Baguio City, also called as the City of Pines and the Summer Capital of the Philippines, is a popular tourist destination not only because of its cold weather but also because of its rich culture. Aside from the many tourist spots that you can visit in the city, it’s also home to native ethnic groups such as the Igorots.
Touring the city is easy since many of the tourist spots in Baguio is not far from each other. You can just hire a van who will tour you. But if you want to make your own itinerary, below are some of the great destinations that you can add in your list:
Lourdes Grotto & Mirador Hill
Lourdes Grotto & Mirador Hill is a place dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Above the hill is a statue of Mary where her devotees offer flowers and light candles while reciting their prayers. Many of the devotees, though old, really strive to climb the stairs just so they could give their flowers.
Easter Weaving Room
If you’re a fan of weaving, you should definitely visit this place! Lots of handwoven products are made and sold here like jackets, hats, bags and shawls. Other souvenir items such as necklaces, bracelets and key chains. What’s best here is you can actually enter the room where the fabrics are being handwoven.
It’s like a small version of the Taoist Temple in Cebu. Though it’s not that big, there are statues, pagodas and fish ponds to see. What I loved the most in this place are the water lily ponds blooming with flowers.
Wright Park is a public park in Baguio known for horseback riding. Horseback riding is fun even if you don’t know how to ride one because you can just ask assistance from the handlers. You can also choose whether you want a big or a small horse. Even kids ride horses here. It’s really fun to ride a horse in a peaceful park that’s full of pine trees.
The big pond in front of Wright Park has actually fish in it and there are also lots of doves flying around.
The Mansion is designed by William E. Parsons as part of the Burnham plan for Baguio. It was destroyed in 1945 during the World War but restored in 1947. It has also been a venue of many important events in the Philippines.
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to get inside so I was only able to take one photo.
Mines View Park
There are more fun things to do in this park and it’s flocked by more tourists. Lots of souvenir items and food delicacies are sold here at affordable prices. Flowers and bonsai trees can also be brought here and you can buy a rare blue pine tree from 200 to 1000 pesos.
The thing that most tourists love to do here is to take pictures with Saint Bernard dogs, horses and with Igorots. I didn’t know that Saint Bernards are really that huge dogs until I saw one.
This park is on top of a mountain overlooking the other mountains so it’s also a good spot for sightseeing.
Burnham Park is located at the heart of Baguio City. In the park where they have planted lots of pine trees, they’ve also provided chairs and tables where people can relax and read their favorite books.
This park is also most popular for its 10 feet man-made lake where tourists can go boating. Hiring one boat costs around 120 pesos per hour if you’re going to hire a driver. But if you’re going to paddle your own boat, you can use it the whole day for the same price.
Beside Burnham Park is SM Mega Mall where you can get an overlooking view of the city.
Baguio Mountain Province Museum
Few antiques are kept in this museum but their most prized item is a preserved mummy. The museum is composed of four floors and picture taking is only allowed in the first and fourth floors. There’s also an entrance fee of 40 pesos for adults, 20 for college students, 15 for high school students and 10 pesos for elementary students.
The construction of the site began in 1920 and it was completed in 1936. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It served as an evacuation center during the World War II thus saving many lives.
Things in Baguio that I worry about…
With the growing population of Baguio, more establishments are also being built in the area leading to more pollution. More houses are also being built and as a result, more mountains and hills are also being destroyed. What if there will be landslide or earthquake?
What if the destruction of mountains will negatively affect the cold weather in Baguio knowing that it’s one of the reasons why many tourists flock the place?
Some Travel Tips
If you’re not so familiar with the place, there’s an information center near the bus terminal. Once you arrive, cross the road then walk a few steps going to the right. They provide information about accommodations and tourist spots in Baguio. You can also get a tourist guide there.
It’s more practical to rent an apartelle than a hotel room. Apartelles in Baguio usually have stoves and refrigerators so you can bring in food and cook if you want. You can also haggle down prices when renting. From pesos 4500 per night, we were able to haggle down the price to 2500 pesos per night.
Beware with some Igorots who pop out of nowhere and volunteer to take photos with you. They actually ask payment for each shot.
Overall, I enjoyed my travel in Baguio. The views are relaxing and there many activities that can spice up your vacation. Many of the tourist attractions in Baguio also have interesting stories to tell.