Baguio

Baguio is a city on the Cordillera Administrative Region in the middle of the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. Due to its cool mountain weather, Baguio is considered the "Summer Capital of the Philippines." Because of its many pine trees it is also called the City of Pines.

Get in

Baguio mountains, as seen from Mines View Park

To get to Baguio from outside of Luzon, one would still need to pass through Manila or Clark airport and from there get to Baguio by either of the following ways:

By bus

From Manila

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.

From Clark airport

From Angeles City

By plane

Sky Pasada no longer lists Baguio as a destination. It seems that only private planes land at Baguio now. Sky Pasada stopped the flights on November 2011, but have not yet updated their website which states that they do fly to Baguio.

By car

From Manila to Baguio by car, take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) from Quezon City until Clark and then hop on to the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) all the way north to Tarlac City, Tarlac. From there, it's back to the old McArthur Highway until Rosario Junction, La Union. Motorists drive through the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Pangasinan and La Union (if via Marcos Highway) or Benguet (if via Kennon Road). Of the three main routes leading up to Baguio, scenic Kennon Road is the shortest taking only three-quarters to one hour from the foot of the mountains in Rosario, Pangasinan. Marcos Highway starts in Pugo, 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. Naguillan Road is usually taken by travellers 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 are intent on driving 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. Visitors need to keep in mind that while it takes at average 6-7 hr to get to Baguio by car, it takes much longer during holiday weekends like Holy Week.

Get around

By jeepney

Jeepney - public transportation

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.

By taxi

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. Currently, the rate flags down at 35 pesos for the first 500 m, with 1.50 pesos/100 m 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 1,800-2,000 pesos 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.

By car

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 both 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.

See

Do

Buy

For unknown reasons phallic sculptures in wood or stone are common in gift shops. A popular novelty gift is the man-in-the-barrel. I won't spoil the surprise, but suffice it to say the same children advisory applies.

Eat

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:

Sleep

Baguio has a fine selection of accommodations, mostly cozy pension houses and small hotels that reflect this Philippine province's delightful homey atmosphere.

Drink

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.

Cope

Internet access (computer shops)

Baguio has it's fair share of Internet cafes scattered around Session Road with Netgear Internet Shop being the closest from Session Road itself. Many of the malls within the area also have their own Internet cafes but take note that it is generally expensive. Expect to pay around 15-30 pesos (less than a dollar) 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.

Laundry

Many of the hotels do not have laundry service and finding a place to get your clothes washed can be difficult.

Stay Healthy

Stay safe

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.

Go next

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 pesos and the ride takes 6-8 hr.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.