Baler Surfing, you thought getting here was an adventure!
Where is Baler?
Baler is the capital of Aurora Province. It is located at about the mid point, on the east coast of the main island of Luzon. The town faces the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean, which gives it the surf that it is renowned for.
Aurora province has borders with the provinces of Isabela, Quirino to the north, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija to the north west and west and Bulacan and Quezon to the south west and the south.
Some say it is an adventure just getting to Baler. A large proportion of the province of Aurora is covered by the rolling Sierra Madre mountain range. The Sierra Mountain range must be passed if you are traveling by road and if you can swallow your nerves and relax you will be given a spectacular visual delight. Waterfalls, rivers, lush forests all treat the traveler with abundance.
You can catch a bus from Manila to Baler, which is probably more preferable than driving yourself as the road winds and has numerous hair-pin bends. If you are not familiar driving in these conditions, you would be better off leaving it to someone who is more familiar.
During the wet season, landslides are not uncommon. There is a push at the moment to have the road concreted, which should take some of the danger out of the trip. The journey from Manila to Baler will take you about eight (8) hours or more.
There are no commercial flights in or out of Aurora province. There are small airstrips in San Luis and Motyong, Casiguran. A chartered flight from Manila will take about 45 minutes followed by a road trip, which you will have to arrange, of about half n hour.
Getting around by sea is limited to short banca trips. There are no commercial ferry services available.
Surfing in Baler is dependant on what the weather is doing. It can have some of the best surfing in Luzon. When the might of the Pacific Ocean stirs it can dump some might big swells on to the coastline of Aurora
There is a wave just about all year in Baler, but the peak periods for consistent good quality waves is from October to February.
It would be remiss of me not to mention how the sport of surfing became popular in the small town of Baler. Part of the film Apocalypse Now was filmed in Baler at Charlie’ Point. If you remember a surf scene where US soldiers were catching some waves, you would be viewing Baler. When the film crew departed they left there surfboards behind, igniting a local passion for surfing.
Surfing in Aurora is limited by your access to the sites that are there. For perfect surf you need not look to far, but should you want to hire an banca an do some exploring, then I’m sure you will not be disappointed.
These are some of the more popular surf breaks in Baler:
If you want to see what the surfing is like at Baler Aurora, have a look here at this video.
Cemento Reef This right handed reef break is not for the beginner. It is about a 45 minute walk south of Baler, or the easy option is to catch a banca to the reef, about 10 minutes. Cemento Reef can cope well with big swell and if you are game and experienced a nice 4.5 metre barrel will greet you. You will find that Cemento is usually the spot for the annual Aurora Surfing Cup.
Charlie’s Point Charlie’s Point breaks both left and right and is a sand bottom. It is where Apocalypse Now was filmed. A nice easy walk from Baler.
Lindy’s Point Found north of Baler, Lindy’s Point was created when the mouth of Baler Bay was opened up to prevent floods during the wet season. The actual break runs left and right.
Sabang Beach The wave here is seasonal. The waves arrive during the months of October to February and are great for first time surfers. As the swell gets bigger more experienced riders can have an absolute ball. It breaks on sand and is a left and right pleasing both natural footers and goofy’s alike.
Where do I Stay?
Accommodation in Aurora is mainly limited to Baler. Most travelers set themselves up here using it as a base to explore when the surf is flat.
You can stay at:
AMCO Beach Resort Angara’s Beach House Bay’s Inn MIA (Make It Aurora) Surf & Sports Resort