Due to quarantine measures in place, some of these destinations might be temporarily closed. Please coordinate with the management or local government before visiting.
Is Baguio your favorite destination, but are you getting tired of the usual places to visit and things to do? This year, rekindle your love for the Summer Capital by checking out these new attractions near Baguio. It’s a combination of newer spots as well as not-so-familiar ones.
1. Kiss the clouds and say hello to the sun at Mt. Cabuyao.
One of the most popular attractions in Baguio is hiking. Most mountaineers and hikers know that the Cordilleras offer numerous picturesque mountains. Most are quite difficult and challenging climbs for beginners, but Baguio and nearby Benguet have smaller peaks to climb and experience. You don’t need to be an experienced hiker or mountaineer to go to them.
Mount Cabuyao offers a breathtaking view for beginners and experienced hikers alike.
Mt. Cabuyao, which is located in the municipality of Tuba, Benguet, is one such peak. It once gained popularity for being the shooting location of popular television series “Forevermore.” Before it became Sitio La Presa, however, it was a quiet community of vegetable farmers. After the series ended, everything went back to how it used to be. In addition to its television fame, Mt. Cabuyao is also known as the site for giant radar stations.
To reach Mt. Cabuyao, you have the option of hiking from its foot near Marcos Highway and Green Valley, which gives you about 8 kilometers to walk. The hike will be along paved roads, which can get quite busy because this is a main thoroughfare for PUJs and private cars. You can also take a jeep or taxi to the peak. However, entry to the radar stations is currently restricted unless you have prior written permission.
Called the “Little Pulag” of Benguet, Mt. Yangbew has a scenic trail perfect for novice mountaineers.
Mt. Yangbew, also called Mt. Jambo, is located in Barangay Tawang, La Trinidad, Benguet. You can reach the entry point by cab from Baguio, and it will take you about 30 to 45 minutes. You need to pay an environmental fee at the barangay hall (PhP30 for local hikers and bikers, PhP25 for students, PhP50 for foreigners, PhP100 for overnight camping).
Unlike Mt. Cabuyao, Mt. Yangbew offers a less obstructed view of nearby environs. You also don’t need to contend with vehicles. There is only one hiking trail up the summit, and most of it is paved. The area at the peak is wide—it even has a riding trail for horses. Some hikers go up in the wee hours of the morning so that they can catch the sunrise at the peak.
3. Smell the flowers and more at Mount Costa and Botanical Garden.
This ever-growing relaxation spot contains beautiful and diverse flora.
Among the newer attractions in Baguio is Mount Costa, a “green living room” of landscaped gardens and many open and green spaces. After opening in February 2017, it has become the go-to place if you want a break from the city. You can choose to sit in a quiet spot and commune with nature. Or you can explore its 24 gardens and get to know what plants and flowers can be found there.
It’s full of Instagram-worthy spots that will satisfy selfie-lovers and millennials. And you get to breathe fresh mountain air as you walk around. To reach Mount Costa, you can take a cab from Baguio City. There are also PUJs that ply the route, such as the “long trip” jeep to Lamtang via Irisan, which starts at Rizal Park/Rose Garden.
Two of five elephant installments in Baguio Botanical Garden
Image: Evelyn de Jesus
Baguio Botanical Garden also has something new to offer this year. Last December 2017, a new area called the Philippine-Thailand Friendship Garden was inaugurated in the park. It features five life-size elephant statues that the Thai government donated to the Philippines as a symbol of friendship. These statues were crafted by three Thai sculptors who had finished them in 4 months.
The easiest to visit is Bridal Veil Falls, in Tuba, Benguet. The falls is located in between Camp One and Camp Two, found along Kennon Road. To reach the falls, you need to cross an old but sturdy hanging bridge. The best way to get to the area is by private car. It can be a quick stopover on your way to Baguio.
Hydro Falls can be found at Camp 6, Tuba, Benguet, which is also accessible via Kennon Road. The hike to the falls can be quite challenging though. Apart from crossing a hanging bridge, you also need to negotiate and climb big boulders in order to reach the foot of the falls. You can reach Camp 6 by jeepney from Baguio City.
5. Experience educational fun for kids and adults.
Go back in time while enjoying and learning at the same time.
Images: Baguio Eco Park, Inc.
The same company that operates Dinosaurs Island in Clark, Pampanga has brought the same experience and more to Baguio. Baguio Eco Park is one of the newer theme park destinations in the city which features attractions such as Dinosaurs Island, Holy Land, The Ruins, and Renaissance Museum. It is located in Badiwan, Tuba, Benguet, along Marcos Highway.
Dinosaurs Island is one of the newest attractions in Baguio that features animatronic dinosaurs and a live dinosaur “puppet” show, while Holy Land takes you back to Biblical times with its life-size museum of famous Bible stories. The Ruins, on the other hand, shows replicas of relics from the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and China. Lastly, Renaissance Museum pays tribute to the legacy of Leonardo da Vinci. You can see all the attractions for an entrance fee of PhP800 per head for adults and children above 3 feet and PhP640 for senior citizens, persons with disability, and Tuba residents. Children three feet and below are free of charge.
The trek up north is just one plan away. Which of these destinations sparked your interest? Let us know in the comments below!
Stay safe as you travel! Make sure to follow social distancing protocols and observe health precautions wherever you go. Have a great trip!
This article was originally published in Yoorekka on February 01, 2018.
About Liezl Formilleza-Dunuan
Liezl is a freelance writer based in Baguio. With a background in Journalism, her love for the written word goes beyond news and feature writing, as she writes for several online lifestyle publications. Local culture, food, and travel are her favorite themes.
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