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Let's get stoked in Baler!

This town faraway from the Philippine's capital, is a gem to venturesome and free-spirited people. Known for its waves, Baler has been a hotspot for surfers and adventure-seekers.

I've been here couple of times. First was in 2014 when I bumped into my gf's barkada to celebrate one of their friend's birthday. We rented a van to bring us to Baler for 2 days and 1 night stay. During our stay, we made sure to visit most of Baler's tourist spots - Mother Falls, Ermita Hill, Diguisit Beach and Sabang Beach to name some.

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Us at Ermita Hill

The second and the last time I have been to Baler was in 2017 when Team Basti (my travel buddies) did a roadtrip to Aurora's new attraction, Dinadiawan Beach in Dipaculao. On our second day, we did not take tour around Baler's attractions. Hence, we just visited Caunayan Falls in San Luis.

In this guide, you will learn things about Baler, how to get there, where to go, where to stay and where to eat including itinerary and budget.

ABOUT BALER

Baler is a town on the Philippine island of Luzon. Baler is located 244 kilometres (152 mi) north-east of Manila via a mountain pass accessible by bus and private vehicles. It is host to spectacular geographic formations and is situated on a vast plain at the south end of Baler Bay, a contiguous segment of the Philippine Sea.

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Sabang Beach, Baler

In its center, Museo de Baler chronicles colonial history.  On the coast, Cemento Beach is known for powerful surf, and Sabang Beach is lined with resorts. Nearby, Ermita Hill offers panoramic views.

Inland, Baler Hanging Bridge crosses the mouth of the Tibag-Sabang River. To the east, the distinctive, angular Baler Lighthouse overlooks Dicasalarin Cove.

Dicasalarin Cove

FACTS ABOUT BALER

Before going to Baler, here are some things you need to know:
  • Area: 92.55 km²
  • Weather: Mostly tropical but windy
  • ZIP code: 3200
  • Region: Central Luzon
  • Province: Aurora
  • Language Spoken: Mostly Tagalog, can converse English
  • Communication: Globe and Smart have good network coverage around the town
  • Banks: Major banks such as China Bank, PNB and RCBC are operating
  • Supermarket: Puregold
  • Fastfood Chain: Jollibee

Loading...

WHAT TO BRING TO BALER

Here are some things you might consider bringing with you for your day tour / adventure:

Shopee is my go-to app for things I needed like the ones above. If you'd like discounts and vouchers, you may get the best offers here:

BEST TIME TO VISIT BALER

Average temperatures in Baler vary very little. Considering humidity, temperatures feel hot for most of the year with a chance of rain throughout most of the year.

The area is far less temperate than some — in the bottom 1 percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide.

Baler Bay as seen from Ermita Hill

If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Baler, the hottest months are June, May, and then August.

HOW TO GET TO BALER

Facing the Pacific Ocean, Baler is located in the east coastal area of Aurora Province. Since I haven't experienced yet traveling to Baler via bus, here's a guide from a friend:

Option 1

Genesis Transport, Inc. is the only bus company that provides direct trips to Baler, Aurora from Cubao.
  • The first trip is at 2:00 AM with subsequent trips at one hour intervals, last trip leaves Cubao at 7:30 AM.
  • From Baler to Pasay, the first bus leaves at 4:30 AM, also with subsequent trips every hour.
  • The last trip is at 3:00 PM. Travel time is approximately 7 hours.

UPDATE: Genesis Transport's Joy Buses are scheduled daily with trips at 12:30 AM, 1:30 AM and 2:30 AM. Fare is around PHP 700.00 each. This is the fastest way to get to Baler by public transportation since the trip has no bus stops. Travel time is about 5 to 5.5 hours from Cubao to Baler.

Meet up at McDonald's Kapasigan

Option 2

  • Take any bus from Metro Manila bound for Cabanatuan, Nueva Ejica.
  • There are several bus companies that goes to Cabanatuan City (Five Star Bus Co., ES Transport, Genesis Transport Services, Baliwag Transit, Inc).
  • Bus terminals can be found in Pasay, Avenida, Cubao and Caloocan.
  • Travel time is 2.5 - 3.5 hours depending on which route it will take.
  • The fastest route is via SCTEX. From Cabantuan City, take a Baler bound bus or van from the central terminal.
  • Travel time is around 4 hours from Cabanatuan City.

By Private Car

  • From Manila, enter the North Luzon Expressway at Balintawak and exit at SCTEX (entry is at LaPaz, Tarlac toll gate).
  • From here, follow the highway leading to Aliaga and to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija.
  • Upon reaching Cabanatuan City Proper, take the Nueva Ecija-Aurora highway, passing through the towns of Talavera, Rizal and Pantabangan until reaching the Nueva Ecija-Aurora border, then drive thru the towns of Maria Aurora, San Luis, until you reach Baler.
  • Travel time would take about 5-6 hours.

A Little Side Story... and Detour

The first time we went for Baler, we planned to travel overnight. We started the trip before the clock hits 12 o'clock. No one from has been to Baler yet. Even our driver wasn't familiar for directions to Baler.

So the time we reached Nueva Ecija, we followed directions using Google Maps app. Sitting next to our driver, I led the navigation using the app. Google Maps suggested us to take the shorter but zigzag and rough road Nueva Ecija - Aurora Road. The app said that it would be faster (less than 30 minutes) if we take the road.

Way back 2014, the 85.3km-long road was mostly rocky and dusty compare to its counterpart Pantabangang - Baler Road which is commonly used (until now) by many commuters even the PUVs. 

The narrow road is unpaved and links Bongabon (in the province of Nueva Ecija) and Baler (the capital of the province of Aurora). It was completely dark most of our travel and no houses can be seen for hours of driving. We even passed a few rivers and waterfalls on the side. Some parts of the roads were slippery and pretty steep, climbing up to 687m above the sea level. Making it one of the most dangerous roads in the country.

But hell yah! We overcame it and finally reached the town of San Luis in Aurora at around 6 in the morning. If I were you, DON'T YOU DARE PASS THIS ROAD TO BALER!
Cheapest Flights and Airline Tickets Online Booking

THINGS TO DO AND TOURIST SPOTS TO VISIT IN BALER

Let's go to the most exciting part now. This town in Aurora will not lose of attractions (even rich in historical landmarks) for first timers or even returnees. One thing I appreciate about Baler is you can visit most of these tourist spots by tricycle or some by just walking.

Let me enumerate places you must visit in and nearby Baler:

Sabang Beach

First of, this two-kilometer strip of gray sand facing East over the Pacific Ocean is famously known with its frequently strong waves that are massive enough to give life to people who would like to ride the waves. As such, Sabang Beach of Baler is the birthplace of surfing in the country.

Things to do: surfing, beach tour, swimming
Surfboard rental + instructor fee: P350 per hour
Surfboard rental only: P200 per hour or P800 per day

Ermita Hill

This historic hill offers overlooking views of the bay, informational plaques & souvenirs for purchase. It is known for bracing Tromba Marina - the name given to the destructive tidal wave that struck Baler, Aurora on December 27, 1735. This monstrous wave caught everyone off-guard when it arrived around 2:00 AM. The town was devastated in seconds and many lives were immediately lost.

It is said that 7 families managed to survive the great blow of the tidal wave and found their safe haven in Ermita Hill.

Things to do: picture-taking, overlooking view
Admission: Free

Diguisit Beach, Aniao Islets and Lukso-Lukso Islets

Situated on Baler Bay along the Cemento Beach, Diguisit Beach features beautiful rock formations with perfect scenery of the clear blue sky and the vast wide ocean. The rock formations and islets, known as Aniao (also Anyao) Rock Formations and Lukso-Lukso Islets or simply Diguisit Islets, nestled along the shore of Diguisit Beach. 

Things to do: picture-taking
Admission: Php 20.00 per head and Php 300-500 per cottage

Diguisit Falls 

Located near Zabali Road, Diguisit Falls is easy to trek and it is possible to reach the waterfall within 2-3 minutes. 

Things to do: picture-taking
Entrance: Free

Museo de Baler

This museum displays artifacts and paintings about the history of Aurora, exhibits on the ethnic groups Dumagat and Ilongot, and photos and memorabilia of native son Manuel L. Quezon, second Philippine president. There is a section regarding the Siege of Baler, with some film props from the local film "Baler."

Things to do: picture-taking, appreciate artworks and history
Admission: Php 50.00

Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon House

This historic house and museum owned by the family of Aurora Quezon, First Lady from 1935–1944 is a must-added to your Baler itinerary. Doña Aurora House in Baler wonderfully represents the culture of Filipino homes with its simple and modest architecture. Nipa huts like this have been sheltering Filipinos long before the Spaniards came.

Things to do: learn history and appreciate artworks
Entrance fee: Php 30.00 per head

Baler Hanging Bridge

Not too far from the town center and along Zabali Road, is the Baler Hanging Bridge. The rugged hanging bridge hangs over a small brackish water channel spanning a little more than 100m from end to end, though sturdy enough for groups to walk through. 

The Bridge was built not really intended for tourist attraction yet it’s more for local’s use, but the distinctive view of the river from a different perspective is what makes the hanging bridge popular.

Things to do: cross the bridge and sightseeing

Baler Church

The Baler Catholic Church is a historic church constructed from stone and brick which is found in the town of Baler in the province of Aurora. Originally constructed in 1611, the church is dedicated to San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and is known as the site of the Siege of Baler, which took place from 1898-1899 shortly following the end of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.

The current church was built in 1939 but authentic original details may be seen inside, including the old bell, La Campana de Baler.

Baler Lighthouse

Baler Lighthouse is a lighthouse in Aurora. Baler Lighthouse is situated nearby to Old Parola, and close to The Shack.

Things to do: hike up to the lighthouse and enjoy the view

Dicasalarin Cove

Dicasalarin Cove is a secluded white sand beach where the verdant Sierra Madre foothills meet the Pacific Ocean. Dark, thickly forested hills contrast with the striking white shoreline. There are no resorts, no facilities on this fine stretch of sand. A freshwater river, flowing from the mountains beyond, trickles out to the sea. 

Things to do: Beach bum, selfie
Entrance fee: Php 300.00 per head and Php 50.00 for parking

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT NEARBY BALER

Here are other tourist spots found in different towns around Baler

Ditumabo Mother Falls (San Luis)

Towering at around 140 feet and with the cold water from the highland of Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Ditumabo Falls is an imposing icon of the province. The freely cascading water drops into a wide rocky basin forming a natural pool ideal for swimming.

Before even thinking on going here, please make sure to ready your self to an hour trek that involves river crossings (at least 4 rivers with steep bamboo-made bridges). The trail is generally rough and rocky (and quite slippery specially after the rain). But once you reach the waterfalls and its basin, reward yourself and dip in to (or dive in) its cold waters!

Things to do: swimming, trekking
Entrance fee: Php 30.00 per head plus Php 200.00 for one tour guide

Balete "Millenium Tree" (Maria Aurora)

The 600-year old Balete Tree in the town of Maria Aurora next to Baler, towers more than five stories high. It is said that it would take 60 people holding hands with arms outstretched to encircle it.

Locals claim that it’s the largest tree of its kind in Asia. Though it hasn’t quite lived up to its moniker yet, it’s been dubbed “The Millenium Tree” and is now the province of Aurora’s most visited attraction.

Things to do: picture-taking, get inside the tree
Entrance fee: Php 15.00 per head

Caunayan Falls

Compare to the large and harder-to-trek Ditumabo Falls, Caunayan Falls is much easier to hike and it is a pleasant environment to have your picnic and outing. The mild temperature of Caunayan falls makes it perfect for cleansing the body. 

The water coming from it are clean and fresh and strongly streams from a cliff where some flowers grow, making a great contrast opposite to the white and gray gravel sand area which was washed out by sporadic floods.

Things to do: bathing, picnic
Entrance fee: Php 20.00 per head and Php 200.00 per cottage

You can also visit Dinadiawan Beach in Dipaculao which is an hour drive from Baler.
Here's the list of places we visited in 2014:
  • Ermita Hill
  • Diguisit Falls
  • Diguisit Beach
  • Aniao Islet
  • Gerry Shan's Place (lunch buffet)
  • Ditumabo Mother Falls (San Luis)
  • Millenium Balete Tree (Maria Aurora)
  • Sabang Beach
  • Museo de Baler
  • Manuel L. Quezon Park and Monument
  • Baler Municipal Plaza
  • Baler Signage
  • Baler Church
  • Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon House


Klook.com

WHERE TO EAT IN BALER

Gerry Shan's Place

Here are some of the restaurants and cafes to try in Baler:
  • Gerry Shan's Place - this must be the most famous place to dine in Baler! It's known for its buffet, which is particularly seafood-heavy, with touches of Chinese cuisine and a welcome bit of spice. Buffet price starts at Php 200.00 per head as of writing.

  • Yellow Fin Bar and Grill - this open-air restaurant stands in a two-story building and serves local Filipino dishes, bar chow, and grilled food. They specialize in fresh seafood grilled over hot charcoals, with the grilled 'bangkulis' (yellow finfish) and squid as crowd favorites served with a side of rice and soy dipping sauce.

  • Timog Coffee Baler - located on Alley Two near Sabang Beach, this alfresco cafe is known for its laid-back beach vibe and tropical charm. With its wooden facade and surfboards are strewn around the property, visitors are free to kick back and chill out while enjoying coffee.

  • The Good Food - their menu consists of Filipino rice pairings, pasta, grilled meats, burgers, and Mexican favorites with the local twist, all of which are served fresh without artificial additives, extenders, or MSG.

WHERE TO STAY IN BALER

There's a lot of options when it comes to accommodation in Baler. The town is full of transients and resorts where you can choose from. Here are some of my recommendation:

Budget Accommodation


Midrange to High-end



In our case, we booked a 1 night stay at Nina's Transient House. I have already forgotten how much the room was.

Baler Nina's Transient House

They have already renovated the house into a building. So please send them a message for inquiries.

BALER 2D1N ITINERARY

As mentioned earlier, touring Baler is easy. However, most of your itinerary will be consumed by back-and-forth travel to Baler from Manila which usually takes 6 to 7 hours.

Diguisit Beach with Aniao Islets

Here's my recommended Baler itinerary:

Day 1

12:00 AM Departure to Baler
06:00 AM Arrival to Baler + Breakfast (some of the restaurants open at 7am or 8am however there are karideria that opens as early as 6am)
07:00 AM Tour around town's tourist spots (Baler signage, Museo Baler, Baler Church, Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon House
09:00 AM Day tour to Ermita Hill, Diguisit Beach, Diguisit Falls, Hanging Bridge and/or Dicasalarin Cove
12:00 PM Lunch at Gerry Shan's Place
01:00 PM Check in to your accommodation + rest
03:00 PM Sabang Beach + Learn Surfing
06:00 PM Dinner
07:00 PM Back to accommodation and rest

Day 2

07:00 AM Breakfast
08:00 AM Day tour to Ditumabo Falls and/or Caunayan Falls
10:00 AM Visit Balete Millenium Tree
11:00 AM Lunch/Check out

Optional: you may early check out from your resort after your breakfast since the remaining attractions are on the way to Pantabangan-Baler Rd. to Manila.

BUDGET BREAKDOWN AND EXPENSES

Learning surfing in Baler

The sample expenses below is applicable per person for a couple travelers:
  • Bus Fare: Php 700.00 one-way
  • Accommodation: Php 1,000.00 per head (for couple)
  • Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon House: Php 30.00
  • Museo de Baler: Php 50.00
  • Surfboard rental + instructor fee: P350 per hour
  • Diguisit Beach: Php 20.00
  • Dicasalarin Cove: Php 300.00
  • Mother Falls: Php 30.00 + Php 150.00 each for tour guide (couple)
  • Caunayan Falls: Php 20.00
  • Millenium Tree: Php 15.00
  • TOTAL: Php 2,655.00 per head approximately

Note: budget above doesn't include food and pasalubong expenses as well as parking fees if you are bringing a vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Pagudpud

  • Is Baler in Quezon or Aurora?
    Baler, officially the Municipality of Baler (Tagalog: Bayan ng Baler; Ilocano: Ili ti Baler), is a 3rd class municipality and capital of the province of Aurora, Philippines. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 43,785 people.

  • What is Baler known for?
    Baler is famous for its surfing spots, offering some of the best waves you can catch in Asia. But there's more to this town than surfing. With tons of amazing places to visit, you will never run out of fun things to do in Baler. From laid back to thrilling activities, this town has a lot to offer.

  • What is the history of Baler Aurora?
    In 1856 Baler was the principal town “El Principe”, a district of the province of Nueva Ecija. In 1901 under the American Administration, the district was incorporated to the Province of Tayabas, later named Quezon Province. On June 14, 1951 by virtue of R.A. 648 Baler became the capital town of sub-province of Aurora.

  • Is Baler north or south?
    Baler is located 244 kilometres (152 mi) north-east of Manila via a mountain pass accessible by bus and private vehicles. It is host to spectacular geographic formations and is situated on a vast plain at the south end of Baler Bay, a contiguous segment of the Philippine Sea.

  • When was Aurora founded?
    14 June 1951

  • What ocean is in Baler?
    Baler is a small town in Aurora Province on the east coast of Luzon in the Philippines. It is situated between the Sierra Madre mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, in the vast plain at the mouth of Baler's Bay.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The rates, contact details and other information indicated in this post are accurate from the time of writing but may change without IMFWJ's notice. Should you know the updated information, please let us know by leaving a message in the comment box below.

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2022 BALER TRAVEL GUIDE: Tourist Spots + DIY Itinerary

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Let's get stoked in Baler!

This town faraway from the Philippine's capital, is a gem to venturesome and free-spirited people. Known for its waves, Baler has been a hotspot for surfers and adventure-seekers.

I've been here couple of times. First was in 2014 when I bumped into my gf's barkada to celebrate one of their friend's birthday. We rented a van to bring us to Baler for 2 days and 1 night stay. During our stay, we made sure to visit most of Baler's tourist spots - Mother Falls, Ermita Hill, Diguisit Beach and Sabang Beach to name some.

baler, aurora baler, aurora tourist spot tagalog sabang beach, baler baler resort baler, aurora tourist spot map where to stay in baler baler aurora beach is baler open for tourist now
Us at Ermita Hill

The second and the last time I have been to Baler was in 2017 when Team Basti (my travel buddies) did a roadtrip to Aurora's new attraction, Dinadiawan Beach in Dipaculao. On our second day, we did not take tour around Baler's attractions. Hence, we just visited Caunayan Falls in San Luis.

In this guide, you will learn things about Baler, how to get there, where to go, where to stay and where to eat including itinerary and budget.

ABOUT BALER

Baler is a town on the Philippine island of Luzon. Baler is located 244 kilometres (152 mi) north-east of Manila via a mountain pass accessible by bus and private vehicles. It is host to spectacular geographic formations and is situated on a vast plain at the south end of Baler Bay, a contiguous segment of the Philippine Sea.

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Sabang Beach, Baler

In its center, Museo de Baler chronicles colonial history.  On the coast, Cemento Beach is known for powerful surf, and Sabang Beach is lined with resorts. Nearby, Ermita Hill offers panoramic views.

Inland, Baler Hanging Bridge crosses the mouth of the Tibag-Sabang River. To the east, the distinctive, angular Baler Lighthouse overlooks Dicasalarin Cove.

Dicasalarin Cove

FACTS ABOUT BALER

Before going to Baler, here are some things you need to know:
  • Area: 92.55 km²
  • Weather: Mostly tropical but windy
  • ZIP code: 3200
  • Region: Central Luzon
  • Province: Aurora
  • Language Spoken: Mostly Tagalog, can converse English
  • Communication: Globe and Smart have good network coverage around the town
  • Banks: Major banks such as China Bank, PNB and RCBC are operating
  • Supermarket: Puregold
  • Fastfood Chain: Jollibee

Loading...

WHAT TO BRING TO BALER

Here are some things you might consider bringing with you for your day tour / adventure:

Shopee is my go-to app for things I needed like the ones above. If you'd like discounts and vouchers, you may get the best offers here:

BEST TIME TO VISIT BALER

Average temperatures in Baler vary very little. Considering humidity, temperatures feel hot for most of the year with a chance of rain throughout most of the year.

The area is far less temperate than some — in the bottom 1 percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide.

Baler Bay as seen from Ermita Hill

If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Baler, the hottest months are June, May, and then August.

HOW TO GET TO BALER

Facing the Pacific Ocean, Baler is located in the east coastal area of Aurora Province. Since I haven't experienced yet traveling to Baler via bus, here's a guide from a friend:

Option 1

Genesis Transport, Inc. is the only bus company that provides direct trips to Baler, Aurora from Cubao.
  • The first trip is at 2:00 AM with subsequent trips at one hour intervals, last trip leaves Cubao at 7:30 AM.
  • From Baler to Pasay, the first bus leaves at 4:30 AM, also with subsequent trips every hour.
  • The last trip is at 3:00 PM. Travel time is approximately 7 hours.

UPDATE: Genesis Transport's Joy Buses are scheduled daily with trips at 12:30 AM, 1:30 AM and 2:30 AM. Fare is around PHP 700.00 each. This is the fastest way to get to Baler by public transportation since the trip has no bus stops. Travel time is about 5 to 5.5 hours from Cubao to Baler.

Meet up at McDonald's Kapasigan

Option 2

  • Take any bus from Metro Manila bound for Cabanatuan, Nueva Ejica.
  • There are several bus companies that goes to Cabanatuan City (Five Star Bus Co., ES Transport, Genesis Transport Services, Baliwag Transit, Inc).
  • Bus terminals can be found in Pasay, Avenida, Cubao and Caloocan.
  • Travel time is 2.5 - 3.5 hours depending on which route it will take.
  • The fastest route is via SCTEX. From Cabantuan City, take a Baler bound bus or van from the central terminal.
  • Travel time is around 4 hours from Cabanatuan City.

By Private Car

  • From Manila, enter the North Luzon Expressway at Balintawak and exit at SCTEX (entry is at LaPaz, Tarlac toll gate).
  • From here, follow the highway leading to Aliaga and to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija.
  • Upon reaching Cabanatuan City Proper, take the Nueva Ecija-Aurora highway, passing through the towns of Talavera, Rizal and Pantabangan until reaching the Nueva Ecija-Aurora border, then drive thru the towns of Maria Aurora, San Luis, until you reach Baler.
  • Travel time would take about 5-6 hours.

A Little Side Story... and Detour

The first time we went for Baler, we planned to travel overnight. We started the trip before the clock hits 12 o'clock. No one from has been to Baler yet. Even our driver wasn't familiar for directions to Baler.

So the time we reached Nueva Ecija, we followed directions using Google Maps app. Sitting next to our driver, I led the navigation using the app. Google Maps suggested us to take the shorter but zigzag and rough road Nueva Ecija - Aurora Road. The app said that it would be faster (less than 30 minutes) if we take the road.

Way back 2014, the 85.3km-long road was mostly rocky and dusty compare to its counterpart Pantabangang - Baler Road which is commonly used (until now) by many commuters even the PUVs. 

The narrow road is unpaved and links Bongabon (in the province of Nueva Ecija) and Baler (the capital of the province of Aurora). It was completely dark most of our travel and no houses can be seen for hours of driving. We even passed a few rivers and waterfalls on the side. Some parts of the roads were slippery and pretty steep, climbing up to 687m above the sea level. Making it one of the most dangerous roads in the country.

But hell yah! We overcame it and finally reached the town of San Luis in Aurora at around 6 in the morning. If I were you, DON'T YOU DARE PASS THIS ROAD TO BALER!
Cheapest Flights and Airline Tickets Online Booking

THINGS TO DO AND TOURIST SPOTS TO VISIT IN BALER

Let's go to the most exciting part now. This town in Aurora will not lose of attractions (even rich in historical landmarks) for first timers or even returnees. One thing I appreciate about Baler is you can visit most of these tourist spots by tricycle or some by just walking.

Let me enumerate places you must visit in and nearby Baler:

Sabang Beach

First of, this two-kilometer strip of gray sand facing East over the Pacific Ocean is famously known with its frequently strong waves that are massive enough to give life to people who would like to ride the waves. As such, Sabang Beach of Baler is the birthplace of surfing in the country.

Things to do: surfing, beach tour, swimming
Surfboard rental + instructor fee: P350 per hour
Surfboard rental only: P200 per hour or P800 per day

Ermita Hill

This historic hill offers overlooking views of the bay, informational plaques & souvenirs for purchase. It is known for bracing Tromba Marina - the name given to the destructive tidal wave that struck Baler, Aurora on December 27, 1735. This monstrous wave caught everyone off-guard when it arrived around 2:00 AM. The town was devastated in seconds and many lives were immediately lost.

It is said that 7 families managed to survive the great blow of the tidal wave and found their safe haven in Ermita Hill.

Things to do: picture-taking, overlooking view
Admission: Free

Diguisit Beach, Aniao Islets and Lukso-Lukso Islets

Situated on Baler Bay along the Cemento Beach, Diguisit Beach features beautiful rock formations with perfect scenery of the clear blue sky and the vast wide ocean. The rock formations and islets, known as Aniao (also Anyao) Rock Formations and Lukso-Lukso Islets or simply Diguisit Islets, nestled along the shore of Diguisit Beach. 

Things to do: picture-taking
Admission: Php 20.00 per head and Php 300-500 per cottage

Diguisit Falls 

Located near Zabali Road, Diguisit Falls is easy to trek and it is possible to reach the waterfall within 2-3 minutes. 

Things to do: picture-taking
Entrance: Free

Museo de Baler

This museum displays artifacts and paintings about the history of Aurora, exhibits on the ethnic groups Dumagat and Ilongot, and photos and memorabilia of native son Manuel L. Quezon, second Philippine president. There is a section regarding the Siege of Baler, with some film props from the local film "Baler."

Things to do: picture-taking, appreciate artworks and history
Admission: Php 50.00

Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon House

This historic house and museum owned by the family of Aurora Quezon, First Lady from 1935–1944 is a must-added to your Baler itinerary. Doña Aurora House in Baler wonderfully represents the culture of Filipino homes with its simple and modest architecture. Nipa huts like this have been sheltering Filipinos long before the Spaniards came.

Things to do: learn history and appreciate artworks
Entrance fee: Php 30.00 per head

Baler Hanging Bridge

Not too far from the town center and along Zabali Road, is the Baler Hanging Bridge. The rugged hanging bridge hangs over a small brackish water channel spanning a little more than 100m from end to end, though sturdy enough for groups to walk through. 

The Bridge was built not really intended for tourist attraction yet it’s more for local’s use, but the distinctive view of the river from a different perspective is what makes the hanging bridge popular.

Things to do: cross the bridge and sightseeing

Baler Church

The Baler Catholic Church is a historic church constructed from stone and brick which is found in the town of Baler in the province of Aurora. Originally constructed in 1611, the church is dedicated to San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and is known as the site of the Siege of Baler, which took place from 1898-1899 shortly following the end of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.

The current church was built in 1939 but authentic original details may be seen inside, including the old bell, La Campana de Baler.

Baler Lighthouse

Baler Lighthouse is a lighthouse in Aurora. Baler Lighthouse is situated nearby to Old Parola, and close to The Shack.

Things to do: hike up to the lighthouse and enjoy the view

Dicasalarin Cove

Dicasalarin Cove is a secluded white sand beach where the verdant Sierra Madre foothills meet the Pacific Ocean. Dark, thickly forested hills contrast with the striking white shoreline. There are no resorts, no facilities on this fine stretch of sand. A freshwater river, flowing from the mountains beyond, trickles out to the sea. 

Things to do: Beach bum, selfie
Entrance fee: Php 300.00 per head and Php 50.00 for parking

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT NEARBY BALER

Here are other tourist spots found in different towns around Baler

Ditumabo Mother Falls (San Luis)

Towering at around 140 feet and with the cold water from the highland of Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Ditumabo Falls is an imposing icon of the province. The freely cascading water drops into a wide rocky basin forming a natural pool ideal for swimming.

Before even thinking on going here, please make sure to ready your self to an hour trek that involves river crossings (at least 4 rivers with steep bamboo-made bridges). The trail is generally rough and rocky (and quite slippery specially after the rain). But once you reach the waterfalls and its basin, reward yourself and dip in to (or dive in) its cold waters!

Things to do: swimming, trekking
Entrance fee: Php 30.00 per head plus Php 200.00 for one tour guide

Balete "Millenium Tree" (Maria Aurora)

The 600-year old Balete Tree in the town of Maria Aurora next to Baler, towers more than five stories high. It is said that it would take 60 people holding hands with arms outstretched to encircle it.

Locals claim that it’s the largest tree of its kind in Asia. Though it hasn’t quite lived up to its moniker yet, it’s been dubbed “The Millenium Tree” and is now the province of Aurora’s most visited attraction.

Things to do: picture-taking, get inside the tree
Entrance fee: Php 15.00 per head

Caunayan Falls

Compare to the large and harder-to-trek Ditumabo Falls, Caunayan Falls is much easier to hike and it is a pleasant environment to have your picnic and outing. The mild temperature of Caunayan falls makes it perfect for cleansing the body. 

The water coming from it are clean and fresh and strongly streams from a cliff where some flowers grow, making a great contrast opposite to the white and gray gravel sand area which was washed out by sporadic floods.

Things to do: bathing, picnic
Entrance fee: Php 20.00 per head and Php 200.00 per cottage

You can also visit Dinadiawan Beach in Dipaculao which is an hour drive from Baler.
Here's the list of places we visited in 2014:
  • Ermita Hill
  • Diguisit Falls
  • Diguisit Beach
  • Aniao Islet
  • Gerry Shan's Place (lunch buffet)
  • Ditumabo Mother Falls (San Luis)
  • Millenium Balete Tree (Maria Aurora)
  • Sabang Beach
  • Museo de Baler
  • Manuel L. Quezon Park and Monument
  • Baler Municipal Plaza
  • Baler Signage
  • Baler Church
  • Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon House


Klook.com

WHERE TO EAT IN BALER

Gerry Shan's Place

Here are some of the restaurants and cafes to try in Baler:
  • Gerry Shan's Place - this must be the most famous place to dine in Baler! It's known for its buffet, which is particularly seafood-heavy, with touches of Chinese cuisine and a welcome bit of spice. Buffet price starts at Php 200.00 per head as of writing.

  • Yellow Fin Bar and Grill - this open-air restaurant stands in a two-story building and serves local Filipino dishes, bar chow, and grilled food. They specialize in fresh seafood grilled over hot charcoals, with the grilled 'bangkulis' (yellow finfish) and squid as crowd favorites served with a side of rice and soy dipping sauce.

  • Timog Coffee Baler - located on Alley Two near Sabang Beach, this alfresco cafe is known for its laid-back beach vibe and tropical charm. With its wooden facade and surfboards are strewn around the property, visitors are free to kick back and chill out while enjoying coffee.

  • The Good Food - their menu consists of Filipino rice pairings, pasta, grilled meats, burgers, and Mexican favorites with the local twist, all of which are served fresh without artificial additives, extenders, or MSG.

WHERE TO STAY IN BALER

There's a lot of options when it comes to accommodation in Baler. The town is full of transients and resorts where you can choose from. Here are some of my recommendation:

Budget Accommodation


Midrange to High-end



In our case, we booked a 1 night stay at Nina's Transient House. I have already forgotten how much the room was.

Baler Nina's Transient House

They have already renovated the house into a building. So please send them a message for inquiries.

BALER 2D1N ITINERARY

As mentioned earlier, touring Baler is easy. However, most of your itinerary will be consumed by back-and-forth travel to Baler from Manila which usually takes 6 to 7 hours.

Diguisit Beach with Aniao Islets

Here's my recommended Baler itinerary:

Day 1

12:00 AM Departure to Baler
06:00 AM Arrival to Baler + Breakfast (some of the restaurants open at 7am or 8am however there are karideria that opens as early as 6am)
07:00 AM Tour around town's tourist spots (Baler signage, Museo Baler, Baler Church, Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon House
09:00 AM Day tour to Ermita Hill, Diguisit Beach, Diguisit Falls, Hanging Bridge and/or Dicasalarin Cove
12:00 PM Lunch at Gerry Shan's Place
01:00 PM Check in to your accommodation + rest
03:00 PM Sabang Beach + Learn Surfing
06:00 PM Dinner
07:00 PM Back to accommodation and rest

Day 2

07:00 AM Breakfast
08:00 AM Day tour to Ditumabo Falls and/or Caunayan Falls
10:00 AM Visit Balete Millenium Tree
11:00 AM Lunch/Check out

Optional: you may early check out from your resort after your breakfast since the remaining attractions are on the way to Pantabangan-Baler Rd. to Manila.

BUDGET BREAKDOWN AND EXPENSES

Learning surfing in Baler

The sample expenses below is applicable per person for a couple travelers:
  • Bus Fare: Php 700.00 one-way
  • Accommodation: Php 1,000.00 per head (for couple)
  • Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon House: Php 30.00
  • Museo de Baler: Php 50.00
  • Surfboard rental + instructor fee: P350 per hour
  • Diguisit Beach: Php 20.00
  • Dicasalarin Cove: Php 300.00
  • Mother Falls: Php 30.00 + Php 150.00 each for tour guide (couple)
  • Caunayan Falls: Php 20.00
  • Millenium Tree: Php 15.00
  • TOTAL: Php 2,655.00 per head approximately

Note: budget above doesn't include food and pasalubong expenses as well as parking fees if you are bringing a vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Pagudpud

  • Is Baler in Quezon or Aurora?
    Baler, officially the Municipality of Baler (Tagalog: Bayan ng Baler; Ilocano: Ili ti Baler), is a 3rd class municipality and capital of the province of Aurora, Philippines. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 43,785 people.

  • What is Baler known for?
    Baler is famous for its surfing spots, offering some of the best waves you can catch in Asia. But there's more to this town than surfing. With tons of amazing places to visit, you will never run out of fun things to do in Baler. From laid back to thrilling activities, this town has a lot to offer.

  • What is the history of Baler Aurora?
    In 1856 Baler was the principal town “El Principe”, a district of the province of Nueva Ecija. In 1901 under the American Administration, the district was incorporated to the Province of Tayabas, later named Quezon Province. On June 14, 1951 by virtue of R.A. 648 Baler became the capital town of sub-province of Aurora.

  • Is Baler north or south?
    Baler is located 244 kilometres (152 mi) north-east of Manila via a mountain pass accessible by bus and private vehicles. It is host to spectacular geographic formations and is situated on a vast plain at the south end of Baler Bay, a contiguous segment of the Philippine Sea.

  • When was Aurora founded?
    14 June 1951

  • What ocean is in Baler?
    Baler is a small town in Aurora Province on the east coast of Luzon in the Philippines. It is situated between the Sierra Madre mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, in the vast plain at the mouth of Baler's Bay.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The rates, contact details and other information indicated in this post are accurate from the time of writing but may change without IMFWJ's notice. Should you know the updated information, please let us know by leaving a message in the comment box below.

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