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Vacation in Baguio, Philippines

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melgibbs's pictureby melgibbs review
added on 26th of August, 2008

Retreat to the Mountains of Baguio City

High up in the mountains of Benguet in Northern Luzon lies Baguio City - the summer capital of the Philippines. The cold weather and urbane environment attracts a flock of tourists yearly as it offers an escape from the heat and hustle of city life. This article provides an overview of this immensely popular Philippine getaway.


Established by the Americans at an Ibaloi village in 1900, Baguio comes from the Ibaloi word “bagiw,” meaning “moss,” which was once abundant on the site of Burnham Lake, one of Baguio’s popular tourist attractions. The city began as a settlement of roughly just twenty homes. The Americans intended for it to merely be a retreat from the heat of the lowlands.

When the war in the Pacific broke out in 1941, the city was bombed and inhabited by the Japanese. After their surrender in 1943, Baguio immediately began rehabilitation. In 1990, an earthquake hit the place but the city was quickly rebuilt.


Baguio is nestled at an altitude of about 1500 meters, on a plateau in the Cordillera mountain range. It is the only city in the province of Benguet. It spans about 49 square kilometers of prime, urbanized property. The city is 250 kilometers north of Metro Manila - roughly a 6-hour drive. Three roads lead to the city from the lowlands: Marcos Highway, Kennon Road, and Naguilian Road.

People and Culture

According to the latest census, Baguio has a population of 252,386 individuals spread across 52,302 households. Several languages and dialects are spoken by its people, including Kankana-ey, Ibaloi, English, Ilocano, Tagalog, and Chinese.

Baguio is an education center, its economy being centered on this. There are eight major institutions for higher education. The Northern Luzon campus of the University of the Philippines can be found here, as well as the Philippine Military Academy, the University of Baguio, and Baguio Central University.


There are only 2 seasons in Baguio, much like the rest of the Philippines. These are the wet and dry seasons, which last equally throughout the year. November to April are the dry months, while the wet season runs from May to October. The city temperature is always about 10 degrees cooler than in the lowlands, with an average of 20 degrees Celsius.

Main Attractions and Sights

Visitors will never run out of things to do in the City of Pines, as Baguio boasts of a wide array of activities, tourist spots, and attractions. One of the most famous destinations in Baguio is The Mansion, which is the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Though, it is not open to the public, people still flock here to take pictures in front of its majestic gate and well-manicured lawns.

Another famous string of attractions are the parks of Baguio: Burnham Park, Wright Park, and Minesview Park. Vacationers and tourists can enjoy rowing in the lake in Burnham Park, view the Pool of Pines in Wright Park, and enjoy the sights in Minesview Park. Session Road, Baguio’s main avenue, is an attraction in itself with its seemingly endless line of shops and restaurants.


Things about Baguio you may be interested in

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Read about Baguio in our travel-guide

Recommended Baguio Guide

Baguio Sights

The Philippines is getting more competitive as a tourist destination among the Westerners and fellow Asian countries. Baguio City, being the summer capital of the country, is one great spot responsible for that. Besides the cool weather and interesting souvenirs, it is filled with numerous historical, man-made and cultural attractions. As you nearly approach the city (via Manila), the Kennon Road is an attention-getter because of its upward zigzag paths allowing you to overlook the lowlands of the rest of the Luzon. Its main avenue, Session Road encloses large stretch of assortment shops like Luneta Hill, SM Mall and Baguio City Market.... Read more »


Recent reviews for Baguio

My Airplane Trip to Manila - May 31, 2009, by ultimatetravel
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