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20 Things to Do in Baler in 2020

by Dyan Zarzuela
February 7, 2020

Facing the Pacific Ocean, Baler is blessed with a coastline dotted with surf spots, attracting surfers from all over the world. But beyond surfing, the capital of Aurora offers a lot more. Baler has natural attractions for every adventurer, from the easygoing (Dicasalarin Cove) to the thrill seeker (Hanging Bridge). The food scene is growing, satisfies practically every craving, and suits every type of budget. The cherry on top? The people are warm, friendly, and happy to help you make the most of your trip. Read on for 20 things you can do in Baler this year.

INSTAGRAM: @johnharveyperez, @earl_perlas

1. Live the sweet life in a luxury beachfront resort

PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

Located in front of Sabang Beach, Costa Pacifica’s stunning views, spacious rooms, and delicious dishes will spark joy in you, whether you’re a surfer or not. Measuring from 33 to 70 sqm, each suite has a private veranda and more than enough space for you, your companions, and even your fur babies (DG tip: request for the pet bed).

For the ultimate experience, get the Pacifica One Bedroom Suite, which has a receiving area, a dining area, a bathtub, two bathroom sinks, and two TVs aside from the usual amenities. It can also connect to a Junior Suite for big groups.

Overlooking the beach is the huge L-shaped pool perfect for swimming, lounging, or enjoying a meal since it’s right next to the restaurant Beach House.

With these features, it might be tempting to simply stay in, but venturing out is easy with the resort’s shuttle service. Costa Pacifica offers tours to Baler’s famous spots like Dicasalarin Cove, where you can get a discounted entrance fee of P150 if you’re a guest of the resort. The shuttle service is free for guests’ use on a first come, first served basis.

Costa Pacifica
80 Buton St., Sabang Beach
(02) 8519 4249

(0917) 844 8371
inquiry@costapacificabaler.com

2. Load up on good food

PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

Whether you’re surfing, touring the town, or both, you’ll need hearty meals to fuel your day. At Costa Pacifica’s Beach House, breakfast is quite the experience. The Good Morning Baler comes with your choice of viand like Baler longganisa or biniklad na dilis, garlic rice, egg, and atchara. Not much of a rice person? The Crispy Bacon and Eggs come with roasted potatoes and extra garlicky bread, while the Classic Eggs Benedict has ham and poached eggs on wood-fired crostini.

As if the generous portions weren’t enough, these breakfast meals come with a fruit platter, suman with coco jam and peanut butter, and pako (local fern) pandesal with jam. You can get breakfast as regular set meals or check out the weekend buffet.

If you sleep in and miss breakfast, Beach House also whips up yummy food for the rest of the day like Binakol, Seafood Kare-Kare, Longganisa and Pako Pizza, Pako Seafood Chowder, and Sashimi Plate. This February, try the Valentine’s package which comes in two sets with appetizer, salad, soup, main course, and dessert.

3. Hit up surfing spots

INSTAGRAM: @maralopezy

Among Baler’s surfing spots, Charlie’s Point is said to be the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines. Located at the mouth of Aguang River, it was named after a famous line (“Charlie, don’t surf!”) in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. After filming wrapped, the Hollywood crew supposedly left behind the surfboards they used during their downtime, which locals used to learn how to ride the waves.

The best time to surf in Baler is said to be from the ‘ber months to just before the summer season. Along Sabang Beach, beginners can have their pick of instructors at Charlie Does, Aliya Surf Camp Resort, Nalu Surf Camp, and more. Those with more experience can check out Charlie’s Point, Cobra Reef in Cemento Beach, and Lindy’s Point north of Sabang Beach. And if you’re not into surfing, you’ll still get a thrill out of watching surfers ride waves that can go as high as 10 feet—and even more on an exceptional day.

4. Explore a secluded cove with a view

INSTAGRAM: @gabrielledasig

Creamy white sand, crystal clear waters, views for days—the sights of Dicasalarin Cove make it worth the zigzagging, 30-minute ride. It’s best to take a van to reach the private property since a tricycle can only go up to a certain point, while a habal-habal isn’t recommended by some locals given how steep and winding the roads are.

On the way to the cove, the trees clear up every now and then to reveal the beauty of the secluded spot. Once you reach your destination, you can lounge by the beach or climb up the steps on a hill for a 360-degree view of the entire cove. At the top, there’s a white beacon near the tip of the hill, which locals refer to as the lighthouse. If you don’t have a fear of heights—or if you want to conquer it—you can, very carefully, climb up the beacon using the metal bars on the side.

You can easily spend hours at Dicasalarin Cove, and when you get the munchies, there’s wood-fired oven pizza at the only restaurant in the property.

5. Cross the famous bridge

INSTAGRAM: @miiichelle_09

Now if you really have a thing for heights, try crossing the Baler Hanging Bridge. Made of steel cable and wood, the bridge is more than 100 meters long and hangs over the Tibag-Sabang River. With its wide gaps and the occasional gusts of wind, it’s no wonder that some people turn back halfway through. No matter how far you get along the bridge, it’ll surely be an experience.

6. Go on a hike to see majestic falls

INSTAGRAM: @andydejur, @maralopezy

While technically outside Baler, Ditumabo Mother Falls is near enough for a side trip and worth going to. Located in the town of San Luis about 30 minutes away from Baler, the waterfall is a whopping 140 feet high. Depending on your pace and the ground conditions (heavy rain can lead to rerouting), the guided hike up can take about an hour. Once you reach your destination, you’ll be rewarded with cool, clear waters and amazing views. If you want to take a dip, try to go as early as possible to avoid the crowds.

7. Have the biggest sleepover party with your friends

PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

Space won’t be an issue even for the biggest barkada at Cube Baler, a hip boutique resort with 80 container vans repurposed into 80 rooms. Made for two to four people, each room is smartly designed and well-furnished just like typical hotel accommodations. Each room has plush beds, airconditioning, a bathroom, a TV, and open shelves in a 21-sqm space, except for Cube Prime, which has double the size and a receiving area.

Request for the poolside rooms for easy access to the huge outdoor pool, where you can capture all the content for the ‘gram. Some of the poolside rooms’ colorful murals will make for great backgrounds for your barkada shots, too.

Cube Baler
Seta St., Brgy. Sabang
(02) 8519 4249

(0917) 844 8371
reservations@cubebaler.com

8. Toast to the beach life

PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

Grab a chair or beanbag and have some drinks at Baler Beach Club. Located in front of Sabang Beach, the bar offers al fresco and indoor seats. Say cheers to the good life with Sabang Sling and Baler Bomb, signature cocktails that are sweet with a kick. For beer drinkers, try the Baler Brew, which is made with native honey, ginger, and pomelo zest. Pulutan like sisig, tokwa’t bagnet, and nachos complete the beachside bar experience.

Baler Beach Club
Buton St., Baler (near Costa Pacifica and Cube Baler)

9. Get a massage in the comfort of your own room

PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

After a long day of activities, a massage sounds like the best thing in the world. When you stay at Costa Pacifica, you can enjoy a full-body massage in the comfort of your own room for P600 per hour anytime from 10 AM to 10 PM.

10. Take a tour of the town proper

INSTAGRAM: @itsmedinosaur

If you want a break from adventures in nature, get to know a different side of Baler by taking a tour of the town. Museo de Baler preserves Baler’s memories all the way back to the Spanish colonial era. It showcases photos and artifacts of Pres. Manuel L. Quezon, who was born in Baler, and his wife, Aurora Quezon, after whom the province of Aurora was named. On the next street is the Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon House, the First Lady’s ancestral home. Across, you’ll find the Baler Church and the supersized Baler signage where you can take photos.

11. Chow down on good food that appeals to different eaters

PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

When you have vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores in the barkada, it can be difficult to find common ground and choose a restaurant. At Cube Baler, everyone can take their pick from the diverse menu. Meat lovers can have the garlicky Baler Longganisa, sweet Beef Tapa, or Corned Beef ingeniously topped with fried shoestring potatoes as a breakfast bowl with fried egg, salted egg, pako, tomatoes, and atchara.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the Vegan Nachos, a colorful platter of chili tofu, tomato salsa, cauliflower puree, olives, lettuce, and barbecue sauce. The Mediterranean Salad comes deconstructed with roasted veggies (eggplants, carrots, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes), lettuce, balsamic vinaigrette, and garlic bread. For a sweet finish, get the Turon Langka drizzled with chocolate sauce and served with ice cream on the side.

12. Enjoy your brew with plant-based food

INSTAGRAM: @isabellesilveriodee

Being vegan or vegetarian isn’t a struggle in Baler because a lot of restaurants cater to these eating lifestyles. Charlie Does is a surf-themed café located in the inn of the same name, which offers plant-based food and local brews. The coffee is made from local beans, and the drinks menu includes local craft beer like Baler Brew, a wheat beer with native honey. Enjoy your coffee with the Mango and Banana Crepe or Breakfast Smoothie Bowl, and pair ice-cold beers with Tofu Sisig or Vegan Tacos.

You can easily spend hours here with the café’s cozy vibe and wide range of books and board games. They also sell surf merch and custom surfboards.

Charlie Does
Buton St., Baler
(0906) 202 7959

13. Bring your floofs to a dog-friendly food park

INSTAGRAM: @theseapixels c/o @dogtowncollective

Who says your doggos can’t join your food trip? Dogtown Collective is a dog-friendly space that has the cutest pupper and hooman murals. It houses saranglayap@baler (smoothie bowls, poke bowls, infused coffee), Rotunda Café & Art Space (pourover coffee, cocktails, beers), and Little Warung Café (Indonesian rice bowls, noodles, snacks), plus reef-friendly skincare shop Kokoa Concept. Dogtown Collective is a great place to bring your dogs, or if you don’t have one, the perfect spot to meet new furry friends and fellow dog lovers.

Dogtown Collective
Alley 2, Sabang Beach
0917 815 6502
IG: @dogtowncollective

14. Enjoy the best of both worlds

INSTAGRAM: @iamroji05

Mexican and Filipino dishes come together at The Good Food. The restaurant puts its own spin on Mexican dishes like Fish Taco, Chicken Burrito, and Quesadilla, and serves up local favorites like Grilled Mahi-Mahi, Kinilaw (local ceviche), and Sinuglaw (grilled pork belly and seafood ceviche). The food is fresh (no extenders or preservatives here!) and the portions generous, making for a dining experience that’s just, well, really good. If you like spicy stuff, grab a bottle or two of their own preservative-free hot sauce.

The Good Food
Buton St., Baler

15. Have a peaceful retreat by the beach

PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

Right in the center of Baler’s bustling community is a relaxing sanctuary perfect for group gatherings. Casita by Costa has only 10 rooms for groups of four, creating a sense of privacy. Each room has a veranda and faces the outdoor pool shaded by pine trees. Across the pool is a beachfront glasshouse for events. With its select capacity and sense of exclusivity, Casita by Costa can comfortably host small groups or even your next family or class reunion.

Casita by Costa
Buton St., Baler

16. Kayak along the river

INSTAGRAM: @destayting

Baler is a surfer’s paradise, but if a canoe and paddle are more your style than a surfboard, try kayaking at Nature Green Forest Resort. The resort is located near a river that flows to Cemento Beach, one of the famous surf spots in town. After kayaking down the river and back, rest and enjoy a meal in the resort’s floating cottage.

Nature Green Forest Resort
Cemento Beach, Brgy. Zabali
(0917) 596 0205

17. Ride the concrete waves

INSTAGRAM: @keeeeetch, @chilltorralba

If the day’s waves are too flat to surf, there’s always Myrtle Park, where you can skate or watch skaters do their thing. The park is also home to food, beverage, and lifestyle shops. Grab a Torta Sisig from Wrap N Roll, Iced Coffee from Third Swell, or the Spiked Ocean Water cocktail from Pineapple Express, and check out the surfboards at Olaian, sporting goods at Decathlon, and reef-friendly skincare at Kokoa Concept.

Myrtle Park
Buton St., Baler

18. Have a wellness weekend in a boutique resort

PHOTO BY MARK JESALVA

When the hustle of city life gets to you, hit the reset button at Kahanamoku Bed & Breakfast across Cemento Beach. Away from the popular Sabang Beach, there’s plenty of peace and quiet to be found in the B&B. Join yoga classes by co-owner Camille Ramos and guest teachers, sip on local Diarabasin coffee under the trees, and feast on wholesome vegetarian food.

For breakfast, try the Tocino made of veggie meat, which comes with egg, rice, and banana on the side. There’s also the Burger made of puso ng saging, served with egg and rice. Each order comes with an oregano leaf that serves as a refreshing palate cleanser. If you like your breakfast sweet rather than savory, the French Toast is topped with banana slices and flaxseed, and served with syrup and Baler’s famous Nanay Pacing Peanut Butter.

Kahanamoku Bed & Breakfast
Cemento Beach, Brgy. Zabali
(0998) 857 4851
(0917) 833 9615
kahanamokubaler@gmail.com

19. Eat with your bare hands

INSTAGRAM: @thelifeenthusiast

There’s something about eating kamayan-style that makes food taste extra yummy, even more so when it’s a boodle fight with your friends and family. At Kusina Luntian, local favorites are served on banana leaves sans utensils—a tribute to the traditional Filipino way of eating. It’s all about the good stuff here like Wapang Wapang na Liempo (grilled pork belly), Chicken Adobo, and Daing na Bangus, all served with salted egg, tomato, and pako. You can mix and match dishes for a group boodle fight or order individual meals.

P.S. Get a taste of Kusina Luntian in Metro Manila at their Quezon City branch, Gubat, which offers a tweaked version of the menu.

Kusina Luntian
Dela Torre St., Baler
Open from 10 AM to 10 PM

20. Shop for fresh seafood at the market

INSTAGRAM: @incllmlndrs

Support local and check out fresh, affordable seafood at the Baler Public Market. Here, you can also find pako or edible fern, a rarity in Manila groceries but so abundant in Baler that it’s present in a lot of dishes (pako pandesal, anyone?). If you want to get seafood as pasalubong, simply bring a cooler or insulated bag. The wet market is just across the bus terminal, so it’s the perfect stop right before returning to Manila. Within the area is also the Nanay Pacing store where you can stock up on their famous Peanut Butter, Coco Jam, and Caramel Delight.


Discover more travel ideas and inspiration when you peruse our Baler Travel Guide.

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About Dyan
Dyan Zarzuela is a freelance writer, editor, and producer who dreams of living by the sea one day. You can find her on Instagram at @dyanzarzuela.

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