Exploring Burnham Park: A Gem in the Heart of Baguio City

In the middle of Baguio City, also known as the “City of Pines,” there is a beautiful haven that has been enchanting both locals and visitors for more than one hundred years. Burnham Park is a 32-hectare area of lush greenery that is a beloved landmark and a popular place for people looking for peace, fun, and a look into the city’s long past. This well-known park, named for the American architect Daniel Burnham who designed it, has become an important part of Baguio’s character and a symbol of the city’s lasting beauty. This blog post will talk about the interesting history, sights, and activities that make Burnham Park a must-see for anyone going to this beautiful mountain resort city. Prepare for a video tour of this hidden gem in the middle of Baguio, and find out why so many people love visiting it year after year.

burnham park baguio
Burnham Park bikeway (Baguio City; 12-04-2022)” by Patrickroque01 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

History of Burnham Park

Burnham Park’s story begins in the early 1900s when the American government, led by President Theodore Roosevelt, envisioned transforming Baguio into a summer capital and a retreat for American soldiers and civilians. Daniel Burnham, a renowned urban planner and architect, was commissioned to design the city’s layout, including the park that would later bear his name. Burnham’s vision was to create a green space that would serve as a focal point for the city, offering residents and visitors alike a place to relax, unwind, and enjoy nature’s beauty.

Construction of the park began in 1904 and was completed in 1909. Over the years, Burnham Park has undergone several improvements and renovations, adapting to the changing needs of the community while preserving its original charm. The park’s evolution is a reflection of Baguio’s growth and development, making it not only a recreational hub but also a significant part of the city’s historical and cultural fabric.

Features and Attractions

A. Burnham Lake

Burnham Park (Baguio)
Burnham Park baguio boats 2004” by Sir Mildred Pierce is licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the park’s most iconic features is the serene Burnham Lake, a man-made body of water that covers an area of approximately 3 hectares. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the lake, taking in the picturesque surroundings and the cool mountain breeze. The lake is also a popular spot for picnics and photography, with its tranquil waters and the vibrant flowers along its banks creating a picture-perfect setting.

B. Gardens and Greenery

Burnham Park overlook
Burnham Park overlooking from city hall stairs (Baguio City; 12-04-2022)” by Patrickroque01 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Burnham Park is home to several beautifully maintained gardens that showcase the city’s diverse flora. The Rose Garden, a favorite among visitors, boasts an extensive collection of rose varieties in a myriad of colors and scents. The Orchidarium, another must-see, displays a stunning array of exotic orchids native to the region. For a taste of local culture, the Igorot Garden features traditional huts and sculptures representing the indigenous tribes of the Cordillera region.

C. Recreational Facilities

Burnham Park biking
Burnham Park biking 2004” by Sir Mildred Pierce is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The park offers a wide range of recreational facilities catering to visitors of all ages. The Children’s Playground is a delight for young ones, with its colorful slides, swings, and play structures. The Skating Rink attracts both skilled skaters and beginners, providing a fun and engaging activity. For sports enthusiasts, the Athletic Bowl features a track and field area, perfect for a morning jog or a friendly game of frisbee.

D. Cultural and Historical Sites

Burnham Park also houses several cultural and historical sites that offer a glimpse into Baguio’s rich heritage. The Igorot Stone Kingdom, a unique attraction, showcases the traditional stone-walled houses of the Igorot people, the indigenous inhabitants of the Cordillera region. The Baguio City Public Library, located within the park, is a haven for book lovers and researchers, with its extensive collection of literature and historical documents. Sunshine Park, a more recent addition, pays tribute to the city’s Japanese heritage and features a serene Japanese-style garden.

Events and Activities

A. Regular events

Burnham Park is a hub of activity, hosting various regular events that attract both locals and tourists. The Sunday Market is a weekly affair where visitors can browse through stalls selling an array of handicrafts, local produce, and delicacies. The night market, held in the evening, offers a vibrant atmosphere with street food vendors and live music performances.

B. Seasonal events

The park also serves as a venue for numerous seasonal events throughout the year. The most notable of these is the Panagbenga Festival, a month-long celebration held every February featuring colorful floral parades, street dancing, and cultural performances. During the Christmas season, the park transforms into a enchanting wonderland with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and a giant Christmas tree, making it a popular spot for holiday gatherings and photos.

Tips for Visitors

A. Best times to visit

To make the most of your visit to Burnham Park, it’s essential to plan ahead. The best time to visit is during the dry season, from November to April, when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities. If you wish to witness the Panagbenga Festival, plan your trip in February. To avoid crowds, consider visiting on weekdays or early in the morning.

B. Getting there and parking

Burnham Park is easily accessible by public transportation, with jeepneys and taxis readily available throughout the city. If you’re driving, there are several parking areas around the park, including designated spots along the surrounding streets. Be sure to follow parking guidelines and pay the necessary fees to avoid inconvenience.

C. What to bring and what to expect

When visiting Burnham Park, it’s a good idea to bring comfortable walking shoes, as you’ll likely spend a considerable amount of time exploring the various attractions. Don’t forget to pack a camera to capture the park’s stunning scenery and memorable moments. It’s also advisable to bring a light jacket or sweater, as Baguio’s weather can be cool, especially in the evenings. Expect to find a variety of food vendors and restaurants within the park, offering both local and international cuisines.

Preservation and Maintenance

A. Efforts by the local government and community

The local government and the community play a vital role in preserving and maintaining Burnham Park. Regular clean-up drives, landscaping efforts, and infrastructure improvements are undertaken to ensure the park remains a beautiful and inviting space for all visitors. The city also enforces strict regulations to prevent littering, vandalism, and other activities that may harm the park’s ecosystem.

B. Importance of responsible tourism

As a visitor to Burnham Park, it’s crucial to practice responsible tourism. This means being mindful of your impact on the environment and respecting the park’s rules and regulations. Properly dispose of your waste, avoid plucking flowers or damaging plants, and be considerate of other visitors. By being a responsible tourist, you contribute to the park’s preservation and help ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy its beauty.


Burnham Park is indeed a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Baguio City. With its rich history, diverse attractions, and vibrant atmosphere, the park offers a unique and unforgettable experience. From the tranquil Burnham Lake to the colorful gardens and cultural sites, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. As you explore this gem in the heart of Baguio, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and the efforts made to preserve it. Immerse yourself in the park’s charm and create lasting memories that will stay with you long after your visit. So, pack your bags, head to Baguio, and discover the magic of Burnham Park for yourself!


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