If you’re a nature lover and thrill-seeker, the Halsema Highway in the Philippines is a must-visit destination. Also known as the Benguet-Mountain Province Road and Baguio-Bontoc Road, this iconic national secondary highway stretches approximately 150 kilometers from Baguio City to Bontoc, offering a breathtaking journey through the stunning Cordillera Central range in northern Luzon.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply someone who appreciates natural beauty, Halsema Highway has something for everyone. With its rich history, diverse landscapes, and engaging activities, it promises an unforgettable experience.

In this article, we’ll delve into the history of Halsema Highway, explore its scenic beauty, highlight the adventure opportunities it offers, share personal travel experiences, provide safety tips, and guide you on planning your own Halsema Highway adventure.

Key Takeaways:

  • Halsema Highway is a national secondary highway in the Philippines, known for its history, natural beauty, and adventure opportunities.
  • The highway stretches approximately 150 kilometers from Baguio City to Bontoc, winding through the Cordillera Central range.
  • Named after American engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema, the highway’s construction began in 1922 and played a pivotal role in the transportation network of the Cordillera region.
  • The landscapes along Halsema Highway are diverse, offering stunning views of the Chico River, the Half Tunnel in Atok, and even Mount Pulag.
  • The highway provides an array of adventure activities, including hiking, trekking, cycling, biking, and photography.

History of Halsema Highway

Halsema Highway, a renowned road in the Philippines, is named after the American engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema. Serving as the mayor of Baguio City from 1920 to 1937, Halsema played a significant role in the construction of this scenic highway. Under his leadership, the construction of Halsema Highway commenced in 1922, with the invaluable assistance of local communities. Over time, the foot trail transformed into a fully-fledged road, connecting Baguio City and the Cordillera region by 1930. With its deep historical roots and contributions to the transportation network of Cordillera, Halsema Highway stands as a testament to the vision and ingenuity of Engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema.

Throughout its existence, Halsema Highway has served as a lifeline linking remote communities and facilitating economic growth in the region. This highway has played a pivotal role in shaping the history and development of the Cordillera region, becoming an enduring symbol of the engineering marvels achieved in the rugged terrains of the Philippines. Today, Halsema Highway continues to captivate travelers with its awe-inspiring landscapes, allowing them to traverse the road imbued with the spirit of its esteemed engineer.

The Scenic Beauty of Halsema Highway

Halsema Highway is a treasure trove of natural beauty, offering breathtaking landscapes that showcase the diversity of the Philippines. As travelers embark on this scenic journey, they are treated to a feast for the eyes.

Ever-Changing Landscapes

The landscapes along Halsema Highway are a spectacle to behold. The journey takes you through dense pine forests that envelop the road, creating a serene and picturesque setting. As you venture further, the scenery transforms, revealing expansive mountain vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see.

The views from Halsema Highway are truly awe-inspiring, offering a glimpse into the splendor of nature. The rolling hills, cascading valleys, and towering peaks create a canvas of beauty that captivates the soul.

The Majestic Chico River

One of the highlights of the journey is the mesmerizing sight of the Chico River. As the highway winds its way through the Cordillera mountains, travelers are treated to stunning views of this majestic waterway. The Chico River gracefully meanders through the rugged terrain, reflecting the surrounding landscapes and adding to the overall charm of the journey.

The Half Tunnel at Atok

“The Half Tunnel in Atok is a testament to human ingenuity and engineering marvel. As you pass through this unique feature, you can’t help but marvel at the creativity and skill that went into its construction. It serves as a reminder of the determination and innovation required to conquer nature’s challenges.”

A Glimpse of the Highest Point

As you traverse Halsema Highway, keep an eye out for the former highest point in the Philippines, Mt. Pulag. While it is no longer the highest peak, the mountain still stands as a majestic backdrop, adding to the grandeur of the journey. Its towering presence offers a sense of awe and wonder, reminding travelers of the natural wonders that await them.

Flora and Fauna Abound

The flora and fauna along Halsema Highway are as diverse as the landscapes themselves. Wildflowers dot the roadside, painting the scenery with vibrant colors. Orchids, pitcher plants, and other exotic plant species can be spotted, creating a botanical paradise for nature enthusiasts.

But it doesn’t stop there. As you venture deeper into the wilderness, you may stumble upon a hidden treasure – wild blueberries. These plump and flavorful berries add a sweet touch to the journey, offering a delightful treat for those lucky enough to find them.

Igorot Hospitality

While the stunning landscapes and natural wonders make Halsema Highway a must-visit destination, it is the warmth and hospitality of the Igorot people that truly enrich the journey. The Igorots, indigenous people of the Cordillera region, welcome travelers with open arms, embracing them as part of their community. Their genuine kindness and genuine smiles create a sense of belonging, making every traveler feel at home.

Halsema Highway is not just a road to travel; it is an experience to cherish. Immerse yourself in the scenic beauty, indulge in the wonders of nature, and embrace the unforgettable Igorot hospitality. Let Halsema Highway transport you to a world of breathtaking landscapes and heartfelt connections.

Adventure on Halsema Highway

Halsema Highway is not just a scenic road, but also an adventure waiting to happen. The winding roads and steep cliffs make it a thrill-seeker’s paradise. Hiking and trekking enthusiasts can explore the numerous trails in the surrounding mountains, while cyclists and bikers can challenge themselves on the challenging terrain. The highway also offers ample opportunities for photography, with its ever-changing landscapes, unique flora and fauna, and play of light and mist.

For those seeking the adrenaline rush, Halsema Highway is the ultimate destination. Whether you’re an experienced adventurer or a beginner looking to conquer new heights, the highway offers a variety of thrill-seeking activities. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a breathtaking trek through the scenic Cordillera mountains. With trails to suit all levels of experience, you can choose from a leisurely stroll to a challenging summit climb.

Cycling enthusiasts can pedal their way through the picturesque landscapes, feeling the wind against their skin as they conquer each hill and curve. The highway’s challenging terrain provides an exhilarating cycling experience that will push your limits and leave you with unforgettable memories.

Photography enthusiasts will find Halsema Highway a paradise for capturing stunning images of nature’s wonders. With ever-changing landscapes, vibrant flora and fauna, and captivating light and mist, every turn of the highway presents a new opportunity for a breathtaking shot. From dramatic mountain peaks to tranquil valleys, the highway serves as the perfect backdrop for capturing the beauty of the Cordillera region.

As you venture along Halsema Highway, immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring scenery and let the thrill of adventure fuel your spirit. Whether you’re hiking, cycling, or capturing moments through your lens, the highway guarantees an unforgettable experience that will leave you craving for more.

Take a moment to imagine yourself standing at the edge of a cliff, feeling the rush of excitement as you conquer new heights. Picture yourself cycling through breathtaking landscapes, feeling a sense of freedom and exhilaration with every pedal stroke. Visualize capturing the perfect shot, freezing a moment in time that encapsulates the beauty and grandeur of the Cordillera region.

Adventure Activities on Halsema Highway:

  • Hiking and trekking through scenic mountain trails
  • Cycling on challenging terrains
  • Thrilling photography opportunities

Embark on an adventure of a lifetime on Halsema Highway and discover the thrill, beauty, and magic that awaits you.

Personal Adventures on Halsema Highway

Embarking on a journey along Halsema Highway is more than just a scenic drive; it is an opportunity for personal adventures and unforgettable experiences. Travelers who have traversed this iconic route have their own stories to tell, from braving the mysterious fog to connecting with the warm-hearted Igorot people and witnessing breathtaking sunrise and sunset views. Each individual’s journey on Halsema Highway is unique and holds a special place in their hearts.

“As I drove along Halsema Highway, the fog enveloped the road, creating an ethereal and mystical ambiance. It was both exhilarating and challenging, but the journey through the mist led me to stunning panoramic views that I will forever cherish.”

The interaction with the Igorot people along the way adds a touch of cultural richness to the experience. Their warm hospitality and genuine kindness make travelers feel welcomed and appreciated. Whether it’s engaging in conversations, participating in traditional ceremonies, or simply sharing a smile, the interaction with the Igorot people leaves a lasting impression that bonds hearts and cultures.

“During my trip on Halsema Highway, I had the privilege of meeting the Igorot people and immersing myself in their traditions. They warmly welcomed me into their community and shared stories of their heritage, leaving me with a deep appreciation for their culture and values.”

Furthermore, the scenic beauty of Halsema Highway extends to its incredible sunrise and sunset views. As the golden rays paint the sky and illuminate the landscape, travelers are treated to awe-inspiring moments that become memories of a lifetime.

“As the sun dipped below the horizon, the sky transformed into a tapestry of vibrant hues, casting an enchanting glow over the mountains and valleys. It was a breathtaking spectacle that filled my soul with tranquility and gratitude.”

With every bend in the road and every milestone on the journey, Halsema Highway offers a canvas for personal discoveries, self-reflection, and exploration. Each traveler’s adventure leaves an indelible mark, making Halsema Highway not just a road trip, but a transformational experience.

“As I navigated through the twists and turns of Halsema Highway, I discovered hidden gems, experienced personal growth, and ventured into the unknown. It was a journey that challenged me, inspired me, and forever changed me.”

Adventures on Halsema Highway Description
Braving the Fog Experience the thrill and mystery of driving through the mystical fog that wraps around Halsema Highway.
Connecting with the Igorot People Immerse yourself in the warm hospitality, culture, and traditions of the Igorot people along Halsema Highway.
Sunrise and Sunset Views Witness breathtaking sunrise and sunset views that paint the sky with vibrant colors and create unforgettable moments.

Traveling Safely on Halsema Highway

While exploring Halsema Highway, safety should always be a priority. To ensure a smooth and worry-free journey, here are some important factors to keep in mind:

Check Weather Conditions

Before embarking on your Halsema Highway adventure, be sure to check the weather conditions. Heavy rain can trigger landslides and make the road slippery, posing a safety risk. Stay updated on weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

Maintain Vehicle Condition

It is crucial to ensure that your vehicle is in excellent condition. Regular maintenance checks, including brakes, tires, and headlights, are essential for a safe drive along Halsema Highway. Don’t forget to verify your fuel levels to prevent any unexpected delays.

Stay Informed About Road Conditions

Keeping yourself updated on the latest road conditions along Halsema Highway is imperative. Construction or maintenance work may impact the route, so it’s essential to be aware of any potential roadblocks or detours. Check local traffic advisories or engage with reliable sources for real-time information.

Be Prepared with a Vehicle Emergency Kit

Emergencies can happen, even on well-maintained roads. To ensure your safety, always carry a vehicle emergency kit. This kit should include basic tools, spare tire, jumper cables, a first aid kit, and emergency contact numbers.

Know Local Mechanics or Service Centers

While traveling on Halsema Highway, it is crucial to know the location of local mechanics or service centers along the route. Being aware of nearby repair facilities can provide peace of mind in case of any vehicle issues or breakdowns. Research and note down contact details of reliable service providers in the area.

By following these safety measures, you can fully enjoy the scenic beauty of Halsema Highway while ensuring a secure and memorable journey.

Where Does Halsema Highway Start and End?

Halsema Highway, also known as the Benguet-Mountain Province Road and Baguio-Bontoc Road, spans from Baguio City to Bontoc, covering a distance of 150 kilometers. It serves as a vital road link connecting these two destinations in the Philippines.

Baguio City, known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines,” is a popular tourist destination in the country. Located in the province of Benguet, it is well-known for its cool climate, breathtaking views, and vibrant cultural scene. Visitors can explore attractions such as Burnham Park, Mines View Park, and the historical Baguio Cathedral.

Bontoc, situated in Mountain Province, is considered the cultural heartland of the Cordillera region. It offers a glimpse into the rich heritage and traditions of the Igorot people. Travelers can visit the Bontoc Museum, which showcases artifacts and exhibits related to the indigenous cultures of the area.

“Halsema Highway is not only a physical road; it also serves as a bridge connecting Baguio City and Bontoc, two distinct destinations offering unique experiences and cultural treasures.”

Key Highlights of Baguio City and Bontoc

Baguio City Bontoc
Known for its cool climate and natural beauty Preserves the cultural heritage of the Igorot people
Famous attractions include Burnham Park and Mines View Park Home to the Bontoc Museum, which showcases indigenous artifacts
Offers a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, and shopping options Opportunities for hiking, exploring terraced rice fields, and experiencing authentic Igorot culture

Whether starting the journey from Baguio City or arriving in Bontoc, travelers on Halsema Highway are treated to stunning landscapes, cultural encounters, and a memorable adventure through the heart of the Cordillera region.

Who Built Halsema Highway?

Halsema Highway, formerly known as Benguet-Mountain Province Road and Baguio-Bontoc Road, was constructed under the visionary leadership of American engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema. Serving as the mayor of Baguio City from 1920 to 1937, Halsema played an instrumental role in the development of this iconic highway.

“The construction of Halsema Highway stands as a testament to Engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema’s dedication and engineering prowess. His efforts paved the way for a transportation marvel that has become an integral part of the Cordillera region’s history and connectivity.”

As the driving force behind the project, Engineer Halsema worked closely with local communities to bring his vision to reality. Beginning in 1922, the construction of the highway transformed a simple foot trail into a fully-fledged road that spans approximately 150 kilometers, connecting Baguio City to the enchanting landscapes of the Cordillera Central range.

Engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema’s legacy lives on through the enduring impact of Halsema Highway. His engineering brilliance and dedication to progress continue to inspire generations of travelers and road enthusiasts.

Engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema
Role Mayor of Baguio City (1920-1937)
Highway Halsema Highway (Benguet-Mountain Province Road and Baguio-Bontoc Road)
Construction Period 1922-1930
Length Approximately 150 kilometers

Why is Halsema Highway Famous?

Halsema Highway has gained fame for its remarkable combination of scenic beauty and reputation as a challenging road. It has garnered worldwide recognition for its breathtaking landscapes and captivating journey. However, its fame also stems from its once dangerous reputation, as it was considered one of the most treacherous highways globally due to hazardous sections and frequent landslides.

Despite its dangerous past, Halsema Highway has undergone significant improvements to ensure the safety and enjoyment of travelers. Today, it offers a much safer route, attracting adventurers with its stunning vistas and natural wonders. The highway provides a unique opportunity to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Cordillera Central range in northern Luzon.

“Halsema Highway is a testament to the power of human resilience and engineering expertise. It presents an exhilarating challenge while treating travelers to some of the most jaw-dropping scenery in the Philippines.”

With each twist and turn, Halsema Highway showcases the diverse landscapes of the Cordillera region. From dense pine forests to expansive mountain vistas, the natural beauty along the highway is a visual masterpiece. Travelers are treated to mesmerizing views of the Chico River as it gracefully winds its way through the mountains.

One notable feature that adds to the allure of Halsema Highway is the Half Tunnel in Atok. This engineering marvel, carved through solid rock, provides a thrilling passage for vehicles, leaving a lasting impression on those who traverse its path.

Scenic Beauty

The scenic beauty of Halsema Highway is awe-inspiring. Here are some highlights:

Scenic Features Description
Dense Pine Forests The highway winds through enchanting pine forests, immersing travelers in a refreshing ambiance.
Mountain Vistas The ever-changing landscapes offer panoramic views of majestic mountains, creating postcard-worthy moments.
Chico River Travelers can witness the beauty of the Chico River as it gracefully meanders through the Cordillera mountains, adding a touch of serenity to the journey.
Half Tunnel The Half Tunnel in Atok is a captivating sight, showcasing human ingenuity and providing a unique experience for travelers.
Flora and Fauna The highway is adorned with diverse flora and fauna, including wildflowers, orchids, pitcher plants, and blueberries, presenting a vibrant and enchanting ecosystem.

Embarking on an adventure along Halsema Highway not only offers breathtaking views but also gives travelers the opportunity to experience the warmth and hospitality of the Igorot people who call this region their home. Interacting with the locals and immersing oneself in their rich cultural heritage adds a deeper layer of authenticity to the journey.

Planning Your Halsema Highway Adventure

Embarking on a trip along the picturesque Halsema Highway requires careful planning to ensure a smooth and enjoyable adventure. Take the time to create a well-thought-out itinerary, consider transportation options, and explore the possibility of hiring a knowledgeable tour guide. By doing so, you can make the most of your journey and uncover the hidden gems along this scenic route.

Create a Customized Itinerary

When planning your Halsema Highway trip, consider the attractions and landmarks you want to visit along the way. Make a list of the must-see places, such as the Chico River or the Half Tunnel in Atok. Research the distances between each destination to determine the ideal time to spend at each stop. Remember to factor in rest breaks and meals to ensure a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Explore Transportation Options

When it comes to transportation, there are various options to consider for your Halsema Highway adventure. If you prefer the freedom to explore at your own pace, renting a car or motorcycle can be a great choice. Make sure the vehicle is in good condition and suitable for the challenging terrain. Alternatively, you can hire a private driver who is familiar with the route. Another option is to join a guided tour, where transportation is provided along with the expertise of a knowledgeable tour guide. Consider your preferences and the level of convenience you desire for your trip.

Consider Hiring a Tour Guide

If you want to make the most of your time on Halsema Highway and gain deeper insights into the culture, history, and natural wonders along the route, hiring a tour guide can be a valuable addition to your adventure. A knowledgeable guide can share local stories, point out hidden gems, and provide a deeper understanding of the areas you visit. They can also help ensure your safety and assist with any language barriers you may encounter. Research reputable tour guide services in the region to find someone who aligns with your interests and preferences.

By carefully planning your Halsema Highway adventure, considering your itinerary, transportation options, and the possibility of hiring a tour guide, you can create a memorable trip filled with breathtaking landscapes, thrilling experiences, and authentic encounters with the local culture.


Halsema Highway offers a unique and captivating experience for travelers seeking adventure and natural beauty. Spanning 150 kilometers from Baguio City to Bontoc, this iconic route winds its way through the stunning Cordillera Central range in northern Luzon. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for exciting activities, or simply want to immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes, Halsema Highway is a must-visit destination in the Philippines.

From its rich history, including the contributions of the esteemed Engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema, to its ever-changing landscapes, every journey on Halsema Highway is filled with personal discoveries and unforgettable experiences. The highway offers stunning views of the Chico River, the Half Tunnel in Atok, and the majestic Mt. Pulag, making it a paradise for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.

If you’re planning a trip on Halsema Highway, it’s important to prioritize safety. Check the weather conditions, ensure your vehicle is well-maintained, and stay informed about road conditions and fuel availability. Consider carrying a vehicle emergency kit and basic medical supplies. With careful planning, you can embark on a journey along Halsema Highway that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


What is Halsema Highway?

Halsema Highway, also known as the Benguet-Mountain Province Road and Baguio-Bontoc Road, is a national secondary highway in the Philippines. It is approximately 150 kilometers long, stretching from Baguio City to Bontoc in the Cordillera Central range.

Who is Halsema Highway named after?

Halsema Highway is named after American engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema, who served as the mayor of Baguio from 1920 to 1937 and played a pivotal role in its construction.

What are the attractions along Halsema Highway?

Halsema Highway offers stunning natural beauty, including dense pine forests, mountain vistas, the Chico River, the Half Tunnel in Atok, and views of Mt. Pulag. It is also an opportunity to experience the warmth and hospitality of the Igorot people.

What adventure activities can be done on Halsema Highway?

Halsema Highway offers thrilling activities such as hiking, trekking, cycling, and biking. It also provides ample opportunities for photography.

What should I consider for safety while traveling on Halsema Highway?

Safety should always be a priority. Check weather conditions, ensure your vehicle is well-maintained, stay informed about road conditions and fuel availability, carry a vehicle emergency kit and basic medical supplies, and be aware of local mechanics or service centers.

Where does Halsema Highway start and end?

Halsema Highway starts in Baguio City and ends in Bontoc, covering a distance of 150 kilometers.

Who built Halsema Highway?

Halsema Highway was built under the leadership of American engineer Eusebius Julius Halsema, who served as the mayor of Baguio from 1920 to 1937.

Why is Halsema Highway famous?

Halsema Highway is famous for its scenic beauty and reputation as a challenging road. It was once considered one of the most dangerous highways in the world but has since been improved for safer travel.

How should I plan my Halsema Highway adventure?

Plan your trip by considering your itinerary, transportation options, and the possibility of hiring a tour guide. This will help you explore various attractions along the route and create a customized adventure.

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Hello! I'm Wise, a Filipina with a deep love for my country and a passion for sharing its beauty with the world. As a writer, blogger, and videographer, I capture the essence of the Philippines through my eyes, hoping to give foreign visitors a true taste of what makes these islands so special.

From the vibrant streets of Manila to the tranquil beaches of Palawan, my journey is about uncovering the hidden gems and everyday wonders that define the Filipino spirit. My articles and blogs are not just travel guides; they are invitations to explore, to feel, and to fall in love with the Philippines, just as I have.

Through my videos, I strive to bring the sights, sounds, and stories of my homeland to life. Whether it's the local cuisine, the colorful festivals, or the warm smiles of the people, I aim to prepare visitors for an authentic experience.

For those seeking more than just a vacation, the Philippines can be a place of discovery and, perhaps, even love. My goal is to be your guide, not just to the places you'll visit, but to the experiences and connections that await in this beautiful corner of the world. Welcome to the Philippines, through my eyes. Let's explore together!

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