10 ATTRACTIONS THAT WILL COMPLETE YOUR HOLIDAY IN BAGUIO
The City of Baguio is the highland haven which is approximately 250 kilometers North of Manila. It’s a great destination where beauty continues to attract visitors from across the world. It is almost hundreds of kilometers away from the Metropolis and the highest elevated city in the country. Dubbed as the summer capital of the Philippines because of the cool mountain breeze that greets you upon arrival in Baguio. Tourists travel to this mountain to get away from the hot and humid weather of the lowlands. It rises from the clouds as a dynamic and sparkling gem across the mountain ranges of Sierra Madre. A jump off point for travelers going further north down to Sagada and Banawe.
With plenty of festivals laid on a calendar, to its popular tourist destinations, gastronomic cuisines, cultural heritage and historical sites. There is really more to Baguio. Acquaint yourself with a different kind of destination, natural treasure, friendly people and a various philosophy of life and nature.
Explore and rediscover the Summer Capital of the Philippines and make it a road trip to remember, a romantic retreat, family adventure, a group getaway and an epic journey of a lifetime only in Baguio City.
1. Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden boasts a stone paved pathways around the park, old wooden picnic tables which is made out of pine trees, greenhouse and museums. In some occasions, this is a favorite venue for a tribal ritual which is called “CANAO” . Artworks and souvenir items which are locally crafted and made can be sold here. The Botanical Garden has been renamed the Centennial Park as the City of Pines celebrated 100 years since its inception.
2. Wright Park
Pool of the Pines is the main attraction of Wright Park. This is a shallow elongated man-made lake which is lined with tall and enchanting Pine trees. There are various stalls where you can buy handicrafts and silver accessories. From the center of Wright Park, a walkway will lead you to a gazebos and a wide stone stairway that descends to the other favorite attraction, the horse rides.
3. Mines View
This is a winding stone stairway which will lead you to the observation deck with its breathtaking 360 view of Benguet’s gold and copper mines. One must be very early in the day when visiting the Mines View Park as the view may be fuzzy by the afternoon fog. One can have their picture taken while sitting on a black and white horses or probably dressed in full Cordillera regalia, bahag or loincloth with spear and shield for men while tapis for women and vests and headdresses.
4. The Mansion House
This is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines in the country’s summer capital, Baguio City. This is located in the eastern part of the city along Leonard Wood Road just right across Wright Park. The compound houses an elegant main building with a massive circular driveway, enchanting garden with lawn and large iron gate. This is also one of the favorite sightseeing and picture-taking spots in Baguio.
5. Session Road
Who would not know the Session Road. This is the main thoroughfare of Baguio City and the business center of the City of Pines. Walk at the Baguio City Market up to the Luneta Hill where you can visit the largest mall in the region “SM City Baguio”. One can pass by the biggest Catholic church in the city, The Baguio Cathedral. The church is constructed on top of the hill, it boasts a colored twin spires which is perfect landmark as well. There is a concrete stairway of more than a hundred steps from the Session Road or through a road near the Post Office Building.
6. Burnham Park
Burnham Park is a Park that was laid out and named after American architect and urban planner, Daniel Burnham.It is centered around an artificial lake located at the heart of the city. There are twelve cluster areas providing tourists a fresh and vibrant activities for everyone to enjoy. One can truly enjoy their time through a man-made lagoon with rowboats which you can hire for a reasonable price. There are also children’s playground, Skating Rink, Rose Garden, Orchidarium, Igorot Garden, picnic grove, and Pine trees are everywhere. It has a paved pathways which are ideal for walking and biking. Plus you can rent either single bikes or with side cars while restaurants and other small cafeteria and stalls are up for grabs.
7. Camp John Hay
Camp John Hay is strategically located on the southeastern side of the City of Pines. Built in year 1903 as the rest and recreational center for the U.S. military and the Department of Defense in the Far East. This is the most popular tourist attraction in Baguio City. It was also known as the little America. In 1997, the camp was then converted to a private resort with a modern vacation houses, hotels, and other lodging facilities. Horse back riding, tree top adventure, zipping,paintball and wall climbing are some of the activities the whole family can definitely enjoy.
8. Strawberry Farm
A unique experience of harvesting and picking strawberries at the Strawberry farm is the highlight of this place. The farm which is located about 10 kilometers away from the city center. The Strawberry Farm is open to the public from November to May when the strawberry season is in full swing.
If you have plans to visit the city of Pines, make sure you visit the nearby town and try the authentic strawberry wine of La Trinidad, Benguet.
Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad Valley, Benguet is less than 10km from the center of Baguio City. If you are taking a public transportation one must ride a public jeepney to La Trinidad . Advise the driver you are getting of at the strawberry farm.
If you have a car, from the Session Road, one must turn right to the Magsaysay Road then turn left at the stop light (on your right side will be the Baguio Center Mall). Go straight and you will pass by a vehicle flyover and you will see the Welcome Arch of La Trinidad.
9. Bell Church
The Bell Church is located in Baguio city border with Trinidad Valley which houses a stunning cluster of temples. Built in an exotic oriental style with an ornate gateway, pagoda, dragon and a lot more. The sight before us, the designed arches and architecture are truly magnificent.Which always reminds me of the Taoist Temple in Cebu. I have always felt I was in China every time I get inside these temples. It also made me think of dragon, lotus flowers and joss sticks. I was never tired of taking photos.While Photography is required for someone like me each time I travel,taking photographs inside a church was never allowed.
10. Diplomat Hotel
The former Diplomat hotel stands on top of the Dominican Hill which used to be a seminary and a rest house back in 1911 until it was redeveloped into a hotel. And during the World War II , there were people beheaded here. Name it , nuns and priests. Many have claimed they see headless apparitions or figures wandering around the haunted building. All places known to be a haunted places requires permission from the caretaker of the building or anyone in charge if you wish to visit and investigate. Many claimed that the hotel is the most haunted place in the area. They say at night you can hear strange and eerie sounds.
HOW TO GET TO BAGUIO
The Kennon Road is the shortest route with its zigzag roads, waterfalls and the Iconic Lion head sculpture but difficult to traverse during rainy season. The other one is Marcos Highway, a scenic view of the South China Sea is longer and more reliable route due to wider and smoother surface. Both routes are accessible from Manila via Rosario, La Union. Now if you are coming from up North, the best option is to take Naguilian Road via San Fernando, Launion. There are different bus companies operating routes to Baguio on a daily basis.