Going to Dingalan, Aurora DIY? Here’s a travel guide on a day tour / overnight stay in Dingalan with a trip to the lighthouse, mountain viewdeck, and beach.
For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to visit the so-called “Batanes of the East”. Since 2016, Dingalan has become a popular tourist attraction for its cliffs and hills meeting the Pacific Ocean.
However, I’ve been a bit discouraged to visit the place because of the high traffic, especially on weekends. According to our guide, there could be as many as thousands of people visiting White Beach per day, especially during holidays and long weekends. Every week, I could see multiple travel organizers setting up events in Dingalan. Actually, these tour packages are very affordable, which makes them more attractive!
Yet, I knew that I must still see the breathtaking views, which reminded me of Balacay Point in Catanduanes and Uluwatu in Bali, Indonesia. The best way to do that is either to go on weekdays or do a Dingalan Aurora DIY trip. For us, doing the latter did the trick!
Here is a Dingalan DIY travel guide to visiting the mountain view, lighthouse, caves, and waterfalls made it so popular:
Our Dingalan Aurora DIY tour
Since we wanted to avoid the crowds, Josh and I decided to do a DIY overnight trip to Dingalan, Aurora. We took the connecting bus to Cabanatuan City and then to Dingalan. We don’t always take buses, but we always enjoy our commutes in the province. I love that people heading in the same direction seem to always know each other and are very friendly.
We started our trip at around 10:30AM, taking our sweet time with the breaks, and arrived at White Beach at around 4:30PM. Beforehand, we bought our dinner of barbecued meats at the eateries near the Dingalan Feeder Port. Instead of riding the boat, we hiked to the White Beach for 30-45 minutes. The trail consists of medium-sized pebbles to full-blown cliff-side rocks until we reached White Beach (which isn’t actually white!) and set-up our tent.
After eating dinner, there isn’t much to do except stargazing, listening to the waves, and sitting at the beach underneath the moonlight. Since there are other guests staying overnight, it could be quite noisy — thankfully their playlist is actually nice and the group playing acoustics were talented. Haha!
We asked our guide to arrive at 5AM. After having coffee and setting up, we commenced the 30-minute trek to Dingalan Lighthouse. The trail is easy, and there were three dogs who followed us all the way! We were the first ones there until the sun finally rose. We descended and took the other fork on the road going to the 40-minute trek to Dingalan Moutain Viewdeck, where the ocean view is much more picturesque! At 7:30AM, we were the only ones there — our goal of a crowd-free visit to Dingalan has been achieved.
Usually, I would not have a problem availing of Dingalan tour packages since they are cheap and convenient. However, I truly enjoyed our time to disconnect from the crowd and hike as fast as our feet can go.
How to go to Dingalan from Manila
Bus Schedule. To go to Dingalan, Aurora DIY from Manila, you can choose to have a direct bus trip or two connecting trips stopping over at Cabanatuan. For the direct bus to Dingalan, Baliwag Transit offers trips from Cubao to Dingalan (and vice versa) every 3:20AM and 3PM. Alight at Dingalan Bayan right at the tricycle terminal going to Dingalan Feeder Port (PHP 20/pax).
For the connecting trip, there are hourly or every 30-minute bus trips to Cabanatuan City from Manila (PHP 181). Then, alight at Crossing where you can take a bus or coaster van going to Dingalan (PHP 80-100). Alight at Dingalan Bayan right at the tricycle terminal going to Dingalan Feeder Port (PHP 20/pax).
Motorcycle ride. It is possible to ride a motorcycle going to Dingalan, Aurora from Manila. However, to avoid the intense heat of the sun, better to do so at dawn and allot at least 6 hours for the ride, especially if you’re avoiding tollways. Though the road is on the mountain-side, there are not many high inclines or dangerous ravines. You may park your motorcycles near Dingalan Feeder Port or ask your guide for assistance.
Dingalan, Aurora Entrance Fee. Guests are required to register at the station inside Dingalan Feeder port. There is a PHP 50/pax ecological fee. To go to White Beach (the jump-off point for Dingalan Mountain Viewdeck and Dingalan Lighthouse), you may choose to ride a boat (PHP 800 per boat) or take the 30-minute hike (PHP 200 fee for the guide).
Guide Fee. Note that guides are mandatory and are paid per guide, per attraction at PHP 200 each. For example, since we trekked to White Beach (PHP 200), to the lighthouse (PHP 200), and the viewpoint (PHP 200), our total guide fee is PHP 600.
Schedule. The last trip from Dingalan Feeder Port to White Beach is at 5PM.
ATM. There are ATM machines right at Dingalan Bayan. Simply ask your tricycle driver to pass by there before heading to Dingalan Feeder Port or the bus terminal.
Nearby attractions. Other tourist spots in Dingalan, Aurora are Aurora Memorial National Park, I Love Dingalan marker, Lamao Cave, Tanawan Falls, and Matawe Rock Formations.
Sample Dingalan, Aurora day trip itinerary
|TIME||SAMPLE ITINERARY (Dingalan Aurora day tour)|
|12 AM||ETD to Dingalan, Aurora|
|5:30 AM||ETA Dingalan Feeder Port|
|5:45 AM||Boat ride or Trek to Isla Dinagat (White Beach)|
|6:30 AM||Trek to Lighthouse|
|7:15 AM||ETA Dingalan Lighthouse|
|7:30 AM||Trek to Mountain View Point|
|8:15 AM||ETA Dingalan Viewdeck|
|8:45 AM||Descent to White Beach|
|9:15 AM||Swim, Wash-up, Rest|
|11 AM||Caving, swimming near Rock Formation|
|12 PM||Boodle fight lunch|
|1 PM||Boat ride to Dingalan Port|
|1:15 PM||ETD Tanawan Falls|
|2:15 PM||ETA Tanawan Falls; hike and swim|
|4:30 PM||I love Dingalan marker photo-ops|
|5 PM||ETD Manila|
|7 PM||Dinner along the way|
|10 PM||ETA Manila|
Dingalan Accommodations and Overnight stays at White Beach
We actually did an overnight or 2D1N trip on our Dingalan Aurora DIY trip. Near Dingalan Feeder Port are multiple beach resorts, inns, and guesthouses to choose from. We chose to stay at White Beach to save time from our sunrise trek the next morning.
There are three Dingalan White Beach resorts that are said to belong to siblings. They are Pat & Vince, Lourdes & Buboy, and Neneng. They offer cottages, camping tents, and fan rooms. To have updated Dingalan accommodations contacts, send me a message on Facebook.
On our trip, we rented a tent at Lourdes & Buboy for PHP 500 since the rooms are fully booked. The tent came with an insulation mat, one pillow, and one fleece blanket. They allowed us to stay at the cottages for dinner or in case of rain, but by morning when the day tour guests arrive, we must move our tent outside.
Camping at White Beach is very basic — it can be pretty humid at first and then chilly by morning. There are other guests too, so expect some drinking, singing, or karaoke by the beach. The shower and toilet access can be challenging. Though there is always water, there are only a few toilet cubicles / changing rooms, while the shower area is at the outdoor water pump (poso) area. This could be especially challenging during daytime where there are a lot of guests who are showering at the same time.
Things to know about your Dingalan DIY Trip
- Best time to travel. Sunrise is the most ideal time to be at Dingalan, Aurora because there are fewer crowds at the lighthouse and mountain viewpoint. The crowds start to pile up at White Beach starting 8AM, so doing a Dingalan Aurora DIY trip is better done earlier. If you’re doing a DIY day trip, you may take the earliest direct bus at 3:20AM or book an overnight stay as we did.
- Total ride time. Dingalan, Aurora is 4-6 hours away from Manila when taking SCTEX. The ride depends on the number of bus stops for breaks or onboarding of more passengers.
- Mobile signals. Yes, there are mobile signals until Dingalan Feeder Port. At White Beach, the cell signals are a lot poorer. There are no WiFi services in the Dingalan accommodations.
- Where to eat. At Dingalan Bayan, there is a 7-11 convenience store to buy supplies in. Outside Dingalan Feeder Port, there are eateries and mini-groceries to buy food such as barbecue, other meats, rice, bread, coffee, and more. You may have your groceries cooked at White Beach for an extra fee. It’s best to buy food beforehand, as prices are more expensive by the time you get to White Beach. If you’re going on a day trip, you may also avail of the boodle fight lunch at PHP 150 per person.
- What to wear. There is a lot of trekking and swimming in Aurora, as such, I recommend wearing sandals and flip-flops for footwear, as well as caps and hats. You may wear OOTD-worthy light clothing such as tank tops, shorts, and even swimsuits underneath.
- Things to bring. Be sure to bring enough cash and buy all your supplies before going to White Beach. You should also bring sun protection, change of clothes, toiletries, towels, cutleries, and waterproof items. If you want to save on money, pack your own meals and bring a water bottle to be refilled at the eateries near Dingalan Port.
Dingalan has long been on my bucketlist, and I’m glad I’m able to finally see the “Batanes of the East” view that’s gotten so popular! If you have any questions, feel free to PM me on Facebook — I answer everything!