Longing for a quick escape from Metro Manila. Well one of the most common answer that would pop up is Baguio! I must say that Baguio always is a good idea for a quick vacation or unwinding. It is relatively easy to reach by taking a bus but it is also very tourist friendly specially for first time travelers.
How To Get To Baguio
There are a few bus companies that takes commuters daily to the Summer Capital of The Philippines from Manila. But these two buses are wat I recommend.
One of the biggest bus company in Luzon Victory Liner has daily trips going to Baguio that departs every hour from their Cubao bus terminal. Fare starts at ₱450.00 for their regular deluxe buses. Victory Liner also offers First Class buses complete with comfort rooms and the best part of it is that it travels non-stop while taking the fastest routes via the express ways. Their buses are pretty clean and their air conditioning are pretty good. Note for foreigners though that when Asians say that air conditioning is pretty good, it means that the air conditioning is working. Also, it can range from nice and cool to blasting cold. That’s why we also travel with jackets when we take buses. Now that’s an insider tip for you 😉
Regular Class Bus Schedule Cubao – Baguio
Fare ₱ 445
First Class Bus Schedule Cubao – Baguio
Fare ₱ 780
Way newer in the industry than Victory Liner, Joybus is operated by Genesis bus company. With their bus terminal located in Pasay city, Joybus’ main draw for the discriminating travel is their Premier Class buses. They are also what most people arriving at the Manila International Airport (NAIA). Joybus’ Premier Class offers luxury travel complete with display screens to keep you entertained
They also have a terminal in Cubao with different fare rates and schedule from Pasay so it is best to contact them to confirm information.
Where To Stay In Baguio
Off peak seasons are the easiest to travel for Baguio when it comes to accommodation. The city has enough rooms as it has grown into a major tourist destination for the country. You can easily book via AirBnB, Booking.com or Agoda if you wish to book ahead of time. However if it is off peak, it’s safe to say that you can count on people waiting for you offering transient rooms.
Peak season on the other hand is something you need to plan ahead. Peak season in Baguio is no joke, you can experience being homeless if you do not plan right. Booking at least a month ahead is necessary specially during Panagbenga Season (Febrauary) or even during summer holidays (March).
To help you decide here are our top pics for accommodation
The Manor at Camp John Hay
One of the most luxurious hotel in Baguio City. The Manor is located inside Camp John Hay, a former American Military Camp.
V Hotel and Apartel
Clean, stylish and just a few hundred meters from the famous Burnham Park and Baguio Downtown area where most businesses and attractions are.
Read Our Review
Looking for accommodation on our up coming trip to Baguio we chanced upon this budget hostel. Good price, good location -we were looking for something near the downtown but could be an escape from its bustle- and most specially clean.
Looking For Other Accommodations In Baguio?
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When To Visit Baguio
Baguio’s most visited time is during the Panagbenga Festival (February), where the streets are filled with tourist waiting to see the flowers float parade similar to the Pasadena Rose Bowl Parade. The festival draws people by the thousands making the city a bit too crowded for the claustrophobic person.
Off Peak season starts at about June through October when it is rainy, but then it adds up to the charm of experiencing its cool weather.
November through January are also popular though not as crowded as February. These months are visited by people who wish to experience the cold weather of Baguio. Temperatures starts to drop to a snuggling temperature by the end of November when the cold winds from Siberia starts blowing to the country. Though the coldest day usually happens during February, you might want to avoid that month if you don’t want to swim in a sea of crowds.
December 1 in Baguio City marks the start of Christmas Season. Students from Saint Louis University showcase their lanterns during the parade along Session Road to Melvin Jones. The cool pine breeze of December in the city while immersing in this lantern parade made an awesome Christmas experience to every spectator. #fsfamchristmasparty2017 #forumnitexmas2017 #ForumSession #itseverydaysession #merrychristmasiesfam #grammerdaily36 #grammerchristmas #grammercollective
What To See In Baguio
Tourist Spots in Baguio are well known and one only needs to do very little research. I’ve came up with a list of places to visit in Baguio that you might want to consider. Baguio also has a bubbling food and beverage scene of exciting spots to dine and drink spread throughout the city and its outskirts.
Popular places to visit includes the classic Mines View park, Lourdes Grotto and Burnham Park. While the near by La Trinidad also attracts tourists to their strawberry farms and most recently the Balili Artist Village where an artist painted a mural on houses on a hill side.
Baguio also has become a gastronomic destination being a source of fresh vegetables for the island. Baguio hosts a bunch of creative and outstanding restaurants, cafes and breweries making the city not just a tourist but an exciting city for the residents.
Read: The Baguio List: Baguio’s Favorite Tourist Spots
How To Get Around
Oh Baguio, this what I love about you. Honest drivers. The city has relatively low cab fares and most of the time cabs just open their windows to let the cool air in compared to the all locked up cars in Manila. But that’s not what I love about Baguio’s transportation the best part of it all are its drivers. Cab drivers in Baguio are very honest. Unlike in Manila where they will do everything to get more money from you, Baguio taxi drivers will actually give you exact change regardless if it is just one peso or fifty centavos! Now that is what you call an experience.
While there are tour companies (some moonlighting) in Manila that offers Day Tours, yes day tours to Baguio I would actually recommend staying away from them. Imagine meeting up with the tour group around 10 or 11 PM waiting for the group be complete. Then you’ll be packed into this tiny van for about four to six hours depending on what route your tour company will take. Once in Baguio you’ll be taken around the spots with allotted time for each destination because you only have one whole day to visit everything. Not to discredit these operators, but is this how you picture your first time Baguio trip should be?
Note: We’ll post an Itinerary soon!
For a budget trip a budget of about 5,000 pesos can be enough.
890.00 Manila – Baguio -Manila Bus Fare
800.00 Dorm/Hostel Type Accommodation for 3 nights
1200.00 Food Budget @ 200/Meal x 3 Meals x 3 Days
1000.00 Transportation Allowance (Around Baguio)
1000.00 Incidentals, Entrance Fees, Tip.