Driving Directions to Baguio via TPLEX and Kennon Road

26 September 2016

If you're coming from Manila, the ideal way to start your journey to Baguio is via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) with Balintawak as your entry point.  We paid P55 at the Toll Gate since we were driving a Class 1 vehicle.  From here to Baguio, you will drive more than 230 kilometers for about 4 hours.  There are many gasoline stations with restaurants, shops and restrooms along the way should you feel the need to refuel, dine, shop or use the restrooms.

Once you pay your toll at the Balintawak Toll gate, you will now be driving along the NLEX.  Traveling on the NLEX is simple. All you have to do is to drive straight, passing all exits until you reach the NLEX-SCTEX exit where you'll shift from the NLEX to the SCTEX.

When you see the exit signs for Dau, you know that you're nearing the SCTEX exit so you need to stay on the right lane.  There are a couple more signs for the SCTEX exit so you can't miss it.  

You will also know that you're headed in the right direction when you see this sign as you near the NLEX-SCTEX exit.

You can't miss this landmark.

On the SCTEX, keep an eye out for this sign, just a couple of minutes past the NLEX-SCTEX landmark.  You need to follow this direction until you reach the TPLEX.

Along the way, you'll pass by this new PTT Gas Station (on the right) and the ongoing construction of the SeaOil SCTEX Mega Station (on the left).

About 10 minutes after you pass Seaoil, you'll reach the SCTEX Toll Gate.  The last time we traveled on these expressways , we had to pay the toll fees at NLEX, SCTEX and TPLEX separately.  This time, we only had to pay at the exit points.  We paid a consolidated fee of P277 for both NLEX and SCTEX, paid at the Tarlac exit (below).

You can zoom in on the photo to see the other Toll Fees
Just a couple of minutes after the toll gate, you'll see this sign and you know that you've arrived on the TPLEX.

You'll reach this Toll Gate where you'll get your TPLEX entry card.

At this point, Urdaneta is the 2nd to last exit on the TPLEX.  You'll see that Binalonan is the next exit.  

You'll see the huge bridge and you'll know that you need to prepare for the end of the TPLEX.

It took us about 40 minutes to travel from the TPLEX Entry Toll Gate to this TPLEX Exit Toll Gate.  We paid P235 for the use of the TPLEX.  

At this point, you are now leaving the expressways behind and venturing onto the Binalonan-Dagupan Highway.  This is the junction where the TPLEX diverges into the areas you see on the sign.

This huge building near the junction, Ruperto's Restaurant and Resort, serves as a landmark for you to turn RIGHT onto the Binalonan-Dagupan Highway. 

After about 3-5 minutes, you'll end up at this intersection. This is where the Binalonan-Dagupan Highway intersects with the MacArthur Highway or the Manila North Road.  Here, you should turn LEFT.  I repeat, TURN LEFT!  We initially made a mistake and went straight because there were no signs.  

We stopped to check WAZE but there was no signal.  Rather than continue on, we made a U-Turn and this is where we saw the sign for Baguio.

So back at the intersection, you now have to TURN RIGHT. You know you're on the correct path when you see the University of Eastern Pangasinan on your RIGHT side.

It's a relatively straight drive from hereon out.

In about 10 minutes, you will reach the Victory Liner pit stop.

Then, in 5 minutes, you'll cross this huge bridge and reach the La Union marker.

When you reach this section of the road, where there are many gasoline stations, you know that you're nearing the junction between Marcos Highway and Kennon Road.

This is the junction between Marcos Highway and Kennon Road.  Kennon Road is to the Right while Marcos Highway is to the Left.  As you can see, at the time that we passed by, there was a Traffic Advisory regarding the closure of Kennon Road.

Keep driving forward and you'll reach the marker for Benguet Province and soon enough you'll reach the Benguet Entry Toll Gate.  Get your card/ticket.  

It took us about 20 minutes to reach the Exit Toll Gate where we paid P15.  Don't worry, the scenery is so beautiful that you won't notice the passing of time.

About 10 minutes from the Toll Gate, we hit this spot where traffic became sluggish.  They were concreting the roads so only one lane was passable at a time.  Vehicles needed to take turns.

Then, there's the iconic Lion's Head.  We weren't able to take pictures with it though.

In about 5 minutes, you'll see this sign welcoming you to Baguio City (sort of).

Driving from Manila to Baguio City used to take 5-7 hours, maybe even longer if one is to take public transportation.  But with the redevelopment of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), construction and opening of both the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), travel time is reduced to an average of four hours.  I hope that with this, you'll have a pleasant and stress-free drive to Baguio City. :)


  1. Thank you very much. This was very thoughtful of you. With your guidance, do hope to have a stress-free drive to Baguio City on Friday.

  2. You're welcome! I hope it helps and have a safe trip :)

  3. we will be there much was the total fee of the nlex,sctex and tplecx? on your way to baguio and back to manila?would there be a way to bypass nlex and just straight to sctex?thanks

    1. nlex/sctex = P277 + tplex=P235, so P512 (one way). it will probably be the same cost if you travel the same way on your way back. As to bypassing NLEX, that's a bit tricky, but possible. You may have to get on via the entry points at Clark though to get to SCTEX (if you're coming from Manila). I hope this helps. Thanks :)

    2. for more info on the possible entry/exit points of the SCTEX:

  4. Thanks so much Ms. Rachel, my family have yet to take our trip to Baguio. But your blog so far has given me the sign to push through with our plan of another weekend get away this time in the summer capital!

    1. I'm glad that you found it useful :) We may also have to take another trip just to update this post hahaha :)

    2. which of this two the better way? kennon rd or marcos hway? as of to date?

    3. I'm sorry but I haven't been to Baguio as of yet.

  5. That was helpful. Thanks!

  6. This will help a lot. Would you by chance have the distances in km between points, say:
    1) Tplex exit - McArthur intersection;
    2) McArthur Hiway intersection - Kennon Rd Toll gate;
    3) Kennon Rd Toll gate - Lion's Head.


    1. Hi Ed. I got the figures from Google Maps:
      1. TPLEX Exit to McArthur Intersection - 2.6 kms (4 minutes)
      2. McArthur Intersection to Kennon Road (Benguet) - around 31 kms.
      3. Kennon Road (Benguet) to Lion's Head - 24.9 kms. (around 30-40 minutes)

      Hope this helps. Thanks.

  7. a helpfull tips on first timer traveler w/ SUV...thanks.

  8. Good luck and safe travels! :)

  9. Has the tplex pozorrubio exit opened already?

    1. As of the time of this post, it isn't open yet. Upon searching the Net, there isn't any current news of its opening.

    2. I was having 2nd thought of driving all the way to Baguio & commute instead. You changed my mind. Thank!s :)

    3. That's great Raffy! Thanks.. and Take Care while on the road :D

  10. Wow this is very helpful thanks. I wonder tho why i paid 400 bucks from subic to nlex 😏

  11. This is great! Ty!
    I wonder why i paid 400 from subic to nlex 😏

    1. It would be a good idea to check your receipts :) Maybe they increased the toll fees?

  12. thank God for your wonderful post.. very very helpful, and the pix, wow, galing.. da best..


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