Planning a trip? Those who love to travel know the essence of all travel is about you and your enjoyment. Travelers know that the destination is a major part in planning a trip, experiencing and delving deeper into an unfamiliar places, people and culture is paramount.
Expand your horizons and set your sight to the Philippines, an off the beaten path travel site! An undiscovered paradise made of thousands of islands and white sand beaches all around! A tiny dot in the map of the world, and yet a haven for travelers, backpackers, retirees and even passersby.
It offers awesome tourist attractions, magnificent beaches, hot spring resorts, colorful festivals, hundreds of scenic spots and world-class hotels and facilities. Not to mention the tropical climate, the affordable prices as well as the friendly and hospitable, English-speaking people! You will be glad you came, and we’re sure, you WILL come back for more FUN in the Philippines!
º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º
POPULAR ACTIVITIES IN BALER
Due to its reputation as one of the best surf spots in the Philippines, most visitors travel to Baler for surfing. However, the city, which is the provincial capital of Aurora, has a beautiful setting, with soft sandy beaches, coral reefs off the coasts, islets that can be walked across in low tide and the gorgeous Sierra Madre mountains in the backdrop. This makes it conducive to a wide range of water and land-based adventure activities, including scuba diving, snorkeling, trekking and mountain climbing.
While Baler is unsuitable if you are looking at doing scuba diving courses or programs, there are a few tour companies that offer diving sessions for those who already know the basics and bring their own equipment (there is limited equipment available in the town). There are some good dive sites around the area. Off the shore of Borlongan Beach, Cemento Beach, Lukso Lukso Islets and Anaio Islets, there are several sites with beautiful coral formations underwater, some at a depth of 150m. The deep waters off Dibut Bay are excellent for spotting marine species. From beginner dives to more difficult ones, the advantage of Baler is that there are many unexplored sites waiting to be discovered.
Trekking and Mountain Climbing
Some of Baler’s neighboring municipalities have the perfect terrain for trekking. San Luis is a mountainous region with trails that lead to waterfalls and springs. The most popular options include trekking to Ditumabo Falls, Cunayan Falls and Banju Springs. Dingalan, which is along the coast, has interesting sites such as the Lamao Caves and the Rocks of Dingalan. The nearby Sierra Madre Mountains also offer opportunities for nature treks and mountain climbing.
The long coastline off Aurora has shallow reefs, where you can see marine life and multi-colored coral. There are several spots that are considered good for snorkeling. The best among these are the reefs near Anaio Islets, Lukso Lukso Islets, Dimadimalangat Islet, Cemento Beach, Digisit Beach and Dicasalarin Bay. Some resorts and tour operators offer day trips, including equipment rental, to the snorkeling sites off Baler.
The winds from the Pacific Ocean make big waves that draw surfers from all over the world to Baler. There are some points on the coast, where the conditions are ideal for surfing, especially in the months between October and May. There are beach breaks and reef breaks, which can be enjoyed by surfers of different skill levels. Charlie’s Point, north of Sabang Beach, the place featured in Apocalypse Now, is a beach break with medium waves. The main Sabang Beach has small waves that are perfect for novices, while the reef break at Cemento Beach and the tall break waves at Lindy’s Point provide thrills for experienced surfers.
In addition to these options, the resorts along the coastline in Baler in Aurora cater to visitors who are interested in outdoor adventure by offering equipment rental or trips for a range of activities that include camping, cove hopping, bird watching, fishing, kayaking and jet skiing.
More on Surfing
Baler in Aurora province has been a popular destination for surfers ever since the early 80s after the release of the Hollywood war movie, Apocalypse Now, which featured scenes of American troops riding the tall waves off the shores of the town. With the swells from the Pacific Ocean giving rise to good breaks, it is considered the surfing capital of the Philippines. As a result, surfers of all skill levels head to the area either to improve their skills or for a challenge. The annual Aurora Surfing Cup, which is an international event, takes place off the beaches in Baler.
Several surf camp and resorts in Baler offer lessons for beginners. The most popular among these is the Mahdox Surf Shop & School, which is the first instruction center to have come up in the city. It is run by Rommel ‘Okoy’ Rojo, eleven-time surfing champion. You will learn the basic techniques from expert instructors and can also rent boards from the surf shop. Other options are the Aliya Surf Camp, which is run in partnership with Stoked Inc Surf School, Charlie Does (Bahia de Baler) and Baler Surf (Bay’s Inn). A one-hour lesson, including hire of surfboard costs around 350 pesos.
There are several surfing points in Baler, which present the ideal conditions for surfers, with the famous Pacific swells that bring with them tall and glassy waves. For beginners, Sabang Beach is the best. The waves are small and the long stretch of sands ensures that it is never too crowded. There are right and left-handed waves. Another advantage is that the waves break on soft sand and gravel, which reduces the risk of injury. Charlie’s Point (from Apocalypse Now) is north of Sabang and has medium right and left-handed breaks over a gravel bottom. For experienced surfers, the right-handed reef break off Cemento Beach (Cobra Reef) provides a challenge. The sharp reef below makes it risky and in the surfing season from October to May, waves can go as high as 14 feet. At times, you can also get a 4.5 meter barrel wave. Lindy’s Point has break waves that were artificially created after the Government widened the mouth of the Baler Bay to prevent flooding during the monsoon. The result of the engineering is waves that clash against each other, providing thrills for the more experienced surfers.
If surfing is the main reason that you are coming to Baler, it is best to stay at one of the resorts or inns that are attached to a surf school. Since these resorts are close to the beach, for non-surfers it also opens up the possibility of other water-based activities. Aliya Surf Camp, Bahia de Baler and Bay’s Inn are the more established hotels with several categories of rooms. There are also some smaller lodges near the beach, for budget travelers.
Baler gets the best waves for surfing from October to March, during the southwest monsoon. December to February is the peak surfing season as the tallest waves can be caught during this period.
Surfing Events and Competitions
The Baler Beginner’s Surf Competition, which is held in early April is a fun event that promotes surfing as a sport. It’s the perfect time for novices to brush up their skills. The main surfing event in the city is the annual Aurora Surfing Cup, which sees surfers and spectators from all over the world arriving in Baler. The three-day event was first held in September 1997, but nowadays, it takes place in February on Sabang Beach and Cemento Beach. The events are broken down into categories – Open, Youth, Grommet and Body board. One of the main attractions of the event is a surf clinic that is open to all.
– Texts and photos above from http://balerphilippines.com
º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º
Read More on The Grand Province of Aurora
Read More on Baler, the Capital of Aurora
Read More on What To Do In Baler
Read More on Popular Places to Visit in Baler