31 Mar 2014
I have to remind you this early that going there by jeepney is easy. The bad news is - returning to Baguio City is not that easy. But you will like it if you're fond of taking off-the-beaten paths. Or should I say hike your way 1 kilometer of uneven road to the highway, under the scorching sun, where it takes forever before a jeepney from different location arrives and let you ride in.
How to see Dinosaurs from bus en route to Baguio City from Manila?
You must be sitting by the window at the right side of the bus. The bus should be taking Marcos Highway. In Benguet, the bus passes through the tunnel and then it takes the viaduct from which you can have unobstructed view of these giant monsters and be dazzled at the mere sight of dinosaurs that stand in different spots of the mountain slope afar. The interesting thing is you're trying to make out the dinosaurs which are not in an enclosed museum but out in an open sprawling side of mountain covered with woods. That kind of gives you the feel of time travel to Jurassic Period.
How to get to Dinosaur Island and the Holy Land by car from Manila?
Since these new attractions are located kilometers away before you reach Baguio City travelling from Manila by car, it is practical on your part specially for fuel economy to make a detour and visit the spot first. After all, seeing those extinct giant reptiles back from the dead is worth a detour.
Here's how to get there: After passing through the only tunnel of Marcos Highway, you will be taking a viaduct. That would be your landmark. At the end of that viaduct is a fork located at the opposite lane of Marcos highway. That means you're going to make a U-Turn anywhere past the concrete barriers towards the end of the viaduct. As soon as you are past all those concrete barriers at the left hand side of the viaduct, carefully make a U-Turn. Ideally, it's better to make the U-Turn farther from the end of the viaduct so that you'll have time to scan the view from afar. Anyways, there's a big signage and logo of Dinosaur Island located at the fork (see photo above.) Drive onto that fork which runs under the viaduct. Follow that road until you get to the uphill road left side of the main road you're taking. Make another U-turn to take that uphill road that leads to the parking lot, and of course, the site of Dinosaur Island as well as the Holy Land. Friendly reminder: Oncoming buses are speeding fast, be careful in making U-Turn.
How to commute to Dinosaur Island & Holy Land from Baguio City?
The fare is 17 pesos as of this writing. The jeepney to take has the route of "Baguio Plaza-Badiwan-Tuba-Benguet" and the signage in the terminal reads "Badiwan-Tuba." There are four terminals of jeepneys that served Tuba. But the jeepneys that take passengers to Dinosaur Island is the one located in this terminal which is situated at the corner of Otek and Shagem streets. The terminal is right in front of Mister Donut.
How to locate this terminal from different parts of Baguio City?
From Session Rd - Walk downhill towards Magsaysay Ave where Maharlika Livelihood Complex is located. Use the pedestrian overpasses and go down at the stairs beside the building of Veniz Hotel. Walk along the left side of that road which is extension of Harrison Rd and then turn left onto the next street which is Shagem. Walk down Shagem St till you get to the corner of Otek St where Mister Donut is at the corner and the terminal at its frontage.
From Burnham Park - Exit the park at the Shanum St gate where across it Rizal Park is located. Climb up Rizal Park at its right side. Turn right onto the next street where United Church of Christ in the Philippines is located at the corner. That street is Otek. Walk down Otek St up to next corner where you will immediately see Mister Donut. The terminal is there.
From Harrison Road - Basically, you're just going to walk down the left side of Harrison Rd cross Magsaysay Blvd and turn left onto the next street which is Shagem. But because there are these interconnected pedestrian overpasses, use them and go down at Veniz Hotel, walk further and turn left onto Shagem St, walk along Shagem up to the next corner where terminal is located.
From Baliwag Grill - If you could see Baliwag from the distance, it's much easier to use the street next to it. That is Shagem St. Enter that road and walk to the next corner where the terminal is located at the right corner in front of Mister Donut.
The jeepney takes Marcos Highway flyover and traverse the whole stretch of Marcos Highway up to where the viaduct starts. It takes the fork at the right and traverse the road under the viaduct. Then it will take the uphill road that goes up to the exact location of Dinosaur Island and the Holy Land.
How to get back to Baguio City from Dinosaur Island?
You would thought that jeepneys from Baguio City arrive in regular intervals. But when I got there, it's been already two hours and no jeepneys on the sight. On the third hour of waiting, I decided to hike the path through which the jeepney I boarded had passed.
I'm sharing this to you today so that you won't get shocked if it happens to you. Maybe it's the timing. But if it does happen, just make the most out of it and enjoy the view. Because that is not all you have to endure.
The jeepney that passes by the highway takes forever to arrive. I mean you have to be very very patient while you wait. And because it's summer, the weather of the summer capital doesn't apply especially at past 3 pm. It is really hot out there.
The good news is - the jeepney will definitely arrive. It stops by the highway shoulder even if no one is alighting. The assumption is there are always passengers waiting at the area to board a jeepney bound for the city.
My tip is to have some of you get sheltered at the waiting shed next to "Badiwan Store" that you get to see as soon as you arrive in the highway while one of you is at the road side watching for the jeepney's arrival.
That's because what I had noticed was when a jeepney arrived and pulled over, locals crossed the highway and got on board. As for me, I ran fast from where I sheltered, a spot way too far from where jeepneys stop.
Hope you find this guide helpful and that you enjoy your trip to Dinosaur Island as well as the Holy Land.
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