The title of this article does not aim to confuse the readers. It’s still part of this blog’s Baler Series because I have an affair with Baler since 2012. Every year I make sure to go back there because of a lot of things. Surfing was the first reason and then they just piled up like that. Every year I bring a new friend who would then later fall in love with the place – the falls, the century-old tree, the town. I even arranged a weekend trip for my foreigner boss to the area.
Back to Dinadiawan – it’s a white sand beach less than 2 hours outside of Baler, in the town of Dipaculao, still in the province of Aurora.
It can be a noteworthy, however tiring, day trip from Baler, or you could camp out there at night under the stars.
One of the main reasons it got very popular is Sand and Stars Resort for its glamping (glamorous camping) tents that appealed to instagram photographers and bloggers. However, if you’re just looking for white sand beach in Baler, head to Dicasalarin Cove instead, as it’s only about 30 minutes from Sabang.
Mary and I went there in April 2017, after my 45-day stint in India. I craved the beach and the very next weekend headed to Baler, and then to Dinadiawan.
HOW TO GET THERE:
If you have a car, it would probably take you around 5-6 hours depending on the number and length of stops you’re making. My friends who drove there said they only spent about 500 pesos for gas round trip, and they didn’t consume all that.
As for us, we always take Joybus to Baler from Cubao. You can easily book a seat online by logging on to iwantseats.com or by paying for your ticket at the terminal in Cubao just beside Genesis Bus (owner of Joybus).
The 2×1 bus is spacious and luxurious in the sense that you have a stewardess on board, blanket, free snacks and in their recent upgrades, entertainment that you can see and experience in full-service airlines, as well as charging pods. The rate is PhP 730 per passenger, plus 30 for booking online. If you opt for the less-spacious but still non-stop bus with toilet inside, there’s a cheaper version at 650.
From Baler, hire a tricycle, van, or motorcycle to take you to Dinadiawan in Dipaculao. You will pass by a beautiful beach called Ampere, but not as camper-friendly as Dinadiawan. We hired a tricycle for 1,000 pesos for the entire afternoon because I heard vans did not ply the route that much in the afternoon. And we did not want to be stranded there since we have paid 2 nights in Baler. Vans would be a better alternative if you’re heading there in the morning and heading back in the early afternoon. As for us, we left at 4pm.
We’ve only stayed a few hours in Sand and Stars but our tour guide said there are other, less crowded resorts in the area. The rates can vary but based on experience we felt that the cottage we rented at 500 for 3 hours was expensive.
As of 2017, rates were from 1500 pesos for an overnight glamping tent for 2 with breakfast; 1900 for groups of 4. If you don’t fancy the fan-only tent, rent a room for 2500 per night for a max of 4 persons.
Honestly, it’s difficult to find other resorts on the internet but a lot of locals can give their recommendations. I will update this post if I get more resort information.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Whether you’re staying for the night or just for the day, buy your food in Baler. We felt that the food in Dinadiawan was a bit more expensive and there were lesser options.
Bring an ice chest if you can, it can get ridiculously hot there, with only a few cottages. It would help if you had cold drinks that were not absurdly expensive.
Mary and I brought our banana floater so we can put our things there, and sit on it if we’d like to. We also brought our Bluetooth speaker and a power bank – I’m sure you already know that but you don’t expect to just swim the entire day, especially at noon. If you’re a big group, bring a mat, playing cards or UNO to pass the time. A guitar would also come in handy especially if you want to spend the night.
WHEN YOU’RE THERE:
Do not litter. Bring back your trash and respect the beach. The top types of trash found in the ocean are plastic straws and cutlery – use your hands, it’s the beach; plastic cups (bring your own reusable bottle) and cigarette butts (the beach is not your ashtray).
Don’t swim too far, too. A lifeguard is not guaranteed to be present at all times. I saw a lifeguard post but no one was there on that hot April afternoon.
Whether you’re there for a day trip or you’re spending the night, Dinadiawan will not disappoint. We went in April, and yet we didn’t feel that the place was crowded. So, what are you wanderers waiting for? See you there, maybe?