Top 10 Best Tourist Spots in Atok, Benguet & Things to Do in 2023
Many Baguio natives consider Atok to be a must-visit day trip location, yet tourists hardly ever go there. After a two-hour drive from Baguio, Atok is situated around 48 kilometers to the north. The road is paved the entire way, but getting here isn’t always simple. It regularly zigzags, and because of the elevation, vision is occasionally a problem. However, those who risk the treacherous route and sheer cliffs are rewarded with a picture-perfect, frequently spectacular escape.
Here are a few must-see locations and things to do if you’re planning a visit to Atok soon.
1. Glorious sunrise
Atok is situated on mountains that are either naturally forested or have been artificially terraced, giving you an amazing perspective point. All you have to do is get up early and wait for the sun to gradually emerge from the ridges of the far peaks, which is easier said than done.
Beautiful sunrise, little inn on a cliff, ideal for watching the sunrise, hence the name.
2. Northern Blossom Flower Farm
This meticulously planned flower field was a major factor in promoting Atok as a popular tourist destination. Usually, photos of their cabbage roses (rose cabbages) bathing in the faint morning glow t, circulate on Facebook and Instagram and draw an increasing number of followers.
In addition to the region’s distinctive rose cabbages, you may find a variety of annual and perennial blooms there, including lilies, hydrangeas, larkspurs, and sunflowers.
To avoid the crowds and the sun, it is better to visit early in the morning. The flower farm also provides lodging, including houses and rooms, if you intend to spend the night in Atok.
3. Haight’s Place
Haight’s Place, tucked away in one of the municipality’s coldest nooks, is another floral attraction in Atok. Similar to Northern Blossom, it is surrounded by endless rows of flowering plants, including cosmos, alstroemeria, and snapdragons, which give the area a variety of hues.
In addition to beautiful flowers, Haight’s Place is accessible for camping and pre-wedding photography. Additionally, it offers lodging choices (cabins) for overnight stays.
4. Sakura Park
Did you know there is a cherry blossom park in the Philippines? It is located right close to Haight Street! Sakura Park is a different public space that is available for FREE. However, because of their proximity, most people consider the two to be a single site.
The cherry trees given to the Province of Benguet in 2016 by Japan’s Kochi Prefecture and the Japanese Embassy were planted in Barangay Paoay’s Sakura Park. To commemorate their 40 years of friendship, they gifted a total of 40 trees, but only 34 of them flowered.
5. Second Highest Point of PH Highway System
Atok, which is situated along Halsema Highway and is situated at an elevation of 7,400 feet (2,255 meters) above sea level, once held the distinction of being the highest point in the Philippine Highway System. From World War II until 2019, when a new peak was declared, it held onto that record. Today, a location along the Kiangan-Tinoc-Buguias Road in the municipality of Tinoc in the Ifugao holds that title. It is located at a height of around 7,968 feet (2,429 meters).
The breathtaking perspective of the rocky environment makes it worthwhile to visit even when without the crown.
6. Lourdes Grotto (Wagangan Rock Formations)
The Lourdes Grotto, also known as the Bosleng Grotto, is protected by the Wagangan Rock Formations, which protrude in the middle of a large region covered in vegetable terraces. If you are approaching from Sakura Park or Haight’s Place, it is difficult to overlook because it is hidden atop a strange mound of enormous boulders.
You’ll need to hike for a short distance via vegetable fields and gardens from the jump-off point or parking area.
Two perspectives, one at the very top and another immediately below it, are also supported by the granite formations. Climbing the rocks will allow visitors to take in the beautiful vistas of the farms and mountains beyond.
7. Halsema Half Tunnel
One of Atok’s most well-known features is a 50-meter half-tunnel with 3.8 meters of height clearance that is located along the meandering Halsema Highway (Baguio-La Trinidad-Bontoc Road). The only practical choice for road construction after Typhoon Trining destroyed the area and washed off the local road was to chisel out this sizable rocky outcrop, resulting in a natural half-tunnel.
8. Osocan Spanish Trail
The extensive network of horse and pedestrian trails used by the Spaniards centuries ago included the Osocan Spanish Trail. This road, also known as the Salt Trail, was used to transport salt around the area. Salt used to be quite valuable here in the Highlands.
There are three man-made tunnels or caverns built through large boulders along the 2- to 3-kilometer path. The gentler descent path and the more difficult ascending way each have their trailheads. The trailhead for the ascending path situates between KM46 and KM47, while that for the descending route stands close to the Sakura Park region.
9. Loyung’s Restaurant
Loyung’s Restaurant is a well-liked roadside rest and dining stop for travelers, especially those going to or coming from Sagada or Bontoc. It situates along Halsema Highway, approximately between the Half Tunnel and the Northern Blossom Flower Farm. It has a sizable dining space and a sizable parking lot.
Compared to usual roadside eateries, it offers reasonably priced Filipino food in rather larger portions.
10. Mt. Timbak
The third tallest mountain in Luzon is Mt. Timbak, which rises more than 2700 meters above sea level. (Nearby Mounts Tabayoc and Pulag are first and second, respectively.) And you can reach it from Atok, certainly. They claim that the Stations of the Cross intersperse along the ascent trail. Of course, the summit offers a magnificent view. The location of the Timbak Cave Mummies is also close by.
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