-ag and is considered as the Baguio's "entrance marker" for tourists coming from south of the city.
- 7 Igorot Stone Kingdom, Long-long Road, Pinsao Proper. A contemporary stone attraction made through the traditional method of riprap and reinforced with concrete. Made from the concept of an Igorot child's fantasy of castles, the Igorot Stone Kingdom is meant to showcase Igorot culture and folklore.
- Panagbenga: The Baguio Flower Festival is held every February. Street parades, colorful floats and costumes and native dance displays have drawn huge crowds to Baguio every year.
- Horse back riding: Wright Park and its surroundings. It costs ₱300 per hour (₱150 for half an hour), plus a guide fee if you want to ride beyond the park.
- North Haven Spa, 21 Avelino Street, Ferguson Rd, ☏ +63 74 3005022. 10AM-10PM. Aside from the usual Thai, Swedish and combination massage, you can have a Baguio strawberry, Benguet coffee or Cordillera rice scrub, an indigenous head massage or the Dagdagis or Kolkolis, the region’s traditional foot massage using runo sticks to stimulate the soles of the feet.
- Spa de belles fleurs, 5th floor ES Clemente Bldg. Otek St (Chowking Burnham, in front of Baguio Orchidarium), ☏ +63 74 424 1230. M-Th 10AM-10PM; F-Su 10AM-midnight. Body and facial treatments. “Spa de Belles Fleurs” means spa with beautiful flowers in English. ₱300-1000.
- 1 Good Shepherd Convent, 15 Gibraltar Rd, ☏ +63 74 442 3865. Baguio City. Peanut brittle, strawberry jam, sesame crunch and ube (purple yam) jam.
- Baguio City Night Market, Harisson Road, Session Road, and surrounding streets. Around 11PM, when the normal hustle of the city cools down, the night market takes to the street. Buy clothes, shoes, and accessories at low prices. Make sure to bring a tumbler of coffee to fight off the cold as you peruse their goods.
- Kurio Arts and Crafts, 3rd Flr. Porta Vaga Mall, Upper Session Rd, ☏ +639175533965, firstname.lastname@example.org. Souvenirs: t-shirts, keychains, magnets, notebooks, planners, tumblers, bags, sticky notes, memo pads, greeting cards, etc.
- 2 Porta Vaga Mall, Session Road, ☏ +63 74 304-0109. 9AM-8PM. Also hosts a Robinsons Supermarket.
- 3 SM City Baguio, Luneta Hill, Upper Session Road, ☏ +63 74 6197838 42. 10AM-9PM. A large shopping mall in Baguio. It hosts a SM Supermarket. This mall is unusual among most Philippine malls you generally find because it lacks air conditioning; instead, cooling is provided by Baguio's naturally cool air.
- 4 Baguio Center Mall, 421 Magsaysay Avenue, ☏ +63 923 595 3213, email@example.com. 9AM-7PM. Mall in Baguio city.
- Woven articles - various articles ranging from wristbands and bookmarks through hand bags and rucksacks to slippers, all hand woven.
- Wood carvings - rice god figurines, traditional Ifugao houses and other nice carvings made from hard wood.
Baguio has the usual fastfood joints that are so ubiquitous in major Philippine cities. For a true taste of Baguio, have a bite at the following establishments:
All these are in the city center:
- 1 Edsyl Canteen and Refreshment, Queen of Peace Rd.
- 2 Good Taste Café & Restaurant, Otek St. Chinese cuisine
- 3 Jamil kebab house halal, assumption road.
- 4 Rose Cafe, 35 Diego Silang St.
- 5 Mang Inasal, 102 Upper GF.
- 6 Café by the Ruins, 23 Chuntug St., ☏ +63 74 4424010. Quaint ambience, hearty salads, pastas and juices and good coffee or tea.
- 7 New Good Taste Cafe & Restaurant, 8 2600 Lapu Lapu St (behind Center Mall).
- 8 Pizza Volante, Session Theatre Building, Session Road. Always open. Traditional Italian pizza and pasta. ₱100-250 per person (Dec 2018).
Baguio has a fine selection of accommodations, mostly cozy pension houses and small hotels that reflect this Philippine province's delightful homey atmosphere.
- Darlyn's Transient House, AB028 SLU Subdivision, Ambiong, La Trinidad, ☏ +63 918 520 8006. Five huge rooms that could accommodate three to five guests each. A 20-minute taxi ride away from the different points of interests in Baguio. ₱350-500 per person in shared rooms.
- Upstairs Bed and Bath Hostel., Leonard Wood Road. (near the Sm Mall.), ☏ +63 74-4464687, +63 9328784687. It has 90 beds in dorms. common hot and cold water bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. A nice place for backpackers. dorm bed ₱320 per person..
- Babs Place Baguio Transient Inn, 508 Hillside road, ☏ +63 9233498481. Single/double rooms. ₱250 per person..
- Baguio Harisson Inn, 37 Harrison Road, ☏ +63 744427803. Double room with own bathroom. ₱600.
- Mount Ainside Lodging House., 51 Bokawkan Road, ☏ +63 9273395888. Single/double rooms with outside bathroom. ₱300 per person..
- Baguio Village Inn, 355 Magsaysay Road (Approximately 20 min walk from down town (Session Road).). Check-out: noon. Clean single/double rooms with common bathroom. It has free wifi. single ₱400, double ₱750.
- 456 Hotel, Session Road. Check-out: noon. Fan single/double room with own bathroom. from ₱700.
- City Light Hotel, 245 Upper General Luna Road. (near Baguio Cathedral). Check-out: noon. from ₱600.
- Safari Lodge, Leonard Wood Road, ☏ +63 74 4422419. Check-out: noon. Single/double rooms with own bathroom from ₱500.
- YMCA Hostel, Post office Loop (just off session road. opposite SM mall), ☏ +63 74 4424766. Dorm bed ₱390 per person..
- Baguio City Guest House, Pinesville Subdivision Kias block 10 Lot 2. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. A bed in a dorm, free Wi-Fi, terrace. ₱340 per person.
Mid-range & splurge
- AIM Conference Center Baguio, Igorot Lodge, Camp John Hay, ☏ +63 74 442-8878, firstname.lastname@example.org. 27 hotel rooms and 6 cottages. Does not have a restaurant. Temporarily closed as of July 2022. ₱2800.
- Atenara House, 40 Navy Road, ☏ +63 74 446 9808. Deluxe and 2-bedroom suite with balcony, living area and kitchen. Coffee shop, lobby lounge, tour services, spa and massage services. from ₱1980.
- Azalea Residences, No. 7 Leonard Wood Loop, Barangay M. Roxas, ☏ +63 2 535 0519. Deluxe and two bedroom suites with balcony, living area and kitchen. Coffee shop, lobby lounge, tour services, spa and massage services. From ₱3600.
- Burnham Hotel Baguio, 20 Calderon St, ☏ +63 74 442 2331. Friendly staff and cool lobby. The location is quite noisy, the rooms are old and broken down, and it is much more expensive than other choices. From US$20.
- Baguio Burnham Suites Hotel, No.6 Kisad Road, Baguio City, ☏ +63 74-4242211, +632-5844137, +632-9150055, fax: +63 74-4242216. From ₱4300.
- Golden Pine Hotel and Restaurant, Corner of Carino Sreet and Yandoc Street, Baguio City, ☏ +63 2 740 8975, +63 2 732 1919, fax: + 63 2 74 444 9965. 24-hr room service, business center, car park, coffee shop, laundry service, dry cleaning, restaurant, shops, tours, Wi-fi in public areas, massage services Double room ₱1895 (₱2600 in peak season).
- Mount Tepeyac Residences (Chalet Tepeyac), 177 Leonard Wood Rd, ☏ +63 9063715532, +63 74 4423772, email@example.com. 1940s vacation house nestled amid a well-preserved pine-clad hill. Accessible by public transport or by foot. There are 20 clean and cozy rooms, each with cable TV, telephone, private toilet & bath with 24 hr hot shower, and room service. From ₱1860.
- City Travel Hotel Baguio, 15 Kisad Rd (across Burnham Park), ☏ +63 74 445 0456, fax: +63 74 4450 4574. Efficient and courteous staff. From ₱1200.
- El Cielito Inn Hotel, 50 North Drive, ☏ +63 7 443 4846, fax: +63 2 250 6020. From US$42.
- Ferionnil Pension House and Dormitory, 140 T. Alonzo St, ☏ +63 74 443 6763. Check-out: noon. Near the Lizardo Trans bus terminus. ₱1400 depending on room type, including breakfast.
- Hotel Cosmopolitan, 1 Bokawkan Road cor. Naguilian Road, ☏ +63 917 578-3273, firstname.lastname@example.org. A boutique hotel on top of one of the Baguio mountains. From ₱2080.
- Hotel Elizabeth Fersal, 1 Julian Felipe Street corner Gibraltar Street, ☏ +63 2 912 2691, email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. A/C rooms and suites equipped with private balcony and internet. Room and massage services and fitness room/gym.
- Hotel Veniz, One Abanao St. (at the foot of Session Road, across Burnham Park), ☏ +63 74 446 0700, fax: +63 74 446 0704. Over 100 A/C rooms and suites within Baguio's main shopping district. From ₱1290.
- Lyn's Baguio Transient Homes, 79B City Camp Alley (very near Burnham Park and town), ☏ +63 91 58133144. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Hot shower, 24-hr running water, Wi-Fi zone, complete cooking utensils, refrigerator, sala, fan, veranda with scenic view, garage. ₱1000-3500 for 12 persons.
- Microtel Inns and Suites Baguio (Wyndham), Upper Session Road, ☏ +63 74 619-3333, fax: +63 74 619 3344. Clean and comfortable rooms. From US$36.
- Paladin Hotel Baguio, 136 Abanao Extension, Corner Carino St., ☏ +63 74 4422408. Also provides a venue for business meetings or conferences and events. ₱1750.
- Ridgewood Residence, 17 Julian Felipe St, Barangay Lualhati (near The Mansion), ☏ +63 2 2996411, +63 74 4466295. Apartelle rooms aside from its standard and suite rooms. ₱1999.
- Sevilla I. Gammad, 79-B City Camp Alley, Barangay City Camp, ☏ +63 92 28313352, +63 91 58133144. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Apartments can accommodate from 2-15 people/apartment. Each has its own private CR with hot shower, sala with TV, kitchen with LPG cooker. Scenic view from terrace. ₱1000-3000.
- Tiptop Vacation Homes. Each of the guest rooms and apartments in Tiptop Vacation Homes include fully-furnished home equipment such as cooking facilities and cable TV. Wireless Internet access is available in some areas. Barbecue grille is also available, perfect for the cold weather. ₱2500.
Most of the night life is centered at Nevada Square where numerous bars are clustered ranging from "hot-babe" hotspots to chill-out bars, this is the place to be. There are some good bars outside the square like Urban Sessions and Purple which is a stone's throw away from Nevada Square. 18 BC (Fridays - Reggae Night, Saturdays - Acoustic Night) and Padi's Point draws out bargoers with their regular band.
Internet access (computer shops)
Baguio has its fair share of Internet cafes scattered around Session Road with Netgear Internet Shop being the closest from Session Road. Many of the malls within the area also have their own Internet cafes but it is generally expensive. Expect to pay around ₱15-30 per hour when going to internet shops outside malls. Hotels, restaurants, and malls are now offering free WiFi nowadays so if you're able to find a nice spot you can just waste your time surfing the web.
Many of the hotels do not have laundry service and finding a place to get your clothes washed can be difficult.
- Elegant Washers Laundry Shop, #31 Bonifacio St (corner of Bonifacio St. and Magsaysay Ave. 10 min walk from Burnham Park), ☏ +63 74 423-0432. Daily 8AM-7PM. Ring the bell at the front desk if you don't see an assistant. ₱35/kilo for two day service or ₱50 for next day rush service.
- Lala Laundry, Luna Ave. (on the corner of Mabini St and Luna Ave. There is no sign on the outside of the building, but you can identify the correct building by the Mang Inasal restaurant on the second floor. Go up the stairs and you’ll see a sign near the staircase for Lala Laundry on the third floor.). You may have to let out a howler if no one is at the front desk.
- 1 Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGH), Marcos Highway Rotunda, BGH Compound, ☏ +63 74 661 7910. Government hospital.
- 2 Benguet General Hospital, Halsema Highway, La Trinidad, ☏ +63 74 442 3165. Government Hospital
- 3 Notre Dame De Chartres Hospital, General Luna Road, ☏ +63 74 424-3361, +63 74 619-8530, firstname.lastname@example.org. Private Hospital
- 4 Saint Louis University-Hospital of the Sacred Heart, Assumption Road, ☏ +63 74 442 5700. Private University Hospital
- 5 Pines City Doctor's Hospital, Magsaysay Avenue, ☏ +63 74 442 4308. Private University Hospital
- 6 Sto. Niño Jesus Medical Center, #28, Lower P. Burgos Street. Private University Hospital
As a number one rule, always secure your belongings. Keep your passports/visas/important papers at the hotel safe (if there is one available at your hotel) or in a safe place. Cellphone snatching and purse dippers are a problem but common sense and safety can keep you safe.
Crime normally increases during the holidays and Panagbenga as thousands of people visit Baguio City.
- La Trinidad (Benguet)
- San Fernando (La Union)
- Mount Pulag in Benguet is the highest mountain in Luzon (2922 MASL) and a very popular hiking destination with its stunning scenery and "sea of clouds" views of the Cordillera mountain range. Different trails offer a diverse range of difficulty and days required. A must-visit trekking destination for outdoor enthusiasts travelling in the Philippines. TrailAdventours (info@trailadventours) arranges trips to Mt. Pulag either from Manila or Baguio City.
Take a bus heading north to Sagada from the Lizardo Trans bus terminal. The first bus is at 6AM and there are several services afterward. The fare is ₱220 and the ride takes 6-8 hours.
|Routes through Baguio|
|Bauang ← Sablan ←||N S||→ Rosario|
|END ←||E W||→ Bokod → Aritao|
|Bontoc ← La Trinidad ←||N S||→ END|