Baler Travel Guide: Enjoy Aurora’s Prime Surfing Destination

Baler

Heading to Baler soon? Then this Baler travel guide will surely come handy. Provided in this guide are necessary information a tourist needs to know before visiting this surfing paradise in Luzon. Information such as travel requirements, how to get there, where to stay, activities, sample itinerary, budget, and other tips.

Baler Travel Requirements

  • Approved S-PASS (https://s-pass.ph/)
  • Vaccination Certificate (downloadable at https://vaxcert.doh.gov.ph/) or updated RT-PCR negative test result for partially and unvaccinated individuals
  • Medical Certificate for 12 years old and below
  • Valid ID
  • Booking confirmation from DOT Accredited Accommodations

Haller, Baler!

Mention Baler and the first thing that will pop in everyone’s mind is surfing! And this without a doubt is true because Sabang Beach is a real surfer’s paradise. But more than surfing, the town is increasingly becoming popular not only to surfing enthusiasts, primarily because of its natural beauty, historical significance and other attractions.

Baler is the capital of the province of Aurora. It is situated on the east coast of Luzon, fronting the roaring waves of Pacific Ocean and enclosed by the mountains of Sierra Madre. The town’s relative isolation has preserved much of its historical sites, cultural heritage and tradition that are all deeply rooted on its vibrant past.

Baler
Sabang Beach

Looking back, there are major events in the past three centuries that marked significantly in the town’s history: on December 27, 1735, a phenomenal tidal wave (“tromba marina” in Spanish) wiped out the coastal town; from June 27, 1898 to June 2, 1899, fifty four soldiers of Spanish Army barricaded inside the town’s church and bore the brunt of the Philippine revolutionary forces; and in 1979, the Hollywood classic film “Apocalypse Now” filmed their surfing scenes in Sabang Beach. All these plus all those little folklore and stories shaped the town to what it is now.

Baler is Baler! It has unique identity and charm that sets it apart from other places in the country. Have a bit of adventure, a lesson in history and commune with nature, visit Baler!

Baler
The historic Baler Church

How to Get to Baler

Manila to Baler

Genesis Transport Service is the only bus company that plies directly from Metro Manila to Baler. Their Baler bound buses are located in their Cubao Terminal.

Genesis offers two types of bus service for the Baler:

  • The executive luxury bus called Joy Bus, a non-stop service trip with snacks on a sleeper bus with Wi-Fi, a bus stewardess, blankets, pillows and a morning kit. There are at least three trips a day, with travel time of five hours and P750 (November 2014 rate) fare. Advance reservation is required.
  • The regular air-con bus that travels six to seven hours for a fare of P450, advance reservation is not necessary.

Although Genesis has a published schedule of the trips, the schedule of the regular aircon bus is almost always not followed. Joy Bus from Cubao to Baler are set to depart at 12:30AM, 1:30AM, 2:30AM and 5:30AM while the regular air-con bus has supposed to have hourly trip from 2AM to 8AM but it also depends on the volume of passengers. It is advised to be in the station early if you are taking the regular air-con bus and be attentive of the announcement and updated schedule since there is no proper way of queuing or ticket issuance for the regular trips. For advance reservation on Joy Bus and other information, call their Cubao Office at (02) 709-0803 or (02) 421-1425.

You can also book your bus or private transfer from Manila to Baler or vice versa below:

Baler
Kayaking in Barangay Zabali.

Manila to Cabanatuan to Baler

Another alternative of going to Baler is via Cabanatuan City, Nueve Ecija. Several bus lines ply from Pasay, Avenida, Cubao and Caloocan to Cabanatuan daily including Genesis Transport, Five Star Bus, Baliwag Transit and ES Transport. Travel time is approximately three hours and fare is at least P202 (November 2018 rate). There are also vans servicing Manila to Cabanatuan.

Buses from Metro Manila stop at Cabanatuan Central Terminal where the vans and buses to Baler are also stationed. Genesis Transport and Maria Aurora Bus Line have air conditioned bus trip to Baler from here with the earliest bus at around 5AM, travel time is approximately four hours and fare is P247 (November 2018 rate). There are also non-airconditioned buses at the bus station, they are slower yet cheaper at P176 (November 2018 rate). Meanwhile, there are vans from as early as 4AM to as late as 6PM, they depart when they are full, travel time is faster at three hours and fare is P220 (November 2014 rate).

You can book your bus from Manila to Cabanatuan or vice versa below:

Baler
Ditumabo Fall, the Mother Falls!

Going Around and Away

Tricycle is the common mode of transport in Baler, minimum fare is P10. It is also the cheapest mode of transportation in touring the town. A tour of Baler can be arranged for as low as P700 (March 2013 rate) for a trike that can sit at most four passengers. The tour includes the attractions around the Poblacion (Baler Museum, Dona Aurora Aragon Quezon House, Baler Church and Plaza), Ermita Hill, Fish Port, Lukso-Lukso Islet, Anao Islet, Diguisit Falls, Mother Falls and the Old Balete Tree.

Buses, vans and jeepneys going to Cabanatuan, San Luis, Maria Aurora, Dinadiawan (Dipaculao), Dinalungan, Casiguran and Dilasag are stationed in Baler Central Terminal while the Genesis buses to Manila are in their own terminal near the public market.

Baler is also connected to the northern towns of Dipaculao, Dinalungan, Casiguran and Dilasag by commercial boat. There are public boats that depart from its own port known as “Duungan”, but trips are only possible when the sea is calm.

Baler
Sunrise in Dicasalarin Cove

Where to Stay in Baler

Accommodation in Baler ranges from budget inns to posh hotels and most of them are located in Sabang Beach, the popular surfing spot.

For solo backpackers, Jam and Jen’s Lodge (Contact Number: +639215983588 /+639162001731) offers single fan room for as low as P700 per night. The place is along the street parallel to the beach, right beside Costa Pacifica. On non-peak season, you can get the room for as low as P600.  They also have rooms for two guests. The place is equipped with free wi-fi.

For groups, June Samano Homestay (Contact Number: +639297163292/+639081042043) is a good choice for those in budget. They have rooms that are big enough for five persons for as low as P2,000 per night. The place is along the beach and right beside Bayler Inn. Free wifi too!

Top-Rated / Highly Recommended Accommodations

Costa Pacifica Resort

Costa Pacifica Resort
Sabang, Baler
Starts at 5,500 PHP

Baler Fiore del Mare

Baler Fiore del Mare
Sabang, Baler
Starts at 2,600 PHP

Blue Coco Baler Beach House

Chamie’s Transient House
Sabang, Baler
Starts at 3,000 PHP

Baler Darshans Guesthouse

Baler Darshans Guesthouse
Sabang, Baler
Starts at 1,800 PHP

Top-Rated Budget Accommodations

Go Surfari House

Go Surfari House
Sabang, Baler
Starts at 700 PHP

The Circle Hostel

The Circle Hostel
Buhangin,Baler
Starts at 1,000 PHP

Other notable places to stay are:

  • Aliya Surf Camp and Resort (Sabang)
    Contact Number :+639399390929
    Email: info@aliyasurfcamp.com
    Room Rate:  P2,100 >
  • Amco Beach Resort (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +639214117671/+6323303515
  • Amihan Aplaya Lodge (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +639186328566 / +639184263268
  • Bay’s Inn (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +639189266697/+639089823509
    Email: baysinnbaler@gmail.com
    Room Rate: P800 >
  • Bayler View Hotel (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +639192863105 /+639273638735
    Email Address: baylerviewhotel@yahoo.com
    Room Rates: P1,400 >
  • Cocohut Lodge (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +6342-2094341
  • Costa Pacifica (Sabang) *Formerly Bahia de Baler
    Contact Number: +6325194249
    Email: inquiry@costapacificabaler.com
  • Desiree’s Lodge (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +639204800978/+639217518490
    Room Rate: P600 >
  • El Trophine Lodge (Suklayin)
    Contact Number: +639193737575/+639387972080
    Room Rate: P700 (aircon) >
  • Isla Virgina Resort (Sabang)
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Isla.Virginia.Resort
    Contact Number: +63919-8653703/+63920-7550467
    Room Rate: P2,000 >
  • Kahea’s Lodge / Surfer’s Inn (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +63920-8689477/+63921-5480823
  • Little Girl’s Surfers Lodge (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +63907-7041186 / +63918-6859449
    Room Rates: P500 >
  • Mel’s Nest Lodge (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +63920-5245004
  • MM Lodge (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +63910-8440452/+63919-537940
  • Moreno Lodge (Suklayin)
    Contact Number: +63-042-2094208/+63-042-2094207
    Room Rate: P750 (aircon) >
  • Noel Carl’s Garden and Resort (Suklayin)
    Contact Number: +63-042-2094265/+63918-53933870
  • Oasis of Baler Resort (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +63920-4606866/+63918-6676749/+63919-4749116
  • Pacific Waves Inn (Sabang)
    Email Address: marvinlee12@gmail.com
    Contact Number: +63917-8950276/+63-5143020
  • Sanchez Resort (Cemento)
    Contact Number: +63920-8129998
  • Sea Breeze Lodge (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +63915-322-5994
    Room Rate: P500
  • Secret Spot (Sabang)
    Contact Number: +639434898188/+639284531777
    Room Rate: P750 (fan)
  • Trezzo Inn (Sabang)
    Contact Number: (+63) 927-894-7232 / (+63) 920-567-8153 / (+63) 916-255-6025
    Room Rates: P500
Baler
Repelling in Diguisit Falls

Where to Eat in Baler

When in Baler, dining should not be a problem. Most major hotels in Sabang have their own restaurants that are open to public. Kubli Bistro, Crash Pad Baler, Aliya Surf Cam Restaurant, Bayler’s Inn, Bay’s Inn Hungry Surfer Restaurant and Baler Surfer’s Grill are some of the most popular restaurants in the area.

My personal favorite is Kubli Bistro with their good pizza, paella and other Mexican and Filipino foods. Bayler’s Inn is also worth a try with their Tuna Carbonara and Longanisa Aglio Olia Pasta as well as their Chocnut Turon Ala Mode. If you are into buffet, Chef Jerry Shan’s Place in the plaza is the place to be for only P199 per person. Night life is limited to restaurants along Sabang Beach.

Baler
What to do in Baler? Surf! Surf! Surf!

Activities in Baler

  • Surf! Most resorts offer board rental and tutorial, add to this are the stand alone kiosks along the beach, The standard rate is P350 per hour for the use of surf board and service of a guide. For board rental only: P200 per hour; P400 for half day; and P800 for whole day,
  • Free diving/Snokeling
  • Other water sports: paragliding, paddle boarding, kayaking
  • Tour Baler by visiting these attractions: Aniao Islet, Canawer, Dicasalarin Cove, Mother (Ditumabo) Falls, Ampere Beach, Diguisit Beach, Dinadiawan Beach, Ermita Hill, Aurora Aragon Quezon House, Museo de Baler, Baler Church, Cunayan Falls, Centuries-old Balete Tree
  • Try rappelling in Digisit Fals
  • Explore the beaches, caves, waterfalls and other attractions of the neighboring town of Dingalan, Dicasalarin, Casiguran, Dipaculao, San Luis and Dilasag.
  • Go camping in the secluded beaches and coves
  • Trek Mt. Udok, Mt. Pamazam-pazam, Mt. Anacuao and Mt. Maaling-Alin
Baler
Lukso-lukso Islet

Sample Weekend Baler Itinerary on a Budget

Estimated budget: P3,500 per person (for two-person sharing)

Day 1:
0000H: Assembly in Cubao
0100H: Cubao to Cabanatuan
0400H: Arrival in Cabanatuan Central Terminal | Transfer to Baler-bound bus | Snacks
0500H: Depart for Baler
0900H: Arrival in Baler | Proceed to Hotel | Check-in / Leave Stuff | Proceed to Downtown
1000H: Tour of Downtown Baler: Aurora Aragon Quezon House, Museo de Baler, Baler Church, Balete Tree | Brunch
1200H: Trike Tour: Ermita Hill, Balete Tree, Ditumabo Falls
1700H: Back in Hotel | Fix-up
1800H: Dinner at Kubli Bistro/ Socials

Day 2:
0530H: Call Time | Sunrise
0630H: Breakfast
0800H: Surfing Session
1000H: Wash-up | Fix-up  | Rest
1200H: Checkout | Buffet Lunch at Chef Jerry Shan
1400H: Proceed to Bus Station
1500H: Bus: Baler to Cubao
2230H: Arrival in Cubao

Tips

  • All mobile operators have mobile signals.
  • There are ATMs in town.
  • Most establishments accept credit card and debit card but not traveler’s check.
  • If you are into surfing, the best months to visit Baler are from July to December. During summer and dry months, the waves may be smaller but still surfable.

Comments

  1. […] was just one of the heart-pumping activities at the R.O.X. Ultimate Adventure in Baler, Aurora. Known by most as a surfing paradise, it may come as a surprise that Baler offers a myriad of other […]

  2. […] literally going through all of the list of hotels that lakwatsero.com listed down on his Baler Travel Guide post, I was getting pretty desperate because none of the frakkin resorts bothered to reply to my text […]

  3. Theng Carranza

    Hi,

    We received a late notice that our tour guide/drive is not available. Do you know someone whom we can hire as driver/tour guide for 2 days? We will be leaving Manila tonight 8pm.

    Thank you,
    09179214757

  4. wish to receive reply asap.thanks!

  5. ARRA MAE GUIRRE

    hi admin.please confirm if you can accommodate us(4 persons) this coming holy week(April 02,2015-April 04, 2015) 3 days and 2 nights. we prepare the cheapest offer. tnx

    expected reply:ASAP

  6. Jhelo

    Hi Ms.Angel! What is more convenient? package tour or DIY tour?? thanks! We need guide.. 🙂 just decided to spend our Christmas in Baler! 🙂

  7. Rod

    a very helpful travel guide..

  8. Trish

    Hi Lakwatsero! I’d like to ask if there are lodges or inns or hotels accommodating 3days and 2nights for 2 persons. Do you know where can I find that in Baler? I’m open for cheap ones too 🙂 Newbie here, sorry 🙂

  9. Juan R.

    Thanks for this guide Angel. Your info on places to stay is really helpful. I hope those contact numbers are updated.

  10. @Lakwatsero- hope you get to stay in our transient house next time you visit baler. its Casa Viajeros.. Hi guys! i’d like to offer our transient house/rooms in baler aurora where you, your family and/or friends can stay near sabang beach. lots of rooms! from 400 to 500 per pax for 2 days and 1 night stay. air conditioned rooms. WI-FI , dining area , cable t.v, videoke , kitchen , grill area , very spacious and safe parking area , etc .. we can accommodate up to 150pax. we also have tour packages. please call or text 0922-9-771-772 / 099999-07-688 / 0918-256-91-11 / 02-710-01-79 / 02-710-09-25 for inquiries or room reservation. thanks!=)

    1. Juan R.

      Where is Casa Viajeros located? I hope you have good wi-fi in your rooms. I’m planning to stay and bring my work there at the same time soon.

    2. cherrie ck

      Hi. May affordable transient house po ba kau 3 bedrooms and food for 12 pax? Were going to baler this coming april 22,23,24. Ty.

  11. CCF

    Hi lakwatsero! Nice review. Just want to ask if you know some hotels in baler that accepts credit card transactions? =)

  12. […] For more formation on Baler, see Lakwatsero’s Baler Travel Guide. […]

  13. jeff bihasa soriano

    Hi guys! transient house in baler aurora where you, your family and/or friends can stay near sabang beach. lots of rooms! from 300 to 500 per pax. non aircon and air conditioned rooms are available. family rooms, king size, queen size, single or double size bed, WI-FI , dining area , cable t.v, videoke , kitchen , grill area , very spacious and safe parking area , etc .. we also have tour packages. call or text 0922-9-771-772 / 099999-07-688 / 0918-256-91-11 / 02-710-01-79 for inquiries or room reservation !

    1. Janine

      hi we are planning to go to baler on July 4-6 how to?

    2. rina Kabigting

      Hi do you have upcoming baler trip this aug?

    3. mer villamor

      Dear Sir/Madam:

      we are interested to avail of your tours. please give me details of your tours available. Will be in Baler on December 26 to 28, 2014. we are 4 pax. thank you.

      mer villamor

      1. mer villamor

        hi, up to now no reply….try to ring you but the phone just keeps on ringing.

        thanks.

      2. Penny Lane Transient

        Penny Lane Transient located at Alley 1 Sabang, Baler, Aurora contact No. 09399071271 Promo until January 30, 2015.. Air conditioned room w/ TV for 2 pax P800.00 only, Fan room w/ TV for 2 pax P500.00 only. For 22 hours !

    4. would there be available rooms on april 4, overnight stay preferrably. please reply asap
      and how much.

  14. Hi Angel! I am planning to go to Baler this weekend and I was wondering if I could buy a joy bus ticket from baler to manila here in their Cubao terminal. Thanks! 🙂 I hope you could help me on this. 😉

  15. Chris

    I am planning to visit Baler, Aurora this August. I’m so excited. This article helps me a lot..

    Thank you very much for sharing!! <3

  16. Aero Anderson

    Why don’t you post the Transient Houses available in Baler Aurora? It could be useful too.

    1. Lakwatsero

      Thanks Aero! I don’t have info on transient houses for now. I will check out on this when I return to Baler, I am more than happy to publish it too 🙂

  17. Chel

    Hi, Lakwatsero! No more to say,but, “AWESOME TRAVEL GUIDE!” (,”) Thank you very much! I’ll bring a copy of your travel guide when we go to Baler! (,”) Nice! 🙂

    1. Lakwatsero

      Thanks Chel! 🙂

  18. Mariel

    For the Dicasalarin Beach, is that near Sabang or what?
    It seems nice eh. Please advise. Noob traveler.

  19. Jocedale Marie Araneta

    Hi where did you stay when you went there? Are you alone? Im planning to go there by my self sana hope you can help me…

  20. Hi Lakwatsero, should have gone to Baler after your post. It would have made things simpler.

    But the people in Baler are accommodating enough and can be trusted. I went there about two weeks ago and was apprehensive about the places where I could stay. Most establishments are fully-booked on weekends so to avoid needless anxiety and get on with the surf and turf vacation, reserve early.

    I did not get the Joy Bus but the regular buses were just fine. They take about two hours longer but you get to meet the more interesting slices of life because of the regular stops and bathroom breaks.

Comments are closed.