Thrill Seekers, Get Ready to Conquer Baguio’s Adventure Scene!

Baguio City

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Baguio City is my dream home. I adore its climate, vibrant nightlife, simplicity, and, above all, its beauty. Thankfully, my partner is a local, and we’ve visited Baguio countless times. It’s like experiencing Baguio not as a tourist but as a local. I’ve learned to navigate by jeepney and on foot, discovering hidden gems known only to longtime residents.

My first visit to Baguio was in 2022 with relatives and friends. We rented a van and explored the well-traveled roads and popular scenic spots. However, I yearned to delve deeper into Baguio’s charms. If you’re planning a DIY trip to Baguio, this blog article is crafted just for you. We’ll provide an easy route and highlight places you might miss on your next visit.

How to go to Baguio From Manila?

It’s easy to travel to Baguio from Manila, and our top choice for a bus station is Victory Liner – Pasay. Booking in advance on their website (https://victoryliner.com/) ensures a hassle-free experience—no need to wait in long queues or worry about seat availability. Bus fares vary by class. Here’s the pricing breakdown:

  • Regular Aircon (inner Cities) – PHP 630.00
  • First Class – PHP 999.00
  • Deluxe (Express) – 740

How long is the travel time from Manila to Baguio?

The travel time from Manila to Baguio varies based on your chosen bus class. On average, it takes 5-6 hours, particularly if you opt for the regular air-conditioned class, which includes several stopovers along the way. We always avail the regular class since we love to smoke cigarettes in Sison and buy food and drinks too.

Taxi in Baguio

Taking a taxi in Baguio differs slightly from Manila. In Baguio, you board first and then inform the driver of your destination, whereas in Manila, drivers usually inquire about your destination before allowing entry. However, what sets Baguio taxi drivers apart is their kindness and fairness; they seldom demand extra fees and are generally accommodating.

First stop in Baguio: Hidden Smoking Area

Hidden Smoking Area in Baguio near Casa Vallejo
Hidden Smoking Area in Baguio near Casa Vallejo

Looking forward to exploring Baguio for the first time? Our initial stop: a hidden smoking spot near Casa Vallejo and SM City Baguio, adored by locals. Since public smoking is a no-go, this secret retreat offers a perfect solution. Grab a cup of 3-in-1 coffee, savor the chilly yet serene Baguio air, and enjoy the company of playful puppies and dogs—a genuine Baguio delight.

Second Stop: Baguio City Dry and Wet Market

Vegetables in Baguio City Market
Vegetables in Baguio City Market

We always drop by Baguio City’s Dry and Wet Market to buy something for lunch and dinner. My partner’s sister cooks good food. You can buy the most affordable vegetables in Baguio. I did not make a pricelist of vegetables anymore since it’s changing fast but what I am sure of is that you can only find the most affordable vegetables here.

Places to Visit and Must-Try Restaurants in Baguio

There are so many places to visit in Baguio and lots of delicious foods to try.

Tam-Awan Village

Tam-awan Village is a haven of culture and artistry nestled in Baguio City. It has become one of my favorite spots, capturing my heart with its unique blend of Indigenous heritage and creative expression. Visiting with my partner, a Baguio local, we’ve immersed ourselves in its captivating ambience multiple times this year. The village offers an authentic glimpse into Cordilleran culture through its traditional huts, art galleries, and stunning views of the city.

My first encounter with Tam-awan Village was in early 2023, during one of our explorations beyond the usual tourist trails. We ventured through its trails, discovering the intricate art pieces and soaking in the tranquil atmosphere. For those planning a DIY trip to Baguio, Tam-awan Village is a must-visit, offering a peaceful retreat and a deeper connection to the region’s cultural roots.

Paintings in Tam-Awan Village Baguio City
Paintings in Tam-Awan Village Baguio City

Getting to Tam-awan Village is straightforward. From Baguio City proper, you can take a jeepney bound for Pinsao Proper and ask the driver to drop you off at the village. The journey is part of the experience, weaving through Baguio’s scenic routes and vibrant communities. Don’t forget to bring a camera and an open heart, ready to embrace the beauty and heritage of this remarkable village.

Vizco’s Cakes in Baguio City

Strawberry cake and half and half pasta in Viscoz
Strawberry cake and half and half pasta in Vizcos

One such gem is Vizco’s, a delightful bakery that is one of the best pastry and pasta restaurants in Baguio. I ate at this restaurant twice and I will recommend the strawberry cake and their strawberry milkshake. Their half-and-half pasta is also a good pick.

Vizco's cake baguio
Vizco’s cake Baguio

Known for its heavenly Strawberry Shortcake, Vizco’s Cakes has become a staple in our visits. Each bite is a perfect blend of fresh strawberries, light cream, and soft sponge cake. The bakery’s ambiance, with its warm and welcoming vibe, adds to the charm. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, indulging in a slice of cake at Vizco’s is a must. The cakes are not just desserts; they are experiences that capture the essence of Baguio’s delightful simplicity and vibrant flavor. If you find yourself in Baguio, don’t miss the chance to treat yourself at Vizco’s Cakes—you’ll leave with sweet memories and a longing to return.

Burnham Park

Burnham Park is the heart of Baguio City, and it’s easily one of my favorite places here. The park’s sprawling green spaces, serene man-made lake, and vibrant flower gardens create a tranquil escape right in the city’s center. It’s where I first learned to navigate Baguio like a local, strolling around the park’s pathways, enjoying the cool mountain air, and observing families and friends enjoying picnics, boat rides, and leisurely bike rides. Each visit reveals a new facet of its charm, whether it’s the early morning mist, the lively weekend markets, or the peaceful quiet of a weekday afternoon. Burnham Park isn’t just a destination; it’s a beloved part of my Baguio experience, making each trip feel like coming home.

Riding Bikes in Burnham Park
Riding Bikes in Burnham Park

Grumpy Joe’s

Grumpy Joe’s is my go-to spot in Baguio. I love its cozy ambiance, delectable food, and friendly staff. We’ve dined there multiple times this year, and each visit feels special. From their rich, flavorful coffee to their mouth-watering pizzas and pasta, Grumpy Joe’s never disappoints. If you’re in Baguio and looking for a place to relax and enjoy a great meal, Grumpy Joe’s should be at the top of your list.

Chicken and Strawberry Shake in Grumpy Joe's Baguio
Chicken and Strawberry Shake in Grumpy Joe’s Baguio

SM Baguio

SM City Baguio is more than just a mall—it’s a community hub. My partner and I love visiting it for its wide range of shops, dining options, and entertainment. It’s a perfect spot for a relaxed day out, whether you’re enjoying the cool mountain air on its open terraces or catching the latest movie. The mall’s eco-friendly design, featuring natural lighting and ventilation, blends beautifully with Baguio’s green landscape. It’s a must-visit for anyone wanting to experience the best of Baguio in one place.

University of Cordilleras

My partner, a proud alum, speaks fondly of the university’s rich history, supportive community, and its commitment to fostering innovation and critical thinking. Each visit to Baguio becomes even more special as we pass by the campus, reminiscing about their college days and the lasting friendships formed there.

UP Baguio

As a student of the University of the Philippines Diliman, I often find myself enchanted by the Baguio campus whenever I visit. It embodies a peaceful yet intellectually stimulating environment that complements the vibrant and bustling atmosphere of Diliman. The crisp, cool air of Baguio, combined with its lush greenery and cultural richness, makes UP Baguio a truly inspiring place to study and grow.

Session Road

Baguio City - Session Road
Baguio City – Session Road

Session Road in Baguio holds a special charm, especially on Sundays when it transforms into a pedestrian haven. Every Sunday, the road is closed to vehicles, allowing people to stroll and enjoy the vibrant street life. It’s a delightful scene, with local vendors setting up stalls, street performers entertaining crowds, and families enjoying the relaxed, car-free environment. The weekly closure turns Session Road into a lively community space, inviting everyone to appreciate the heart of Baguio uniquely and engagingly.

Mt. Kalugong

Mount Kalugong in Baguio is a hidden gem that I fell in love with during my recent visits to the city. This tranquil mountain is perfect for those looking to escape the bustling tourist spots and find a slice of serenity.

The hike up is manageable (we rode a motorcycle, lol), rewarding you with stunning views of La Trinidad Valley and Baguio City. Plus, the iconic rock formations at the summit offer an excellent backdrop for photos. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual adventurer, Mount Kalugong is a must-visit for a unique and peaceful experience in Baguio.

As I conclude this blog on Baguio City travel, I realize there are still numerous places left unexplored and stories waiting to be shared. However, fear not, for I promise to uncover these hidden treasures and adventures in my next installment. Having visited Baguio countless times, I’ve come to the heartfelt conclusion that this city isn’t just a destination; it’s a place I’d love to call home for good. Baguio’s charm, beauty, and warm community have captured my heart, and I can’t wait to delve deeper into its wonders in the future. Until then, keep exploring, keep wandering, and let the magic of Baguio continue to inspire your travels.

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