AuroraTravel

Dingalan Travel Guide: What to do and What to expect in Dingalan, Aurora

After I graduated college, It’s been my yearly tradition to treat myself with a travel trip during my birthday. I always think that a gift of a travel experience is more worth it than buying myself a material gift or treating myself on a fancy restaurant.

So for this year’s celebration of my another year of existence, I decided to explore the hidden beauty of Dingalan, Aurora!

Dingalan, Aurora:

Dingalan is one of the most scenic place I’ve ever been in the Philippines. It is often tagged as the “Batanes of the East” because of its views and hill-like scenery that resembles those found in more famous location, Batanes. But this silent town of Aurora has its own beauty waiting to be discovered.

It is a perfect place to fill in your adventurous heart. From trekking the high mountains, to discovering the hidden caves, to chasing waterfalls or to simply swimming on its blue waters and playing with its waves, I can say that this is worth the visit.

Located on the southernmost part of the Aurora Province, facing the Philippine Sea on the east, has a montainous landscapes because of the Sierra Madre Mountains and has big waves flashing on the scenic cliffside where the green grass meets the blue waters. What a must view to catch!

Going to Dingalan:

From Manila:

There are bus terminals that offers a ride to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija from Cubao, Pasay or Caloocan. Fare is P185 and ride may took 2 hours.

Upon arriving in Cabanatuan City Transport Terminal, catch a van going to Dingalan, Aurora. Vans are parked near 7/11 and fare is P120. It may take another 2 hour ride.

Getting Around Dingalan:

To go places in Dingalan, you can ride a tricycle and fare may be around P20 depending where you are heading to. There’s a lot of tourist attractions to visit but for this trip we only decided to go on its iconic spots, the Dingalan View Deck and Dingalan Lighthouse. As much as we wanted to go on other tourist spots, we are already tired from our Baler trip prior going to Dingalan.

Start of our journey:

Upon arriving on Dingalan Transport Terminal, we ride a tricycle going to the Feeder Port located in Brgy. Paltic (fare is P20). Feeder port is the starting point of your Dingalan Tour. From here, you need to register and pay for the Environmental Fee of P50. A tour guide is required to go on any desired Dingalan destination. No worries, it won’t be hard for you to look for a registered tour guide since they flock on the port area with their uniform and IDs. Tour guide rate is P200 per location. If you wish to eat first before starting your Dingalan activities, there are few food stalls or “karinderya” on the Feeder Port area that offers food for cheap prices.

Boats on the Feeder Port
Explore Dingalan

Going to the White Beach:

White Beach is the drop off point to Dingalan View Deck and Lighthouse. You have two choices going to the White Beach from the Feeder Port. First, you can rent a boat for P800 good for 10 persons or second, you can trek from the Feeder Port to White Beach for 30-40 minutes. On our case, we decided to take the second option.

We started our trek at 6:30am. Trekking might be easy but tricky at times. You have to walk on the sea shores with big rocks while big waves are coming your way. At times, we have to wait for the waves to calm down before crossing the big rocks and do it as fast as possible before catching the next big wave.

The tour guide will require you an additional P200 if you choose to trek instead of renting  boat. Upon arriving on White Beach, there are open cottages available where you can rest for some time before trekking the mountain.

Cottages on White Beach
White Beach

Going to Dingalan View Deck:

Trekking from the White Beach going to Dingalan View Deck may take arond 30 minutes. Most part of the way to the top is covered with trees so trekking is a bit easy but still tiring at times. The path is well guided, there are posts and ropes that you can rely on.

Upon reaching the top you will be fascinated with the beauty that you will be seeing. It’s much like looking on a masterpiece of an artist on a painted canvass. The view is really jaw-dropping that won’t stop you from staring and taking pictures.

Fascinating view from Dingalan View Deck

Going to the Lighthouse:

After you’re done with the View Deck, you have to trek down for 30 minutes. Once reached the jump off point on the White Beach area you have to climb again on the other side for another 30 minutes to reach the lighthouse. Unlike the path on the View Deck, there’s no shade or trees on your way but instead, you will be seeing tall grasses along the way.

Upon reaching the top, another beauty awaits you. It’s windy on the lighthouse area compared on the View Deck which will be a good place to relax and scream your heart out. I actually enjoyed lying on the grass and feel the fresh air coming.

Note: Climbing the lighthouse itself is prohibited

Tall grasses along the way to lighthouse
The lighthouse
A shot of Dingalan Lighthouse from the View Deck
A shot of View Deck from the lighthouse

Going back to the Feeder Port:

Once you are done with the trekking, it’s up to you if you want to stay on the White Beach for swimming or head to other Dingalan spots. On our case, since we only decided to visit the lighthouse and view deck we decided to head back to the Feeder Port.

You can trek back to the port for another 30-40 minutes but since we are a bit tired of all the trekking we’ve done we chose to rent a boat for a cheaper price of P400. (You will only pay half the boat rental fee if you will be coming from the White Beach)

Going Back to Manila:

You have to ride a tricycle from Feeder Port back to the transport terminal and ride a van going to Cabanatuan. By this time, the travel time to Cabanatuan only took 1 and a half hour. It’s much faster than our travel time from Cabanatual to Dingalan.

On Cabanatuan Terminal, we looked and ride a bus back to Cubao for P185.

Other Tourist Spots you can visit in Dingalan:

  • Tanawan Falls
  • Lamao Caves
  • Matawe Beach
  • Laktas Falls

Breakdown of Expenses (for 2 pax):

Expenses Fares/Fees
Fare from Cubao to Cabanatuan
P185
Fare from Cabanatuan to Dingalan
P120
Tricycle fare to Feeder Port
P20

Environmental Fee

P50
Tour Guide Fee (2 locations and additional fee for trekking)
P300(P600/2)

Food

P45
Tricycle fare to Dingalan Terminal
P20
Fare from Dingalan to Cabanatuan
P120
Fare from Cabanatuan to Cubao
P185

Boat Rental

P200(P400/2)
Total
P1245

Expenses will be cheaper if you will be coming on big groups