Sunday, December 27, 2009

Aurora: Surfing, kayaking, rappelling, mountain biking and more Aurora adventure activities

Rappelling down Digisit FallsAurora is poised to become a major adventure destination in the coming months. More than just the surfing in Baler, which is already very popular, the province of Aurora has even more activities to offer.

During our first day, we went rappelling at Ermita Hill courtesy of the Aurora Tourism Office. What's good about the rappelling activity is that you can contact them for whole-day or half-day rappelling set-ups anywhere in Baler and its environs. In fact, the Ermita Hill rope down turned out to be a preview of an even more exciting descent.

Before going back to Manila, we rappelled down Digisit Falls which is also in Baler. That was quite an adventure. In fact, it was more of a challenge climbing up than rappelling down. Again, I regret not bringing my trekking sandals since my shoes ended up dripping wet! But it was fun!

Kayaking in BalerAnother activity you might want to try in Aurora is kayaking. The river system is clean and the views picturesque which makes the ride all the more pleasant. The Aurora Adventure Center not only has kayaks for rent. You can opt for an adrenaline rush by jetskiing.

Take note that their core offering is scuba diving. Maybe it's the first time you've heard of diving in Aurora. But the Philippines' Pacific side, particularly Aurora, is fast becoming a popular dive destination, especially during the southwest monsoon.

Trekking to Ditumabo FallsAnd since it's located in the heart of the magnificent yet fragile Sierra Madre Mountains, the hiking and trekking possibilities are endless. We got to visit Ditumabo Falls which is an easy trek from the National Highway. But for those who want to take it to the next level, the lush forests of the Sierra Madre provide a refreshing backdrop to more challenging mountain trails.

In fact, the forest cover of Aurora is still at 78 percent (and I hope it remains that way) with a high concentration of plants and wildlife, and a lot of endemic species. So aside from hiking, nature lovers could go birdwatching or deer or wild boar tracking.

Surfing lessons in BalerOf course, when in Baler, make sure to take surfing lessons. Said to be the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines, Baler is a great place to learn surfing. You can easily arrange surfing lessons with your hotel or with the help of the tourism office.

But for the pros, Baler can offer more than just beginner waves. Which is why it's a popular destination even for foreign surfers.

Off-road driving is also becoming very popular. Traverse Aurora's rugged terrain and it's many off road trails which include Dibut, Dibutunan, Dicadi, Dikildit and Diteki. There's also mountain biking, caving and spelunking, rock climbing and orienteering. You can also go whale shark watching (it's closer to Metro Manila than Donsol, Sorsogon) or interacting with the sea cows. Also in the pipeline are white water tubing and a zip line. Indeed, Aurora is the next province to keep an eye on! One destination... endless adventure!

Aurora Tourism Office

Aurora Adventure Center

Part 1: Road trip to Baler and Ditumabo Falls in San Luis, Aurora

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