About a 6-hour drive from Manila, one will find Baler’s awe-inspiring geographic formations such as coves, waterfalls, hills, and of course, beaches. At first, the travel may seem like a drag, but the destination has an impressionable character which makes the lengthy and pricey travel worth it.
With Baler, it just felt right that time to sit on the sand and do nothing, simply watch others play the sport and not feel pressured about going surfing just because it was a famous activity there. Baler was beautiful, with or without the surfing experience. While this was my personal take on the trip I recently had, here are my top suggestions of places to check out when going to Baler!
Surf at Sabang Beach
This laid-back coastal town is situated on the east of Luzon, facing the Pacific Ocean. Top of mind when people talk about Baler as a tourist destination is Sabang Beach, widely known as a surfer’s haven. The 2-kilometer stretch of grey sands catches the ocean’s strong winds and waves, making this area a playground for surfers.
Set up a picnic at Dicasalarin Cove
If you’re not much into surfing like I am, then you must visit the privately owned Dicasalarin Cove. Going there takes about 30-40 minutes from Sabang Beach via private vehicle. White sand beach with spectacular views of the ocean awaits you. Read about it here.
Marvel at Diguisit Beach and Rock Formations
From the cove on the way back to Sabang Beach, you’ll find Diguisit Beach and Rock Formation on the side of the road. It’s not white sand, but it features dramatic rock formations sculpted by nature when the strong waves hit the rocks.
Catch the sun at Ampere Beach
It is easy to notice that Baler’s roads are ideal for road trips. And who can resist when the view is as dramatic and as scenic as Ampere Beach? Although not swimmable due to its rocky pebble shoreline, it’s known to satisfy your delight for long walks by the beach to chase the sunrise.
Cross Baler’s Hanging Bridge
Baler hanging bridge, located in Brgy. Zabali, stretches a bit over 100 meters and helps people cross over the small brackish water. The bridge is sturdy enough, however, few of the planks are barely holding up. When crossing this bridge, you are offered a peaceful picture of the waters.
Ditumabo Mother Falls
Also called Mother Falls, it stands at 140 feet with water coming from Sierra Madre Mountain Range. The 30-minute trek involved some ducking and river-crossing, but after the journey, you’ll be rewarded with nature’s majestic wonder. Read about it here.
The giant 600-year old Balete Tree in Aurora is surrounded by folktales of mystical happenings such as the appearance of a lady in white during the wee hours. Also called Millenium Tree, its thick roots have mounted above ground, to the point of creating a cave formation under its trunk.
Museo de Baler
Baler may have risen to popularity due to the astonishing natural attractions but did you know that it is also rich in history? Aside from the fact that the province takes after the name President Manuel Quezon’s first lady, Aurora also experienced siege during the Spanish era. Read about it here.
There’s so much we didn’t cover yet I knew what we’ve experienced was enough, enough to have good things to remember. The magical moment of this trip didn’t happen during the time that I was in Baler. It’s funny, ’cause in my head, I was asking myself, “what makes this place so special anyway?”
But now that it’s several weeks past the trip, I realized it somehow left an impression in me. Baler makes you enjoy things that are not obvious. They’re not the big moments, yet they build up to become one of the unforgettable ones. Like the sun setting by the beach, the feeling of sand on your bare toes, that amazing dip after the tiresome trek. I was unaware that a place like Baler for a non-surfer like me could give me so much to look back to.
Photos by: Renz Dupitas
Itinerary and Budget
|12:15 AM||ETD to Baler from Buendia||₱54/vehicle (NLEX toll fee), ₱327/vehicle (SCTEX toll fee)|
|6:15 AM||ETA Costa Pacifica Baler||₱300/person (entrance fee), ₱50/vehicle (parking fee)|
|6:45 AM||ETA Dicasalarin Cove|
|9:15 AM||ETD to Diguisit Beach|
|9:25 AM||ETA at Diguisit Beach|
|9:35 AM||ETD to Baler Public Market to eat brunch|
|10:00 AM||ETA Baler Public Market, eat brunch|
|10:45 AM||ETD to Sabang Beach|
|11:30 AM||ETA Sabang Beach|
|1:00 PM||Early check-in at Balituk Resort, settle down, wash up, nap|
|3:00 PM||Swim at Sabang Beach, free time|
|6:00 PM||Eat dinner at Masilig|
|7:15 PM||Socials, rest, free time|
|5:15 AM||Wake up, freshen up|
|6:10 AM||ETD to Ampere Beach|
|6:45 AM||ETA Ampere Beach|
|7:10 AM||ETD to Museo de Baler|
|7:30 AM||ETA Museo de Baler||₱30/person (entrance fee)|
|8:05 AM||ETD to Baler Hanging Bridge|
|8:10 AM||ETA Hanging Bridge||₱20/vehicle (parking fee)|
|8:30 AM||ETD to Balituk Baler|
|8:45 AM||ETA Balituk, eat breakfast, pack up, check out|
|9:40 AM||ETD to Ditumabo Falls|
|10:15 AM||ETA Ditumabo Falls|
|10:40 AM||Jumpoff point, register, start trek||₱30/person (entrance fee), ₱200/tour guide (tour guide fee), ₱150/tour guide (tour guide tip)|
|11:15 AM||ETA Waterfalls|
|12:15 PM||ETD to jumpoff|
|12:30 PM||ETA jumpoff, wash selves||₱10/person (shower fee)|
|1:05 PM||ETD to Balete Park|
|1:35 PM||ETA Balete Park||₱15/person (entrance fee)|
|1:55 PM||ETD Manila|
|4:45 PM||Stopver at Cabanatuan Jollibee, eat|
|5:30 PM||Back to travel||₱83/vehicle (NLEX toll fee)|
|10:30 PM||ETA Buendia|
Other destinations around Baler:
- Balituk Baler: Easy stay at Sabang Beach
- Baler Ditumabo Mother Falls: Beauty in San Luis
- Dicasalarin Cove: Baler’s beach with stunning views
- Museo de Baler: Unveiling Aurora’s rich history
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