Baler is a small town founded by Franciscan missionaries in the early 1600s. History has it that in 1735, a violent tsunami hit the town and killed thousands. It was said that only six families survived this catastrophe when they were able to seek refuge in Ermita Hill. Thus, the reason for the utmost reverence the townspeople have for this piece of land on top of Mt.Dibudulan.
Despite being the capital of the province of Aurora, Baler is not a city. If you’re looking for a place to unwind and relax, Baler will be your perfect escape.
WHAT'S IN THIS GUIDE?
How to Get to Baler
- BY CAR
By car, it’s a 5-6 hour drive from Manila, and with expressways (NLEX and SCTEx), you’re in for a smoother journey. The distance from Manila to Baler is approximately 230km, but if you pass through SCTEx, it may take 260km to get there. It’s still considerably faster compared to taking service roads.
From Balintawak Interchange, enter NLEX and drive all the way to Dau tollbooth where you’ll pay P241 for the toll. After Dau Exit, take the next exit going to SCTEx. Continue driving. Then, take Tarlac Exit 122 and turn right. Then, turn left to Aliaga. Drive all the way to Maharlika Highway in Talavera, and then turn right when you see the signage which says “To Baler” in Rizal.
After Rizal, the road ascends and winds up in Pantabangan, then descends at Maria Aurora. Continue driving and turn right to Baler. Sabang, where most of the resorts are found, is right across the bridge after passing by the municipal hall.
- BY BUS
You can also travel by bus, which is probably more convenient and cheaper, especially for solo travelers. There are direct buses from Cubao and Quezon City.
GENESIS BUS. This is the cheaper option. It makes a few stops and travel time takes 6-7 hours. Fare costs 550php.
JOYBUS. If you value comfort and convenience, you can choose this option. It’s a non-stop bus with more comfortable seats, wider legroom, blankets, and pillows. They even offer snacks. Travel time takes 5-6 hours and fare costs P750.
- BY CAR
If you’re taking a car, you can get to Baler from Clark via SCTEx.
From SM City Clark, take Manuel A. Roxas Highway driving towards the direction of DMIA Gateway. Enter the SCTEx via the SCTEx Clark South Interchange. Continue driving through SCTEx for about 40 minutes (about 35km). Take the SCTEx Tarlac Exit.
Keep right at the fork, follow signs for La Paz and merge onto Santa Rosa – Tarlac Road. Turn left in Aliaga. Cruise your way to Maharlika Highway in Talavera, and then turn right when you see the sign, “To Baler” in Rizal.
After Rizal, the road goes up the winding road in Pantabangan, then goes down at Maria Aurora. Drive straight until you reach Baler.
- BY BUS
From Dau-Mabalacat Bus Terminal, there are buses going to Cabanatuan. Take one of those buses. From Cabanatuan to Baler, public vans are available 24/7 at Cabanatuan Terminal that travels directly to Baler. Van fare costs around P220.
- BY CAR
Take Kennon Road, then exit the roundabout onto Agoo – Baguio Road. Turn left onto Pugo – Rosario Road. Drive for about 20 minutes and turn left onto Mac Arthur Highway/ Manila North Road. Continue driving for about 30 minutes and take the Binalonan – Asingan Road. Continue and drive towards the San Jose – Carmen Road going to San Jose City – Umingan Road.
Follow the Rizal – San Jose City Rodd to Junction Pinagpanaan – Rizal – Pantabangan Road. From Pinagpanaan – Rizal – Pantabangan Road, continue straight to Nueva Ecija – Aurora Road/Pantabangan – Baler Road. Ask your way around on how to get to your hotel in town.
Where to Stay in Baler
Baler has a wide variety of lodging options for any kind of traveler. From cheap hostels to high-end resorts, Baler has it all. Sabang beach is where most of the resorts are found and is an ideal basecamp because of its beachfront location. You’ll also find surfing camps in Sabang where there are surfing lessons available as well as board rentals. Here are some top-rated hotels and resorts in Sabang as rated by Agoda users (as of January 2019).
- Costa Pacifica Resort. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Playa Azul Baler. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Blue Coco Baler Beach House. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Nalu Surf Camp. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY