Traveling from Manila
Getting to Manila and then off to Baguio by bus is still the most economical means of transportation. There are several bus companies that take on the route from Manila heading to Baguio with terminals scattered all over the metropolitan area. This makes finding a bus to get there very easy. The bus ride to Baguio will take around five up to seven hours with a few stopovers in between.
A couple of bus companies of note will have to be Dagupan Bus or Victory Liner. These two companies have buses leaving for Baguio practically every hour. The buses are air-conditioned and quite modern, which means you should expect only a few bumps along the way. The only major drawback is that the seats are designed for an average Filipino’s size. Our taller foreign visitors might have to hunch and huddle a bit during the trip and stretch out later when you reach the next stop over. The trip from Manila to Baguio will only cost you around P400. A deluxe trip will cost you around P700.
Traveling from Angeles City / Clark in Pampanga
Traveling from Clark in Pampanga will be a bit cheaper and will have a shorter travel time. Travelers opting to go by here will have to take a Partas Bus heading north. Buses usually leave the airport at Clark at 5:00 PM and then make a three-hour travel to Sison at 8:00 PM. You then switch to a Victory Liner bus from Sison to Baguio and travel for another hour and a half. The whole trip will cost you around P300 but it will totally be up to you if the hassle of finding and switching buses will be worth the savings and faster travel.
“Kennon Rd or Marcos Hiway?”
Historic Kennon Road is the shortest access route to Baguio City, with a minimal toll fee (Php15 or USD.30) for cars. As it snakes through Bued River Canyon, one will see many waterfalls, pine trees and mountainsides dotted with wild sunflowers. Most notable is Bridal Veil Falls—which end up in a clear pool of, surprisingly, warm water. Travelers often stop by for a dip in the hot spring pool.
When the turns become sharp, you’re almost at the Lion’s head. There are actually two of them—the smaller one carved by nature and the bigger one carved by man and sponsored by the Baguio Lion’s Club. The larger one has a view deck beside it, colorful, of lime stone, and complete with souvenir stalls. The Lion’s head has become a popular symbol of Kennon Road and is always associated with Baguio City. A few more turns from there, past camp 8, and the 45-minute trek up Kennon Road ends.
Enter the city through the intersection at Baguio Medical Center and take Gov. Pack Road to the city proper. Kennon Road is still the best path to take up Baguio City to visitors who have grown fond of its rugged beauty, however, a century’s worth of extensive mining has depleted some of the surrounding mountains of ground cover and pine trees, leading to land and rock slides, which makes Kennon Road not as reliable during the rainy season.
Beautiful Marcos Highway has a scenic view of South China Sea, and its recent redesign has given it short cut entrance just a few hundred meters further north from that of Kennon’s in Rosario, La Union. So instead of proceeding to the original entry point at Agoo, La Union, or the alternative one furhter up in Pugo, one can enter Marcos Highway about 500 meters after the Rosario junction entry point to Kennon Road.
Although longer than Kennon, Marcos is wider, smoother and “all-weather.” Sometimes, it is also nice to pull over and stop for photos in the areas where the clouds are lower than Marcos Highway on a bright, sunny day. You can expect some fog in the afternoons.
Take Marcos Highway, especially if you are headed for the north-west side of the city, which is in the general area of Green Valley, Legarda Road, Quezon Hill. There’s also an access road from Marcos Highway that allows you to skip the center of town altogether and go directly to Asin Road or Naguilian Road.
Compared to Kennon Road, Marcos Highway requires a stronger engine because of an unavoidable and particularly steep incline, so if your car doesn’t have a problem in that area, Marcos Highway will give you a smooth ride up to the City of Pines.
Transportation within Baguio City
Transportation within the city will be like anywhere in the Philippines. You’ll still find plenty of traditional jeepneys traveling around the streets. All you have to do to get a ride is to hail one and get on. The current jeepney fare is P7.50 for short distances. You also have the option to take taxi to your next destination. There are roughly 5,000 taxis that ply the roadways, so it is not difficult to find a ride from most locations. Metered taxi rates start at P30.00. You can either pick up a cab for a one way trip or hire one by the hour or for the whole day. This will cost you more but will be more convenient if you don’t know how to get around Baguio City.