Baler is your choice of surfing place if you’re more of a chill vibe kind of person and want to stay away from the metro crowd.
Travel is a little longer (by an hour) and you’ll pay a little more for fare than its La Union counterpart.
But there’s less millennials strutting beach outfits or posing for selfies.
And there’s more genuinely nicer locals to prime your stay.
Baler is our choice of surfing heaven up in Luzon.
If you’re up for some adventure, we made this Baler Travel Guide especially for you!
HOW TO GET THERE
Genesis Transport Services ply the roads to Baler in 3 types of buses:
- Joy Bus (de luxe: 40 seater nonstop bus. 4 seats in a row) – spacing is like a regular bus. P635
- Joy Bus (semi- de luxe: 28 seater nonstop bus. 3 seats in a row) – more leg room and butt space. P700
Joy Bus schedule Cubao to Baler:
12:30am | 1am | 1:30 am | 2:30am | 5:30am
Joy Bus schedule Baler to Cubao:
4:30am | 12pm | 1pm | 2pm |3:30pm
- Regular bus (with stop-overs, picks up passengers along the way, trip lasts for 7-8 hours). P450
Leaves hourly 12am-7:30am (Cubao to Manila)
*Schedules change from time to time so be sure to call first before planning. I have checked the schedule several times only to see a different one yet again. Their website details are not updated, so be sure to call their office.
*It is highly advisable to reserve your ticket ahead online via PH Bus Traveler or Pinoy Travel or at the Genesis Bus Terminal (located along EDSA cor. New York St., Cubao. It is near Baliwag Transit Terminal). This is especially true during weekends or holidays.
CALL Genesis Transport Services: (02) 709 0545 | (02) 421 1425 | (02) 709 0803 | (02) 441 6834
Which bus to take?
If you have but limited time, we highly suggest splurging on a Joy Bus. Shorter travel time means longer stay in Baler.
If you get easily bored in a bus doing nothing, you are better off taking the regular bus where you can have bathroom or cigarette breaks. You also have time to eat at the stopovers, stretch your legs, talk to restaurant crews, play COC (it can get nauseating playing in a moving bus after a while). Some people prefer the breaks every once in a while especially those who can’t sleep well in it.
If you have limited time and budget, you may take the Joy Bus going to Baler and take the regular one going back to Manila. You maximize your vacation time in Baler and only partially burn your wallet for fare.
P4,000-6,500 for 4 nights, 3 days trip depending on the type of accommodation and bus you prefer. Genesis de luxe Joy bus and hotels will raise your expenses while regular buses and homestays will save you buckets.
Click the Itinerary photo below to see our Actual 4D/3N Baler Itinerary
You may download a FREE Itinerary Template here for all your future travels, with instructions on how to use it.
WHERE TO STAY
To know the answer, define you budget first.
There are homestay and lodge options for budgets at the low end, averages at P300/night.
Celebrities and society elites, on the other hand, would stay at Costa Pacifica, rate of which starts from P6500/night.
WHERE WE STAYED
Bayler View Hotel lies at the middle of the price range. Room starts at P1,600/night. We stayed at a room for 4 (P3,700 with 1 double bed, 1 single bed, and 1 extra mattress).
It was way above our usual homestay budget, but friends wanted comfort and convenience this time around.
It provided the hotel staples (toiletry kit, room slippers, bottle of water), all we think are unnecessary luxuries. Costs would definitely go down without these add-ons.
The view of the Pacific Sea definitely added to the typical hotel amenities (hot/cold shower, cable tv). The wooden clothes drying rack was a nice and practical addition, though.
BEST TIME TO GO TO BALER
We say October to February are the best months to be in Baler. The summer months of March to May may drive you crazy with ant-like crowds!
During October to May, peak season rates apply althrough out, about P200 more than the off-peak
June to September is typhoon season and considered off-peak season. You can risk going since weather in Baler is unpredictable, as local would describe themselves, for better price tags.
HOW LONG TO STAY
Stay for a minimum of 3 nights to truly relax and soak in the chill vibe.
You may do Baler over the weekend if you only plan on surfing, for sure.
For first timers, you may also finish Baler in 2 days albeit at a hurried pace.
WHAT TO WEAR
Rash guard and beach wears!
WHAT TO BRING
- Rash guard
- waterproof camera/ action camera
- beach mat/ sarong
FOOD TO TRY
- The Good Food was the best choice for when the beach front restos are too windy for comfort. Food are relatively cheap, too! They serve your meal on a wood which was quite an appealing food presentation.
- Baler’s Surfer’s Grill Restaurant has a nice vintage-rustic theme. They grill your meal where the engine used to be in a repurposed Volkswagen! Fresh juices were dispensed from a glass jar, tables and chairs were made from aged pallets of wood. Beach front.
- Hungry Surfers by Bay’s Inn has an affordable eat-all-you-can offering during dinner time. Interior styling was nice! They have the most enticing fruit shake bar that can be easily noticed.
- Bayler Inn Restaurant – we ate most of our meals in our home base resto. Food’s good. Pizza was interesting. It was a good breakfast place to start the day’s mood. Beach front.
- Gerry Shan has eat-all-you-can for cheap. It’s uptown, away from the beach area.
- Lugawan ni Aling Lota – we craved for lugaw (congee) and the locals unanimously recommended this place. Cheap and filling snacks at Baler’s town center.
OTHER THINGS TO DO
Bike in town
Fly a Kite
Do local food trip
Guitar Jamming Session
Talk with the locals
Find all the hippie culture you can
Jump shot all you can with the Baler backdrop
Atv by the beach!
Photograph all the changing colors of Baler skyline
Find all the street art you can find
Watch and drink by the full moon
Here’s a video summarizing all the fun we had over the 4D/3N trip in Baler!
(Shot and edited by LA Madridejos)
Wrote the story of our Baler trip here. Click if you want more of what happened in Baler!
If you’re feeling inspired to travel, here’s a FREE Travel Itinerary Template to get you started planning your next trip!