Manila to Baguio: How to Get There and Back

There’s no doubt about it: Baguio is one of the most traveled to destinations from Manila because of its unique elevated landscape, natural wonder, distinct katutubo culture, breathtaking views, and really cool climate that makes it a one-of-a-kind destination and sets it apart from other famous Philippine island and beach destinations. There are a number of ways to get to Baguio from Manila, and it all depends on what’s more convenient to you, your time, and budget. Here’s a low-down on your travel and commute options to get you quickly from Manila to Baguio, and vice versa.

Botanical Garden Igorot Baguio

Photo-op with the Igorot people at the the Botanical Garden in Baguio City. | Photo by Judy Partlow used under CC

Manila to Baguio & Vice Versa by Bus

Thanks to Baguio being a major destination and the fact that buses going to Baguio from Manila can run at frequent intervals every day, getting to Baguio from Manila by bus is super convenient, comfortable, and not to mention inexpensive. Most buses depart for Baguio at certain intervals during the 24-hour span, with some running almost every hour. It’s usually best to call the bus station (listed below) or view their websites for the updated schedule, or you can just show up at the bus terminals listed below as there would be another departing bus in just a short time for sure. Although you can just show up and get our tickets over the counter, you can also book through the bus companies’ websites, or through third party booking sites such as iwantseats.com. There are a handful of bus terminals in Manila that caters to Baguio trips, while bus stations in Baguio are conveniently located near SM City mall.

Time: 5-7 hours by day, 4-6 hours for night trip. A nighttime trip is preferable as there’s less stops along the way.
Fare price: At least ₱450 per way for a regular fare, and higher (₱700-₱800) for special seats.

Victory Liner  – See terminals (click to open map) and contact numbers below. Go to VictoryLiner.com for online schedule.

  • Cubao (Manila) – (02) 727 4688, (02) 410 8986, (02) 727 4534, 09985915054
  • Pasay (Manila) – (02) 833 4403, (02) 833 5019 to 20, 09985915061
  • Sampaloc (Manila) – (02) 559 7735, 09985915073
  • Caloocan (Manila) – (02) 361 1506, (02) 361 4665 to 66, 09985915081
  • Baguio – (074) 442 5708, (074) 619 0000, 09985915100

Genesis Bus – See terminals and contact numbers below.

  • Manila Terminals: Cubao and Pasay – (02) 551 0842, (02) 4211413, (02) 8533115
  • Baguio – (074) 444 9989

Joy Bus – Contact Joy Bus at (02) 709 0545. Their terminals are in Cubao and Pasay (Manila), and Baguio.

Provincial buses are a great and convenient option to get to Baguio from Manila. | Photo by Bagong Lipunan IV used under CC

Manila to & from Baguio by Private Transport

Traveling to Baguio from Manila by car or other private transport options can be faster and very convenient given that you don’t have to stop at designated bus rest stations and that you can go at your own pace. But it can get a little bit more expensive than taking the bus if you’re not carpooling and have no one to share gas and toll fees with. If you feel like driving in the countryside and go at your own pace and stop at interesting places at anytime you wish before arriving in Baguio, though, then taking your car out on a road trip is a great option. If you don’t have a car and would like to rent one from Metro Manila, a great way is through Expedia which has car inventories for rent in Manila or if you prefer the convenience of having your own driver, this private car charter would be a great deal.

You can definitely use Google Maps or Waze app to give you driving directions, but just to give you the low-down of the trip, here goes our preferred route to Baguio from Manila:

  1. From Manila, drive northbound via the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway). Take Exit 85 to get to SCTEX.
  2. Drive along SCTEX to Baguio via Tarlac.
  3. Take the Tarlac Exit, then follow the road signs leading to MacArthur Highway.
  4. Once in MacArthur Highway, drive straight, passing through Tarlac and Pangasinan provinces until you reach Rosario, La Union. From here, you have two options:
    • From the Rosario Junction, you can take Kennon Road straight up to Baguio City – Kennon Road is the shortest route but with narrow roads, and is most popular for its scenic views.
    • From the Rosario Junction, drive a little further and turn right to take the wider Marcos Highway to Baguio City.
Exiting SCTEX to Tarlac and Baguio

Exiting SCTEX to Tarlac and Baguio. | Photo by Hungarian Snow used under CC

Since travel time between Manila and Baguio can take a little longer than the usual day trip destinations from Manila, plan your time and itinerary well, depending on what you want to achieve. Night time travel is much preferred of course, since travel time is a lot shorter and if taking the bus, rest stops are fewer and you get to rest during the trip. But if you’re more on sightseeing and experiencing the countryside without the rush, then definitely taking the day trip would be an equally awesome experience.

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