Unlike the Manila-to-Baguio route where transportation options abound, you will have to carefully plan your travel in and around the Cordillera region. This also refers to the-Banaue-to-Baguio route.
As the gateway to the world-renowned rice terraces, Banaue sees a lot of both domestic and foreign travellers but transportation option to get both to and from Banaue are rather limited. Banaue can be reached only overland – you have to rely on buses, vans and jeepneys.
The distance between Banaue and Baguio is around 300 kilometres, but travel time usually takes anywhere between 9 and 11 hours due to long serpentine stretches of the road, no matter whether you pass via Santiago or Bontoc.
Bus from Banaue to Baguio
The most popular and convenient though the priciest option to get from Banaue to Baguio is to take a direct Ohayami Trans bus. In Banaue, their terminal is located near the Municipal Tourism Center. The bus leaves only once a day at 5pm and the fare should be around PHP600. Booking your trip in advance is highly recommended, especially if you are traveling during peak season.
On their way to Baguio Ohayami Trans bus stops in Lagawe at 6.30pm. To get to Lagawe from Banaue, catch a tricycle or jeepney. The trip will take only half an hour and cost about PHP30 (jeepney fare; negotiate the costs with the tricycle driver by yourself). From Lagawe, board an Ohayami Trans for Baguio.
Alternatively, you can also board a KMS bus that departs for Baguio twice daily at 7am and 6pm. Their bus station can be found near the tourist centre, too. This is a local bus company and unlike Ohayami Trans, they do not allow reservation online. You can try calling or messaging their Facebook account but we would recommend just going to the ticket booth at the terminal. Bus fare should be about PHP500. Yet another option is to take a jeepney to Kiangan and then board a KMS bus to Baguio there.
Besides Ohayami Trans and KMS, there are other buses that ply the Banaue-to-Baguio route. They are all local type buses without air-cons and with hard non-reclining seats. For more information on schedules contact the tourist centre in Banaue.
Van from Banaue to Baguio
The Indigenous Tourist Transport Alliance Group operate 12-seater vans to Baguio. The van will save you a couple of hours of travel time and some PHP100 in your pocket, as well. But in general we always recommend to opt for a big bus for any ride over 5 hours.
Bus types, onboard service and road conditions between Banaue and Baguio
Road condition between Banaue and Baguio is quite good and extremely scenic though there are long winding stretches which can make some passengers suffer from motion sickness – come prepared.
Apart from Ohayami Trans buses, all the other buses are local non-A/C buses taking up as many passengers as fit the bus – aisle spaces included. There are no onboard toilets though a couple of bathroom stops are made along the route. So for a more comfortable trip we suggest booking a more expensive VIP bus.