When you think of the popular surf spots in the Philippines, most of the time La Union or Siargao comes to mind. Many forget that there’s a tiny town in North Luzon called Baler. Situated in the Nueva Ecija area in a province called Aurora, Baler is a surfing destination that’s getting recognized by more and more travelers and surf lovers, as they seek to experience a different kind of surftown that’s easily accessible by land from Manila, just like La Union.
There are different activities and sights to see as well, so planning an overnight or a long weekend trip here would be an excellent idea. Let us school you in all things Baler—how to get to this destination, and all the tips and tricks you’ll need to maximize your stay:
How to Get There?
From Manila, you either drive or ride a bus to Aurora. If you’re adventurous enough to go on a road trip and don’t mind the drive at all, it will take you about five to six hours to get there via SCTEX. But if you want to spare yourself the hassle, go take the bus! The trip will take an hour longe but it’s only gonna cost you around PHP 450 for a regular bus, or PHP 750 for a Joy Bus (this goes directly to Baler with no pitstops) and all you have to do is sit and wait ‘til you arrive to your destination. There’s a bus that leaves every hour so you can always check what fits your schedule.
Where to Stay?
There are a lot of luxury and budget resorts in the area, so you’ll have a lot of options to choose from depending on how much you want to spend. If you’re coming up with your bae, you can make this short trip extra special by booking your stay at Cote Adventure. The rooms are made out of old truck containers, surrounded by palm trees and it’s beachfront! The place is very instagrammable—so plus points to you if you want to impress the girlfriend. She’ll definitely want a photo on every corner of the place.
When to Go?
If you’re an avid or professional surfer and don’t want to miss having a swell sesh in Baler, best to visit during the months of June to December. If you’re simply visiting and just want to chill, go during the hotter/summer months.
What to Expect?
Of course, you can expect a lot of surfing. Beginner or not, you have to try out surfing at Sabang beach at least once. Then after, you can check out other spots such as Ampere Beach and Dicasalarin Cove. You also shouldn’t miss out on the waterfalls! There’s two: Ditumabo Falls, or well known as Mother Falls, and Diguisit Falls.
For more adventure, you can also visit the enchanting and century-old Balete Tree and the Baler Hanging Bridge. All of these touring will get you hungry fo sho, so you can head over to Baler Surfer Grill for that perfect beach ambiance + grilled Filipino food combo. With an old buggy as their cooking space—turning the hood of the car into a grill, thus, becoming its trademark—this seaside eatery makes for an Instagram-worthy dining experience one should definitely try.
You can also expect Baler to be more chill than its other surf counterparts. If you’re looking for a quieter spot where you can surf, relax, read a good book—or catch up on sleep, maybe—you can count on Baler to deliver just that.
Have you been to Baler? What activities did you do during your stay? Share us your experiences below!
Header image courtesy of Simply Philippines
Article cover courtesy of Driftwood Journeys