If you're coming from Manila, Kennon Road via Rosario, La Union is the shortest distance to Baguio. It is also the most scenic and the climb is a short one. It is however the most prone to landslides and downhill would most likely burn your brakes if you do not employ engine braking.
Marcos Highway via Manaoag - San Jacinto - San Fabian - Agoo offers another alternative which will allow you to visit Manaoag Church, Agoo Church and the Museo Iloko in Agoo. At Marcos Highway, you will also be passing Pugad Camp which offers so many adventure activities. Should you wish to go to a beach prior to going to Baguio, plenty of beach resorts can be found in San Fabian.
When going to Baguio by bus, be prepared for the loooong road ahead. Its roughly a 7 hour bus ride from Manila, with 15 minute stops after like 2-3 hours. This is the part of the trip that you would not want to have: the long agonizing bus ride. It would be nice if you have friends along with you, makes it less stressful :)
Please contact RIGOR at 09087217354. He will gladly tour you in Baguio City and some sites around Benguet. He will be your driver, tourist guide and at the same time photographer in the whole duration of the excursion. Take note that he does take good pictures too. We met him during our October 2010 trip and was recommended by MR. CESAR (09274957399) of the Mabuhay Post, a DOT accredited information center, wherein tourists are assisted, if needed, upon arrival at the bus station.
Our trip was a pleasant one because of him and we felt bad after not being able to give him a tip for his service. He was even kind enough to carry our shopping bags, and also insists on closing the doors of the car for us even if we contended he need not to, instead he will always say, "Ito po and trabaho namin, Maam."
There are regular trips to Baguio City at their Pasay terminal every 30 minutes until 2 AM. Fare is P445.00. It is located along EDSA just right after the Flyover going to the airport before the Caltex Gasoline station.
You can also book for their deluxe buses for P600.00 and P700.00 with Toilet. They only have 2 trips for this one.
The Baguio Terminal going back to Manila is located at Utility Road Cor. Old Forestry Road near Microtel. The fare is also P445.00.
There are many air-conditioned buses plying the Manila-Baguio route. However, your private car is still your best alternative. You can have full control of your time for stopovers at restrooms or snack bars/coffeeshops/restaurants along the way. You will feel more secure about your baggage,too.
Be sure to check on updates re: routes to Baguio City before you travel.
Asian Spirit is now Zest Air (accdg to Vter Asianbelle) and they offer flights to Baguio City (as well as Philippine Airlines - Express) and SEAir (www.flyseair.com).
I think my wife and I rode on the Asian Spirit before and it was a nice short 50 minute flight during the morning (plane left the domestic airport in Manila at 9:00 am and arrived at the Loakan Airport at 9:50 am). Accdg to website, Baguio flights are scheduled only in the morning as visibility approaches zero in the afternoon when the fog starts to move in and cover most of the area surrounding the airport.
Loakan Airport in Baguio is about 20 minutes by car south of the city and just close to Fort Del Pilar where the Philippine Military Academy is located.
I also got the following info from this website (nice things to know)
Asian Spirit (now Zest Air) has the most flights (7) between Manila, PH and Baguio, PH.
The smallest aircraft flying between Manila, PH and Baguio, PH is a DH7 operating by Asian Spirit/Zest Air with 50 seats.
7 flights per week fly between Manila, PH and Baguio, PH
The largest aircraft flying between Manila, PH and Baguio, PH is a YS1 operating by Asian Spirit/Zest Air with 60 seats.
This bus company has some of the most comfortable buses that ply the Manila-Baguio-Manila route. Their timetable is frequent enough that you don't have to wait too long in their station. They have five (5) stations scattered all over Metro Manila. Click on the website below and check the location of the station nearest you. ;D
Traffic in Baguio is terrible, especially at downtown area and the tourist destinations. If you are going to a nearby area, leave your car at the hotel. You can either walk to exercise or take the jeepney. For farther places that are known to have heavy traffic, take the FX/taxi. It will save you the time and hassle of driving through the choke points and finding a parking space.
Manila - Baguio by bus using Victory Liner. They are easily accessible thru several terminals in Metro Manila. Caloocan, Cubao, Kamias, Pasay, and Sampaloc all have VLiner terminals. I find the Pasay one most accessible since it is along EDSA and right beside the MRT.
Their website accepts credit card payments. Buy ahead if you are travelling during holidays but other days, it is quite easy to just queue and purchase. You can also find their schedule per terminal and destination on their website. Fairly cheap at PHP460 OW.
Baguio's cab drivers are probably the most trusted breed in the entire Philippines. Well, that's as far as my experience is concerned. They won't rip you off. They would even insist for your change [they're always ready with smaller bills and coins]. So, when in Baguio, trust the cabbies. In around the city, it's only P35. If you're a group of 7 in a van, that would be P5 per person only!
My wish for Manila cabbies: I wish they're just like their Baguio counterparts.
The cheapest and convenient way to travel to baguio is through a bus. The victory liner bus in cubao has an hourly schedule of buses that leaves for baguio. And recently, they have a luxury bus that is non-stop, made possible by a lavatory built inside it. The seats are spacious and very comfortable. It is not that expensive an added P200-300 pesos from the regular fee. Although, tickets have to be purchased days before because of the high demand.
If your travelling with at least 4 friends, it is more economical to just use a car than travel by bus since the four of you can divide the gasoline cost plus the added convenience of going to far destinations like La trinidad or The Grotto or Mount Santo Tomas without added transport cost.
talking about forks, the first fork is after the nlex expressway. Right goes to mabalacat junction of the mcarthur highway. Turn right and continue on the highway. After capas town proper, there is a fork again (a caltex station and a mcdonalds on the right). take the left and go on along the highway. The next fork is before reaching tarlac city proper where the victory liner terminal is. Take the right fork. (the left fork go to the city proper and then on to camiling). Next fork is at gerona. again take the right one.(The left fork goes to the town proper and then joins the highway again). next fork is before paniqui. again take the right one.
Best bet is follow the victory liner buses after tarlac city. They either go left at the junction in urdaneta for dagupan and other west pangasinan towns, or they go straight for baguio. So follow only the victory buses going straight.
Next fork is Binalonan, I think but am not sure. Continue on. After passing by a long bridge there is a fork again less than 5 kms from it(Saitan junction). Take the right and you will be going into the kennon road and on to Bagiuo. Take the left fork and just less than a km away is a t junction. Take the left fork and continue on and when you reach a t junction again turn right and this will lead you to the Marcos highway and up to baguio. This is the normal route being used by the big buses going to Bagiuo from manila.
the ticket sells P285 (one way) plus P5 for insurance chervagh that makes it P290. In all Victory liner terminals there's always Baguio trip.
we had 3 stop overs (but I barely remember them coz we were snoring at that time lol!).
I find it ideal to go midnight trip you'll get there before sunrise.
oh BtW, their baGuio terminal is shalagh ha..!
it'll take 5-6hrs land travel from manila to baguio (v.v). it's better to travel at night, around 10-12mn, so when you reached Baguio the sun only starts to shine, then go straight follow your prepared itinerary. :-)
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