Enjoy cool Baguio City on a DIY Family Trip
Baguio City in the province of Benguet is the summer capital of the Philippines. Enjoy an affordable to Baguio City with your whole family, even with young kids in tow. There will be fun for everyone and we also got to savor some of the best Baguio restaurants. Check out our DIY family trip to Baguio City.
My husband and I and our two little kids are up for an adventure always and we try to teach them to “roll with it” when we are faced with situations that make us uncomfortable. And our DIY family trip to Baguio City is no exception.
Botched Travel Plans
Our original plan is a five-day vacation away from Bacolod City , which included a stopover on the first day in Enchanted Kingdom in Laguna. But despite our research, plans, and coordination, something still get botched up — on the day that we were supposed to go to Enchanted Kingdom, they were closed because it was a weekday.
Thankfully, we found out about it just before we were about to board our flight to Manila, otherwise, we would have wasted a trip to Laguna. On our Cebu Pacific flight to Manila, we contemplated on the places that we can go to around the Pasay City area, before we get on a night trip bus to Baguio City.
When we got to Manila, however, we learned that my husband’s cousin Caleb had a business trip to Baguio City and we could hitch a ride with him. So instead of going around the metro, we rode with him at 1pm and went straight to Baguio City. Our trip lasted for only 4.5 hours since we passed by Kennon Road. And we got to have our pictures in front of the famous Lion’s Head at the entrance of Baguio.
And the best thing is, we got to save almost P3000 for our bus fare.
Baguio City Tour DIY Planning
So, before our trip, my husband and I planned our DIY family trip to Baguio City. We wanted to travel with the least stress. Here are our considerations in making this Baguio City tour itinerary:
- What our kids would like the most
- Time frame
Here’s our original plan, which includes a birthday gathering for our eldest daughter Dindin. There were many considerations for this trip, as we were attending the birthday party of a niece one evening and her dedication one morning.
Day 1 – March 8 (late morning till evening)
- 11:00am take off – Bencab Museum or Baguio Eco-park or both
- 03:00pm – Baguio Museum
- Dinner – Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna, (Outlook Drive South, Baguio, Benguet)
Day 2 – March 9 (early morning La Trinidad)
- Bell Church
- Valley of Colors
- Strawberry Picking – Mt Costa (or if there is better option)
- Camp John Hay
- Lunch: Quick one
- Check In : Baguio Country Club
- Afternoon till evening: Cafe in the Sky
Day 3 – March 10 (late morning, checkout)
- Botanical Garden
- Wright Park
- Late lunch at Cafe Yagam
- The Mansion
- Mines View – Igorot costumes
- Dinner – Zoey’s Birthday
Day 4 – March 11
- Morning to Lunch: Zoey’s Dedication
- Burnham Park
- Afternoon 3pm: Din’s birthday – Tsokolateria
- Dinner: fastfood
Actual Baguio City Tour
So while we had our Baguio City travel itinerary with us, we still rolled with it, whatever our day brought us. We followed our guide but we got to finish early. And we were able to add some more places in our itinerary.
All in all, I think you can cover Baguio City is three whole days and you have exhausted a lot of the famous places already. This itinerary had careful consideration for young kids in tow, so it also included some down times because I do not want to exhaust everyone.
Baguio City Day 1
- Burnham Park – We went around the park, ate strawberry taho, went boating for 30 minutes, and had a pictorial with Igorot costumes. I think the Igorot costumes here are cheaper. You didn’t have to rent them, just pay the staff P10 for every shot she took of you. If you wanna buy prints, that would be P75 each.
- Bencab Museum – We went to the Bencab Museum by Philippine National Artist Ben Cabrera in Tuba, Benguet. It was quite far but the fare was only P105 from Burnham. We ate lunch in Cafe Sabel first and their food is lovely. We had pictures in the garden and went around the exhibits. We stayed there probably 2.5 hours. Then we took the cab to the Baguio Museum.
- Baguio Museum – There are not that many exhibits at the Baguio Museum but we learned a lot about the culture of the Cordilleras, which is the main reason why we go to museums. We stayed about an hour.
- Wright Park – We took the cab again to the Wright Park where the kids each had 30 minutes of riding horses with pink mane. Then we took the 400-meter walk up to The Mansion.
- The Mansion – It’s only a short walk coming here but since it was uphill, Din and I were catching our breaths. Papa had to carry Siobe all the way up! While it was cold, the sun was still up. Good thing that I applied sunblock before we left the house, otherwise my skin would really flare up from sun allergy! There was really nothing to do here except pose for a photograph in front of The Mansion.
- Mine’s View Park – After about 15 minutes in the vicinity of The Mansion, we took the cab going to the Mine’s View Park. We bought some food stuff as well affordable knitted items. We skipped the visit to the Good Shepherd, as we took a cab to Lemons and Olives Greek Taverna for our dinner.
- Kamiseta Hotel – Our driver did not know the short cut to Lemons and Olives from Mine’s View Park so we ended up passing by Kamiseta Hotel. We got off and had snacks at their Vanilla Cafe that was sooooo cute. The girls were thrilled! And they had good cupcakes, too.
- Dinner at Lemons and Olives Greek Taverna.
Cabbie notes. We were surprised that we were able to finish all of these stops in one day. Except for our uphill climb from the Wright Park where the kids went horseback riding to The Mansion, we took the cab to and from all of these places. Cab fare is rather cheap in Baguio and the drivers are kind and honest. They do not ask for “additional fare” even when your destination is quite far. They do not turn down passengers as well.
Baguio City Day 2
- Bell Church – The Bell Church is a Chinese temple on the boundary of Baguio City and the municipality of La Trinidad. We hired a cab per hour, who charged us P300 per hour. He waited for us while we had our picture taking, then it was off to La Trinidad.
- Strawberry Picking in La Trinidad – Dindin had wished to be able to pick fresh strawberries from the shrub and so we decided to gift her with this experience. Strawberry picking in La Trinidad is P450 per kilo and comes with a native basket. The kids just shared in the fee so both were able to pick strawberries, but we were not allowed to bring the second basket. While there, do not miss eating the strawberry ice cream sold by the mamang sorbetero just outside the farm. It’s sooooo good!!!
- Tam-awan Village – Tam-awan Village is quite far from La Trinidad but is also out of the way of other attractions so we decided to go there after strawberry picking. We stayed there for about 30 minutes, appreciating the lives of the Igorots back then.
- Lunch at Choco-late de Batirol – The cab dropped us off at Choco-late de Batirol at Camp John Hay where we had our lunch. Our private tour took us a total of 3 hours because of the traffic so we paid the driver P900.
- Camp John Hay – At Camp John Hay, we did not really do not. We also were not able to go to the Cemetery of Negativism. However, we climb on of the hills in front of The Manor and so the kids had a downtime of playing with pine cones and needles. That made them so happy!
- Check in at Baguio Country Club – We cut short our day because we were supposed to check in at Baguio Country Club. Our stay was courtesy of our cousins. After that, we prepared for our dinner. By the way, Baguio Country Club is famous for their breads, such as the banana breads and raisin breads.
- Dinner at Cafe in the Sky – Our visit to the Cafe in the Sky was such an experience. The food is not extraordinary but the view is. Not everyone can go up in the area anymore because of DENR restrictions but thankfully, our cousins know the owners of the cafe so we were able to go.
Baguio City Day 3
- Lazy morning at Baguio Country Club
- Late Lunch at Cafe Yagam – We took the cab from Baguio Country Club to Cafe Yagam
- Lazy afternoon at Baguio Country Club
- Dinner: Zoey’s Birthday at the Hotel Supreme Convention Plaza
As we have covered most of the places that we intended to visit in Baguio City, it was time to rest a bit so as not to overstretch everybody, especially me. My back and knee can act out sometimes and if I exert too much pressure, we might not be able to complete our plans.
This day was reserved for family.
Baguio City Day 4
- Morning: Zoey’s Dedication
- Lunch at Forest House Bed and Breakfast
- Baguio City Market. We went here to buy Cordilleran coffee, as my husband is a coffee drinker and would really like to buy freshly ground coffee.
- Snacks at Tsokolateria for Din’s Birthday
This was our daughter Dindin’s exact birthday and we really timed our family travel so that she can celebrate in Baguio City. We just had simple snacks at the Tsokolateria with some friends and family.
In the evening, we took off from Baguio City via the Victory Bus Liner going to Mabalacat for our flight to Bacolod from the Clark International Airport.
Total Baguio City Budget
- Round Trip Air fare – P10,000
- Pocket money for local transportation, food, sights, and Din’s birthday gathering – P18,000
Note: Accommodations were shouldered by family. With this budget, we stayed in Baguio for 4 whole days and 4 nights, for 2 adults and 2 kids, and ate wherever we wanted without sacrificing what we liked. We indulged in local delicacies like strawberries, hot chocolate, strawberry ice cream, taho, and some Cordilleran cuisine. We also bought some snacks and shopped for some stuff for the kids at Mine’s View Park.
All in all, our DIY family trip to Baguio City was easy on the budget but we didn’t sacrifice the quality.
How to Get to Baguio City
If you don’t have a private vehicle, the most common mode of transportation in going up to Baguio City from Metro Manila is by bus. The trip would take approximately 6 to 8 hours. The most popular bus company plying this route is Victory Liner. You may book your tickets online via their website, www.VictoryLiner.com
Victory Liner terminals in Manila:
- Monumento (Main terminal in Caloocan City)
- Cubao and Pasay and has hourly bus service to Baguio City
The bus fare is approximately ₱445 per person (one way) for the regular aircon bus and PhP 780 per person (one way) for the deluxe bus/non-stop (with comfort room). Meanwhile, it’s Php 650/per person one way for the semi-Deluxe buses with one stop at Tarlac Shell station (semi-deluxe has no toilet inside bus).
Since our plane takes off from Clark, the bus ride only took more than 3 hours on a late night trip.
Note: Rates are subject to change without prior notice.
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- Bacolod City Guide