Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TreeTop Adventure Baguio: A Zip Above Pine Trees

Is not quite a walk in the park. It requires guts, money as well. And a drive to Baguio. TreeTop Adventure in Camp John Hay finally opened last November 30. Will this make Baguio City more overrated?

I say it's a reason for thrill-seekers to make the city a short stop en route to their more remote northern destinations. Soaring above and within eerie fogginess can be quite an exhilarating ride.

Hold your breath for a bird's eye view of Baguio's remaining greenness. Yes, it still exists.

Wouldn't have found out about it had I not accepted an unassuming flyer from a guy on Session Road. I've never done zip-lining. Not that I got acrophobia. It's just that you can't expect me to travel far to do such.

So when I read on that flyer that it can now be done within the city where we temporarily live in, I had a momentary exaltation. And the 50% discount offered for the individual rides and packages made me giddily skip all the way to the terminal where I take a jeep home.

But we didn't troop to Camp John Hay immediately after. We waited more than a week for my sister who decided to swing by Baguio for her birthday. Literally "swing by Baguio". Hahaha! Uhm, moving on. As a gift, I promised to pay for her rides.

My hubby Shervin, sister Gabe and I took a cab to Camp John Hay. The word about TreeTop Adventure's opening has not drifted to a lot of drivers yet. Even with a map printed on the flyer, our driver had a difficult time finding the place. It also didn't help that Historical Core, the supposed landmark, was unbeknownst to him.

A glimpse of what to expect.

We got off the cab across the Cemetery of Negativism and tramped the road uphill until we reached a huge tarpaulin, then descended a flight of stairs following the sound of booming upbeat music.

A staff member named Sarah gaily greeted us at the entrance. She asked us to sit and did a brief orientation on the rides and packages. Prices hereunder:

  • Superman Ride 300
  • Rappelling or Tree Drop Adventure 150
  • Silver Surfer Ride 200
  • Trekking Adventure 100

If you wish to do more than one, it's wise to avail of the packages. All of which include the Trekking Adventure though and you need to take note of the trekking schedule to organize the timeline of your rides and avoid long waits: 10AM, 12 NN, 2PM, 4PM. It can get insanely crowded on weekends.

Peaceful Thursday. Cashier, registration and waiver-signing area.

Since it was a weekday, we didn't deal with long queues. In fact, we were the only customers at noon.

Gabe was up first. She walked to the Tree Drop platform while we trod downhill to her landing site, where we could watch her drop. Face down, a la Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. It doesn't seem scary at 60 feet, but sister says it was quite a rush.

Gabe about to do the "Mission Impossible".

After which, we were directed to the Superman Ride. This time all of us will be doing it. We passed by the Silver Surfer Ride (didn't choose this one for it's a slow paced ride). Its attendant said we'd have to hike for about a hundred meters more.

Although my half-inch heeled sandals were pretty comfy to walk in, it didn't do well on the slopes with loose dry soil. But I'd prefer that over a muddy one. So remember to wear the right shoes even if you ain't joining the Trekking Adventure.

Heading to the Superman Ride. Trail reminiscent of Echo Valley, Sagada.

Along the trail are signboards with nature quotes. The route is scenic. Postcardesque. Tranquil with no one else around. The silence, however, will suddenly be broken with our cheers and shrieks.

We have climbed the Superman Ride platform.

Gearing up can be done in a jiffy. We were hooked on cables swiftly, and before we knew it, we were jolted backward. Superman in reverse. I savored every inch of the 200 meter long zip-line. With a height of 60-100 meters, expect a breathtaking view on a clear day. Fog may ruin your visual but it could add a mysterious, haunting touch to the atmosphere.

Zippin', zoomin' above pine trees!

When you've reached the end of the line, you stay there slightly swinging for almost five seconds, then you'll be launched forward. Finally flying like Superman.

It's one of the best amusement rides I've done in my life (not that I've done a lot). But I think I won't do it again, at least not in Baguio. Unless another half price offer pops up.

Trip's Nitty Gritty:

1. How to get to Camp John Hay: Cab ride from Session Road will cost about P65, jeep from Harrison Road to Loakan (where the main gate is) is P7.50. However, if you take a jeep, you'd have to walk a fair bit from the gate to TreeTop Adventure. Getting away: Head to Mile Hi Center, a lot of cabs drop off passengers there or walk out of the Camp John Hay main gate and hail a jeep heading to "Baguio Plaza".

For those with private vehicles, here's a map where TreeTop Adventure is located within Camp John Hay.

2. Again, wear comfy shoes for you will walk uphill and downhill trails. And although the mini hikes will make you sweat, do not take your jacket off especially if you're doing the rides early morning or late afternoon. It can get chilly up there.

3. Snacks (chips, cookies) and drinks are sold beside the cashier. A bottle of water is P25.

4. Children below 4 feet, people with heart ailments, and pregnant women are not allowed to do the rides.

5. At the time of writing, hours of operation is from 9AM to 5AM. Cut off time for registration, 4:30PM.

6. No smoking within the premises of the park.


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Markyramone said...
December 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM

I rode a zipline at Camp Sabros in Digos City and in Dahilayan Park in Bukidnon both surrounded by trees and greens, it was a great experience while it lasted (800 meters was like 45 seconds) I bet you enjoyed the zipline as well. I love Baguio too...who says its overrated? hehe glad ur enjoying Baguio

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
December 15, 2010 at 4:08 PM

I think I've read your blog post about that zip ride way back. Sounds insane! Hope I could get to do it someday too.

Guess it's considered overrated because it's got too much hype. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, right? We're sooo loving Baguio!

Oh this may be late, congrats for being a PBA Best Travel Blog Finalist!

princess_dyanie said...
December 17, 2010 at 10:13 AM

ay open na sya. when i went to CJH last sept, palagay palang sila ng billboard haha! :D

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
December 17, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Haha! Puro billboard nga around Camp John Hay, sa mismong turn papunta sa TreeTop Adventure wala kaya nakakalito kung saan.

bertN said...
December 18, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Zip line? Can I get back to you on that after I have a couple of drinks?

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
December 18, 2010 at 4:30 PM

bertN, hahaha! Sure. Even more than a couple. Whatever you'd need to do it :)

Calvin said...
January 5, 2011 at 12:49 PM

meron na rin pala sila sa baguio. they also have the same stuff here in metro manila in eastwood, qc. mas mura sa baguio.

aicel said...
February 20, 2011 at 11:41 PM

i've been waiting for this last year pa. sila din ang may gwa sa subic treetop adventure and they informed me that they will be having this in baguio, anothr 1 again in subic but it will be passing by the ocean or a beach and another in benguet. can't wait to try this one. and the longest one in bukidnon (800 mtrs) WOW!!!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

A zipline above a coast? Sounds awesome Aicel! And I can't wait to try Bukidnon's also.

Malditang "Kura"cha said...
March 29, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Hi! I went there last month for panagbenga but unfortunately, nalaman ko lang na may ganyan pala pag uwi ko na. malas! hihihi! =) Thanks for this. At least meron pala akong babalikan sa Baguio. Kala ko ubos na e.

You may have heard of Lake Sebu's Zipline above 7 falls. Yun siguro mas exciting. Give it a try. Definitely not just an ordinary view.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
March 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Will give that a try pag napunta ako ng Mindanao :) Thanks for the suggestion!

Gabe Mitra said...
April 3, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Great adventure! A must try!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 3, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Definitely! Maybe we could do it again someday, Gabe.

Anonymous said...
April 21, 2011 at 4:15 PM

hmm ,. cant wait to try that ,. do u have any more sggestions for a fun barkada outing ??? i rily nid it now ,. :)) tnx

Tripper10 said...
May 11, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Hi... Wow i like to try it...

Verne Ahyong said...
July 22, 2011 at 7:22 AM

This looks like so much fun! I haven't been to Baguio in a while. Will definitely try the zip line during my next visit...hope my eyeglasses don't fall off though :))

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
July 22, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Hahaha! Put straps on your glasses Verne :)

Anonymous said...
July 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM

HI PTJ! awesome my kids and I look forward to this amazing adventure!this year!for a change it's in Pinas!

Anonymous said...
August 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM

will be going to baguio this long weekend (aug 27-30) we'll definitely try this one out!

Anonymous said...
August 21, 2011 at 3:01 AM

So funny coz I only found this out last night after I saw the picture of Pres.PNoy with the owner of Tree Top on my email. Like you i am a travel junkie but didn't have a chance to visit every places on my own country. i will be in the Philippines on Sept then another trip on October. I know personally the owner loves Baguio city so much - she is a Louisian :)

Cha said...
January 17, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Blog Walking here! Thanks for sharing this! I would definitely give this a try 'coz I love zip lines! I had my very first zip line @ Lake Sebu in Mindanao.


Anonymous said...
April 11, 2012 at 7:47 AM

i've been to tree top adventure last january 2012 but i was disappointed with some staff specially that lady in the front who's job is to explain the details, she's not helpful, she had that bad attitude specially to local tourist.we tried to ask her if how those things work and the packaging but she's kinda mataray,instead of helping us, she just pointed that billboard with prices.

Anonymous said...
August 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Wow! I'm not sure how I feel about ziplines... I really want to try, but my inner coward is stopping me. Nice post.

cmlazaro said...
October 18, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Yes it's a very comprehensive post. But I went there last week and the superman ride already cost 350pesos and 250 pesos for 'souvenir' pic.It was worth it..Highly commendable for thrill seekers..Cool

Anonymous said...
November 19, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Wow!ngayon ko lng nalaman na may zip line pala sa Baguio..nxt mnth i wanna try hehe...

adventurousfeet said...
November 23, 2012 at 1:30 PM

it's been a while since my last visit in Baguio. Sana next time, matry ko naman to. at kahit nakapagzipline nako before, lagi pa din akong natatakot haha. it looks fun, ang cute nyong dalawa sa 1st pic :)

Francis Ivan Datu said...
November 27, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Hi, pupunta kmi ng gf ko sa baguio this december. Same price parin ba superman? Also, which hotel would you recommend, ung mura lang sana.

Thanks in advance. :-)

travel-agcy.blogspot.com said...
November 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Great article! I’ve recently decided to spend 5 months next year travelling around the world. You’re so right about the fact that in most cases we could afford to do such a thing if we make that a priority rather than blowing cash on things that yield no return or substantial impact. I made my decision 2 weeks ago and already “found” $2000 to save toward my trip. Online Travel Agencies

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