One of Luzon’s hidden gems, Baler in Aurora Province is dubbed as the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines, it was first known for its waves that can reach up to 2.7 meters (9 feet) tall.
Located 231 kilometers (143.5 mi) north-east of Manila, it is only a leisurely five-hour ride from the nation’s capital. This surfers’ paradise is just so because the town’s coast faces the Pacific Ocean with its strong winds and large waves.
But Baler has more to offer than just surfing — there’s history in every corner and other places to explore.
To make the most out of your Baler getaway, check on below list 😉
1. Go surfing in Baler’s perfect waves
Baler is known to have the country’s largest Filipino surfing community. Its long coastline offers many great spots to surf namely Sabang Beach – the most popular surf area, Cemento Beach, Charlie’s Point and Lindy’s Point. Sabang Beach is perfect for beginners because its soft sand will make your spills and wipeouts easier. With the northeast monsoon blowing, you can experience riding the best waves here from October to February. Here are the rates:
Surfboard rental only – Php 200per hour or Php 800 per day
For beginners, there’s a separate fee of Php 200 per hour for surf instructor.
2. For more challenging wave ride, try Diguisit Beach and rock formations
Experienced surfers who want a more challenging surfing experience should go to Diguisit Beach, located 14.9 mi (24 kilometers) away from the town center, along Baler Bay. The waves here are much harsher than Sabang, and the rocky beach makes it all the more challenging.
If you are not a surfer, you can go to Diguisit to admire its rock formations called Lukso-Lukso islets. This pair of rock formations show visitors how powerful the wind and sea can be. You can choose to do some rock climbing in one of the islets, or just enjoy a dip in the clear waters of this white sand beach.
There’s no entrance fee as this is a public beach. Just make sure to wear appropriate shoes as the rocks are slippery and sharp.
3. Visit Museo De Baler
A museum that tells the history of Aurora Province, mostly via photos of the life of former First Lady Dona Aurora who was born in Baler; she gave name to the region and is held responsible for the right of women to vote in the Philippines. A museum ticket also gives you access to Dona Aurora’s childhood home across the street.
History-lovers and antique enthusiasts are mostly the visitors of the said establishment. It is also popular because visiting Museo de Baler is really part of the itinerary of all travelers since it very accessible because it is located right at the back of Manuel L. Roxas Park.
Address: Quezon Street, Poblacion (town center), Baler, Aurora
Operating hours: 8am-5pm Mondays to Saturdays
Entrance fee: Php 30
4. Appreciate the stunning Dicasalarin Cove
The cove is known for having one of the best vistas of Baler, which can be seen from the modern lighthouse in the cove, or the nearby weather station. The road that takes you to Dicasalarin is an adventure in itself. A single dirt track climbs up over the hills, sometimes teetering dangerously on the edge of the cliff — but the view is spectacular. Going to the cove, one must take a four-by-four vehicle as the road is steep. The cove is part of an estate owned by the Angara family, a clan whose roots go way back in this coastal province. Entry tickets are free for guests of Costa Pacifica Resort. Visitors pay a gate pass of 100 pesos besides the ticket (PHP 300, available only from the Costa Pacifica front desk).
5. Dip in the cool waters of Ditumabo Waterfalls
Going to Ditumabo Waterfalls is an adventure which will require you to be a bit physically fit, as it will take about 45 minutes up to an hour long trek that is rocky and rough, taking you through several river crossings so be prepared.
The Mother Falls is an imposing 140-foot (42.67 m) waterfall, fed by the Sierra Madre Mountains.
You can reward yourself with a cool dip after a tiring trek. Locals are very strict about visitors not bringing any food during the trek to prevent littering. A donation is requested, which goes to the maintenance of the falls and its surroundings.
Entrance Fee: P30 per person
Parking Fee: P30 per vehicle
Tour Guide Fee: P200 per guide
6. Visit the 600-year old massive Balete Tree
Marvel at the Millennium Tree, a centuries-old balete tree, found in the town of Maria Aurora, thirty minutes away from Baler. It reaches up to 200 feet (61 m), much higher than Ditumabo Falls (it towers more than 5 stories high!) and its diameter is measured by 50 people circling the tree, hand in hand.
Its so massive and a bit creepy! I suddenly remembered a scene from Pan’s Labyrinth where Ofelia enters through a tree to the underworld.
Trivia: Balete trees are usually associated with supernatural beings in Philippine folklore. This tree is said to be the largest one of its kind in Asia.
7. Don’t miss Baler’s Ultimate Grilling Station, Baler’s Surfer Grill!
After a long day of surfing and exploring Baler, make sure to grab a bite at Baler’s Surfer Grill.
It has been featured on GMA News TV, Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho and placed #2 at “Ang Pinaka” yummy restaurants in Baler.
The restaurant can be a bit crowded but your seat is worth the wait 😅
Location: Baywalk, Sabang Beach, Baler Aurora
11:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Saturdays
a9:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Sundays
During summer season or when there are special events or competitions, they are open on other days.
Get refreshed and grab some drinks from Surf&Chill! What I like about this juice bar is that they will let you try all the juices for a free sip! My favourite was green cucumber drink, so healthy and yummy!
Tips on trips to make the most of your stay in Baler
Don’t forget to visit pasalubong centers so you have something to bring back home 😬
Eat at cheaper eateries! There are much cheaper food places around town. P100 should be more than enough for a decent meal.
Here’s a sample Baler weekend itinerary. You can tweak this to fit your needs and preferences.
Sample 2D1N Travel Itinerary:
11:00 PM Guests Assembly
12:00 MN Departure to Baler
ESTIMATED TRAVEL DURATION: 6 HOURS
ESTIMATED TIME OF ARIVAL: 06:00 AM
06:00-07:00 AM Balete Tree
07:00-08:00 AM BREAKFAST
08:00-09:00 AM Ermita Hill
09:00-10:00 AM Hanging Bridge
10:00-11:00 AM Pag-asa Weather Station
11:00-12:00 NN Mother Falls
12:00-01:00 PM LUNCH
01:00-02:00 Check-In @ the Accommodation Preparation for Beach Swimming Time / Surfing
02:00-06:00 PM Enjoy your FREE OWN LEISURE TIME at the Beach Swimming/Surfing
06:00-07:00 PM Preparation for DINNER
07:00-08:00 PM DINNER
08:00-09:00 AM Breakfast
09:00-11:00 AM FREE TIME Swimming at the Beach or Buy Pasalubong
11:00-12:00 NN Preparation (Accommodation Check-out)
01:00-02:00 PM Museo De Baler
02:00-03:00 PM Doña Aurora House
03:00-04:00 PM Baler Church
04:00 PM Departure Going Back to Manila
10:00 PM Estimated Time of Arrival
For amazing trips like what we had, you can book your travel through Amazing Package Travel and Tours. The owner is a very good friend of mine, the name if the company speaks for itself 😉
See contact details below:
Globe: 0905-448-9469 / 0936-233-8008
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