Dubbed as the Summer Capital of the Philippines due to its cool mountain weather, Baguio surely has a lot of amazing things to offer. Pine trees were found in every corner of the city lending it the nickname “City of Pines”. There’s no shortage of parks and restaurants where people could spend quality time with their family and barkada. Bunch after bunch of fresh strawberries are found everywhere in the market. True enough, it’s too beautiful that staying here for a day wouldn’t be enough.
We had a family vacation in Baguio way back 2004. And now after 15 years, I’m finally back! But this time not for a vacation. We stayed in Baguio for 4 days to attend a 3-day Christian conference in Hilltop St. That being said, we only had one day to explore the city. Thanks to the great invention of motorbikes as it allowed us to cover more places with a very limited time and budget!
We started the tour at around 9am. Among the sites we visited were Mines View Park, Wright Park, The Mansion, Botanical Garden, and Camp John Hay. You may include more places like Burnham Park but we did not include it as we already explored it on our first day. Our tour ended at around 4pm as our bus leaves for Cubao at 4:30pm.
Here’s our basic itinerary for 4 days if you’re not into reading paragraphs 😂
02:30AM Depart from Cubao (via JoyBus Premier Class)
06:00AM Arrive at Baguio; Check-in Tuvera Transient; Explore Burnham Park
01:00PM Start Conference
08:00AM Contact Motorcycle Rental; Negotiate; Leave luggage
09:00AM Start Baguio Day Tour
04:00PM End of tour
04:30PM Depart Baguio (via Victory Liner Regular AC)
11:30PM Arrive Cubao
01:00AM Home sweet home (Bulacan)
Note: Our travel time going to Baguio was faster (less than 4hours) because we traveled via JoyBus Premier Class.
And here’s a more detailed itinerary for our Baguio day tour.
Baguio Day Tour Itinerary
09:00AM Leave for Mines View
09:20AM ETA Mines View
10:00AM Leave for Wright Park
10:10AM ETA Wright Park
10:40AM ETA The Mansion (Just in front of Wright Park)
11:00AM ETA Botanical Garden
12:00PM Lunch @ Pizza Volante
02:15PM ETA Camp John Hay
03:00PM ETA Auto Barts; Return motorbike; Get our luggages
03:30PM ETA Public Market; Buy pasalubong
04:00PM ETA Victory Liner
04:30PM Leave for Cubao
11:30PM ETA Cubao
We actually went to Baguio without concrete plans for the tour (because it’s not our main agenda) that’s why we only researched for motorbike rental on the day itself. Thankfully, we easily communicated with Baguio Motorcycle for Rent via Facebook. This was our first ever fully-spontaneous trip!
Honestly, I’m not really used to spontaneous trips. I like obsessing myself in planning and making itineraries. Fortunately, this trip went well for us!
Motorcycle rental costs 500 Php for 24 hours. Since we will be using it for just 7 hours, the owner gave it to us for 300 Php. It depends on your haggling skills, for us it’s the cheapest we can get. Nonetheless, it’s still cheap!
Let me share you a map of the sites we covered.
Black = Tourist spots
Pink = Victory Liner bus terminal
Blue = AutoBarts auto shop (where we rented a motorbike)
Yellow = Baguio Public Market (where we bought pasalubong)
Orange = Pizza Volante (where we ate lunch)
1st Leg: Mines View Park, 9:20am
Entrance Fee = 0
We have a habit of starting at the farthest spot so that by the time we’re close to leave, we’re already nearer the point of departure. If you’ll look at the map, Mines View Park is the farthest which makes it a good target for first stop.
Before entering the park, we thought sipping a cup of strawberry taho would be a great way to fuel up our body as we knew this is gonna be a very busy day. I was a bit surprised at manong’s very sumptuous serving of real strawberry flavorings. It shows how abundant it is in the city!
We tried to wear traditional Ifugao clothing which can be rented for 25 Php each. Cheap, huh? Or maybe I just overestimated it, I was expecting 100+ Php rental. 😂 We need to return the costume before we could go to the view deck though.
There was a long queue for picture taking at the view deck! It was Monday so we were expecting lesser crowd. We forgot it was the day before Chinese new year! We started our Mines View tour by having strawberry taho, and we ended it by eating sweetcorn (30 Php). Not because we did not eat breakfast (we ate chicken&rice for breakfast), it’s just really that food is life, eh?
2nd Leg: Wright Park, 10:10am
Entrance Fee = 0
Our next stop was supposedly Botanical Garden, but we saw Wright Park along the way. It was like hitting two birds in one stone because The Mansion is just on the other side of the road!
There’s a long pond surrounded by sunflowers which caught my attention. The ambiance was not too Philippines as the scenery was like in foreign movies, I’m just not sure which country though 😂
On either side of the long pond were lines of pines trees which I thought was great for leisurely walks and of course, picture taking!
At the end of the long pond was the Park Circle where people flock to get that much needed rest from walking. From the Park Circle is a walkway that leads to a stairway descending to an area where ponies can be rented.
3rd Leg: The Mansion, 10:40am
Entrance Fee = 0
It’s located just on the other side of the road facing Wright Park’s long pond so there’s no way you can miss this place. I wasn’t that impressed though, as the grass wasn’t as green as it was in other photos. But I liked the gate!
And let’s add a little bit of history.
4th Leg: Botanical Garden, 11am
Entrance Fee = 0
Just few minutes from Wright Park and The Mansion, Botanical Garden is another perfect spot for those who prefer greener and colorful scenery. At the park’s main entrance, there’s a group of Igorots wearing traditional clothing and people could take pictures with them with a minimal fee.
There were clusters of tiange and street food stalls inside the park. I roamed around the tiange while Jeric was waiting for our shawarma. There were lots of interesting finds with affordable prices. Still, I wasn’t tempted to buy anything. That’s how matibay I am (I don’t wanna say kuripot, I’m just really not a fan of impulse buying). Although shawarma was a bit pricey at 80 Php each, it’s food, eh? 😅
You can also have a glimpse of other Asian countries from here like Korea, China, Japan, and Thailand. There are lots of interesting stuff to see, let me show some of them through pictures.
We roamed around for about an hour and as much as we wanted to explore more but our tummies were already growling as it was time for lunch. Eventhough we ate shawarma upon entrance to the park, exploring the place was too amusing that we did not notice we were burning that fatty shawarma already.
5th Leg: Lunch at Pizza Volante, 12pm
We actually went back to Wright Park to confirm the horseback riding rates. But upon seeing how tired and stressed they looked, it automatically became a no for us. Since we were already starving by that time, we just looked for a good place to eat nearby. Pizza Volante sits just in front of Wright Park Horse Stable which is very strategic since people would normally starve after horseback riding.
Pizza Volante is an al fresco style restaurant offering American, Italian, and Filipino cuisines. I’ll discuss more about our experience on a separate post. For now, let me just show you a couple of photos.
As you would notice in our itinerary, we spent almost 2 hours in Pizza Volante. Service was slow, but food is nice.
6th Leg: Camp John Hay Picnic Area, 2:15pm
Entrance Fee = 0
Original plan was to buy pasalubong after lunch and end the tour. But all the carbs we swallowed made our frisky spirits bargain for one more. We drove to Camp John Hay Picnic Area to have at least a glimpse of what the whole park has to offer.
The area was clean and there were picnic tables under the shade of trees circling the park. You may bring your own lunch and snacks and eat here.
All the towering pine trees really looked so pleasing in the eyes. To say that the place is beautiful would be an understatement. These photos wouldn’t even give enough justice.
We need to return our motorbike at 3pm so there was no enough time for us to explore the whole place. We considered this as a good reason to come back.
7th Leg: Baguio City Public Market, 3:30pm
After returning our motorbike at AutoBarts Auto Shop and getting our bags, we walked to the public market to buy pasalubong. It was a good 5 to 10-min walk, thanks to the city’s natural cool weather. We were in a hurry as our bus leaves at 4:30pm and we need to get to the terminal at least 30 minutes before departure since we booked our seats online. In short, no time to take photos. We just looked for fresh strawberries and anything Baguio.
While we were in the public market, I was honestly fantasizing our hometown’s public market would be as organized and as clean as this. Even though the market was packed with people, it was still peaceful, comfortable, and orderly.
From the public market, we took a taxi going to Victory Liner bus terminal. As much as we wanted to walk but our schedule doesn’t permit. But mind you, on our first day in Baguio, we went from bus terminal to Tuvera, to Burnham Park, back to Tuvera, back to Burnham, then to Hilltop Street, all by foot. That’s more or less 8 kilometers! This is to say that walking around Baguio is comfortable and safe.
Breakdown of Expenses
Motorbike rental = 300
Gas = 50
Total = 350 (or 175 each)
Note: Food and pasalubong not yet included because it varies with people. You may bring your own lunch and snacks.
Strawberry Taho = 30
Sweetcorn = 30
Shawarma = 80
Pizza Volante = 233 each (465 total bill)
Total = 373 per person
You may also want to experience a first class ride to Baguio via JoyBus Premier Class!