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Dingalan, Aurora – Journey Up


After nearly two years of being caught at dwelling and driving solely to close by areas due to the pandemic, we determined to go on a motorbike street journey proper earlier than Christmas final December 2021. Social gatherings have been nonetheless restricted, checkpoints in some areas have been nonetheless strict, and borders to pick locations have been simply easing up. On the time, Dingalan in Aurora was one of many few locations accepting vacationers from different provinces and Metro Manila with out numerous necessities.

Whereas we beforehand rode to Dingalan in 2019 and stayed in a single day earlier than heading to Baler, on our second journey we took it simple and stayed two nights to discover lesser-visited spots. In comparison with Baler, Dingalan continues to be a bit off the vacationer radar. In case you’re planning to trip to Dingalan for the primary time (whether or not by motorbike, automotive, or bicycles), listed here are some suggestions that will help you out.

Dingalan is a coastal city surrounded by mountains positioned about 183 kilometers north-east of Manila. It’s bounded on the north by San Luis, on the west by Gabaldon and Basic Tinio in Nueva Ecija and Donia Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan, and on the south by Basic Nakar in Quezon. Dingalan instantly faces the Dingalan Bay and Philippine Sea on the east.

There’s presently just one cemented street passing Nueva Ecija to get to this city. From the primary city correct of Paltic, branching alleys result in different barangays within the south, together with Aplaya, Butas na Bato, Matawe, Ibona, Dikapanikian and Umiray. Vacationers with restricted time normally go to right here on day journeys or joiner’s excursions with non-public vans to go to the primary points of interest.

Dingalan is an easy and laid-back coastal city you can attain inside a 4-5 hour drive from Metro Manila. It’s a very good vacation spot for many who stay within the north of the metro within the temper for a protracted trip and get away from the town for the weekend as a substitute for Actual and Infanta in Quezon.

The mountain roads and surroundings alongside the best way are a pleasure for motorbike riders and street trippers to trip by means of. For cyclists, the rolling terrain, zigzagging roads and uphill ascents going to the city present difficult terrain to check your mettle. Whereas the primary half of the trip is flat, it will get extra enjoyable when you flip proper to Palayan from Cabanatuan.

By non-public transport

Like our earlier street journeys, we simply adopted the route prompt by GoogleMaps. For this journey, we deliberate to remain in Gina’s Visitor Home, in order that was our waypoint. It’s roughly 182 kilometers from Quezon Metropolis. Relying on the visitors situations, your route, pace, and variety of stops, getting right here will take roughly about 3.5 to five hours by non-public car. For cyclists, it may take about 12 hours (or extra) of saddle time.

Driving to Dingalan is fairly simple simply following the Pan-Philippine Hwy/AH26. If you happen to’re driving a small displacement bike that may’t cross tollways, anticipate some visitors within the service roads and main cities alongside the freeway to Cabanatuan, significantly the intersections.

The trip will get higher when you flip proper to Palayan Metropolis or on the bypass street in Santa Rosa to Fort Magsayasay (higher route). You’ll take one other proper going to Gabaldon and onwards to Dingalan.

The final stretch of the route will take you thru lovely mountain views, bridges, and riverside areas in Nueva Ecija. We made a few stops at viewpoints and bridges earlier than heading all the way down to the Dingalan city correct and our chosen inn.

By public transport

It’s additionally doable to get to Dingalan by public transport. Bikers who wish to skip the extra congested areas can board their bicycles on the bus and begin biking in Nueva Ecija or Dingalan itself.

  • Experience a bus from Metro Manila to Cabanatuan Metropolis, Nueva Ecija. Buses like 5 Star Bus and Baliwag Transit depart from Cubao and Caloocan. Journey time on the bus roughly 2-3 hours relying on the visitors.
  • On the Cabanatuan Central Terminal, switch to a van going to Dingalan (1.5 to 2 hours) or board a bus headed for Umiray and get down at Dingalan.
  • As soon as in Dingalan, switch to a tricycle to get to your chosen inn or pension home.
  • UPDATE: Efficient March 2023, a brand new bus route from Baliwag Transit goes instantly from Cubao to Dingalan through Cabanatuan with out the necessity to switch.
  • 🗓️ 4:20 AM Dingalan to Caloocan
  • 🗓️ 3:30 PM Caloocan to Dingalan
  • 🗓️ 4:00 AM Cubao to Dingalan
  • 🗓️ 3:00 PM Dingalan to Cubao

Dingalan is a vacation spot for nature lovers and adventurers. If you happen to’re on the lookout for luxurious lodges, a number of eating places, and nightlife, this isn’t the place to go. However it’s a excellent place to go for a digital detox and revel in easy joys like nature views, coastal roads, the seashore, and nice seafood that you just don’t get in busy cities.

Take a hike to the mountain view deck

Wish to stretch your legs after a protracted trip? Among the finest views in Dingalan can solely reached by foot. You possibly can trip a ship from the Feeder Port to the White Seaside or simply stroll to the seashore from city and hike as much as attain the well-known mountain viewpoint. The view of the mountains and the rugged coast right here has drawn comparisons to Batanes. The trek takes about half-hour to an hour relying in your tempo. 

Cross the Umiray Bridge

The 2 cities of Dingalan in Aurora and Umiray in Basic Nakar, Quezon are linked by Umiray Bridge, a 358 meter-long bridge that goes over the Umiray River which separates the cities.

The situation itself makes it a focal point for a joyride and good vantage level to look at the dawn.

Take a dip at Umiray River

Umiray River is a tributary of the Pacific Ocean. From the bridge, we appeared for a spot to drive all the way down to the riverside. You possibly can wade, take a dip, or take pleasure in easy picnics right here. Simply deliver your individual snacks and take your trash again with you, as there’s not numerous locations to purchase meals close to the river.

Benefit from the waves at Matawe Seaside

The seashores going through Dingalan Bay have grey sand and the waves could be sturdy in the course of the amihan season and if there are typhoons. To be protected, keep near the shore as there aren’t any lifeguards at this seashore.

Some areas like Matawe Seaside have rock formations whereas different seashore areas supply cottages you may lease. Simply drive round and you could find spots to chill out alongside the seashore.

Climb up Zen Tierras view deck

Zen Tierras Farm, one of many mountain farm resorts in Dingalan, has a nature path to a view deck the place you will get a fantastic view of the coast surrounded by all of the bushes. If you happen to’re eating at their restaurant, you may take a stroll as much as this scenic relaxation cease earlier than or after your meal.

Feast on finances seafood meals

Among the finest issues to do in Dingalan is to feast on budget-friendly seafood. There are easy eateries on the market like Arlyn’s Seafood Paluto the place you should buy recent seafood from fish stalls and have them cooked on the spot.

Market distributors right here promote recent lobsters, crabs, salmon, squid, shrimps, fish, and shellfish at a fraction of the price of seafood eating places within the metropolis. Pair your meals with greens like like pako (native fern) and beer or delicate drinks for a fantastic meal.

Most inns and resorts concentrate on seafood.

In case you have extra time, you would additionally go to different factors of curiosity in Dingalan resembling:

  • Dingalan Lighthouse
  • White Seaside 
  • Lamao Caves
  • Tanawan Falls
  • Intertidal Zone
  • Tabi Falls
  • Makibato Falls

Gina’s Guesthouse

Ginas Guesthouse is a lodging home close to the city correct of Dingalan that gives a fantastic view of the coast. Rooms are clear and trendy. They’ve an in-house grill and restaurant with an overlooking view of the ocean.

In addition they have a swimming pool and in-house restaurant. We arrived on a Thursday and have been the one visitors checked in, so it felt very peaceable and we obtained to benefit from the place to ourselves.

Households and teams began arriving on Friday night and Saturday morning (as we have been leaving).

Room charges begin at P2,500/evening for poolside views and P3,500/evening for ocean views & household suites. Ebook rooms at Gina’s Guesthouse instantly from their FB web page.

Zen Tierras Farm by Cocotel

Zen Tierras Farm by Cocotel is a peaceable retreat hidden within the middle of the mountains. The farm provides an expertise that highlights the great thing about nature, the calm of the mountains, and the significance of sustainable residing.

The farm has easy rooms, pure swimming pools, a mountaineering path to a viewing deck, and a restaurant that serves good and fantastically introduced meals. I beloved their binakol, fried garlic shrimps, and recent buko juice that used straws produced from leaves.

Whereas the place is a bit distant and includes a tough (however brief) trip to get to the parking space from the primary street, it’s the form of place that international vacationers and nature lovers will wish to seek out for a meal and hike or keep in a single day to get away from all of it. It’s very peaceable right here and ensures you might be away from the karaoke crowd if you happen to occur to go on a weekend.

Room charges begin at P1,450/evening on Agoda. Ebook rooms at Zen Tierras by Cocotel right here.

Cave Seaside Resort

Cave Seaside Resort close to the port in Brgy. Aplaya can also be a very good choice due to its central location and facilities. Air-conditioned rooms are clear and respectable, with cold and hot showers, TVs and free WiFi.

With 10 rooms, this place provides a pleasant, non-public and quiet getaway for {couples}, solo riders, households or small teams. Every room has a storage space for parking. Cave Seaside Resort has a backyard, swimming pool, picnic huts going through the seashore, and some desk video games like a Foosball desk and billiards for checked-in visitors.

For worldwide vacationers touring by public transport who wish to trip as soon as they get there, the resort additionally has a few bikes obtainable for lease. The resort can prepare excursions if tour guides can be found. Room charges begin at P3,200/evening on Agoda. Ebook rooms at Cave Seaside resort right here.

This journey kicked was our first lengthy motorbike trip in the course of the pandemic period. I forgot to maintain observe of the full variety of kilometers traveled and gasoline consumed, however the Umiray Bridge is about 201 kilometers from Quezon Metropolis, so the entire trip was over 400 kilometers backwards and forwards.

After waking as much as the view of the ocean and mountains and driving round traffic-free roads, I dreaded going again to the town. We left mid-morning and have been making good time.

The climate had been honest, cloudy, and windy for many if our trip going there and again, however as luck would have it, there was a heavy downpour as soon as we reached Caloocan. Kung kelan malapit na makauwi.

I miss lengthy motorbike rides like this. We’ve been doing much more biking because the pandemic hit, however hopefully this 12 months, I can get again into driving to new locations, even when it’s simply easy breakfast or espresso rides. There are nonetheless so many locations I’d like to discover on two wheels. Any options for our subsequent motorbike vacation spot this 12 months?



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