This is a detailed travel guide of Northern Blossoms Flower Farm in Atok, Benguet with sample itinerary and budget.
The Northern Blossoms Flower Farm has recently been hyped by social media, which led to new opportunities for the locals here. Homestays are starting to sprout, and locals are being trained as guides. Other areas of Atok are slowly being discovered by tourists through tour packages offered by Brgy. Paoay. I was lucky enough to visit the Northern Blossoms Flower Farm a few years back before it became popular. But I never really got to blog about it. Recently, I had this urge to visit Benguet again, one of my favorite provinces in the Philippines. And I decided to start my exploration of this region by traveling to the Northern Blossoms Flower Farm, which is blissfully located in Atok, Benguet.
Northern Blossoms Flower Farm is owned by Mrs. Melany “Lany” Ganayan and her husband. They also have a flower shop in Dimasalang, Manila. The flower farm is peppered with flowers, such as different colors of snapdragons, larkspurs, rice flower, matthiola, cabbage roses, and more. At first sight, it may not look like the images you see in social media as there are flowers planted in their green house. But try to explore around and you’ll find some Instagram-worthy spots. You can even see Mt.Pulag and Mt.Timbak from a distance. The flower farm is draped by pine-fringed mountains and vegetable farms.
I also recommend doing the Circuit B tour at sunrise, which is being offered by Brgy.Paoay tourism for a reasonable price (see below), so you’ll get to visit other tourist destinations in Atok. I’ve been to a couple of places in the country, and this part of Benguet remains one of the most beautiful I’ve seen.
NORTHERN BLOSSOMS FLOWER FARM PRE-TRAVEL GUIDE
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT NORTHERN BLOSSOMS FARM : January to April are the best months to visit the Northern Blossom Flower Farm when the cabbage roses are in full bloom. The flowers and cabbages take about 3 months to bloom, according to our guide. The best time to visit is around sunrise. So, if you want to witness the sunrise, stay overnight.
MOBILE AND WI-FI SIGNAL: There’s Globe, Smart, and Suncellular in the area. Data is available for Globe, but quite intermittent. Restaurants and homestays don’t have Wi-Fi.
MODE OF PAYMENT and ATM: Everything is on cash basis so stack up cash before leaving Baguio. There’s no ATM in Atok, but they have the Easy Debit – a micro ATM at the store beside Palawan Express.
WHAT TO BRING:
Jacket – Temperature in Atok can go as low as – 8 degrees Celsius.
Socks and hiking Shoes – Wear closed shoes and socks. It‘s quite cold here.
Gloves – Gloves can be quite helpful to keep your hands warm.
Lip balm – To keep your lips protected from the chill and cold winds
Hiking Pants – If you plan to explore more of Atok, Benguet, best to wear hiking pants.
HOW TO GET TO NORTHERN BLOSSOMS FLOWER FARM
To get to Northern Blossoms Flower Farm in Atok, Benguet, you have to make your way first to Baguio. Then at Baguio, ride a bus that will pass by Atok, Benguet. See more details below.
1.From Manila, take a bus bound for Baguio. Victory Liner has buses to Baguio from Cubao and Pasay. Alternatively, you may also take Genesis Bus or Joy Bus to Baguio.
BAGUIO BUS TICKET: RESERVE HERE
Fare from Cubao (Victory Liner)
Regular Aircon – PHP 485 ($9, EURO 8,SGD 13,MYR 38)
First Class – PHP 800 ($15,EURO 13,SGD 21,MYR 63)
Fare from Pasay (Victory Liner)
Regular – PHP 501 ($9,EURO 8,SGD 13,MYR 39)
First Class – PHP 800 ($15,EURO 13,SGD 21,MYR 63)
Victory Liner Cubao
683 EDSA, Brgy. Immaculate Concepcion, Cubao, Quezon City
Ticket Booth – (02) 727-4534 / (02) 727-4646 Shipping – 0998-591-5057
*If you are traveling on a Friday night or over the weekend via Victory Liner, make sure you buy your ticket in advance as the line can get pretty long. It took us 2.5 hours as chance passenger to ride the bus to Baguio. Otherwise, go to the other bus companies like Genesis and Joy Bus, they also have terminals in Cubao and Pasay.
- In Baguio, make your way to Dangwa Bus Terminal or Slaughterhouse. We took a taxi for roughly PHP 70 ($1.32,EURO 1.17,SGD 2,MYR 5)from Victory Liner Baguio to Dangwa Bus Terminal. You can take any of the buses bound for Bontoc, Besao or Sagada.
Here’s the bus schedule in Dangwa Bus Terminal:
|05:30 AM||Besao via Sagada||07:00 AM||Bontoc|
|08:30 AM||Sagada Ambasing||10:00 AM||Bontoc|
|09:30 AM||Besao via Sagada||01:30 PM||Bontoc|
|11:30 AM||Sagada Ambasing||02:30 PM||Bontoc|
|01:00 PM||Besao via Sagada|
*Trip schedule is subject to change without prior notice.
IMPORTANT: Take note that the last trip from Besao to Sagada is at 1:00 PM. So, if you plan to make a day trip only, make sure you return on or before 1:00 PM. Otherwise, you can take a passenger van (UV Express) to Baguio, their terminal is located at Marosan’s Restaurant.
3.Buy ticket at the counter. Tell the staff you will be heading to Northern Blossoms in Atok, Benguet. Fare is PHP 85 ($2,EURO 1.42,SGD 2,MYR 7) for aircon bus or PHP 75 ($1.42,EURO 1.26,SGD 1.23,MYR 6) for non-aircon bus. Travel time is about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
4.Get off at Brgy.Paoay, Atok, Benguet. The driver should drop you off at Atok Municipal Hall or in front of Marosan’s Restaurant.
5.Register and pay the fee at Brgy.Paoay Tourism. Walk towards the small street uphill beside Marosan’s Restaurant. Pay the PHP 20 ($0.38,EURO 0.33, SGD0.52, MYR1.57) per person environmental fee. It’s important to register so that in case something happens (knock on wood) the logbook can confirm that you are in the area.
6.Head to Northern Blossoms Flower Farm. From Brgy.Paoay Tourism registration hut, you can walk to Northern Blossoms.
7.Pay the entrance fee at Northern Blossoms Farm. There is a ₱250 ($5, €5.34, SGD 7, MYR 21, AUD 8, ₩6k) per person entrance fee for adults and ₱50 ($1, €0.91, SGD 1.40, MYR 4.27, AUD 1.56, ₩1.2k)for children. This includes a free bread and unlimited coffee. You may also hire a guide, there’s no fixed fee, you can just give whatever amount you want. We paid our guide PHP 300. The guide will explain the type of flowers and can take your photos if needed.
NORTHERN BLOSSOMS FARMS SIDE TRIPS
You can visit other tourist spots in Atok, Benguet via tour package or DIY travel. If you are pressed for time, the tour package is very convenient as the tourist spots here are quite a distance from each other and requires a couple of minutes of walking/hiking. Not to mention that you have to wait for the buses bound for Sagada or Bontoc to pass by.
Brgy.Paoay actually offers affordable tour packages. Contact Madz at +63 930 1604 886.
Circuit 1 : ₱1,100 ($21,€18, SGD 28,MYR 86, AUD 47,₩26.4k ) – good for 5 persons
Tour of Sakura Park, Lourdes Grotto, Halsema Highway Highest Point
Includes guide and car.
Circuit 2 : ₱1,500 ($28,€ 25, SGD 39,MYR 118, AUD47,₩36k ) – good for 5 persons
Tour of Mt.Timbak, Sakura Park, Lourdes Grotto, Halsema Highway Highest Point
Includes guide and car.
Circuit 3 (Atok Benguet Tour): ₱3,000 ($59, €25, SGD 84, MYR 256, AUD 94, ₩75k )
Travel to Mt.Timbak Sakura Park, Lourdes Grotto, Halsema Highway Former Highest Point, Spanish Trail, Northern Blossom Flower Farm
Includes Car + driver
WHERE TO STAY
There are homestays in Atok, Benguet. The biggest and the most popular is the one in Northern Blossoms Flower Farm, but book ahead especially if you are visiting during the weekend or holiday.
₱1,500 ($28, € 25, SGD 39,MYR 118, AUD 47, ₩36K) – good for 2 persons
₱1800 ($35, €63, SGD 50, MYR 154, AUD 56, ₩43K) – good for 3 persons
₱3,000 ($59, € 54, SGD 84, MYR 256, AUD 93, ₩72K) – good for 8 persons
₱3,500 ($69, €63, SGD 98, MYR 298, AUD 109, ₩72K) – good for 10 persons
Northern Blossoms Flower Farm
Contact #: 0950 253 6313 , 0908 151 3368
The other 2 homestays in the area offers rooms at ₱500 ($10, € 25, SGD 14, MYR 42, AUD 16, ₩12K)per person.
WHERE TO EAT
We’ve tried 2 restaurants Atok, Benguet. They both have large servings. Meal starts at PHP 110 ($2,EURO 2,SGD 3,MYR 8) per serving.
San Fernando Restaurant – Try their lechon soup and fried rice meals
Marosan’s Restaurant – Try their egg soup and fried rice meals
NORTHERN BLOSSOMS FLOWER FARM ITINERARY + BUDGET
DAY TOUR ITINERARY FOR NORTHERN BLOSSOMS FLOWER FARM
If you only plan to visit the Northern Blossoms Flower Farm as day trip, that’s possible. You can stay in Baguio where accommodations are plenty. Here’s a sample day tour itinerary with budget breakdown.
|01:00 AM||Manila to Baguio. ₱501 ($10)|
|06:00 AM||ETA Baguio. Taxi to Dangwa Terminal. ₱70 ($1.32)|
|06:15 AM||Buy Bus Ticket. ₱85 ($1.61)|
|06:25 AM||Breakfast. ₱100 ($1.81)|
|07:00 AM||Bus to Atok.|
|08:30 AM||ETA Brgy.Paoay in Atok.|
|08:35 AM||Register. ₱20 ($0.38)|
|09:00 AM||Walk to Northern Blossoms Flower Farm|
|09:15 AM||Register and pay entrance fee. ₱250 ($5)|
|09:30 AM||Start of tour + photo op at the flower farm.|
|11:00 AM||End of tour|
|11:15 AM||Lunch. (San Fernando Restaurant or Marosan’s Restaurant)|
|12:00 PM||Bus back to Baguio. ₱85 ($1.61)|
|02:00 PM||ETA Baguio. Next destination or go back to Manila|
|02:15 PM||Taxi to Victory Liner or Genesis/Joy Bus terminal. ₱70 ($1.32)|
|03:00 PM||Bus back to Manila. ₱501 ($10)|
|09:00 PM||ETA Manila|
|TOTAL EXPENSES||₱1,682 ($33 ,€30,SGD 47,MYR 144, AUD 53, ₩40.3k)|
*Prices may change without prior notice.
OVERNIGHT ITINERARY FOR NORTHERN BLOSSOMS FLOWER FARM
Here’s a sample itinerary if you’ll be doing an overnight tour in Atok, Benguet. 2 days 1-night stay would be enough. This sample itinerary includes a trip to Northern Blossoms Flower Park, Mt.Timbak, Lourdes Grotto, and Sakura Park. The Sakura Park is optional since there’s no cherry blossoms yet. The trees are still quite small.
|DAY 1||NORTHERN BLOSSOMS FLOWER FARM|
|06:00 AM||Manila to Baguio. ₱501($10)|
|11:00 AM||ETA Baguio. Taxi to Dangwa Terminal. ₱70 ($1.32)|
|11:15 AM||Buy Bus Ticket. ₱85 ($1.61)|
|11:25 AM||Lunch. ₱150 ($3)|
|01:00 PM||Bus to Atok.|
|02:30 PM||ETA Brgy.Paoay in Atok.|
|02:40 PM||Register. ₱20 ($0.38)|
|03:00 PM||Homestay check-in. ₱500 ($9.46)|
|03:30 PM||Northern Blossoms Flower Farm. ₱250 ($5)|
|05:30 PM||End of tour. Back to homestay.|
|06:00 PM||Dinner. ₱120 ($2.27)|
|DAY 1 EXPENSES||₱1,696 ($33.04, €31.07, SGD 47,MYR 145, AUD 53, ₩40.7K)|
|DAY 2||MT.TIMBAK, HALSEMA, LOURDES GROTTO, SAKURA FARM|
|04:30 AM||Homestay pick-up for tour. ₱1,500 ($28) (good for 5 pax)|
|05:30 AM||Climb Mt.Timbak|
|07:00 AM||ETD Halsema Highway. Highest Point in Atok.|
|08:00 AM||Lourdes Grotto. Donation|
|09:30 AM||Sakura Park. ₱30 ($0.57)|
|10:00 AM||ETD Atok, Benguet.|
|10:30 AM||End of tour. Back to homestay.|
|11:30 AM||Lunch. ₱120 ($2.27)|
|12:00 PM||Bus to Baguio. ₱75 ($1.42)|
|01:30 PM||ETA Baguio.|
|01:40 PM||Taxi to Victory Liner. Or go to next destination. ₱70 ($1.32)|
|02:30 PM||Bus to Manila. ₱501 ($10)|
|08:00 PM||ETA Manila|
|DAY 2 EXPENSES||₱2,226 ($43.58,€40,SGD 62.43,MYR 190, AUD 69, ₩ 54K)|
|TOTAL EXPENSES||₱3,922($76.62, €71.07,SGD 109.43,MYR 335, AUD 122, ₩ 94.7K)|
*The ₱3,922 expenses is the estimated budget if you are traveling solo since you have to shoulder the PHP 1,500 tour. If you are a party of 2, prepare around PHP 3,192 per person. If group of 5, around PHP 2,742 per person.
NORTHERN BLOSSOMS BUDGET BREAKDOWN
Here’s a sample list of expenses for a trip to Northern Blossoms Flower Farm including a trip around Atok.
|₱501 ($9, €8,SGD 13,MYR 39)||Bus fare to Baguio|
|₱501 ($9,€8,SGD 13,MYR 39)||Bus fare to Manila|
|₱70 ($1.32,€1.17,SGD 2,MYR 5)||Taxi to Dangwa Terminal|
|₱70 ($1.32,€1.17,SGD 2,MYR 5)||Taxi to Victory Liner Terminal|
|₱85 ($2,€1.42,SGD 2,MYR 7)||Bus fare to Atok|
|₱85 ($2,€1.42,SGD 2,MYR 7)||Bus fare to Baguio from Atok|
|₱110 ($2,EURO 2,SGD 3,MYR 9)||Breakfast|
|₱120 ($2.27,€ 2,SGD 3,MYR 9)||Lunch|
|₱120 ($2.27,€ 2,SGD 3,MYR 9)||Dinner|
|₱200 ($4,€3,SGD 5,MYR 16)||Environmental Fee in Atok|
|₱250 ($5, €5.34, SGD 7, MYR 21)||Entrance fee to Northern Blossoms Flower Farm|
|₱1,500 ($28,€25, SGD 39,MYR 118)||Circuit B Tour(Mt.Timbak,Halsema, Lourdes Grotto, Sakura Park)|
|₱30 ($0.57,€0.50,SGD0.77,MYR 2.35)||Sakura Farm entrance|
|₱500 ($9,€ 8,SGD 1,MYR 39||Atok Homestay|
NORTHERN BLOSSOMS FLOWER FARM TRAVEL TIPS
Flying of drone is not allowed in Northern Blossoms Flower Farm, they told me this is because the lands surrounding it are ancestral lands. But, the guides and locals in Atok also told me that it is allowed for prenups photoshoot, because apparently there is a fee of around PHP 2,000 per 3 hours or something for drone-use for prenups.
There’s no bank ATM in the area, stack up cash before leaving Baguio. But if you really need cash, there is an alternative – the Easy Debit, a Micro ATM. You can find it at the store beside Palawan Express.
Practice Leave No Trace principles here. I saw a bottle of water inserted on one of the cabbages in the farm. You’re just a visitor in their place, please, show some respect. Do not leave your trash anywhere!
Respect the local culture. The people of Atok are genuinely warm, helpful and hospitable, please respect their culture and avoid making too much noise.
If you plan to stay overnight, you can bring your own heater as some guesthouse doesn’t have a heater. Otherwise, you can boil the water using a kettle.
Buy your bus ticket to Baguio in advance as the line can get pretty long over the weekend, holiday, or Friday night.
You can also purchase plants from Northern Blossoms Flower Farm, for example, the cabbage is worth around PHP 100 per piece, and the succulents starts at PHP 30. Prices of succulents are cheaper in other vendors outside Northern Blossoms Flower Farm – PHP 20 per plant.
About the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.
For advertisements, sponsorship and partnerships, you may reach her at gaelhilotinblog (at) gmail (dot) com.
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