Benguet is a landlocked, mountainous province occupying the southern tip of the Cordillera Mountain Range in Northern Luzon. Together with Abra, Apayao, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province, it forms part of the Cordillera Administrative Region. Benguet’s high elevation at 1500 meters above sea level gives the province a cool and temperate climate all year round and a conducive environment for growing upland vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, cabbages, and white potatoes, earning its title of being the “Salad Bowl of the Philippines.”
Aside from its huge and bountiful vegetable production, Benguet is also famed for its expansive flower farms, which sees huge harvests of colorful blooms that are sold throughout the entire country. Its capital La Trinidad is popular for its strawberry farms, drawing in tourists who wish to experience picking the fruits first-hand and sampling them on-site, alongside other products such as strawberry jams and ice cream. Deep within La Trinidad is the town of Bahong, known as the Rose Capital of the Philippines for its huge production of different varieties of rose flowers.
Benguet is also the home of Mt. Pulag, the second highest mountain of the country, and a must-go destination for mountain climbers and hiking enthusiasts wishing to witness the sea of clouds that smother its rugged terrains and landscapes.
Within the interior of Benguet province is top tourist destination Baguio City, regarded as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. It is administered independently from the province though, following its conversion into a chartered city.
Benguet enjoys a cool climate all year round, with its lowest temperature dropping to about 7°C during the cold months of December to March. This time of the year causes frost that damage the vegetables grown here
Cheapest time to visit Benguet
As with the rest of the Philippines, the rainy season in Benguet from around June to November is considered the low travel season. Prices for accommodations significantly drop during this time.
Weather in Benguet
Benguet enjoys both dry and wet seasons. The former happens from December to May, when temperatures are its coolest but rainfall at its lowest.
Many visit the province during the dry season between November and April, where temperatures are at its coolest and rainfall at its lowest. The rainy season is rather the same as with the rest of Luzon, but precipitation is somewhat higher. Heavy rain, especially those brought by typhoons, can cause seasonal road closures due to landslides and rockfalls.
Peak season in Benguet
Most people visit Benguet during the dry season from December to May, especially when hiking up its famous mountains is on the itinerary, to avoid heavy rains. Also, most flowers are in full bloom during January to April, making it a best time to fully marvel at the sea of flowers in Benguet’s many floral farms.
When to avoid visiting
Landslides may possibly happen during the rainy season between June to November, making it unsafe for people who plan to trek and hike in Benguet to go at this time.
The best jumpoff point to visit the different towns in Benguet is Baguio City. Baguio is a prime tourist destination, so coming here from Manila and other parts of North Luzon will be convenient and easy. Several bus lines departing from different terminals across Manila have direct trips to Baguio.
Once in Baguio City, head to Dangwa Terminal behind Centermall or the terminal at the Slaughterhouse where vans and buses going to different municipalities in Benguet depart from.
If you are planning to specifically reach the Northern Blossom Flower Farm in Atok, Benguet, one of the most popular and highly visited attractions in the province, tell the bus driver to drop you off at the Atok Municipal Hall in Brgy. Paoay.
Because of its remote location and traditional way of living, Benguet is a very safe place to be in and go around. Locals are friendly and welcoming to tourists.
The only safety hazard when traveling to Benguet will be slippery roads and possible landslides when heavy rains pour during the rainy season.
Different modes of public transportation such as tricycles, jeepneys, and buses will be available once you are in the province of Benguet. However, expect to wait longer times because there will be few trips throughout the day.
Visitors will not expect to see taxicabs in the more remote villages and towns of Benguet, except in Baguio City and the provincial capital of La Trinidad.
If you are driving your own vehicle going in and around Benguet, locals will be more than happy to provide you with help for directions.
Visitors will be treated to the freshest, highest quality, and most affordable vegetables and crops when in Benguet, so don’t miss out on eating them in small eateries and also buying some to take home.
Delicacies in this area include pinikpikan, chicken that is slowly beaten to death and will have a darker color and rougher texture; etag, which is salted and preserved meat; and kiniing, a kind of smoked pork jerky.
Sample local wines popular in Benguet and its neighboring towns, including rice wine, more commonly known as Tapuy andis the native drink of the Igorots, as well as strawberry wine made from the fresh fruits grown in La Trinidad.
Visitors will have to head to Baguio City for more dining and drinking options.
Tourist accommodations in Benguet are very limited, and only range from local homestays to small inns. Most of the hotels, resorts, and inns are concentrated in Baguio City.