Baler has had its fair share of exposure in popular media and the silver screen. But did you know that aside from its history and its pretty sights, there are also lots of good water sport opportunities here? Here’s a list for the water-lovers among you:
Surfing. Baler is one of the topmost surfing destinations in the country, and even among the world. Tourists from various nations flock towards this haven, which is famous for waves that are almost three meters tall! I thought it was pretty scary when I first saw it in person, but it did carry a raw beauty. From September to February, you can see both beginner and professional surfers hand-paddling their way to the great blue beyond, only to return in a rush of foam and water.
There are various surfing areas in the municipality. Sabang Beach is great for beginners, while Cemento Beach offers a challenge even for the pros. Charlie’s Point, made famous in the movie Apocalypse Now, offer mid-level waves. A relatively new spot can be found in Lindy’s Point, which offers tall and sharp waves.
Surfing rates differ depending on the beach and services, but board rentals average PHP 200 an hour (+ PHP 150 for a personal instructor). I tried mine with Nalu Surf Resort .
Snorkeling. This watersport may play second fiddle to surfing in Baler. However, snorkeling is now promoted as an alternative for those less daring. In particular, it is promoted by the many beautiful Baler beaches whose waves are too calm to support surfing. Personally, I think snorkeling is quite an adventure in itself.
One such beach is Digisit. Whereas Sabang and the other beaches exude an air of watery adventure, Digisit Beach exudes an air of calmness and relaxation. This makes it ideal for those wanting to casually explore the underwater beauty. There’s also the Anlao and Lukso Lukso Islets, for those who want to partner snorkeling with a day trip — something we’d definitely do if given the chance!
If you bring your own snorkel gear, all you have to pay will be the entrance fee for whatever location you choose to swim in. If you wish to rent the gear, prices will vary per place.
Boating. There are many places where you can go boating in Baler, but by far the most fun I’ve had is with Buoyancy Water Sports, located in Brgy. Zabali. I had my experience with them when I joined Lakbay Norte 2019. We found nothing more idyllic than cruising our way through the azure waters of Baler! It’s a good way to relax, just like snorkeling.
We rode a boat and headed to Dicasalarin Cove. The cruise of the whole island provided pretty sights. However, the ride can get wobbly once the waves get big so you’ll have to prepare in case you or your friends get motion sickness. Once we got to a secret beach called Dicasalarin Cove, thoughts of motion sickness was almost forgotten. The blueness of the water complements the sky, perfectly sandwiching the white of the land and the green of the hills.
If you are a group of 7 to 15 people, the boat cruises will set you back PHP 850 per person. This rate already includes WiFi while onboard, as well as snacks, bottled water and snorkeling equipment. This activity varies in price depending on the type of boat.
UFO Couch. It sounds more like an air activity than water, but it’s really fun! A UFO Couch is a round boat-like vehicle that can seat 6 to 7 people. The couch is then pulled across the water via a motorized boat. The couch’s shape made it feel like we were hovering above the water as we skimmed the surface! This activity is at PHP 300 per person.
Banana Boat. This one’s pretty common across many beaches in the country, but it doesn’t make it less fun — especially when you have the beautiful landscape of Baler around you. We had a grand time trying not to fall off as our precariously-balanced banana boat sliced across the water! This is at PHP 250 per person.
Flying Fish. Buoyancy’s Flying Fish is pretty much like a more extreme version of the UFO Couch. Instead of skimming along the water, our vehicle jumped and soared just like its namesake. There were 5 of us, for 15 minutes of screaming fun! It’s a bit more pricey at PHP 550 per person, but it’s well worth it.
Baler has everything — beautiful land, a lovely breeze, and sparkling water. Take advantage of them all (especially the last one) when you find your way to the North!
RELATED: Where to Stay in Baler: Nalu Surf Camp
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