Now that Panagbenga Festival is nearly approaching , you might consider giving Baguio a quick tour during the festival. Baguio has so many great places to offer and some of which can be access for free. So after witnessing the colorful street dances and grand float parades, you might consider visiting these places in Baguio. ( Check : 2017 Panagbenga Flower Festival Schedule of Activities)
Dubbed as the “Mother of All Parks” in Baguio. Burnham Park is probably one of the busiest attractions in Baguio. It covers a 32.84 hectare of land which includes a man-made lake situated at the center where tourists can enjoy boating with rented boats, a huge children playground, picnic areas, gardens and even a skating rink.
What To Do In Burnham Park?
Burnham Park is publicly accessible and it has no entrance fee as well except when you decide to enter those special gardens. You can also ride a boat and sail over the man-made lake. You can also rent bikes and navigate the park. Burnham is also located near some notable places in Baguio such as the SM Baguio, the Melvin Jones Grandstand, the Athletic Bowl, Cafe by the Ruins and more.
Camp John Hay
Just like the Burnham Park, The John Hay Air Base or more popularly known as the Camp John Hay is also one of the most visited places in Baguio. It used to be a rest & recreation facility for American soldiers in Asia and is now a popular tourist destination in Baguio. It features picture perfect pine tree-lined roads, beautiful landscaping, quaint cottages and wide open spaces. It also give you access to different parks and recreation areas too.
What to do in Camp John Hay?
There are many places to visit in Camp John Hay some of which however are not really accessible to General public unless you got connections or official business. Despite of it, Camp John Hay still offer some places which can be accessed by anyone for free or some areas that will charge you a little including the Cemetery of Negativism , Bell House and the Bell Amphitheater, Butterfly Sanctuary, Eco Trail, A glimpse of the Manor Hotel, Tree Top Adventure and a whole lot more.
The Baguio Botanical Garden is located east of Baguio’s downtown area. The place is also known as the Igorot Village as it features native huts typical of the type of Igorot dwellings found in the Cordilleras. The village is said to capture the ethnic spirit and cultural legacy of the Igorots and being tranquil and quiet, it is a nice place to just sit down and relax, take a leisurely stroll along its narrow and winding pathways and also enjoy the landscape where you will find numerous plants and trees.
What to do in Botanical Garden?
Botanical is freely accessible and you can enjoy those impressive scenery and colorful pathways. You can also stroll those themed parks such as the Chinese Garden, A Korean-inspired park and more. You will also encounter elder Igorots which are so hospitable. They will even approach you for a selfie (they will charge Php10 per head though but that’s not really bad). Igorot Costumes can be rented as well for Php20 which includes props which can be picked based on your own preferences.
Wright Park and The Mansion
Wright Park is located at the eastern part of the city which features are a shallow elongated rectangular body of water known as the “Pool of Pines” and the park circle which is on one end of the park. One part of the park is merely devoted to horse rides! Just in front of the pool is the so-called Mansion. The building is not accessible in general public but people were given enough space to capture its interesting landscape. The elaborate main gate of the Mansion is said to be a replica of that at Buckingham Palace in London.
What To Do in Wright Park and The Mansion?
Horse rides! I guess that’s the first thing that will come to your mind whenever we are talking about the Wright Park. For Php150 you can ride the horse for half an hour (with guide). You can also take a quick ride for photo opportunity for Php50. If you are lucky enough, you might be able to spot a Saint Bernard dog and have a photo op with it for Php 20 (unlimited shots) (Check : A Trip to Baguio : Wright Park And The Mansion)
Mines View Park
Another popular spot in Baguio is the Mines View Park! Right from the observation deck of the park , you will witness a breathtaking panoramic view of Benguet’s gold and copper mines and the surrounding mountains that unfold before you. Absolutely a beauty to marvel. Best of all, you can access the place for Free.
What to do in Mines View Park?
Aside from the enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Mines View park, the place is also known for being the pasalubong center of Baguio. Here, you’ll find an overwhelming amount of shops where you can buy souvenirs and bunch of Baguio products. Other places near the Mines View park that are worth visiting includes the Cordillera Museum and the Good Shepherd Convent. (Check : Mines View Park)
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto / Baguio Cathedral
If you are into religious places, you should not miss the Baguio Cathedral and the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes! The Grotto is located on a high hill in the western part of the city. Access to the top of the grotto could be made by climbing the 252 steps or by driving a light vehicle through a winding, narrow and steep asphalt-paved road. The Baguio Cathedral on the other hand, is located on top of a hill in the heart of the city. From Session Road it is accessible by pedestrians who ascend a long concrete stairway of more than a hundred steps. The Baguio Cathedral is the biggest catholic church in Baguio and is the center of religious activities such as during the Holy Week when thousands of devotees from Metro Manila and the provinces come up to the city. (Check: Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Baguio)
Strawberry Farm and Bell Church
If you still have time, you might consider visiting those famous places in La Trinidad Benguet too such as the Bell Church and the Strawberry Farm. The Bell Church is located north of the downtown area of Baguio along the road leading to the town of La Trinidad, Benguet. Within its compound are intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragon. Just 30 minutes away from Baguio City, you can reach the Strawberry Farm where you can pick strawberries all by yourself which gives you a rewarding experience. (Check : Strawberry Farm in Baguio)
What To Do in Strawberry Farm
There is no entrance fee to Strawberry Farm and you can freely navigate the field but if you wish to pick strawberry, you have to pay more than Php400 per basket. You can also buy already packed strawberries outside. Aside from strawberries, you can also buy freshly harvested vegetables like lettuce. For photo op, you can spot some ornamental gardens inside the farm and they will charge you Php10-20 for photo opportunity with their plants (unlimited photos). Much like the Strawberry Farm, Bell Church has no entrance fee too.
Photo Credit : http://manila.coconuts.co/2016/06/22/small-town-la-trinidad-just-outdid-everyones-attempt-street-art
Since you are already in La Trinidad, why not make the most out of it right? Make sure to check the new sensation in Benguet, the eye catching and visually stunning murals in Stobosa Hillside. Stabosa Hillside is becoming one of the most favorite destinations of Baguio-goers. These colorful houses are merely inspired from Brazil’s Favela houses
In case you are planning to visit Baguio this coming Festival especially during the Grand Street and Float Parade, you might want to check my list of things to consider and to expect during the 2017 Panagbenga Flower Festival – (Check – Things To Consider and To Expect Before Going to 2017 Panagbenga Flower Festival in Baguio)
It is more ideal to book a hotel a day prior to the big event. This will give less hassle and it gives you enough time to relax. I took a day tour package last year and even though it was really a rewarding experience, it was also exhausting at the same time because I didn’t get enough sleep. You can check this list of Hotels in Baguio to stay during the Panagbenga Festival.