Aurora is a rough and wild adventure for now. While there are still several kilometers of rough unpaved road to get to this Pacific paradise, hopefully in the next two years, the roads will be fully-paved. But if you have a 4x4 or are fine with bus rides, then it's about time you pack your bags for Aurora!
Said to be the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines, Aurora is more than just surfing as we found out during our recent trip. But as soon as we arrived in Baler, we checked in at the Bahia de Baler 2 and dozed off for the rest of the morning. After some afternoon meetings, we went rappelling at Ermita Hill (I'll tell everyone more about the rappelling in Aurora in my next post) which was quite an activity.
The next day, we visited Ditumabo Falls in the town of San Luis. The jump-off point is right by the Ditumabo Bridge. The trekking time to the falls depends on how far your 4x4 can drive. If you're taking a jeep, you trek starts at the National Highway. Some vehicles can go as far as the first stream. We were able to go beyond the first stream and parked before reaching the second. From there, it's a 30 to 45-minute walk to the falls.
Make sure you were the proper hiking shoes. Trekking sandals would be best since there are several more river crossings before you actually get the the falls. There are also several smaller falls along the way. But the mother falls, which is another name they use for Ditumabo Falls, is nothing less than magnificent!
The water was really cold and very refreshing for a swim. I'm sure you could chill a can of beer or softdrinks there. Make sure to bring back your garbage with you and keep the waterfall area clean. You could also do our environment a great service by picking up any plastic wrapper you see along the way.
We had to rush back to Baler for a lunch meeting. But we first visited the centuries-old Balete Tree in Maria Aurora, one of the oldest trees in the entire country. You can climb up the tree both inside and out. Inside, the roots have created a hollow cavern all the way to the top. In fact, you can also rappel from there.
Unspoiled nature in Aurora
More summer fun in Baler
Where to stay in Baler, Aurora
Bahia de Baler
Buton Street, Sitio Labasin
Brgy. Sabang, Baler
+63 916 7701980
+63 928 6875424
How to get to Baler, Aurora
Genesis Transport Bus is the only direct bus service to Baler from Metro Manila. Their terminal is along EDSA in Pasay City. You may call +632 5510842 or +632853-3115 for inquiries. Remember that their buses leave only in the morning. If you plan an afternoon trip you'll have to take a bus to Cabanatuan and hop on a van to Baler and vice versa. Last trip is between 4 to 6 p.m. so make sure you're at the terminal before 4 p.m.