Baguio city is the summer capital of the Philippines. Americans took over this place in the nineteenth century and developed it into a modern city. It is at an altitude of 4,900ft and the weather here is much cooler than other places in the Philippines. The temperature here ranges from 50F-70F and can get lower than 50F during December to February.
|Limestone rock carved into a Lion's head (famous landmark in Baguio)|
We visit Baguio every year. Couple days of stay are enough to tour Baguio but we usually stay there for 10 days or so just to explore the neighboring towns. It is also a gateway to Ifugao and Sagada where you can see the hanging coffins, rice terraces etc. There are many affordable hotels in Baguio; some Baguio hotels are under $50. You can also rent vacation houses there for the whole family. Camp John Hay’s Manor hotel Baguio is our favorite. It is in a great location and just a few meters away from Baguio Country Club and Golf course. It has impressive architecture and very homely interiors. Their rates range from $125 up to $280.
View from the room
Le Chef restaurant
You can walk to the historical Bell house from Manor hotel. It was built originally for American soldiers in Asia as a rest house in 1903. During WWII, Japanese soldiers took over it and used Camp John Hay as a concentration camp. Bell house was then used by General Yamashita as his headquarter.
Relic of Camp John Hay's American roots
We always go to Mines view Park whenever we are in Baguio. It is an abandoned mine used by the native Igorot tribe. Now it is a tourist attraction. There are souvenir shops etc. all over the place.
Lourdes Grotto is also in our must visit places when in Baguio. It has a nice view of downtown Baguio. It is a replica of the famous Lourdes Grotto in France. You will have to climb 252 steps before you reach the shrine. Ladies, wear those stilettos somewhere else :)
During our stay in Baguio, we would sometimes drive around the neighboring towns. We happened to pass by this area in Tuba, Benguet where a sign about Colorado falls is. We never really made it to the falls, we just walked nearby and took pics because it was slippery. We thought it was totally lame (coz we didn't really know what we are looking at) it turns out the falls was further away. Too bad we didn't see it.
Sign on the road
This is what we saw when we decided to head back to the car.
Baguio is an interesting place and far from the chaotic city of Manila. Come and visit this February for the Panagbenga Festival (Flower Festival). Book a Baguio Tour Package at a reputable travel agency near you or explore the city on your own. You can hire a car to take you there or take a bus to Baguio from Manila. It takes 8 hours to get there from Manila by bus. The bus lines most preferred by locals are Victory Liner and Philippine Rabbit. The bus ticket cost around Php400 to Php450 (about $10).