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Dicasalarin Cove
Province:  Aurora
15° 44.329N   121° 38.114E
Listed in Gallery:   Beach

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DICASALARIN COVE
Dicasalarin, Baler, Aurora

Dicasalarin Cove is a secluded white sand beach where the verdant Sierra Madre foothills meet the Pacific Ocean. Dark, thickly forested hills contrast with the striking white shoreline. There are no resorts, no facilities on this fine stretch of sand. A freshwater river, flowing from the mountains beyond, trickles out to the sea. Dicasalarin Cove?s stunning beauty and relative isolation certainly make it one of Baler?s best-kept secrets.

Though it is possible to take a short boat ride along Aurora?s rough coastal waters, hiking to Dicasalarin is the way to go. The adventure will entail passing through most of Baler?s barangays, climbing up to a hilltop weather station where the vistas are breathtaking, tramping through lush forests, scrambling across rocky shores and finally to the desolate beach where the beauty is as rough as the crashing waves of the Pacific.

How to get there:

As mentioned, one can charter a bangka from Sabang to take you to Dicasalarin Cove. The trip takes about 45 minutes, hugging the coastline of Baler. We were warned, however, that this could be a very rough ride considering the strong currents of the Pacific. Remember that Baler is a surfer?s destination, especially from October to February where the swells can reach 15 feet in height.

Hiking is a more worthwhile option. From Sabang Beach, walk or ride a tricycle southwards to the edge of the Pingit-Kinalapan River. Just ask for directions to Castillo. At the banks is a ferryboat, which locals call a badeo, which you need to take to cross the river to Castillo. It costs P2 per head and the ride takes 5 minutes. At Castillo you may wish to hike all the way to the jump-off to PAG-ASA hill or save your strength by hiring a trike for P25 per head. Ask the driver to take you to the base of the hill where the PAG-ASA station is located. You may also request him to come back for you at your designated time, also at the jump-off point.

The ride takes about 30 minutes and will pass by the sitios of Castillo, Cemento, and Digisit. The jump-off point is where the concrete road to the weather station ascends from the main road. Trikes can?t make it up this steep road so this will be where you should ask your driver to pick you up later.

40 minutes of uphill climbing along an alternating concrete-and-gravel road will lead you to the abandoned PAG-ASA weather radar station. You may wish to go to the back of the building and climb the water tower for a nice panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre mountains. Dicasalarin Cove is also already visible from this vantage point.

A few paces from the station?s gate is the downhill trail to the beach. It is unmarked so look carefully for it. The trail cuts an easy path down the slope of PAG-ASA hill, shaded from the sun by medium-sized trees. We later learned that this is an already established hunter?s trail (we even picked up a couple of snack and candy wrappers). The hike down to the beach will take about 20 or so minutes.

You will emerge from the forest into Dicasalarin Beach?s reef side. Here, black rocks and dead coral line the stretch leading to a rock wall jutting out of the mountainside. There is a trail up this wall, traversing it towards the white sand beach, but you may opt to walk by the shore. Be careful, as the path is unestablished and is dangerously sharp and rocky. Your trek will be more complicated if the tide is high. A bit of rock climbing will be necessary. Indeed, for those who crave for a little adventure, it will be a worthwhile trek.

And so you will reach the pristine white sands of Dicasalarin Cove. The waves are gentle and there is an abundance of possible campsites. You may wish to explore nearby shores or climb the hills that line the beach.

Waypoint narrative by: Jay_J 2004     follow Jay_J on Facebook