Baguio Sightseeing - Philippines
Sightseeing in Baguio is never a bore. There's always some place and something you might want to see or do here in the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Since the city brings in lots of tourists every year you should expect the place to be prepped for any visitor. Aside from the annual festivities, there places in Baguio that deserve your visit.
What to see in Baguio City? There are parks, historic sites, and other places to get that unique Baguio feel. There are enough things to put on your what do to list to keep you busy in your Baguio adventure. The popular stuff on a typical Baguio what to do schedule includes horseback riding, boating, biking, picnics, picture taking, partying during fiestas, camping, picking strawberries, golf, and simply enjoying the nice scenery.
Here's a short list of things of what to see and what to do in your typical Baguio sightseeing escapade:
The Strawberry Fields
On top of our list of what to see in Baguio are the strawberry fields. A trip to Baguio will always include a lovely stroll along the strawberry fields just outside the city proper. This seems to be one of the must do activities and places to go when tourists visit. You go ask anyone who's ever been to Baguio and most likely they've been here. It is only a jeepney ride away and you get to pick the strawberries you want to eat. Picking strawberries and taking pictures turns out among the top things in anyone's what to do list.
Camp John Hay
Camp John Hay was an American military facility when the Philippines was under US control. It was primarily used for rest and recreation by US personnel. Today, since it's turnover in 1991, the place has its own golf course and campsite. Part of the action of the Fil-Am Golf Tournament takes its course here annually. Visitors can also see if they have a knack for horseback riding.
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Next in our list of what to see in Baguio is Burnham Park, named after the city's designer. Burnham Park is a nice place for a stroll just to enjoy the peculiar Baguio scenery. There is also a small man-made lake where visitors can pick up the oars and go rowing for a small fee of around P100. You can also try biking and if that isn't enough for an entire day's escapade then you may even enjoy an outdoor concert.
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Mines View Park
Mines View Park is the undisputed most popular sightseeing attractions in the city. Once you get past the stalls where you can shop for souvenirs or take a break in any of the small canteens, you climb up to the observation deck. The panoramic view of the Benguet mountain range is a welcome treat. Mines View Park is usually anyone's next sightseeing destination after visiting either Wright Park or the Mansion.
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Session Road may not exactly being your scenic epitome of what to see or what to do in Baguio but it sure spices up any sightseeing trip. This is the busiest section in town where you'll find malls, banks, bakeries, hotels, bookstores, restaurants, newspaper stands, boutiques, studios, and cafes. Anything a modern tourists might need you're sure to find here.
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This place is used by Philippine presidents whenever they make official visits to Baguio City. The garden area here is a favorite for picture taking and sightseeing. Filipino servicemen maintain the security in the Mansion's compounds since the place also serves as the official residence of the current Philippine president.
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Baguio Public Market
Thinking of what to do in Baguio? Then the public market will be enough to fill your itinerary for the last day. Local tourists usually go here for souvenirs before heading on home. If you're looking a memento of your visit for a great deal then this is the perfect place. However, you should learn how to haggle for a better price. Sure, the prices are already great but anyone can still make a better deal if you know how to haggle for it.
Some of the popular stuff to take home are strawberry jams, peanut brittle, dried tobacco, fresh flowers, meat, Baguio sausages, clothes, native products and handicraft like baskets, brass, hand woven blankets, woodcarving, bags, and jewelry. The public market is right behind the Maharlika Center at the lower end of Session Road.
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Camp John Hay has been renovated by the Nicholaus Group for better golf games, greenery, overall ambiance, and international appeal. Rows of towering pine trees in some areas make Camp John Hay not only a refreshing site for a golf course but a charming spot for Baguio sightseeing. Baguio Country Club, on the other hand, is an 18-hole golf course with moderate rolling hills. Both golf courses have been sites of international golf competitions like the World Cup and Asian PGA.
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The steep stairway leading up to Baguio Cathedral is located along Session Road. Built in 1936, the cathedral has been the center of Roman Catholic religious activities as well as a popular Baguio sightseeing destination. From this hilltop church views of Session Road, the city proper, and nearby cloud-covered mountains are seen. People come to hear mass as early as dawn and the cathedral doors remain open until 7 in the evening.
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When talking of horseback riding this spot is the right place. Often, Baguio sightseeing is never complete without at least taking one’s pictures while beside a horse; better yet, while mounted on one. The park is also famous for the rectangular “Pool by the Pines” located on a hill accessed through a series of steep steps. Near this pool is a small circular park where a friendly native Igorot warrior often pauses for pictures.
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Baguio Botanical Garden
Along Leonard Wood Road, between Pacdal Circle and Teachers Camp, is the colorful Baguio Botanical Garden. It is a vast park with plenty of flowering plant species. Some hilly areas have terraced levels covered with different bright colored flower clusters--perfect for picture-taking when Baguio sightseeing. Formerly an actual Igorot village, some indigenous huts are still found there.
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Philippine Military Academy (PMA)
PMA is among the country’s premier military schools where future military, police, and naval officers come from. Built in 1950 on a 373-hectare land of lush forest and rugged terrain, PMA houses the school, dorms, mess hall, souvenir shops, gym, and other school facilities. It also has a museum where uniform evolution, cadet life, PMA heroes, and PMA history are featured. It’s a good place to consider for Baguio sightseeing.
Built in the early years of Baguio City by Igorots and Americans, Kennon Road is the oldest and most breath-taking route to Baguio from the lowlands. Along this route tourists see the Bridal Veil Waterfalls, Twin Peaks, Blue River Gorge, Colorado Falls, and the Lion’s Head.
Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary
This convent is a picturesque and charming place for sightseeing in Baguio in Camp Sioco, Baguio City. It used to be solely a convent for Maryknoll sisters but after the 1990 earthquake it started the so-called 14 stations to nature discovery featuring different phases of creation, a religious reminder, and a bio-shelter. Overall, the place is perfect for sightseeing in Baguio.
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Bell church may sound Christian and may even conjure up images of a Catholic church and its bell tower. But it’s actually a Buddhist Temple with a Chinese pagoda, arches, and buildings with lots of intricate designs like dragons and Chinese characters and symbols. The temple is multi-leveled, being perched on hills. Bell church’s top level is reached through a series of steps.
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Mount Sto. Tomas
For getting a good view of Baguio from the highest peak in the locality, Mount Sto. Tomas is it. It is excellent for rock climbing, hiking, and even for a family picnic. Or just to catch lovely views of the sunrise and sunset. Considering Mount Sto. Tomas when sightseeing in Baguio means a worthwhile, unique, and panoramic view of the Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan.
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Aside from the statue of Mary in the famous grotto atop the Lourdes Grotto Hill, this famous spot is popularly associated with its 252 steps up the spot that overlooks the city proper. SM Baguio can be seen from there, as well as the nearby Dominican Hill and Mount Sto. Tomas. Most people sightseeing in Baguio visit the place as a religious pilgrimage.
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Asin Hot Springs
It is fascinating to see hot springs emanating from under the mountains of Baguio which is known for its cool climate. But there it is, the Asin Hot Springs, 16 kilometers from Baguio City proper. The phenomenon is made possible by the presence of sulfur in the water. The hot spring is now easily accessed through a posh resort with a vast swimming pool full of natural hot spring water. It is ideal to take a steamy dip here after a stay in Baguio during the cold months.
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Wood Carver’s Village
This is a 3-kilometer long row of independent wood carving hut shops along Asin Road. This is the logical next stop after visiting Asin Hot Springs when sightseeing in Baguio. The place showcases a wide range of fine Itogon wood carving craftsmanship produced through manual chisel and hammer. Finished products and those currently being carved are displayed in the open along the road.
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Easter Weaving Room
Baguio native weaving at its best since 1908—Easter Weaving Room or EWR offers this to tourists. Located along Easter Road in Bokawkan, customers are treated to personally seeing how cloths and fabrics of native make and designs come out from various colorful threads woven through wooden loom equipments. A good educational sightseeing in Baguio at EWR would include examining the age old weaving process that has been producing some of the most interesting native Baguio place mats, tablemates, ikat textiles, bags, and others.
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Exercise, breath-taking views, and a unique sightseeing in Baguio are what await tourists who’d go up the slopes where Tam-Awan Village is located along Tacay Road near La Trinidad. On different hills authentic Igorot huts on stilts are perched. So guests who want to enjoy the huts have no option but to climb each hill, aside from climbing the narrow ladders to the elevated huts. Steps of these ladders are carved from a single tree trunk. A main hut serves as information center and souvenir shop. Native Igorot coffee is also available.
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A good place for lodging, especially for licensed teachers who are given special discounts on cottages rented out at Teachers Camp. Located along Leonard Wood Road, it’s been serving as lodge and camp site since 1908. The place is heavily forested, hilly, with tall pines standing close together so that some areas are quite shady even at noon when the sun shines brightest. Not just an exciting spot when sightseeing in Baguio, it is also a favorite camp site for Boys and Girls Scouts outdoor activities and has served several times as an international jamboree site.
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This is among interesting sites seen when taking the Kennon Road to or from Baguio City. Just wait to get to Camp 6 and one would surely view the Lion’s Head to the right when going up Baguio. Buses do not stop-over this site so tourists should take a car when making this spot a part of their sightseeing in Baguio. Carved from a huge limestone in 1972 and built with a nearby view deck, souvenir vendors in a stall near it has since been experiencing sales perks.
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Balatoc Mines and Crosby Park
This place is excellent for camping. It’s far from the city, plenty of tall pines, very quiet except for bird chirps and singing, thick mists idling by most of the day, and strong cell phone signal. Sightseeing in Baguio should definitely include Balatoc Mines and Crosby Park.
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These are only some of the things in your what to do and what to see agenda in Baguio. The temperature and the city itself may have a nostalgic feel but the sightseeing experience is something totally unique. It is something totally akin to Baguio City.