Things to Do in the Philippines

13 Fun & Unique Things to Do in Baler

Baler is best known for its surfing spots, having some of the best waves in Asia. But surfing isn’t the only thing you can do in this Aurora town. This historically-rich municipality has so much to offer at every corner — from its beaches to waterfalls, museums to a hanging bridge. There’s enough activity to pack your visit! Here are 13 of the best things to do in Baler.

1. Surf at Sabang Beach

Sabang Beach

(photo via Instagram, @zenmenow)

Sabang Beach is a two-kilometer stretch of gray sand famous among surfers. Known by some as the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines, the waters of this sprawling shore provide frequent waves that make it one of the best surfing spots in the country. Sabang Beach provides different surf spots depending on the surfer’s experience level.

  • Location: Barangay Sabang, Baler
  • Fee(s): FREE Beach Access, Surf lessons start at P350 per hour, Surfboard rental P200 per hour
  • Operation Hours: 24 hours
  • Best For: Adrenaline junkies, all types of surfers
  • Highlights: It may not look like the best beachfront for swimmers, but the waves here are great for all levels of surfers. Larger stronger waves are found at Lindy’s Point, while the first half of Sabang Beach is perfect for beginner surfers with its medium-sized waves.
  • Activity Tips:
    – Surfing needs focus and patience, and is not for the faint of heart. Make sure you bring your A-game before spending on your lessons and rentals.
    – Depending on your surfing experience, certain months are preferred. For beginners, summer is the best time to try surfing in Baler since waves are relatively calmer.
  • Insider Info: Sabang Beach was featured in the 1979 classic “Apocalypse Now” by Francis Ford Coppola.
  • Contact Details:
    Aliya Surf Camp
    Phone: 0939 939 0844, 0939 939 0929
    Email/ Site: aliyasurfcamp.com
    Facebook: @aliyasurfcampbaler

 

2. Bask in clear blue waters at Dicasalarin Cove

Dicasalarin Cove

(photo via Shutterstock, @Kristian Maglalang)

Privately owned by the Angara family, Dicasalarin Cove is like a scene off some Hollywood movie. The place is breathtaking! The white sand beach is highlighted by the rock formations, while the clear blue waters reflect the majestic mountains and hilltops that surround the Dicasalarin Cove.

  • Location: Barangay Zabali, Baler
  • Fee(s): Entrance fee is P100 to P300
  • Operation Hours: 6am to 5pm
  • Best For: Beach and nature lovers
  • Highlights: Climb the 170-step stairway to The Lighthouse where you’ll get a perfect, sweeping view of the area — the sand, the stones, the blue waters and the green mountain range.
  • Activity Tips:
    – Swim with caution as rocks in the waters could cause injury.
    – You can bring food as there is a picnic area. Just please clean as you go!
  • Insider Info: Travel to Dicasalarin Cove is steep and rough. Drive safely!
  • Contact Details:
    Costa Pacifica
    Phone: (02) 519 4249, 0917 844 8371
    Email/ Site: costapacificabaler.com
    Facebook: @costapacificabalerph

 

3. Go Snorkeling at Dicasalarin Bay

Dicasalarin Bay Snorkel

(photo via Shutterstock, @soft_light)

Baler is best known for its water sports. So aside from surfing, you should try Snorkeling as well! There are several snorkeling spots in Baler you should dive into, especially south of Baler. One of the best snorkeling sites would Dicasalarin Bay, with its reef untouched by fishing. You’ll find colorful corals and undersea creatures near the shore reef!

Other Baler snorkeling spots include Cemento Beach, Diguisit Beach, Lukso Lukso Islets and Anlao Islets.

  • Location: Barangay Zabali, Baler
  • Fee(s): Rental and tour guide fees vary, check with your resort or diving store
  • Best For: Adventurous, Divers
  • Highlights: Be in awe with how beautiful underwater life is in Aurora! You’ll find colorful coral reefs and one of a kind fishes and sea animals in the shores of Baler.
  • Activity Tips:
    – Some snorkeling spots in Baler are not safe during specific times of the year. Best to plan and schedule your trip ahead of time.
    – Boat and equipment rental could be expensive, set a budget before hand and research the cheapest and safest services to acquire.
  • Contact Details:
    Aliya Surf Camp
    Phone: 0939 939 0844, 0939 939 0929
    Email/ Site: aliyasurfcamp.com
    Facebook: @aliyasurfcampbaler
    Costa Pacifica
    Phone: (02) 519 4249, 0917 844 8371
    Email/ Site: costapacificabaler.com
    Facebook: @costapacificabalerph

 

4. Conquer the Baler Hanging Bridge

Baler Hanging Bridge

(photo via Shutterstock, @Shanti Hesse)

Created for the locals of Sitio Zabali, the Baler Hanging Bridge was not meant to be a tourist spot. However, because of its uniqueness, it has been frequented by guests over the years. It is made with steel cables, ropes, and wooden planks and is not for the faint of heart.

The overpass runs atop the Tibag-Sabang River — and while the view is stunning, the height may be a challenge for some. Still, crossing the Baler Hanging Bridge should be one of the things to do in Baler.

  • Location: Zabali Road, Baler; connects Barangay Tibang and Barangay Sabang
  • Fee(s): FREE
  • Operation Hours: 24 Hours, (closed during bad weather)
  • Best For: Adventurous travelers
  • Highlights: Crossing the bridge is an experience you won’t forget! It’s longer than most hanging foot bridges in the country and an adventure itself.
  • Activity Tips:
    – Take plenty of photos!
    – There are souvenir stores at the end of the bridge. Note though prices could a bit steep.
  • Insider Info: The Baler Hanging Bridge may be closed when the weather isn’t favorable.

 

5. Swim the cold blue waters of the Mother Falls

Ditumabo Falls is the biggest waterfall in Baler. It has a drop of 140 ft and cool blue waters. While the rocks are a bit slippery, this doesn’t stop guests from diving off the cliffs into the waters. Completing the adventure is a 30-minute trek to the spot.

  • Location: San Luis, Aurora
  • Fee(s): P30 per person (entrance fee), P300 (tour guide fee)
  • Operation Hours: 8am to 4pm
  • Best For: Adventurous and Nature lovers
  • Highlights: While Ditumabo Falls is the ultimate destination, the journey to the area completes the experience. The 30-minute trek takes you through cemented pathways to rocky roads, wooden bridges, and river crossings.
  • Activity Tips:
    – Food and drinks are not allowed in the area, so best to leave your baons in your vehicle.
    – The trek could be muddy and slippery, wear appropriate footwear. Best to wear rubber shoes and just remove them when you swim.
  • Insider Info: Ditumabo Falls is the biggest one in the area, thus its moniker “the Mother Falls.”
  • Contact Details:
    Email/ Site: ditumabo.ph
    Facebook: @DitumaboFalls

 

6. Learn about Baler’s history at Museo de Baler

Museo de Baler

(photo via Flickr, @Shubert Ciencia)

Not known to some, Baler is a historical municipality in the heart of the Aurora province. And while there are enough recreational activities to sink your teeth into, looking back at its rich heritage is one of the best things to do in Baler. No better place to do this than in Museo de Baler.

Established in 2002, the museum showcases the over 400-year history of the area. It also houses historical artifacts dating back to the Spanish era, a look at the Siege of Baler as well as art pieces dedicated to the site.

  • Location: Quezon St, Poblacion, Baler
  • Fee(s): P30 entrance fee (including Dona Aurora House)
  • Operation Hours: 8am to 5pm daily
  • Best For: History enthusiasts, families
  • Highlights: The museum building is already a sight to behold. The facade was created by renowned sculptor Toym Imao, son of National Artist for the Visual Arts Abdulmari Imao. The steel mural depicts historical events related to the town.
  • Activity Tips: Best to read about Baler’s history to appreciate the exhibits and artifacts better.
  • Insider Info: The province of Aurora is named after President Manuel Quezon’s wife, Aurora Aragon. She was the first presidential spouse to be called First Lady and was loved by many for her humanitarian work.
  • Contact Details:
    Provincial Tourism Office
    Phone: (042) 209 4373
    Email/ Site: aurora.ph/history.html
    Municipal Tourism Office
    Phone: 0977 801 2744, 0928 983 7668
    Email/ Site: baler.gov.ph

 

7. Travel back in time at Dona Aurora House

Dona Aurora House

(photo via Commons, @Ramon FVelasquez)

Dona Aurora Quezon has been a pillar of the province which was named after her. The wife of President Manuel L. Quezon has been revered by locals for her humanitarian efforts, being the first chairman of Philippine Red Cross among her other projects and volunteer work. During her reign as First Lady, she helped establish learning centers, churches and helped re-establish the Church of Baler which was left in ruins by war.

  • Location: Rizal Street, Poblacion, Baler
  • Fee(s): P30 (including Museo de Baler)
  • Operation Hours: 8am to 5pm daily
  • Best For: Kids to learn about history, History enthusiasts
  • Highlights: The two-storey ancestral house features an exhibit of old photos and historical timeline of the town on the ground floor. If you’re fond of old photos, you’ll definitely get a kick out of this exhibit!
  • Insider Info: The Dona Aurora House used to be home to the late President Quezon’s presidential car, a 1936 Chrysler Airflow Limousine. However, it was surrendered to the NHCP.
  • Contact Details:
    Municipal Tourism Office
    Phone: 0977 801 2744, 0928 983 7668
    Email/ Site: baler.gov.ph
    Facebook: @LGUBaler

 

8. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pacific at Ermita Hill

Climbing up the Ermita Hill should be on your things to do in Baler list! The two-hectare expanse provides a scenic view of the Pacific Ocean, the town of Poblacion and Casiguran Bay, while the well-maintained grass serves as a perfect picnic spot. Aside from its beauty, Ermita Hill is a historical landmark for the municipality of Baler.

During a great tsunami in 1735, the hill served as refuge for survivors as most of Baler was washed out. During the Spanish era, a watchtower was built atop the hill to see oncoming attackers.

  • Location: Sitio Cemento, Brgy. Zabali, Baler
  • Fee(s): FREE
  • Operation Hours: 6am to 7pm
  • Best For: Nature lovers
  • Highlights: The viewscape is like no other! The ocean, the shore with small bancas, the mountain range, and the skies — stunning!
  • Activity Tips: A 25-40 minute trek is needed to reach the top of Ermita Hill. It can also be reached via a short boat ride along Tibag river. Be sure to wear the right clothing and footwear.
  • Insider Info: At the foot of the hill, there is a Tromba Marina statue to commemorate the tsunami that hit the Baler in the 18th century.
  • Contact Details:
    Municipal Tourism Office
    Phone: 0977 801 2744, 0928 983 7668
    Email/ Site: baler.gov.ph
    Facebook: @Ermita-Hills-Baler-Aurora

 

9. Climb the biggest Balete Tree in Asia

Millenium Balete Tree

(photo via Shutterstock, @Kim David)

About a 30-minute drive from Baler‘s town proper is Balete Park which is best known for the Millennium Tree. A 600-year old Balete Tree with a height of 213 feet, it has a crown diameter of 197 feet, requiring over 60 grown men to circle its trunk. It is the biggest Balete Tree in Asia and has been one of the most visited tourist sites in the province.

  • Location: Barangay Quirino, Maria Aurora, Aurora
  • Fee(s): P10 (entrance fee)
  • Highlights: Enter the hollow trunk! Weird as it seems, but Balete Trees have hollow middle boles. And with the massive size of this one, a few people can explore the path inside the intertwined roots and branches together.
  • Activity Tips:
    – The site could be muddy and slippery depending on the weather, best to wear appropriate footwear when you visit.
    – You can ask a guide to help you with maneuvering the climb up the Balete tree.
  • Insider Info: A Balete Tree usually wraps its branches and roots around a host tree, eventually choking it to death. This is the reason why the inner trunk is hollow.
  • Contact Details:
    Facebook: @Grand-Balete-Tree

 

10. Visit San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Parish

San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Parish

(photo via Commons, @Ramon FVelasquez)

If visiting San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Parish is not in your list of things to do in Baler, then what is? The Catholic church built in the 18th century is the most historic and iconic landmark in the town. It is the site of the Siege of Baler wherein 50 Spanish soldiers and four officers took refuge in the church, declining to surrender to the American army even after the proclamation of Philippine independence 15 days prior. They stayed in the church for over a year, refusing to believe that the Spanish army has already surrendered to the Americans. In 1899, the soldiers raised their white flags and were permitted to return to Spain.

  • Location: Rizal Street, Poblacion, Baler
  • Fee(s): FREE
  • Operation Hours: 6am (daily mass)
  • Best For: History enthusiast, Religious
  • Highlights: Check out the La Campana de Baler, an ancient bell believed to date back to the 17th century.
  • Insider Info: The church underwent renovation 1939. The interiors, however, have been preserved, as well as a few other historical items.
  • Contact Details:
    Phone: 0927 918 5252
    Facebook: @San-Luis-Obispo-Parish-Baler

 

11. Take a shower at the multi-level Digisuit Falls

Where can you find a multi-level waterfall right beside a highway? Well, in Baler you can. A must on your things to do in Baler list, the Diguisit Falls is just a few steps away from the Baler highway and is a stunning three-level cascading falls.

To reach the second and third levels of the waterfall a short trek through the muddy and slippery boulders is needed, but it’s all worth it. A pool in the third level allows guests to swim the fresh cool waters. Those who’d prefer to skip the trek can enjoy the waters in the first level.

  • Location: Sitio Diguisit, Barangay Zabali, Baler
  • Fee(s): FREE
  • Best For: Nature lovers
  • Highlights: Swim through the mini pool’s fresh, cool mountain waters at the top level of the waterfall. You can also take a cold shower under the rushing waters as it serves as a natural spa and massage treatment.
  • Activity Tips:
    – Comfort rooms and changing areas are just a few meters away at the Diguisit Beach.
    – Remember to bring extra clothes and to wear appropriate footwear, especially if you plan to trek up to the top level of the falls.
  • Insider Info: Diguisit Falls is a just a few steps away from the kilometer-long beach. Aside from it being a diving and snorkeling spot, it is also home to 96 hectares of marine protected area.

 

12. Go scuba diving

Diving Spots in Baler

(photo via Commons, @Ramon FVelasquez)

Among the must try things to do in Baler is scuba diving! While the town may be best known for its surfing spots, but during summer time, it also offers great diving sites. What’s great about Aurora is there are still untapped and yet to be discovered diving areas in the province. For experienced divers, they might just be the first to find untouched reefs further in the province’s coast.

  • Location: Lukso Lukso Islets off the coast of Brgy Zabali and Cemento Beach and Reef in Brgy Cemento
  • Fee(s): Equipment and Boat rental varies
  • Best For: Divers and Adventure seekers
  • Highlights: See the beauty of the coral-reef rich seas of Baler! From coral formations to the different sea creatures you’ll find, scuba diving in Baler is an experience you won’t forget! Lukso Lukso Islets and Cemento Beach boast of white grainy sands with crushed corals and seashells ashore. You’ll probably find hermit crabs sprawling around as well.
  • Activity Tips:
    – Scuba diving equipment rental in the area is limited so best to bring your own gadgets is possible.
    – Cemento Beach is also one of the prime surfing spots in Baler from October to February. You might want to try both water sports on your visit.
  • Insider Info: Surf shops may also offer scuba diving rental. Best to inquire before visiting.

 

13. Dine by the beach and enjoy Car-Grilled BBQ

Car-grilled Barbeque

(photo via Facebook, @BalerSurferGrill)

Immerse yourself in true Baler-experience at Baler Surfer Grill. Merging the three best things about the town — Surfing, Beach, and Food — the restaurant overlooking Sabang Beach has already become one of the top Baler tourist spots with locals and tourists lining up to dig in. Not to mention, the food is delish but dirt cheap. Surf, Eat and Enjoy!

  • Location: Buton street, Brgy Sabang, Baler
  • Fee(s): P89 to P200
  • Operation Hours: 24 hours
  • Best For: Foodies
  • Highlights: Diners will be welcomed by a Volkswagen-turned-grill as they enter the al fresco dining area. Everything about the restaurant screams beach too, with its interiors, dangling lights, and ambiance. A total Baler experience.
  • Activity Tips: Prepare to wait in line. Lunch and dinner times are peak for the restaurant, so either you come early to secure a table or prepare to stay in the queue.
  • Insider Info: The restaurant is full-on al fresco. No air conditioner here.
  • Contact Details:
    Phone: 0927 272 7813
    Email/ Site: balersurfergrill.com
    Facebook: @BalerSurferGrill

 

Enjoy a fun experience and check out other tourist spots to visit, restaurants to try and more in Baler. Discover cheap hotel deals and cheap flights from carriers like Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, and more with Traveloka!


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