Baguio is without doubt the heart of the Philippine Cordillera. Filipinos love the cool atmosphere and escape from the stifling heat of the lowlands. As a backpacker in the Philippines its your gateway to Sagada and Banaue.
The three cities are the starting point for adventures in the breathtaking Cordillera region with its spiny mountains, that rises up to 2900m.
From the famous hanging coffins, to dark and unexplored caves, the steep slopes of the rice terraces or sleepy villages – the Cordillera has it all.
So you decided to stay in Baguio City for a few days? Good decision! Here are some information you need to go around in Baguio City.
What are the best accommodations in Baguio City?
In contrast to the smaller towns in the Cordillera Baguio offers you a huge choice of hostels, guest houses and hotels. Ranging from budget to top end. In general you can say the options south and east of the city centre are quieter and more into the woods, than elsewhere. Here is a short overview of Hotels in Baguio you can lodge:
- Iggy´s Inn (Tel: +63 444 7416)
The best value in Baguio is Iggy´s. That comes with a natural, peaceful and quiet atmosphere. It´s a little bit out of town but has a great restaurant and exhibits local arts. Even in the rooms. Prices range from P1,800 (2 pax/night) to 5,500 (6 pax/night).
- Inn Rocio (Tel: +63 74 442 4533)
Inn Rocio is a secure place to stay next to all the main attractions in Baguio. Its clean, staff is friendly and affordable. Prices range from P1,600 (2 pax/night) to 2,700 (3 pax/night).
- Citylight Hotel (Tel: +63 444 7544, Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you travel alone the Citylight Hotel might be something for you. Rooms are rather small, but functional. Session Rd is just five-minute walk away. Rooms start from P450 (1 pax/night) and P900 (2pax/night).
- City Center Hotel (Tel: +64 74 422 3637)
If you have more budget then the City Center Hotel might be something for you. Its directly situated at Session Rd., staff is very helpful and friendly, and rooms superb. Prices range from P2,100 (2 pax/night) to 2,400 (3 pax/night).
What to do in Baguio City?
Whether you want to look at traditional Ifugao villages, party all night long in the mountains, soul searching – in Baguio City everyone comes with their own motive.
The Tam-Awan Village is an artists village where you can find traditional Ifugao homes and two Kalinga huts. It’s a good way to learn more about the culture and customs of the tribes living in the Cordilleras. You can learn paper making, indigenous music and dance, and other aspects of the tribe’s culture. Arnis de Mano is a martial arts which demonstrates how to fight with rattan sticks as well as with your own bare hands.
Make sure to book the workshops in advance (P350/ session). You can also stay overnight in a traditional hut (P500 to P800). The best way to go there is by taxi or the Tam-awan-Long-Long jeepney from the corner of Kayan St and Abanao St. And make a stop over in the Easter Weaving Room (p160).
There are several churches and temples in Baguio you can explore by walking around. The Baguio Cathedral is overlooking the Session Rd and was used as protection from heavy bombing in WWII.
The Bell Church was original a Buddhist temple where the priests practise a mix of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity.
Other sites are the Baguio Buddist Temple and the Lourdes Grotto.
The highest and nearest mountain is Mt Santo Tomas. It reaches a height of 2,200m and is just south of the city. The walk to the top will take you two hours. You need to get a guide at the Department of Tourism. You can also go mountain biking here.
Besides the mountains strawberry picking is one of the main attractions from Baguio. From November to May you can pick fresh strawberries from the Strawberry farm in La Trinidad Valley. You can go there by jeepney from Gen. Luna area near the University of Baguio.
Drinking and Eating
When it comes to food Baguo City will not disappoint you. The most famous spot is the Café by the Ruins. It is near Rizal Park and a good place to grab some breakfast.
Other nice options you can try are Bliss Café or the O´Mai Khan. Later one offers nice choice of Mongolian barbecue.
The later at night the greater the party. So don´t miss Nevada Square. The party crowd only hits the floors of the dance bars and clubs at the weekend. The whole place turns into a giant fraternity party at the weekend but is pretty quiet during weekdays.
Other options are Padi´s Point Bar or Gimbal´s.
Baguio Travel Information
Tell me from your adventures in the mountains. Have you seen any ghosts? Let me know in the comments.