Baguio is a prime tourist city located in the northern part of the Philippines. Because of its cool climate, it is a top summer destination in the country and is known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines.” With the many pine trees and flower species found in many areas of the city, it is also tagged as the country’s “City of Pines” and “City of Flowers.”
Location and Topography
Baguio sprawls above the mountain peaks of the province of Benguet, which is about 158 miles north of Manila. It features an altitude range from 3,120 to 5,415 feet and has an average elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level. It is bounded by La Trinidad on the north, Itogon on the east, and Tuba on the west and south.
Although already urbanized in most parts, Baguio still features a generally rugged topography with dedicated agricultural sites. Aside from being a top source of vegetables and fruits, it is also a top producer of flowers both inside and outside the country.
Weather and Climate
Unlike most parts of the Philippines where temperature ranges from 23 to 35 degrees Celsius the whole year round, Baguio’s temperature annual range is from 10 to 23 degrees Celsius. Baguio is coldest from November to February when temperature drops up to 15 degrees Celsius or even lower.
Although occasional rains happen year-round, November to May is the city’s dry season. These months are considered the peak of the tourist season. Heavy rains typically come from June to October. Baguio’s annual rainfall rate is considered twice what Metro Manila, the Philippines’ capital, receives.
Many public land transportation options going to and from Baguio are available for day and night trips. Numerous bus trips operate daily from the different terminals in Metro Manila and other provinces within the island of Luzon.
Travelers coming from various parts of Luzon may also ride or rent shuttle services or use their own private vehicles to drive to Baguio. Although there are limited air travel options due to typical visibility problems that may be encountered in a foggy Baguio, air transportation can also be scheduled via the Loakan Airport.
Getting around Baguio is readily accessible through jeepneys and taxis. Apart from these major public transportation options, shorter routes can be reached by riding tricycles (motorcycles with side cars).
Attractions and Landmarks
Baguio City is an interesting tourist destination in the Philippines because of its relatively small area that still accommodates a significant number of tourists in the country. Compared to other local tourist destinations, Baguio attractions are clustered in as small as 5 miles from east to west and 6 miles from north to south. This actually becomes an advantage for tourists as Baguio becomes an easy to explore tourist-driven city for them.
Shopping around the Baguio is relatively cheap. It is also known for the many “ukay-ukay,” which are long stretches of street shops filled with cheap but fine combination of native and imported goods. These shops are bestselling spots known to anyone going to the city. Both locals and tourists typically check out these shops for fashionable merchandise items and souvenirs.
Most tourists also spend time buying fresh vegetable and fruits from local markets.
Many retreat houses and venues for spiritual healing abound in Baguio.
Nightlife in Baguio is distinctly fun and considerably cheap. Being a university city hosting some of the top Philippine universities such as the University of the Philippines-Baguio, St. Louis University, and Benguet State University, there is a large student population in the city that continues to give rise to a number of bars, cafes, and live music venues.
Popular tourist spots in Baguio include the Burnham Park, Camp John Hay, The Mansion, Teacher’s Camp and Botanical Garden, and Wright Park.
“Baguio Attractions and Historical Landmarks,” Go Baguio.
“Baguio Day Trip,” The Backpack Boy.
“Baguio, Philippines,” Yahoo! Travel.
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