The first time I visited Baler, I knew I’d be back to surf. Never did I imagine that I’d return for so much more. That’s the thing with Baler, much of its reputation is hinged on surfing. Non-surfers are quick to dismiss it because they are unable to justify the 5-6 hour trip from Manila. But after seeing Dicasalarin Cove, I knew this place would at the very least convince my friends to reconsider Baler.
Dicasalarin Cove is just 30 min. away from Sabang beach and it goes right to the top of my must-visit places in Baler. Getting there by car is easy – secure a gate pass from Costa Pacifica, they then hand you a map and you’re good to go. Make sure your driver is confident enough to tackle the steep narrow road.
Commuting to the cove is possible too but requires an extra step. Upon securing your gate pass from Costa Pacifica’s front desk, head outside where you’ll see a tricycle lane just a few steps from the hotel. If they haven’t offered to tour you yet, tell them you’re heading to Dicasalarin and negotiate the total cost of your trip. The cost will vary depending on your group size, possible side trips, and total duration of your tour. Make sure to ask them if they know a habal-habal that can take you up because the road is too steep for a tricycle.
The cove is open from 8am to 5pm so you have ample time to witness the sunrise at Sabang beach, get a gate pass and arrive at Dicasalarin the moment it opens. Remember that you’re paying Php 300 entrance fee so make the most out of it.
The ride to the cove is spectacular as it gives you a unique sight of the ocean with hints of white sand tucked in between cliffs.
Upon arriving, head straight to the light house so the hike up won’t be too hot. This is your money shot, take as many photos as you want because the view won’t get any better than this. You can also climb the lighthouse if you prefer, I only made it a few steps up and that was more than enough for me.
If it’s low tide, head to the small cave just below the light house. The path to the cave is rocky so watch your step. There’s enough water for you to enjoy a natural jacuzzi where you can swim and relax, away from the heat of the sun.
For lunch, you can eat at the only restaurant at the cove. Their menu was very limited and there were less than 10 items available during our visit. If the baler longanisa pizza happens to be one of them, make sure to try it! The serving is is good for 2-3 persons. You can also bring packed lunch and eat by the beach. They have outdoor tables and chairs that you can use. If you’re really feeling the beach vibe, why not have a picnic, lay on the sand and eat your heart away.
You can stay at the cove for the rest of the day or head out to visit other tourist spots. If you’re a beach person, I suggest staying the whole day since this is the best beach around the area.
How to get to Dicasalarin Cove from Manila
- From Cubao, ride Genesis bus to Baler (check schedule online)
- Joybus (4-5 hrs, no stops) Php 730
- Regular bus (6-7 hrs) Php 500+
- Tricycle to Costa Pacifica P20/person
- Secure a gate pass from Costa Pacifica’s front desk
- Hire a tricycle to Dicasalarin (these rates do not include any possible side trips)
- Php 500 half day
- Php 800 whole day
- Transfer to a habal-habal going up
- Php 300 per habal habal roundtrip
- Pay entrance and parking fee
- Php 300/person
- Php 150/person *if checked in Costa Pacifica*
- Php 50 parking fee
- Waze to Costa Pacifica Hotel
- Secure a gate pass from Costa Pacifica’s front desk
- A map to the cove is provided
- Pay the entrance fee and the parking fee
- 5-5:30 am – Watch the sunrise at Sabang beach
- 6-7:00 am – Breakfast
- 7:00 am – Costa Pacifica Front Desk for gate pass then head to Dicasalarin
- 8:00 am – ETA Dicasalarin Cove
- 8-12:00 nn – Explore the cove
- 12:00 nn – Lunch
- 1:00 pm – ETD Dicasalarin
- 1:30 pm – Drop by Diguisit Rock Formation for photo ops (Php 20 entrance fee)
- 2-2:30 pm – ETA Sabang
*Note: this goes beyond the half day tour so you will have to pay the tricycle driver more. You can spend less time at the cove if your budget is tight*
- Entrance fee at Dicasalarin Cove – Php 300 per person
- Parking Fee at Dicasalarin – Php 50
- Roundtrip Habal Habal ride – Php 300 per motorbike
- Diguisit Beach Entrance fee – Php 20 per person
- Longanisa Pizza and 1.5L Coke – Php 390
- Tricycle Tour – roughly between Php 500-800 (depending on the duration of your trip and other possible side trips you may have to pay more)
Other Spots to visit in Baler
You can visit other tourist spots to make the most of your day. You will have to tell your tricycle driver ahead of time so he can plan your route as some spots are far from each other. You may not be able to visit all the places in just half a day so you may want to save some for the following day or just pick the ones that interest you. Make sure to finalize the cost with your driver before the start of your tour. Some of these places also require an entrance fee so keep that in mind if you’re working with a strict budget.
- Mother Falls
- Balete Tree
- Ermita Hill
- Aurora House
- Baler Church
- Hanging Bridge
- Diguisit falls
- Aniao Islet
Tricycle Driver Contact Info
- If you need a tricycle driver, contact Jaime (0946)6971438. He was our tricycle driver and he has been very accommodating and patient. He’s also the one who drove the motorbike up the cove and even toured us around. He takes good photos too!
- Get your gate pass the same day you will be heading to Dicasalarin. They don’t issue advance passes.
- Dicasalarin is open from 8am – 5pm.
- The road is too steep for tricycles. You need to hire a habal-habal to take you up.
- Make sure your driver is confident enough to tackle a steep narrow road.
- Big groups can lessen expenses by hiring a van so you won’t have to pay for both the tricycle and the habal habal ride (less scarier too). Costa Pacifica charges 3,000. I’m sure there are cheaper options around Baler.
- Talk to a tricycle driver a day before your trip to Dicasalarin so you can ask him to pick you up early in the morning near costa pacifica (you’ll need to secure a gate pass prior to your trip). Finalize all expenses with the driver including the tour price and habal habal ride price.
- Start your trip early, we left at 7am and we were there as soon as it opened.
- Go early and visit the lighthouse first so the climb up won’t be too hot.
- Bring change of clothes if you’re planning to swim, shower areas are available.
- If the restaurant is open, try their Baler longanisa pizza.
- If you’re planning to stay longer, bring food and water.
- Stop by Diguisit Beach and Rock formation for photo ops on your way back. Entrance fee is just 20 pesos. They also have tables and cottages available for rent.
- Hike to the lighthouse (360 degree view of the cove)
- If it’s low tide, visit the small cave just below the lighthouse