Balatoc Mines Tour, Benguet: A great side trip activity from Baguio
If you’re traveling to Baguio and already done the typical Baguio tour which normally include Camp John Hay, Mines View Park, Burnham Park, etc, why not hop to the mining town of Itogon, Benguet which is just 30 minutes away from Baguio City?
This unique Balatoc Mines Tour experience started operating since 1997 to offer an exciting opportunity for visitor to be a miner for a day. Staff will assist you first by giving your protective outfit (boots and helmets) from the muddy Vegas tunnel.
It was muddy inside because of the water being used to wash out the lighter materials, leaving the heavier metals, hopefully gold, in the bottom of the pan when gold mining. This method is known as panning.
The tour guide will first let you familiarize with the tools and equipment being used to mine golds. As you go along inside the Vegas tunnel, you will also learn about the different stages of the process of gold mining and diamond drilling.
Actual miners will also visit inside to demonstrate some technique of mining. One example they did was drilling the hole to deploy the explosives or dynamite and blast the rocks.
This part actually startled most of us as the miner didn’t allow us to prepare for the blast. We just all of a sudden heard a very loud ‘BOOOOOOOOM!!!!’ while we were wandering and it scared the hell out of us. Keep in mind that we were inside the tunnel, imagine how loud the blast would be. But the tour guide rest assured that it was only a prototype sound explosive. Exhale.
Another shocking noise struck us afterwards. The sound was like ‘RRRARRRRRAW RRRARRRRW RAAARRRRW,’ a very loud grinding noise that came from the big pipe they called, “Anaconda” which I didn’t completely understand the function as it was loud inside.
Couple of minutes later, an underground locomotive train picked us up as the exiting part of the tour.
This tour was actually the most exciting activity I’ve done so far from visiting Baguio. I recommend Balatoc Mining Tour for families and group of friends who seek for great and adventurous experience while staying in Baguio. But keep in mind that this tour isn’t recommended for infants and toddler.
How to Get to Balatoc Mines Tour
From Session Road, proceed to Loakan Road and keep going, past the Camp John Hay main entrance heading toward the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). After PMA, turn left at Kias Junction and head on to Balatoc.
Public jeepneys are also available using the Plaza-Balatoc-Acupan line. Or you may hire one of our many taxis cabs to take you there and contract the driver by the hour or for the day. If your group is large, it may be better to hire a jeepney instead.
Fare: Adult PHP 250.00
Hours of Operation: 10. a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For more information on these tours, please visit the Baguio Tourist Information Center at Burnham Park. (Source: GoBaguio.com)
Thanks to Azalea Residences for letting us experience this one of a kind adventure by letting us be gold miner for a day.