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Aurora Province Travel Guide: How to enjoy PH’s Surfing Capital

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Going to the birthplace of Philippine Surfing

Baler, the capital town of Aurora Province is somewhat 230 Kilometers away Northeast of Manila. This hidden paradise is nestled within the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, making its terrain very rough, ragged, and varied. It is now becoming an up-and-coming tourist destination primarily because of its surfable shores (from July – February) and because it is the birthplace of the late president Manuel L. Quezon.

As of now, there are three places where you can go and will lead you to Baler, the capital town of Aurora, namely: from Manila, from Baguio, and from Cabanatuan.

The Provincial Capitol of Aurora | Turista Boy

The Provincial Capitol of Aurora

Road signs in downtown Baler Aurora | Turista Boy

Road signs in downtown Baler

From and To Manila:

Genesis Bus Line offers daily air-conditioned trips to Baler in their Cubao Main Terminal located at 704 EDSA corner New York Street, Brgy. E. Rodriguez Sr., Cubao, Quezon City. Their first trip is at 3:00 a.m. and their last trip is at 7:30 a.m., with an hourly interval. Travel time is estimated to last for 5-6 hours. Fare costs around PhP 450-550, with 20% discount to students, PWDs, and senior citizens with valid IDs. They also have trips to Casiguran, Aurora, in the same terminal. They only offer two daily trips, their first trip is at 1:00 am and last trip is at 3:00 a.m. with an estimated travel time of 7-8 hours.

If you want to have that extra luxury, JoyBus Deluxe Buses, a subsidiary bus line of Genesis Bus Line, also offers Deluxe trips going to Baler. Their services include providing its guests blankets, pillows, and snacks. They also have a stewardess to assist them inside the bus. The bus is also equipped with a comfort room and the trip is non-stop. Its buses are also located in the same terminal as Genesis Bus Line. Its first trip is at 12:30 a.m. with an hourly interval, and its last trip is at 5:30 a.m. (No 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. schedule). Fare is pegged at around PhP 700-750 (no student and senior citizen discount) and it only takes 4-5 hours to reach Baler.

When going back to Manila, Genesis Bus Line has trips going to Pasay (located at 101 A. Giselle Park Plaza, EDSA corner Rotonda, Pasay City). Their terminal in Baler is located in Barangay Sabang, Baler (contact number: +63 919 650 6997). Their first schedule is at 4:30 a.m. and their last trip is at 3 p.m., with an hourly interval. They also offer 2 trips from Casiguran, Aurora to Cubao. Their first trip is at 3:00 a.m. and their last trip is at 4:30 a.m.

For more information, visit Genesis Bus Line’s Website and Facebook Page. For JoyBus reservations, visit www.iwantseats.com.ph (with PhP 50 booking fee).

From and To Baguio:

Lizardo Trans offers daily, ordinary bus trips to Baler and vice versa. Their terminal is located in Slaughterhouse Compound, Magsaysay Avenue corner Balajadia Street, Baguio City. You can reach the terminal by riding a jeepney going to Trancoville, which is more accessible and round-the-clock. Tell the driver to drop you off the Slaughterhouse bus terminal.

Lizardo Trans has three trips going to Baler. Their first trip is at 4:30 a.m., next schedule is 10:00 a.m. and the last trip would be at 2:00 p.m. Regular fare is at PhP 317, and Student fare is at PhP 265 (both inclusive of PhP 5 insurance, as of June 2015). Travel time is a very long trip of 8-9 hours. You can contact their office at +63 74 304 5994.

In the same terminal in Slaughterhouse Compound, there are also PUVs (Public Utility Vans) which offer faster trips to Baler. Their first trip schedule is around 4:00 – 4:30 a.m. and travel time is only around 5-6 hours. There is only a slight difference in the fare, where they charge PhP 320 (for regular passengers) and PhP 256 for students, PWDs, and Senior Citizens with valid IDs. One of our contacts is kuya JR. You can contact him at +63 908 739 0821.

When bound for Baguio, the last trip of Lizardo Trans at the Baler Central Terminal is at 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. and the ETA (expected time of arrival) is at around 1:00 a.m. the next day, approximately 8-9 hours. When optioning a PUV bound for Baguio, be sure to be as early as possible in the terminal because there may be a lot of tourists bound for Baguio as well, especially during summer. The last schedule of Baguio-bound vans is at around 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

From and To Cabanatuan:

Upon reaching Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija from Manila, take a PUV bound for Baler. They are just lined up in the Central Terminal. Travel time is around 4-5 hours. The regular fare from Cubao to Cabanatuan is around PhP 185-200. The regular fare from Cabanatuan to Baler is around PhP 247-250 and the travel time is aroung 2-3 hours.

When you are now bound for Manila and you have missed the last trip of the Genesis Bus Line (the main bus line with a direct route to and from Manila), you can ride the Aurora Bus Line or a PUV bound for Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija (air-conditioned bus / van). Upon reaching Cabanatuan Central Terminal, board a Five Star Bus, Baliwag Transit or a Victory Liner Bus (air-conditioned) bound for Manila (Cubao or Pasay) for around 4 hours travel time. You can also board a PUV bound for Manila whenever available, one of our contacts is kuya Mac at +63 919 862 9950. This option can also be done vice-versa.

*All routes, schedules, and fares are subject to change without prior notice (I will update this blog as soon as I can if there are changes made.)*

Upon arriving in the Baler Central Terminal, several tricycle drivers will welcome you and ask you will be going. Tricycle fares range from PhP 10 – 20 per person, depending on the distance of your destination from the terminal.

Accommodations in Baler, Aurora

Looking for a place to stay in Baler is easy. From budget-friendly stay houses to high-end hotels, they are all present within town. There are also a lot of lodging houses near the central terminal but if you want to have an accommodation near the beach, there is also a handful. Here is a list of some of the lodging houses / inns / hotels you can stay while in Baler:

Some of the most recommended:

Ampiyas Lodging House (Behind Ritz Hotel)

Ampiyas is for tourists / visitors who are looking for a more laid-back and simple house setup. It is somewhat that of a hostel as all things, amenities, and facilities in the house are communal – from the living room, bathrooms, kitchen sink, crockery, and porch. It is a nice play to stay away from the busy beach. The house is a 5-minute walk to Sabang Beach. The owner, ate Bok, knows some of the tricycle tour guides servicing in Baler and the nearby towns of San Luis and Maria Aurora. Just ask her for the contact number of the guide and off you’ll go! It’s also a good thing that the place is not well-known as only a manageable handful of guests (mostly backpackers) occupy their bed spaces. It’s the place to really relax and get away from the crowded Sabang Beach and enjoy the company of other guests.

Address Near Doungan Bridge and Doungan River, behind Ritz Hotel
Contact Number +63 917 500 5059

Bayler View Hotel

The Bayler View and Restaurant is one of the sought after budget hotels fronting Sabang Beach’s Baywalk. All of its 24 rooms are air-conditioned and are equipped with the necessary facilities and amenities every guest might need during their stay. They also offer surfing lessons, especially for first-timers. The hotel is Wi-Fi equipped. Their restaurant is also famous for their Choc-Nut Turon and sea foods, of course.

Address Baywalk, Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 919 286 3105, +63 927 363 8735 | Manila: +63 2 404 4784 | Subic: +63 47 252 9978 | Callers in Malaysia: 03 5021 9379 | In Indonesia: 021 2922 2827 | In the USA: 408 663 9073 | Fax: +63 2 857 2600 (Service hours: 0700 – 2300, daily)
Website www.baylerview.com
Social Media Accounts Facebook: @bayler.view

Twitter: @baylerview

Email baylerviewhotel@yahoo.com

Costa Pacifica Baler

Costa Pacifica Baler is one of the new and high-end accommodations servicing along Sabang Beach’s Baywalk. It has 106 well-appointed rooms and suites. Their facilities include an outdoor pool for adults and kids, a gift / souvenir shop, and a “kid’s nook.” “The Pavilion,” their main events hall, can accommodate up to 200 persons. They cater to both surfers, couples, families, large conventions and events, special interest groups, and Asian and European tourists looking for a new vacation getaway.

Address 80 Buton Street, Baywalk, Sitio Labasin, Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 2 519 4249, +63 917 844 8371, +63 2 576 4555
Website www.costapacificabaler.com
Social Media Accounts Facebook: @costapacificabalerph

Twitter: @costapacificaph

Instagram: @costapacificabaler

Email inquiry@costapacificabaler.com

Jamjen’s Lodge

For solo backpackers who want a simple and very affordable place to stay, Jam and Jen’s Lodge is the place. It is located near the Sabang Beach Baywalk and is located behind Costa Pacifica Hotel. The now 8-room property (+ 6 more rooms ongoing) is equipped with free Wi-Fi. They also have a mini store where you can buy some stuff to eat. They also lend surfboards and offer surfing lessons, and they offer affordable tour packages as well.

Address 096 Buton Street, Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 929 241 0298, +63 916 200 1731
Facebook Page @Jamjens-Lodge

June Samano’s Homestay

This homestay is also a recommended option for budget travellers. They have some rooms that can accommodate at least five persons. You can also choose to have an air-conditioned or a fan room. The place is also located along Sabang Beach’s Baywalk and is beside Bayler Inn. The homestay is also eqipped with Wi-Fi. You can also ask them if they know some tricycle tour guides in town.

Address Buton Street, Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 908 104 2043, +63 929 716 3292, +63 939 500 0803
Facebook Page @JuneSamanoHomestay

Other accommodations found in Baler and nearby towns:

Aliya Surf Camp and Resort

Address Buton Street, Baywalk, Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Number +63 939 939 0929
Facebook Pages @Aliya-Surf-Camp-Baler / @Aliya-Surf-Camp-Baler-Aurora
Website www.aliyasurfcamp.com
E-mail inquire@aliyasurfcamp.com

AMCO Beach Resort

Address Buton Street, Baywalk, Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 917 628 9213, +63 999 881 2584, +63 2 330 3515
Social Media Pages Facebook: @amcobeachresort

Twitter: @amcobeachresort

Amihan Aplaya Lodge

Address 103 Aurora Bitong Extension, Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 999 843 5249, +63 927 758 0986, +63 921 670 6101

Angara Beach Resort

Address Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Number +63 920 476 9844

Bay’s Inn

Address Buton Street, Baywalk, Sitio Labasin, Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 928 424 4507, +63 918 926 6697, +63 908 982 3509
Website www.baysinnbaler.multiply.com
Facebook Page @Bays-Inn
E-mail baysinnbaler@gmail.com

Carlito’s Inn

Address Burgos Street, Barangay Suklayin, Baler, Aurora
Contact Number +63 908 872 0816
Facebook Page @Carlitos-Inn-Baler

Casa de Viajeros

Address 034 San Luis Street, San Luis Extension, Baler, Aurora
Contact Number +63 918 256 9111
Facebook Page @balercasaviajeros

Cocohut Lodge

Address Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Number +63 42 209 4341

Desiree’s Lodge

Address Buton Street, Baywalk, Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 920 480 0978, +63 921 751 8490

El Trophine Lodge (Suklayin)

Address Barangay Suklayin, Baler, Aurora (Near New Public Market)
Contact Numbers +63 919 373 7575, +63 938 797 2080, +63 999 990 8452 (personal)
Facebook Page @ElTrophineLodge

Kahea’s Lodge / Surfer’s Inn

Address Baywalk, Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 920 710 2634, +63 915 748 0759
Facebook Page @Kaheas-Surf

Little Girl’s Surfer’s Lodge

Address Buton Street, Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Number +63 927 395 5689
Website www.surferslodgebaler.com
Facebook Page @SurferGirlsLodge

Mel’s Nest Lodge

Address Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Number +63 920 632 3043

MM Lodge

Address Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Number +63 918 512 9156

Moreno Lodge and Restaurant

Address Barangay Suklayin, Baler, Aurora (near new Public Market)
Contact Numbers +63 42 209 4207 – 08

Noel Carl’s Garden and Resort (Suklayin)

Address Barangay Suklayin, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 42 209 4265, +63 918 539 3870

Oasis of Baler Resort

Address Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 918 667 6749, +63 919 474 9116, +63 920 460 6866

Pacific Waves Inn

Address Purok 2, near T. Molina Street, Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 928 801 1888, +63 42 514 3020
Website www.pacificwavesbaler.com
Facebook Page @pacificwaves.baler
E-mail info@pacificwavesbaler.com

Ritz Hotel

Address Sabang, Baler, Aurora (behind Costa Pacifica Hotel)
Contact Number +63 922 879 8598
Facebook Page @Theritzhotel

Sanchez Resort (Cemento)

Address Aurora Muting Gasang, Sitio Cemento, Zabali, Baler, Aurora
Contact Number +63 920 812 9998

Sea Breeze Lodge

Address Barangay Sabang, Baler, Aurora
Contact Number +63 915 322 5994

Secret Spot

Address Baywalk, T. Molina Street, Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 928 453 1777, +63 943 489 8188
AirBnB Link www.airbnb.com/rooms/849159
Facebook Page @secretspotbaler

Trezzo Inn

Address Baler, Aurora
Contact Numbers +63 2 439 8186, +63 927 894 7232, +63 920 567 8153, +63 916 255 6025
Facebook Page @trezzo.baler

*For Department of Tourism (DOT) accredited and licensed lodging houses, click here!*

Touring around Baler

When in Baler, there is no payment for a specific Environmental Fee, but almost all of the tourist spots in the province have affordable entrance fees. From PhP 10 – PhP 300, these entrance fees are for the tourist spots’ maintenance and remuneration for its employees.

TuristaBoy Tip: Travel light! Only bring what is essential (light clothes, toiletries, camera, and everything you seem important.) A backpack or one travel bag will do, as long as you can carry it comfortably.

If you want to travel and see the different tourist spots in Aurora, I suggest you to take a Tricycle Tour. It is also the most popular mode of going to the different attractions in the province. There are a lot of Tricycle Tour Guides licensed and authorized by the Local Government Unit of Baler. I highly recommend kuya Manuel Alejandro, or “Kuya Manny” as the Tricycle Tour Guide – you can discuss with him about where you want to go. He can also suggest other places not in your itinerary. You can easily reach him in his mobile number +63 921 393 4539. If you want to avail of his service, contact him at least a week before your desired schedule for him to reserve you on that particular date. (Ask for his calling card for future recommendations.)

When you are more into surfing, there is a lot of surfing schools strung along Sabang Beach. Their common or average price for an hour of surfing lessons is around PhP 300 – PhP 350. Just approach any of them and they are ready to accommodate for the lesson. Some of the surfing schools’ stalls are located in the Baywalk. You can negotiate with the price of your surfing lesson with your surfing instructor or with the owner of the surfing school itself. Don’t worry, people in Baler are very nice and friendly.

TuristaBoy Tip: When you want to surf on higher waves, the best months to go to Baler is from July to December (rainy season), though the waves are rough at times. During Summer, the waves are relatively small but still “surfable.”

Sample Itinerary:

Here is my itinerary and actual, individual expenses when I went to Baler with my friends (although almost all of it was spontaneous). You can use this as a guide for your future visit. Options are via Baguio, Cabanatuan, and Manila. Besides, you are the one who’ is going to make that itinerary happen!

Day 1

0400 – 1000 Baguio – Baler (via van, Slaughterhouse Barangay Terminal)
Other Options: 0300 – 0900 – Cubao – Baler (via Genesis Bus)

0030 – 0530 – Cubao – Baler (via JoyBus)

0800 – 1200 – Cabanatuan – Baler (via Aurora Bus Line or PUV)

1000 ETA, Baler
1000 – 1015 Tricycle ride from Baler Central Terminal to Accommodation (Ampiyas)
1015 Check-in at Ampiyas
1015 – 1130 Rest, freshen up
1130 – 1300 Lunch (Kusina Luntian)
1300 – 1600 Town Tour (Museo de Baler, Dona Aurora Ancestral House, Baler Church, Baler Municipal Hall, Plaza de Baler, Hanging Bridge)
1600 – 1800 Sabang Beach
1800 – 1900 Dinner (Baler Surfer Grill)
1900 – 1915 Walk back to Ampiyas
1915 – 2100 Rest, freshen up
2100 – 2300 Night life
2330 Lights off

Day 2 (Tricycle Tour Day 1)

0500 Prepare, freshen up
0600 – 0730 Breakfast (Hungry Surfer, Bay’s Inn, Sabang Beach), Sunrise
0800 Pickup time for Tricycle Tour
0800 – 1100 Caunayan Falls
1100 – 1200 Millenium (Balete) Tree
1200 – 1300 Lunch (Rolling Store)
1300 – 1430 Tromba Marina and Ermita Hill
1430 – 1530 Diguisit Falls, Diguisit Beach, and Lukso-lukso / Aniao Islets
1530 – 1830 Dicasalarin Cove, Dicasalarin Lighthouse
1900 – 2030 Buffet Dinner (Chef Gerry’s Picnic Bay, Sabang Beach)
2030 – 2200 Rest, freshen up
2200 – 0100 (+1) Night life (Cauti Bar and Grill)
0130 (+1) Lights off

Day 3 (Tricycle Tour Day 2)

0400 Prepare, freshen up
0430 Sunrise trip to Ampere Beach
0500 Photo ops at “Baler” sign at Town Center
0500 – 0530 Goto Breakfast (Rolling Store)
0530 – 1000 Ditumabo Mother Falls
1000 – 1100 Rest, freshen up for surfing lesson
1100 – 1300 Surfing Lesson (Kahea’s Surf)
1300 – 1315 Rest, freshen up for lunch
1315 – 1430 Lunch (Hungry Surfer, Bay’s Inn)
1430 – 1530 Prepare and fix things for departure, freshen up
1530 Check out (Ampiyas)
1530 – 1630 Buy pasalubong (Baler Pasalubong Center)
1700 – 0130 (+1) Baler-Baguio (via Lizardo Trans, Baler Central Terminal)
Other Options: 1500 – 2100 – Baler – Pasay (via Genesis Bus)

1500 – 1900 – Baler – Cubao (via JoyBus)

0800 – 1200 – Baler – Cubao (via Aurora Bus Line or PUV)

0130 (+1) ETA Baguio / Cubao or Pasay

Possible Expenses: 

Day 1

House – Slaughter Barangay Terminal (Taxi) – P 77 / 3 P 25.00
Baguio – Baler (Van) P 320.00
Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija Stopover P 5.00
Baler Central Terminal – Ampiyas Hostel (Tricycle) – P60 / 3 P 20.00
Lunch – Kusina Luntian P 100.00
Ampiyas Hostel – Town Proper (Tricycle) – P 30 / 3 P 10.00
Entrance Fee – Museo de Baler and Dona Aurora Ancestral House (as one) P 30.00
Snacks P 10.00
Doña Aurora Ancestral House to Hanging Bridge (Tricycle) P 12.00 (each)
Hanging Bridge to Sabang Beach (Tricycle) – P 60 / 3 P 20.00
Dinner – Baler Surfer Grill P 200.00
Refreshment – Surf & Chill P 80.00


P 832.00

Day 2

Breakfast – Hungry Surfer, Bay’s Inn P 160.00
Entrance Fee – Caunayan Falls P 20.00
AM Snacks P 135.00
Entrance Fee – Millennium (Balete) Tree P 10.00
Lunch – Rolling Store P 50.00
PM Snacks P 10.00
Emergency Kit P 60.00
Entrance Fee – Diguisit Beach, (Aniao / Lukso-Lukso Islets) P 20.00
Entrance Fee – Dicasalarin Cove P 300.00
Roundtrip Fee to and from Parola Drop-off point to Dicasalarin Cove (Motorbike) P 150.00
Dinner – Buffet at Chef Gerry’s Picnic Bay P 200.00
Night life at Cauti Bar and Grill P (FREE)


P 1115.00

Day 3

Tricycle Tour Fee @ P 500/day – P 1500 / 3 P 500.00
Breakfast – Rolling Store P 28.00
Entrance Fee – Ditumabo Mother Falls P 30.00
AM Snacks P 25.00
Surfing Lesson at Kahea’s Surf (discounted) P 320.00
Lunch – Hungry Surfer, Bay’s Inn P 180.00
Accommodation Fee (Ampiyas Hostel) @ P 200/night P 400.00
Pasalubong – Baler Pasalubong Center P 820.00
Baler – Baguio (Lizardo Trans Bus) P 260.00
Snacks – Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija Stopover P 46.00
Slaughter Barangay Terminal – House (Taxi) P 70.00
SUB-TOTAL P 2679.00
GRAND TOTAL (for 3 days) P 4626.00

VERDICT: 9 / 10

Baler is a nice and quiet place; they are not just ready for the influx of tourists coming to their place. Some attractions get crowded during peak hours, thus spoiling its beauty. There is also some trash scattered in some places of Baler; trash bins are scarce. The food is diverse, you’ll never run out of choices; our accommodation is very simple and very rural, away from the town’s hustle-and-bustle. People are very hospitable, too. If you want to know more about Aurora Province, visit the official provincial website here.


*Prices and pictures are not disclosed or shown as it is subject to change without prior notice. This is also to give other lodging houses / inns / hotels the chance of getting equal number of guests with their own style of service. We also paid for our accommodation for this trip.*


Something missing? Want me to add some things you wish to? Or you have an insight, suggestion, or a question? Want me to go to places and review them for your future visit? Drop a comment below!

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