The birthplace of surfing, baler is my favorite out of town vacation spot. Only 5 hours from Manila or 4 if you are quick, Not only is it reasonably cheap to go there but it is also very relaxing. The last time i went here i wrote something about Costa Pacifica but with the unreasonably expensive prices of this hotel I opted that we stay at another hotel right next to Costa Pacifica.
HOW TO GET THERE:
By private car, going here by car might be the easiest option if you have a car. I always prefer coming by car as you can control your own time. We just wazed the place, its relatively very easy as the roads are already smooth unlike the first time i went to baler the winding bumpy road was a horror story.
By bus, i know plenty of people who come here by bus, my only problem with the bus is that it stops at the town proper where you still need a ride from there to the main area.
By air , i only recently found out that Baler airport have flights from Manila to baler via SKYJET airlines. The only problem is that it is still around 10-20 mins away from the sea by car and im not sure if there is a transportation service from the airport. The airport is pretty far from the city proper.
RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHERE TO STAY:
Nalu surf camp, a great alternative and 60% cheaper than your stay in costa. When they told me that my 2 night stay would cost me Php20000 (400usd) it sounded feasible for 4 people except, it wasn’t what i wanted. Costa is known only because it used to be the only safe hotel around Baler near the sea. But after discovering the beautiful Nalu surf camp, i don’t want to try Costa Pacifica anymore. You wont get the same service at Nalu than Costa, but the ambiance of Nalu is definitely perfect for surfers and easy going people. Costa Pacifica’s food prices in my opinion is too unreasonably priced and their room rates are also not exactly the best, considering they are an open resort that isn’t really heavily guarded either.
Another place to consider staying in baler is The Hostel behind Costa Pacifica. If you aren’t looking to be fancy the hostel is good for those who want to meet new people only 500php per night (10usd), or the Ifugao nipa hut rooms room which already comes with air conditioning at Nalu surf camp at 3000 per night or 60usd. Some others stay at hotels far from the seaside near the town proper because it is cheaper and they drive to the sea for some waves but i think it is safer and much better to just stay by the baywalk are hotels. Just make sure to choose somewhere safe and to never leave any belongings unattended or in your rooms.
WHERE TO EAT:
The street right behind Costa Pacifica is one of the better and cheaper places to get food. With Inihaw (grilled food) being priced from 160php-300php only good for sharing. Also a few blocks down the main road are some places that sell good and cheap food too, if you walk along the baywalk you will get a big selection of things to eat but some places aren’t that good and very pricey. If you are looking for fancy and expensive you could try Costa Pacifica, but if you are looking for a local taste i would definitely recommend the restaurant called Yellow Fin bar and grill for your dinner.
THE SHACK, is also one place I will recommend, surprisingly with its good indian food! Its a place you must visit if you are ever in Baler. Their beef shawarma is one that you must try, really filled and not so much oil. Another place i would like to try is EL JARDIN ESPAÑOL in Baler and MADISON CAKES AND PASTRIES, leaving more things to do for the next visit!
At Nalu, our surfing package of php350 ( roughly $7 ) already included a free beer or cold pop and free pictures. I think this was the best surfing deal of all the deals i saw solely because they gave us free pictures with our package and that they had good instructors as well, the owner of the place was always around the camp and he is very hands on with the place. Nalu surf camp was also nice because it was guarded and closed off, the parking was safe and a guard was always on watch.
But don’t limit yourself to the sea, there are also guided tours to waterfalls and quiet beaches around Baler you could visit. Just ask the tricycles around the beach area and they will give you packages from 700-1000 php (14-20usd) for a whole day tour around the city proper and around the trekking areas and waterfalls also the private picturesque beaches. Hoping you can all consider coming to Baler after reading this. As moana would say ” I am a girl who loves my island and a girl who loves the sea, IT CALLS ME” (haha) and of all the places i have been to in Luzon. Baler really holds a special place in my heart.