Pine trees in Baguio City

Top 10 Unique Baguio Tours and Activities You Have to Try

Verified Expert

The Bamboo Sanctuary and a barista making coffee in Baguio

Photos by Trip Quest Travel and Tours

Baguio City, known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, is famous for its pine-scented chilly air, scenic mountain views, and cold climate because of its high altitude. It is located in the Cordillera Administrative Region, about 244 KM north of the Philippines’ capital, Metro Manila. Travelers looking to escape the humidity of low land areas can drive up to Baguio to enjoy the cool climate, especially during the summer season.



During the Commonwealth Period, Baguio was developed as a Hill Station, and many structures and parks were built as places of rest and recuperation. Many of these places are now popular tourist spots, such as Mines View Park, Camp John Hay, Burnham Park, and Wright Park. Visitors bring home well-loved sweets like the ubiquitous purple “ube” jams from Pink Sisters Convent, raisin bread from Baguio Country Club, and strawberry jams from local artisans.



Aside from these famous go-to Baguio tourist spots. there are plenty of new tours and activities that travelers can explore for a unique experience in the City of Pines. Here are some highly recommended places to discover and fun activities to try during your next Baguio tours.

10. Chocolate Tour 

Using a batirol to make traditional chocolatePhoto by Cocina del Sol

Baguio’s chilly climate is the perfect weather for enjoying a steaming cup of delicious hot chocolate in the Philippines. One of the best places to indulge in this treat is at a cafe called Choco-late de Batirol. Located in Camp John Hay, Choco-late de Batirol specializes in the thick beverage that is made of local cocoa beans. The hot cocoa is prepared the old-fashioned way which uses a copper pot with a wooden whisk called a “batirol” to thicken the cocoa drink.



It is a traditional method of whisking the cocoa by hand until it achieves the desired consistency and is best paired with either a “bibingka”, a rice cake steamed in a clay pot, or “suman sa lihiya”, a type of cake made of glutenous rice and sugar. Both rice cakes are topped with grated coconut and make the perfect complement to the deliciously rich hot cocoa. This beverage is available in other flavors such as strawberry, orange, almond, cinnamon, and choco mallows

9. Haunted House Tour at Diplomat Hotel

Exterior of the Diplomat Hotel in BaguioPhoto by Trip Quest Travel and Tours

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, setting foot on the grounds of the Diplomat Hotel will pique your interest as you unravel the unusual events that took place inside its four walls. Built as a retreat house by Dominican Friars in 1913, it is located on top of a hill with a picturesque view of the city.

It became a school for a short period of time before it became a Japanese encampment in World War 2, during which barbaric acts are said to have occurred and caused the restless ghosts to roam its halls.



After the war, it became the Diplomat Hotel but abandoned shortly thereafter. In 2013, it became a National Historical Site, and is currently being promoted as a venue for hosting art exhibits for paintings, sculptures, installations, and photographs. It is now a haven for the city’s talented artists, although its reputation as a haunted house is still one of its biggest attractions for tourists to visit the venue.

8. Bamboo Sanctuary Tour

A walkway in the Bamboo Sanctuary in BaguioPhoto by Trip Quest Travel and Tours

Located just 3 km from Mines View Park, the Bamboo Sanctuary is an eco-park inside the St. Francis Xavier Seminary in Liteng, Pacdal, Baguio City. Its most striking feature is a narrow walkway flanked by lush bamboo trees on both sides, with a few bamboo fences painted red. It’s a great place to stroll while enjoying the cool mountain breeze of the famed City of Pines and has become a popular spot for sharing selfies and beautiful photos over social media.



The Bamboo Sanctuary is part of a project by the local government to reforest 20 hectares of land. A pledge was given to fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The eco-park showcases different types of bamboo species, giving guests the perfect place to be immersed in nature. You emerge with a feeling of well-being from being exposed in a peaceful bamboo forest, with only sounds of birds and insects for company.

7. Cordilleran Cuisine Tour 

A paella with Baguio longganisa at Cocina del SolPhoto by Cocina del Sol

Cordilleran cuisine typically consists of salty meat, fresh vegetables, grains, and root crops, with ingredients caught or grown from communal lands. Delicious food is cooked simply and nothing is wasted. Meat is preserved either through a drying, salting, or a smoking process called “kinuday”, resulting in meat similar to ham or jerky called “etag”. Another uniquely Ibaloi method is called “pinikpikan” in which native chicken is beaten with a wooden stick and grilled over an open fire.



Three of the many places serving authentic Cordilleran fare are Anidu Cordilleran Bistro along Naguilian Road, Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant in Tam-awan Village, Longlong Road, and Cafe Yagam in Felipe St., Gibraltar. All of these restaurants specialize in traditional dishes such as “Inlagim Pato” or pinikpikan, “Pinuneg” or blood sausage and Etag.

For an interesting spin on traditional Ibaloi fare, try some of the dishes at Cocina del Sol, a restaurant specializing in Spanish-Cordilleran fusion dishes. Dine al-fresco style while enjoying Spanish food like paellas, tapas, and meats cooked over wooden fire, all prepared with a local Cordilleran twist. They also serve delicious pastries and refreshing beverages to complement the food.

6. Artist Village Tour 

An artwork in Tam-awan village in Baguio

Get to know Baguio city’s rich cultural heritage and thriving artist community with a tour of 3 must-visit sites starting with the Ili-Likha Artist Village along Assumption Road, a food and art hub established by acclaimed film director Kidlat Tahimik.

It has a multi-level structure that looks like a treehouse located inside an establishment that strives to celebrate Cordilleran culture and its indigenous roots. Along with the various works of art and installations, it also has a food stalls such as Cafe Cueva and Waynu serving local favorites, as well as specialty shops selling handmade souvenir items, fresh flowers, and other colorful knickknacks.



Tam-awan Village an open-air museum and artist colony that features a reconstructed Cordillera village that highlights traditional Ifugao architecture and the indigenous way of life. Founded by national artist Ben Cabrera, the venue frequently hosts exhibits and art workshops to help promote Baguio artists.

The Woodcarver’s Village is a major tourist attraction where traditional woodcarving methods by Ifugao or Itogon locals are showcased. As a hub for budding local artists and experienced woodcarvers, you’ll witness talented craftspeople in action as they create intricate designs in various shapes and sizes.

5. Beer School Tour

Different beers served at Craft 1945 in BaguioPhoto by Trip Quest Travel and Tours

Craft 1945 is a restaurant serving authentic Spanish cuisine located in a 2-storey American-style wooden house, just a stone’s throw away from the Baguio Country Club. It is also has a local microbrewery by the Baguio Craft Brewery, which produces various craft beers that are conducive to the cool Baguio weather. The cold beverage is typically served along with Craft 1945’s delicious dishes, with the ideal beer match suggestions provided by your server.



They offer a wide selection of beer at the restaurant, with as many as 10 types readily available on tap. The house brew is called the Craft 1945 Pale Ale and is available only at Craft 1945, which has a light and refreshing flavor profile to balance out the garlic-infused flavors of most Spanish dishes at the restaurant.

Another favorite is called the Hop Attack, an Imperial IPA that has a high concentration of hops mixed with a tinge of malty sweetness, while the dark Baltic Porter called the Kraken is a smooth, malty beer that goes well with saucy, savory dishes.

4. Silver craft-making

Artisan crafts a silver ring

Baguio’s silver craft and metal craft industry go as far back as the late 1800s with the establishment of pioneering mining firms in the region during that period. The ready availability of raw materials for silversmithing coincided with vocational workshops and school programs provided by Catholic schools for local children.

Pupils soon became so adept at their craft that the St. Louis silver shop was established, one of the first shops of its kind to sell. American servicemen counted as their first clients, buying silver jewelry with intricate designs to bring home to loved ones as souvenir items.



 

Local artisans became so good at creating silver jewelry and handmade filigree designs that visiting dignitaries started to take notice, going as far as including a trip to these silver shops as part of their itineraries on their trips to Baguio.

Today this tradition of excellence continues with local shops showcasing local talent, which includes PILAK Silver craft and Gift Shoppe and Tawidcraft Corporation, both of which produce hand-made, finely crafted silver jewelry as well as sterling silver tableware.  

3. Weaving Tour

Woman weaving using a loom in BaguioPhoto by Trip Quest Travel and Tours

Weaving is an important part of Cordilleran culture because it is embedded in every part of their day-to-day lives. Aside from its primary function of keeping the body warm, the type of woven cloth worn by a tribe is an indicator of unique ethnic origins and identity. It is also a right to passage, a way of transferring skills from mother to daughter to ensure that specialized skills are passed on to the next generation, their expertise continuing as a living legacy.



With the support of traditional weaving advocates at the turn of the century, weaving schools flourished during the early 1900s. One of these schools was headed by Anne Hargreaves, a deaconess who helped establish the Easter Weaving Room in 1909. Young local women were trained in the weaving arts and today, hand-loomed products are still being made using the traditional method.

You can watch expert weavers creating intricately woven designs using the loom. Various practical and aesthetically pleasing textile pieces are available for sale at the adjacent shop, which includes table cloths, Ikat and ethnic-styled bags, area rugs, bed linens, wall hangings, and so much more.

2. Coffee Tour

Barista makes coffete at Kape UmaliPhoto by Trip Quest Travel and Tours

The Philippines ’ rich topography and fertile soil make it a conducive place for producing various types of coffee beans. Filipinos are also big coffee drinkers and many cafes have sprouted all over the country, including Baguio. Because it is near the upland regions of Benguet, Sagada, and Kalinga, coffee in Baguio are sourced from these nearby coffee-producing regions, all known for their high-quality coffee beans that are organically grown and devoid of pesticides.



Kape Umali in Shangri-la Village, Baguio City is the perfect place to not just enjoy a good cup of coffee, but to also learn about the origins of coffee making in the Philippines. The first store was established in 1953 and started as a distributor of coffee beans in the region. Through the years, they slowly expanded their operations throughout Baguio.

They offer training for budding baristas on the fine art of coffee making and teach them how to make a well-balanced brew. It is a one-stop-shop for all things coffee-related, with a store selling beans and merchandise that includes machines, syrups, sugars, and various types of sauces.

1. Forest Bathing Tour

Entrance to the forest bathing trail in Camp John Hay

Forest bathing is a concept popularized by the Japanese, where participants are encouraged to go on a leisurely walk through the woods. The term ‘shinrin-yoku’ is a Japanese word that translates to “taking in the forest atmosphere.” Those who participate in this relaxing activity stroll along a place surrounded by nature, tall trees, and lots of plants.

It is said to have many health benefits, especially for those living a fast-paced lifestyle in the city. It is a chance to immerse yourself in nature and to take in the healing properties of a place filled with lush greenery. Going on a regular forest bathing tour is said to help improve sleep quality, boost the immune system, and improve your ability to focus.



Baguio has many green places that are perfect for strolling through a forest. One of these is located in Camp John Hay, an eco-trail with rugged terrain and lots of pine trees. There are even various art installations made of natural materials like bamboo and rocks arranged as a tower.

It has 9 checkpoints along a 2km road with a pathway specifically created for forest bathers. Afterward, you may opt to have a sumptuous lunch and a refreshing massage at a nearby spa for a rejuvenating day in Baguio.

Plan Your Baguio Tour with These Unique Attractions and Activities

Pine trees in Baguio City

Baguio is a dynamic city with so many unique experiences to offer that are beyond the usual well-loved tourist spots. It has a flourishing art community where talented craft smiths create beautiful handicrafts such as silver jewelry, hand-loomed textiles, and intricate woodcarvings.

Famous personalities like Kidlat Tahimik and Ben Cabrera have taken residence in Baguio, contributing to the mountain city’s colorful cultural and artistic heritage. Baguio is also a food lover’s haven where fresh produce and delectable dishes are available throughout the city.

Artisanal makers and craft brewers who offer unique concoctions thrive in this beautiful mountainous city, so go ahead and visit the places on this list of Baguio tours to get to know another side of this well-loved Philippine summer capital.