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Monday, April 1, 2024

Baguio City

Baguio, known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, is a popular tourist destination for its cool climate, scenic landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. But beyond the usual tourist spots, Baguio offers hidden gems waiting to be explored. 

Here are some off-the-beaten-path destinations you can check out for a more unique and authentic Baguio experience:

Mount Costa.Escape the crowds and find serenity amidst a haven of vibrant flowers and unique art installations. This botanical garden boasts a captivating display of nature's beauty with a touch of creativity.

BenCab Museum.Immerse yourself in the world of National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, also known as BenCab. This museum houses his extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and sketches that showcase his artistic journey.

Teacher's Camp.Take a step back in time at this historical retreat built during the American colonial period. Originally a haven for American teachers, Teacher's Camp is now a peaceful sanctuary surrounded by pine trees, perfect for relaxation and reflection.

Laperal White House.For a touch of mystery, visit the Laperal White House, rumored to be the most haunted place in Baguio. This abandoned mansion has a dark past and is said to be a haven for paranormal activity.

Tam-Awan Village.Experience the rich cultural heritage of the Cordilleran people at Tam-Awan Village. This artist's haven showcases traditional woodcarvings, woven crafts, and other indigenous artworks. You can also interact with local artisans and learn about their craft.

Bell Church.This unique church in La Trinidad, Benguet, is a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts. It is a Taoist temple built with Chinese architectural influences, offering a blend of cultural and religious significance.

Asin Hot Spring.Relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot springs of Asin. These sulfuric springs are believed to have therapeutic properties that can help ease muscle tension and improve blood circulation.

Mirador Hill and Eco Park:This park offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of Baguio City. It's a great place to relax, enjoy the fresh air, and take in the scenery. You can also go on a short hike or bike ride on the trails.

The Baguio Botanical Garden:Established in 1904, this sprawling garden is home to a diverse collection of plants and flowers. It's a great place to learn about the flora of the Cordillera region and enjoy a leisurely walk amidst nature.

The tourist hits:

Wright Park:This park was formerly an American military base. Today, it's a popular spot for horseback riding, biking, and picnicking. You can also visit The Mansion, the official summer residence of the Philippine president.

Baguio Museum:This museum houses a collection of artifacts that tell the story of Baguio City, from its indigenous roots to its development as a popular tourist destination.

Tam-Awan Village:This artist's haven is a great place to see traditional Cordilleran art and crafts. You can also meet local artisans and learn about their craft.

Museo Kordilyera:This museum houses a collection of artifacts that showcase the history and culture of the Cordillera region. You can learn about the different indigenous groups, their way of life, and their traditions.

Camp John Hay: This former American rest and recreation center is now a popular tourist destination with a variety of activities to offer, including horseback riding, ziplining, paintball, and golfing.

Strawberry farms: La Trinidad Valley, just outside of Baguio City, is known for its strawberry farms. You can visit a strawberry farm and pick your own strawberries, or enjoy strawberry-flavored treats.

Tree Top Adventure Baguio:This adventure park offers a variety of zip lines, ropes courses, and other challenges for all ages.

Burnham Park:This park is the heart of Baguio City and a popular spot for boating, biking, horseback riding, and picnicking. You can also find a number of restaurants and cafes here.

Session Road:This is the main thoroughfare of Baguio City and a popular spot for shopping, dining, and nightlife. You can find a variety of stores, restaurants, and bars here.

Good Shepherd Convent:This convent is famous for its strawberry taho, jams, and peanut brittle. You can also visit their chapel and admire the religious artifacts.

Mines View Park:This park offers stunning views of the Benguet mountains and the gold and copper mines that were once a major industry in the region.

The Baguio Cathedral:Also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Atonement, this neo-Gothic cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in Baguio City.

Colors of Stobosa(developed around 2018). This vibrant neighborhood in La Trinidad, Benguet, has become a popular tourist destination for its colorful houses. The brightly painted houses create a visually stunning scene and have become a favorite backdrop for Instagram-worthy photos.

Heritage Hill and Nature Park Garden(opened in 2022). Located within the Diplomat Hotel compound, this park offers stunning views of the city and surrounding mountains. It features landscaped gardens, walking trails, and a viewing deck, perfect for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a tranquil escape.

Igorot Stone Kingdom(opened in 2021). This park showcases both modern and traditional Igorot culture, featuring massive structures, sculptures, photo spots, and viewing decks depicting the rich heritage of the Cordillera Region.

The Baguio Botanical Garden. Established in 1904, this sprawling garden is a paradise for plant enthusiasts. Home to a diverse collection of over 8,000 plant species, explore themed sections like the Rose Garden, Orchidarium, and Cactus Garden.

St. Francis Xavier Seminary Bamboo Educational Demo Farm (Bamboo Sanctuary Location: Pacdal Liteng Road, Baguio City (inside the St. Francis Xavier Seminary) Entrance fee: Free (donations are welcome)  Open hours: 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM (Sundays and Fridays only)

This is a popular destination known for its resemblance to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, Japan. It's a great place to relax, take a leisurely walk amidst the towering bamboos, and capture some beautiful photos.

Bamboo Eco Park Another spot you can visit is the Baguio Eco Park, which also features a bamboo section. While not as extensive as the Bamboo Sanctuary, it's still a nice place to experience the beauty of bamboos.

The Pink Sisters' Convent and Chapel is a famous landmark in Baguio City. They are also known as the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Saint Ignatius Chapel: This stone church features neo-Gothic architecture and stained glass windows.

Saint Vincent Ferrer Church: This church is known for its facade with a large rose window and Spanish colonial-inspired architecture.

The Manor (The Presidential Summer Residence):Located within Wright Park, The Manor is the official summer residence of the Philippine president. While tours of the interior are not allowed, you can admire the beautiful architecture and the surrounding gardens.

Vanilla Café:This glasshouse cafe sits within Kamiseta Hotel and offers breathtaking views of Baguio's mountains and pine trees. Imagine sipping your coffee surrounded by nature's grandeur.

Cafe by the Ruins:This cafe, as the name suggests, is located beside historical ruins, creating a unique and charming atmosphere. Enjoy a cup of coffee while surrounded by lush greenery and overlooking the mountains.

Seollem Cafe:This cafe boasts trendy Korean-inspired interiors, perfect for those who appreciate a modern and stylish ambiance. Indulge in Korean-inspired coffee drinks and pastries while taking Instagram-worthy photos.

Cafe Fleur: This cafe transports you to a Parisian cafe experience with its elegant interiors and floral theme. Enjoy a cup of coffee and pastries amidst a charming and romantic ambiance.

Cafe de Angelo: This cafe feels like a quaint garden cafe in your own backyard. It features a cozy ambiance with outdoor seating and serves comfort food made with fresh, organic ingredients.

Patch Cafe:Nestled within Bloomfield Hotel, Patch Cafe offers a warm and inviting atmosphere. Perfect for unwinding with a cup of coffee and a good book.

The Coffee Library: This cafe is more than just a place to get a caffeine fix. It also houses a small library where you can browse books while enjoying your coffee. A haven for bookworms and coffee lovers alike.

The Cliffhanger Cafe: This restaurant lives up to its name with its breathtaking views of the mountains and the Banaue Rice Terraces (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in the distance. Enjoy a meal while surrounded by nature's grandeur.
(This restaurant is actually located in Banaue, Ifugao but within driving distance from Baguio)

Good Taste Restaurant:This restaurant is housed in a heritage building with traditional Cordilleran architecture. The interiors feature beautiful woodwork and a warm ambiance, perfect for a special occasion.

Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna:Experience a slice of Greece in Baguio at this restaurant. The restaurant's design reflects a Mediterranean theme with whitewashed walls, blue accents, and pops of greenery, creating a refreshing and inviting atmosphere.

Arca's Yard: This restaurant features a cozy and artistic ambiance. Artworks from local Baguio-based artists and sculptures from the Cordillera region adorn the walls, making it a visual feast. The restaurant also boasts a beautiful view of the city's mountains.

The Country Steakhouse:This restaurant offers a cozy and cabin-like ambiance. Enjoy a hearty steak dinner with a backdrop of exposed brick walls and wooden furniture.

Centerpoint Buffet & Restaurant at Azalea Residences:This restaurant features a modern and sophisticated ambiance with large windows offering stunning city views. It's a great option for a special occasion or a celebratory dinner.

The Night Market:Immerse yourself in the lively night scene at Baguio's Night Market. Explore stalls selling local handicrafts, souvenirs, fresh produce, and all sorts of interesting finds. Don't forget to try the street food for a truly local experience.

This is just a glimpse of the many hidden gems Baguio has to offer. So, ditch the usual tourist spots and explore the off-the-beaten-path destinations for a more memorable and authentic Cordilleran experience.



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