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Monday, June 10

Itogon Hot Springs: Tips and Guide

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One of the resorts in the becoming popular Itogon Hot Springs in Benguet.
If you are in Manila, you most probably think of the beach when it comes to summer things, but if you live in the highlands like Baguio, the nearest you could think for a summer getaway means the hot springs. Well, if you are having fun with us and want more other than the hot springs, then that’s the time we get out of the highlands and go to the beach, the most recent of which we visited were Patar Beach in Bolinao and Ampere Beach in Dipaculao (which is very very far from Baguio, post soon). For the meantime, we decided to check out Itogon Hot Springs, after our friends told us that it was underway to development. It was more than a decade now the last time I visited a hot spring—the ‘recent’ I can remember was Maleluag Hot Spring in Mangatarem, Pangasinan (maleluag means “hot” in Panggalatok, dialect of the Pangasinense).

 Out-of-the-town Outing to Itogon Hot Springs

Itogon is a town in Benguet you never imagine having these hot springs. It was like a travel to the untraveled parts of the highlands, or somewhat similar to traveling to Sagada, only that you are getting into a valley portion and it’s hot in Itogon rather than cold. We did this particular trip in April 2013, a one-day tour, the usual out-of-the-town outing, and getting to Itogon, Benguet is another story along the way.

Based on our experience, here are some of our observations you might as well jot down before you go to Itogon, Benguet:

Itogon Hot Springs is getting developed and this barren part will be concreted soon.
Itogon Hot Springs is also called the "1300 Level" swimming pools.

THE TRAVEL. Itogon, Benguet is situated southeast of Baguio City. If you are coming from Manila or outside Baguio, then you have to set your foot first in this city, then ride jeepney bound to Itogon. It is approximately one-hour away, and most of the road is going down. The road to Itogon is similar to the road going to Ambuklao (or Mt. Pulag), some parts of it I find dangerous when it rains. The roads are landslide prone areas. If you are planning to visit Itogon Hot Springs, make sure it is not rainy season, or it is not raining on that day. Some of the hillside roads don’t have retaining walls, and it’s possible that a big chunk of the mountain falls off when it rains hard. You also have to prepare your ears for that pressure pop because you are leaving Baguio City to a “1300 Level” pool. To know more on how to reach Itogon Hot Springs, jump to “How to Go to Itogon Hot Springs, Benguet”.
Pool of the Carlo Trese resort, certainly not the best, but a good alternative

THE “HOT SPRING”. When it comes to hot springs, you might be imagining of naturally dug stream, with an overflowing spring of fresh and potable water. Well, this is the case if you are visiting an undeveloped place, but Itogon Hot Springs find its way into becoming a close competitor to the existing Asin Hot Springs. Resorts were already present in the area, and it depends on your choice to where you would want to check in. I may say that the one we visited might not be the best among them all, because there are some resorts we saw there which has a better landscape.  But we find time to at least “hire the whole resort” for us because we were lucky that we were just the ones who visited the Carlo Trese Resort on that day. :D
Overlooking views of the mountains because the pools are located somewhere over the mountain
Road signs of the different resorts in Itogon

THE TIME. To go to Itogon means an hour of jeepney ride and hours of fun in the resort. It is best to visit Itogon Hot Springs early in the morning, be there before 9 AM and leave at around 4:30 PM then catch the last trip of jeepneys bound back to Baguio City (last trip is @ 5 PM). Doing an overnight stay is also possible, and then leave tomorrow at noon. Aside from swimming where you enjoy the lukewarm water of the pool, bonding with friends while grilling your food is also recommended. There is also this hanging bridge about a few minutes away where you can overcome your fear of height. Itogon is a one-day place for an outing or team building.
Ihaw-ihaw mode (grill) in Itogon!

Food trip and mania--this can never be this way!

THE FOOD. Food is readily available in the resort’s canteens, but we recommend you already buy your snacks and food to be cooked, to reduce your expenses. Charcoals are also for sale (P20) if you plan to grill in the resort. Itogon is best enjoyed in this way—bringing your marinated pork meat, tomatoes, eggplant and milkfish, stuff it with condiments like soy sauce and grill it to perfection. Yum! A better way of enjoying an outing!
Hanging Bridge, locals are used to it

THE BUDGET. Itogon is a budget-friendly swimming destination and a budget of P400 will already do. P65 for the roundtrip fare per head, P300-P500 for the cottage and P30-P60 for the entrance fee per head. That’s it. Plus you’ll just have to share with your friends the expenses on your food.

There are still things to consider but those are for you to experience already. If you are already decided, go ahead and hit it. Enjoy!

Out-of-the-town Outing to Itogon Hot Springs Travel Series:
Part 1: Itogon Hot Springs: Tips and Guide

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  1. Hi clarification, I believe that there are resorts that accommodate guests even at night? We're off to Baguio today and our first destination is the 1300 level resorts. I've been reading this blog since last week, I am so excited. I find this article very helpful, with the direction, pictures and expenditures included. Lovely! :)

  2. Hi, punta po sna kmi bukas sa resort nyo,pro gus2 nmin night swiming,my mga rooms ba? Till wat time po pwede magswiming sa gabi? Pls,pki sgot po..thank u!! Excited na kmi eh.. ;o)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. san po pwedeng mag night swimming na resort ung may hot steam bath... at affordable para this may 30 2015 .. please reply po fast thank you po

  5. text nyo po sa number na 09127980346... thanks po

  6. Tanong lang po kung hanggng anong oras po ang night swimming. May limited time ba..

  7. Tanong lang po kung hanggng anong oras po ang night swimming. May limited time ba..

  8. Hello po,magkano po entrance fee per head and how much po rate ng cottage? We're planning to go there on Sunday. Thank you!

  9. Magkano n po kaya ang rate ng mga swimming pool ngayon, yung blog nyo po ay wayback 2013 pa?

  10. Hi magkano poh entrance fee?

  11. Hi magkano poh entrance fee?

  12. I appreciated your work very thanks my site


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