A favourite destination among both domestic and foreign tourists, Baguio is easily reached from Manila. Located approximately 250 kilometres from Manila via R-8 and N Luzon W Expy/R-8, Baguio can be reached by bus in about 5–8 hours. The travel time depends largely on the type of the bus and the time of the day you travel – whether you take a day trip or a night one. In general, travelling by night can save you about 2 hours as traffic is less heavy compared to the daytime.
The airport of Baguio is called Loakan Airport but in 2012 all commercial air services have been discontinued and at present the only way to get to Baguio is overland.
Bus from Manila to Baguio
Currently, there are 6 bus companies that regularly ply the Manila-to-Baguio route. The most popular is arguably Victory Liner which has terminals in Cubao, Pasay, and Sampaloc. Their buses depart for Baguio every hour with the first trip from Pasay at 1.15am and the latest at 11pm leaving Cubao and Pasay stations simultaneously. If you are starting from Sampaloc, they have 2 departures only – at 6am and 10am.
Another reliable operator is Genesis with buses heading for Baguio from their own terminals located in Cubao and Avenida. Buses depart Cubao terminal every hour starting from 3am to 7pm and almost around the clock – from the Avenida station.
Other bus companies that serve the same route are Dagupan Bus, Saulog Bus, Dangwa Transit, Philippine Rabbit. You can find their bus terminals scattered all over Metro Manila.
Bus types, onboard service and road conditions between Manila and Baguio
There are basically two types of buses: standard air-conditioned and first class. The former costs around PHP455 while the latter costs between PHP700 and PHP750.
There is a big difference in terms of comfort and convenience between the two. Seating capacity in the first class is only half of the standard A/C bus so you get more leg room and soft reclining seats – which is crucial for a long trip. The more expensive option also means shorter travel time because first class buses travel till Baguio non-stop.
First class coaches are equipped with a small onboard toilet and during the trip some snaks are served. Do not expect too much in terms of meals – it is more like just a bottle of water and some cookies.
Road condition between Manila and Baguio is currently quite good. The only annoying thing you can encounter during your trip is heavy traffic during the daytime so we would strongly recommend opting for a night bus.
Also, the temperature onboard can be freezing so make sure to bring a blanket or a sweater.
From Manila to Baguio by taxi or shuttle van
It is always possible to travel to Baguio by taxi or shuttle van but it is not very common. You will have to negotiate the taxi rate which can be very expensive. Vans for hire are mostly private-operated so the best way to hire one is to ask locals for reliable references.
If you like to travel in comfort, make sure to book one of the first class buses online.