I’ve been so busy with work the past weeks I haven’t sat down to share about this trip. Glad I’m finally done writing this entry so I can share it with you!
It’s actually not my first time visiting Baguio City but it’s my first time writing about it (I think)…
Located in northern Luzon, approximately 243 kilometers from Metro Manila, Baguio City is one of the famous summer destinations in the Philippines. Many visitors go up the mountains of Baguio mostly during summer because of its cool, chilly temperature and its famous Panagbenga Festival. However, it still gets a good number of tourists all year round.
I went with my friend Janine (@offdutymama) on my recent trip to Baguio. Although not first-timers in the City of Pines, we sure did activities and visited some usual spots, and tried different cafes, and restaurants.
P2P also known as Point-to-Point buses is a type of public transportation that brings passengers from one point to another. This type of bus doesn’t stop anywhere as it goes directly to your chosen destination.
It sometimes makes one or two stops to refuel and for the driver to have a quick break but that’s just it. It’s usually non-stop. P2P buses don’t pick up passengers by the road. The buses leave from the origin terminal (Point 1) and stop at the destination terminal (Point 2). Travel time is way shorter than the regular buses.
There are two options for P2P buses — Standard and Luxury. Standard buses have more seating capacity and Luxury buses have lesser because of the bigger and reclinable seats. Luxury buses have built-in toilets too.
|Standard Bus||Luxury Bus|
|• 45 Seater|
• 2×2 Seat Recliner
• LCD TV
• On-board restroom
|• 28 Seater|
• 2×1 Lazy Boy
• Individual LCD Monitor
• USB Port Charger
• On-board restroom
As for the fare price it ranges from ₱600-900, the Luxury buses being the most expensive ones. I paid around ₱1950 for a return ticket. Note that there’s an additional admin or booking fee on top of the base fare.
It’s mostly similar to the Standard P2P except that it stops at any point. Fare is also cheaper than the Standard P2P buses. Travel time is longer if you choose this type of transportation as it stops almost anywhere and picks up passengers at almost any point.
If you are from South Luzon, you can easily drive up to Baguio passing TPLEX for a faster route. You’ll be in Baguio in more or less five (5) hours.
Having direct flights to Baguio saves more time and is really convenient, especially for someone who’s from Visayas or Mindanao. There used to be more flights to Baguio but because of the pandemic, a lot of routes were halted.
Philippine Airlines now flies direct to Baguio Loakan Airport. They are the only airline operating for now so expect fares to be quite on the expensive side as they don’t have any competition yet.
- PR 2230 Cebu-Baguio operates every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, departing Mactan-Cebu at 8:50 AM and arriving at Baguio Loakan Airport at 10:50 AM.
- PR 2231 Baguio- Cebu operates every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, departing Baguio at 11:10 AM and arriving in Cebu at 1:00 PM.
One of the reasons why a lot of visitors frequent Baguio City is because of its cool climate. Most parts of the Philippines are hot and humid but Baguio City experiences one of the coolest temperatures due to its high altitude. Baguio City rarely exceeds 26°C and can even drop to as low as 9°C during the coldest months of the year.
We visited just right before the Panagbenga week. The weather was cool and perfect as it didn’t rain. In the mornings, the temperature ranges from 11-14 degrees while in the afternoon it rises to 16-20 degrees.
My recent trip’s highlight is definitely the food. I can say I went there just to eat and I enjoyed every bit of it. Here are my Baguio food recommendations:
It tastes as good as it looks! The flakiness of their pastries is perfect. Their coffee is really good too. I even asked if they sell their beans but they don’t. I was a bit disappointed though because I was expecting to try their Strawberries and Cream croissant but when we went there, they haven’t included it in their menu yet.
113 Wagner Cafe
A definite must-try if you are into exclusive fine dining experiences. The entire dining experience is personal and curated. I wrote more about it here: Unique Baguio Experience: 113 Wagner Cafe
If you want a chill place with good coffee and good food, try Hatch Coffee. It’s quite far from the city proper but still worth the visit. I only had their famous Grilled Ube Cheese and Horchata though because I was still full when we arrived.
Gypsy by Chef Waya and Taguan Cafe
One of the first restaurant/cafe we visited when I arrived in Baguio. I came to know about this place because of the people I met from the coffee community.
Gypsy by Chef Waya and Taguan Cafe’s food and coffee definitely did not disappoint. I will be writing a separate entry about this so keep posted!
I haven’t tried their food but their Strawberry Shortcake is a definite must-try. If you like cakes that are not too sweet, give it a try. It could be a perfect pasalubong only if it doesn’t spoil easily.
Between Tsokolateria and the other famous chocolate restaurant in Baguio, I’d pick the former. My basis would be its chocolate drink (because duh!). I love dark and rich chocolate drinks and Tsokolateria definitely hit the spot. I also like their food. It’s mostly Filipino dishes and I’m all for it.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to try in Baguio. The classics — Good Taste, Everything Nice, Hill Station, Lemon and Olives, Secret Garden, the crowd favorite — Cafe by the Ruins, Chocolate de Batirol, Canto, and the rising ones — Agara Ramen and Foam Coffee.
And before I forget, you must not miss trying the classic Strawberry taho by the street, Binatog from the Night Market, and Good Sheperd’s Ube Halaya. I’m sure I’m missing more food spots that are worth trying but let’s talk about this some other time.
Attractions and Activities
As I said, it’s not our first time in Baguio so we chose not to visit the common and usual tourist spots. Personally, I try to avoid going where the crowd is. The main reason why I wanted to visit Baguio again was to eat.
Need not worry, if you’re planning to visit some tourist spots I’ll list down a few places I would recommend you should visit.
Let’s start with…
#1 Camp John Hay
A former military base turned tourist destination, Camp John Hay has plenty to offer for every type of visitor. It houses a golf course, a shopping center, and several recreational areas. It’s one of my favorite Baguio spots, I can stay here for the entire duration of my trip.
Its main gate is now located on Loakan Road, a five-minute drive from its old location at the Upper Session Road-Loakan Road-South Drive rotunda. It has a second entrance that’s accessible via the Baguio Country Club road. Camp Joh Hay has been converted into a privately-run resort with the Manor being one of its main structures.
Camp John Hay’s charm remains the same with its pine tree-lined roads, beautiful landscaping, quaint cottages, and wide open areas. It’s definitely a must-visit when in Baguio.
#2 Bell House Museum
If you’re into history and culture, this American colonial architecture-style home is worth the visit. It’s located in Camp John Hay next to the Bell Amphitheater, and in the same area as the Secret Garden, Butterfly Sanctuary, Cemetary of Negativism, and Baguio History Trail.
It used to be quiet and peaceful but on my recent visit, a tourist activity area was set up a few meters away from the museum making it packed with tourists.
#3 The Mansion & Wright Park
The Mansion is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines. It is located along C.P. Romulo Drive (formerly a part of Leonard Wood Road) and right across Wright Park. Older than the city itself, the Mansion is one of the most visited and photographed landmarks of Baguio. I’ve been here plenty of times, my first time when I was still in my teen years. I do like the view of the Mansion but what I like better is the park across it — Wright Park.
I like the feel of Wright Park better than the crowd’s favorite Burnham Park. Wright Park, named after Governor Luke E. Wright, is often mistakenly called “Ride Park” especially by kids because of the horseback riding activity done in this area. What I like about this park though is not the horseback riding activity but the Pool of Pines. Wright Park is free to the public, however, you will need to pay a minimal fee for horseback riding and other leisure activities inside the park.
#4 Burnham Park
One of the most known public parks in the country, Burnham Park is located on Jose Abad Santos Drive, right at the heart of Baguio City. It has a huge lake or lagoon, several gardens, walking paths, and various recreational activities. At night, some of the park grounds are converted into a street food strip with the famous Baguio City Night Market just right outside the park gate.
Burnham Park is one of the most notable tourist spots in Baguio and one can definitely say he/she has been to Baguio if he/she visited the park. Although not my personal favorite, I still go there for the street food strip and the night market.
#5 Tam-awan Village
Tam-awan Village in Pinsao Proper, Baguio City uniquely blends indigenous aesthetics and exquisite Cordilleran craftsmanship. The place is built by local artists with the purpose of showcasing and preserving the heritage of the Cordillera. The entrance to the village is by the road but it gets pretty crowded as a lot of tourists flock to visit the place. Plan your visit wisely!
#6 BenCab Museum
A personal museum that houses the collection of Benedicto ‘BenCab’ Cabrera, a Philippine National Artist for Visual Arts. It features BenCab’s collection of Philippine contemporary art and ethnography including artworks from local artists. The Museum is set in the midst of an organic farm with natural water features, highlighting the indigenous architecture of the Ifugao, Kalinga, and Bontoc.
It’s a private museum so there is an admission fee of ₱200.
This trip consisted mostly of restaurant and cafe hopping. We didn’t do a lot of activities but spent mostly on food.
|Taxi to Gypsy and Taguan Cafe||225.00||112.50|
|Gypsy by Chef Waya & Taguan Cafe||2,134.00||1,067.00|
|Taxi to Burnham Park||60.00||30.00|
|Cafe by the Ruins||385.00||192.50|
|Taxi to accommodation||125.00||62.50|
|Taxi to Technohub||75.00||37.50|
|Taxi to Chocolate De Batirol||57.00||28.50|
|Chocolate De Batirol||856.00||428.00|
|Taxi to Tam-awan Berry Garden||220.00||110.00|
|Tam-awan Berry Garden||100.00||50.00|
|Taxi to Hatch Coffee||60.00||30.00|
|Taxi to accommodation||150.00||75.00|
|Taxi to SM Baguio||100.00||50.00|
|Taxi to accommodation||93.00||46.50|
|Taxi to Camp John Hay||90.00||45.00|
|Taxi to BenCab Museum||205.00||102.50|
|Taxi to Rebel Bakehouse||200.00||100.00|
|Taxi to Vizco’s||155.00||77.50|
|Taxi to accommodation||70.00||35.00|
|Taxi to Tsokolateria||87.00||43.50|
|Vizcos Cakes 6″||1,160.00||580.00|
|Taxi to 113 Wagner Cafe||60.00||30.00|
|Taxi to accommodation||94.00||47.00|
|Foam Coffee (via Foodpanda)||659.00||329.50|
|P2P Bus Fare||1,950.00|
|113 Wagner Cafe||4,457.25||2,228.63|
Total expenses for one person is ₱14,355.25. I took the P2P bus from PITX, Parañaque to Baguio and back. If I chose to fly to Baguio, I’d spend more.
Of course, this breakdown is based on our interests and priorities. My friend and I wanted to try as many restaurants as possible. You can definitely adjust this based on your personal preference and if you’re on a budget.
I hope this helps you plan your visit to the City of Pines. One thing’s for sure, I’ll definitely come back to eat! Hah!
If you have any questions, or if you want some tips, feel free to leave a comment or message via e-mail. If you like this article and want to see or know more about my other trips and tips, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.