I could still recall how our trip to Baguio City felt like. There was a feeling of excitement since it was my first time to be back since I was a kid and also the first time for Aldrin. We booked a flight for Clark which is the nearest airport going to Baguio on a very early schedule when the sun doesn’t rise yet since getting there would take so long. We went there with the risk of the immense increase in numbers of the coronavirus outbreak because we thought everything is gonna be okay.
But then, the feeling of excitement comes with the fear of being not able to go back on our last day in Baguio. Yes! We almost lived there! Who would have thought that on our last day, Cebu City would declare that no flights won’t be allowed for entry anymore coming outside of Cebu? Good thing! Miracle happened. Our flight going back to Cebu City was the last flight that was allowed to operate. 🥳
I lived with many expectations on the places that we could have visited in Baguio. Unfortunately, some of Baguio City’s tourist attractions were set to close temporarily for safety precautions the week that we visited. So for this blog, it will just be more on a visual diary of the places that we have visited. As much as I wanted to share with you a very good itinerary, we’ll just save it for the next time! 😉
Experience the Beauty of Baguio City
Baguio City is known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines”. When we talk about summer, many would usually prefer the beach. But for folks wanting to chill on a sunny summer, I would also agree that Baguio can be one of the best places to go to. Baguio City has been famous for not only being a summer destination but a place for everyone to visit whatever season it may be. And why is that? That is due to its very relaxing weather!
Aside from this, Baguio is also popular because of their strawberries. Due to its cool weather, strawberry farming has been made highly possible here. Unfortunately, when we visited the strawberry farm we were not able to try picking one since it was not allowed.
Getting to Baguio City
Now, how do we get to Baguio City? There are different ways of how you can reach Baguio. And it all depends on which airport or entry you’re coming from. If you’re someone coming from Cebu or somewhere in the Philippines, I suggest you take the one connecting to Clark International Aiport rather than the one in Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
CLARK TO BAGUIO CITY. If you’re like us who came from Clark International Airport, the directions are very easy.
- Upon coming to Clark, head outside and look for the spot where there are mini white vans lined up. Don’t worry, they are easily sighted.
- Ask the driver if they are heading to Dau Terminal. If yes, take that one. Fare is only Php 100/head.
- Upon reaching Dau Terminal, look for the bus that is bound for Baguio. Travel time is around 4 hours or sometimes 5 to 6 depending on the driver.
- I forgot how much was the exact fare because it differs on what bus is available. Just prepare around Php 300.
For folks coming from Manila, you can refer to the directions here:
MANILA TO BAGUIO P2P BUS Schedule & Fare: JoyBus, Victory Liner, Solid North
Where to Stay in Baguio City?
Baguio City does have a lot of places you can choose to stay in. There are tons of hotels, hostels, apartments, and even condominiums. So if you’re worried about the expense of your accommodation, worry no more because there are a lot of affordable ones. If you’re traveling in groups of 2, with your barkadas or with your family, I would suggest checking out Airbnb.
Airbnb listings are very affordable! We even got ourselves a very good room for only 1,200 per night that comes with a flat-screen TV, WiFi, complete toiletries, and stuffs you would normally find in a hotel. Booking through Airbnb would help you save compared to booking through a hotel. Just don’t be lazy in finding a good listing though and be sure to read the reviews!
Save up to Php 2,100 on your first trip when you book through Airbnb and download the app now through this link.
Going Around Baguio City
There are many ways to go around Baguio City. As I have noticed from those coming from nearby places, those from Manila and other parts of Luzon, they do bring private vehicles with them. But for us who travel who can’t bring our private vehicles, there would be two options for us when we reach Baguio.
BY JEEPNEY. If you are on a budget trip and highly conscious of the money that you spent, you can take the jeepneys. Many jeepneys are going around Baguio City and most of them do have the name of the place where they are headed. But, if you’re like us who find it hard to find the place and just want to get there directly, you could take the taxi then.
BY TAXI. The most convenient way of going around Baguio is by taking the taxi. Taxis are everywhere to be found in Baguio City. And don’t worry about the taxis here because it’s very affordable unlike taxis in Manila and Cebu City. Taxis in Baguio City normally open their windows while having passengers. And I do find it relaxing though because you can feel the freshest air of Baguio City! 😍💯
Visual Diary of our Baguio City Trip
As I have mentioned earlier in this blog, this wouldn’t be your ultimate itinerary but a visual diary of the trip that we had. This would also give you ideas as to what to see and where you can go when you reach the summer capital of the Philippines.
Burnham Park is one of the most popular parks in Baguio City. It’s located in the downtown area of Baguio. It’s a huge park that features different activities that groups of friends and families can choose from. In here, you would see swan boats and those of different designs that you can rent so you can paddle along Burnham Lagoon. You can also rent a solo bike or go-kart to ride around the park.
If you’re adventurous, Wright Park would be perfect for you. Here, you can try horseback riding. You can also take photos wearing the Igorot Costume here aside from Mines View Park. The park is also perfect for strolling and walking around as you will be surrounded by nature and wonderful scenery.
If you’re already in the Wright Park, you might wanna check out The Mansion which is just a few walks away. Found nothing special in here since you can’t actually go inside but just take photos in the facade.
Camp John Hay
Many say that a trip to Baguio City would never be completed without visiting Camp John Hay. This place has everything almost everyone loves about the city. May it be for recreation or a quick escape from the heavy jolt of the bustling city.
Camp John Hay used to be a former recreation facility for the American soldiers or a US military based way back in the 20th century. Now, this 690-hectare property is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Baguio City. Camp John Hay is surrounded by greeneries, mostly pine trees, where you can relax whilst listening to the sound of nature itself. Many also come here to hike or jog either in the mornings or late afternoons.
We’ve been here only for a few hours since we were short of time. And I must say that this is one of the most Instagrammable places we’ve been to in our Baguio trip. Though it might have the same scenery almost everywhere, the ambiance here is just incomparable. The Starbucks here is also worth checking out! A branch that you would not normally see in most places in the Philippines.
Aside from this place being picturesque, there are tons of activities to enjoy here if you do have plenty of time such as:
- Visiting the Butterfly Garden
- Treetop Adventures
- Bell House
- Cemetery of Negativism
- Yellow Trail
La Trinidad Strawberry Farm
Located around 20-30 minutes from Baguio City is La Trinidad Strawberry Farm. Strawberry Farm is a wide field of strawberry plantation notable for its strawberry picking activity. You can buy strawberries here for around Php 250 to Php 300 per kilo. But if you want to pick the strawberries yourselves, just be prepared to shell out extra money.
Rolled out alongside the strawberry farm are pasalubong and souvenir stores. They sell very affordable crafts too! So if you’re planning to bring some pieces of stuff to your friends when you get back home, this place would be ideal! Don’t miss out trying the famous Strawberry Ice Cream here too! It’s so good. I wanted to try the strawberry taho though since they mentioned we could also find it here. Unfortunately, during our Baguio Trip, I didn’t happen to see any taho vendor around.
Stobosa Hillside Homes
Just a few meters away from the strawberry farm is this famous Valley of Colors. You might have already seen a lot of photos of these colorful houses on a hill and yes, you can visit here once you’re in Baguio City. They said it’s like those colorful houses that you can find in Brazil! But to be honest, I was not really amazed when we passed by this place so I didn’t bother taking any photos. Plus the view was kinda disappointing as there were many laundries in front of the houses. 😅
These are just some of the places that we have passed by and have gone to because of the city’s restrictions when we visited last March before COVID-19’s cases went high. But aside from these places, what I loved about Baguio is how food tastes so good here! So here are just some of my restaurant recommendations that you must visit in Baguio.
Good Taste Café & Restaurant
One of the most suggested budget-friendly restaurants in Baguio is Good Taste Café & Restaurant. This is the very first restaurant we visited the moment we reached Baguio. They said that during holidays and some normal weekends, this restaurant is usually full. Luckily, during our visit, it was not really that busy.
We ordered their Signature Buttered Chicken, Good Taste Fried Rice, and their Pancit Canton. Everything was so good! The serving was very huge and to think it’s even very affordable! 😍💯 Since there were only two of us eating, we did have leftovers and decided to pack it up. We had it again for dinner 😂.
Café by the Ruins
Café by the Ruins is one of the restaurants that I’ve been looking forward to visiting upon planning our Baguio trip. It’s because I’ve heard from most of my friends that this restaurant does really offer good food!
Aldrin and I came here early in the morning to get our breakfast done before going on our planned itinerary. And I must say that Cafe by the Ruins just exceeded my expectations! Upon entering, we were greeted attentively by the staff and we were assisted to where we wanna sit. Their interior and the overall look, the bamboo fences, the wooden furniture and choice of ornaments makes it so beautiful! And so as the food!
Upon stumbling to their menu, I was confused with what to order since everything looks good. Haha. Aldrin ordered his favorite Daing na Bangus. And I, on the other hand, ordered Tapa. I also ordered their Ruin Espresso while waiting for our food. And girl! The Ruin Espresso smelled so good! It was also strong just as I like it and rich in flavor!
We were not able to take photos of the place and of the other foods though because we were so overwhelmed with the place. Haha. The ambiance was just so good and the presentation was perfect! Perfect enough to invite you to eat it already! Though it’s quite pricey, they won’t disappoint you with the food! Must visit!
Lemon and Olives
Lemon and Olives is a new house-turned-restaurant in Baguio City along Outlook Drive that specializes in traditional Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. I have heard about this place because of people’s posts on Instagram. Haha. It’s very Instagrammable! The location is quite far from the center but I tell you, going here surely is worth your time. The ambiance is very relaxing and if you happen to seat in the tables available in the veranda, a 360-degree view of the pine trees and the Cordillera mountains would even make it more beautiful.
We got ourselves the Souvlaki Plate, Pastitsio, Greek Style Spaghetti, and the Baklava Cheesecake for dessert.
Souvlaki is a popular fast food usually consists of pieces of grilled meat. In Lemon and Olives, you may choose which type of meat to place on your plate. For us, we choose to have a combination of three types of meat: beef, pork, and chicken. The Souvlaki Plate is served with two layers of pita, sliced tomatoes and onions, fries, and varieties of sauce: chili, garlic, and tzatziki (yogurt-based sauce).
Then we also have Pastitsio, a Greek Pasta with bechamel sauce baked with ground beef and pasta. Kinda tastes like lasagna but with a different twist.
The Greek Style Spaghetti was also good! If I were to describe it with a taste that you can imagine, it kinda has a similar taste with that of a sardines pasta.
And lastly, the Baklava Cheesecake for dessert. Baklava Cheesecake is a fusion of Greek Baklava and New York Cheesecake. The fine and smooth texture of the cheesecake and the roughness of the crust was a perfect match! The taste is not so sweet and has a hint of cinnamon. Must try!
Le Monet Hotel
If you have been seeing photos of the famous Strawberry Champorado in Baguio, that should be in Le Monet Hotel. Le Monet Hotel is situated at Camp John Hay and currently the only place that caters strawberry champorado for tourists and locals alike. This sweet and milky rice pudding dish has a thick consistency and is a very filling breakfast or snack around the afternoon for just Php 99 a bowl.
To be honest, I wasn’t really a fan after trying it. The strawberry flavor does not come from strawberries itself, but it was just topped with slices of fresh strawberries and milk. I still prefer the original version. If you want to experience it, then why not. It’s Instagrammable anyways! Haha.
So that’s it! I hope somehow that this blog has given you a little idea of what to see, and what to expect at the time you decide to visit this beautiful city. Baguio City has so much to offer not only these things that we’ve talked about in the whole blog. As for me, once our country is already safe to travel, I would surely visit Baguio back again! Of course, I need to experience doing ukay-ukay on Baguio’s night market and try their street foods (which were restricted when we visited) haha.
How about you? Have you already been to Baguio City? What are your favorite spots or experiences that you wouldn’t forget? Feel free to comment down below.