Baguio City, the country’s summer capital, is one of the most popular road trip destinations in the Philippines. Located roughly 245 kms or about four to six hours drive from Manila depending on your route and the traffic, the “City of Pines” is considered one of the best destinations near Manila for road trippers and riders, because of the scenic views and twisties just getting there.
After a satisfying drive, once you get to Baguio City, you can enjoy the cooler climate, amazing food options, natural spots such as view decks and hiking trails and unique Cordilleran arts and culture.
During the lockdown these past few months, many people based in Metro Manila badly missed going up Baguio City for spontaneous weekend trips and during the normally busy Christmas and festival season.
While we’re still not out of the woods yet when it comes to the pandemic, the easing of requirements to get in to Baguio City will be welcome news for those who have been stuck in the city for months and are raring to go on a long road trip to revisit their favorite summer destination.
According to the latest updated guidelines released by Baguio City tourism, as of March 2, 2021, in line with the approved uniform protocols for local travels, Baguio City no longer requires a COVID-19 test result for visitors.
However, potential leisure tourists are still required to register via the Baguio VIS.I.T.A. (Visitor Information and Travel Assistant), the online registration system for Baguio tourists and travelers and undergo a triage visit upon their arrival.
According to the Visita Baguio page, the City of Pines is now ready to accept ALL tourists from the entire country. They previously opened their gates to tourists from Luzon as long as they have no underlying health conditions.
While the COVID test is no longer a mandatory requirement, visitors still need to complete the registration form at least one day before their intended travel.
The local government also asks visitors to practice responsible tourism, which means keeping in mind and observing minimum health and safety protocols while in the city since we’re still living with the pandemic, and following all local city laws and ordinances.
Here’s a detailed guide for those planning to visit Baguio City.
- Create an account and register your travel at https://visita.baguio.gov.ph then save or print your QTP (QR-coded Tourist Pass) that will be sent to your email
- Each person must register with uploaded valid ID and current photo
- Minors may use parent/guardian’s ID
- Entering travelers on official business, medical purposes, returning residents, employees/workers and students shall register at hdf.baguio.gov.ph
- Proceed to triage for health declaration validation
- Checkpoint border officers shall provide escort assistance to the designated triage. Present QTP to triage officers for updating of travel status.
- Take note that while COVID-19 tests are no longer required, some private tourist estanlishments and public transport providers may still require tests before entry/boarding.
- Visitors found to have COVID symptoms shall undergo RT-PCR testing, and will be quarantined until results are released.
- Follow existing minimum health and safety protocols and city ordinances while in the city.
- Visitors below 15 years of age may not be allowed in some private establishments. When they are allowed, they must always be accompanied by parents or guardians.
- Comply with tourist establishments and venues allowable maximum capacity.
- Avoid enclosed and crowded areas.
Visitors are also reminded to practice the minimum health and safety protocols including frequent washing/sanitizing of hands, mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields, maintain physical distancing, no smoking and no littering.
For those with personal vehicles planning to drive up to Baguio, take note that according to the latest guidelines, a traffic number coding scheme is still being implemented in Baguio City to ease traffic congestion: 1 & 2 – Mondays, 3 & 4 – Tuesdays, 5 & 6 – Wednesdays, 7 & 8 – Thursdays and 9 & 0 – Fridays.