Can you explore Baguio City’s main tourist spots in a day? Of course, you can!
Despite being tagged as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio is rather a small city with an area of 49 square kilometers. It was first built for a capacity of 25,000 people but the population in Baguio City had skyrocketed to more than 300,000. Despite that, Baguio City still remains to be the top escape of Filipinos and tourists from the southern part of the country.
Among the places that tourists flock to in Baguio, the famous ones are Mines View Park, the Mansion House, Wright Park, Botanical Garden and Burnham Park. These are quite a few, right? But you can actually visit all these in one day.
If you are a first time tourist in Baguio City, you ought to start your list with Mines View Park. No tourist has ever been to Baguio without visiting this place. Around the area, there are a lot of souvenir shops that you may maze through. But the main attraction of Mines View Park is the view deck that highlights the Benguet mines and the panoramic sight of the mountain area. You may rent binoculars to have a closer look at the mines. After feasting your eyes with the majestic view, you may also try to experience wearing traditional Cordilleran clothing in Mines View Park. For quite some time, posing with St. Bernards in Mines View Park has also been a feat here. So, make sure to take a pose with them, too!
Side trip: The Good Shepherd Convent is just a few meters away from Mines View. Here, you will be able to buy their trademark products, such as the Ube Jam, Strawberry Jam, Peanut Brittle and more. The products sold here are made by nuns in the convent and the profit is used for different charities and the maintenance of the convent.
A kilometer away from Mines View Park is the Mansion House. The Mansion House was built in 1908 to be the official residence of the chief executives of the Philippines during summer time to escape the scorching heat of Manila. It was damaged during the World War II and was rebuilt on 1947. Since then, it continued to be the residence of the country’s Presidents when they visit Baguio City. In 2009, the Mansion House was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute.
Across the Mansion House there is a pond that will lead you to the right path – to the Wright Park. Basically, this is a place for horseback riding. You may either choose to ride a horse in the circle beside the park or arrange for a stroll around the area.
After the encounter with horses, you ought to take a break at Ketchup Community. The Ketchup Community describes itself as a restaurant concept that features Baguio-based businesses. It easily became a tourist hotspot since its establishment in 2012 not just because of its concept but also because of its strategic location. It is near Mines View, Mansion House and it is right in front of Wright Park. You may choose from five different restaurants in Ketchup Community: Canto, Happy Tummy, Rancho Norte, Rumah Sate, and Green Pepper. Or if you really have the appetite, you may also try all of them.
After filling your stomach and resting, head next to the Botanical Garden. If you want to further escape the city life, then visiting the Baguio Botanical Garden may be worthwhile for you. Aside from, of course, different kinds of flowers, the garden is also surrounded by pine trees, a trademark tree of Baguio. The feel in this place will make you think that you are in a different universe far from the concrete jungle that you may be used to. Aside from the plants, flowers and trees, another attraction inside the Botanical Garden is the Japanese Park. You may also opt to explore the tunnel here, which is said to take you to different neighboring locations outside the Botanical Garden. The tunnel was built during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines.
Once you are in Mines View Park, all the place after it can actually be reached by foot and you might not even sweat one bit (on certain times of the year) because Baguio City weather is way cooler than other places in the Philippines. From the Botanical Garden, you may ride a jeep that will drop you off in Harrison Road. From there, you can walk going to Burnham Park. In the evening, if you still have energy to burn, take a stroll in the Baguio City Night Market starting 9:00PM.