As the capital and oldest municipality of Aurora Province, Baler is the seat of government and the center for trade and industry. The most progressive town in Aurora, Baler commands the most resorts, public institutions and facilities, as well as business establishments.
The town of Baler was founded in 1609. Its original name was Kinagunasan and its first inhabitants were the Angara, Bitong, Carrasco and Lumasac families. In December 1735, a tidal wave struck and completely engulfed Kinagunasan. The wave struck the town without warning at 2 a.m., and within an hour the entire town was gone. The parish priest of Casiguran, who was then visiting Baler, managed to survive by swimming to the hill of Point Baja. Other survivors included the families of Angara and Bitong. The sudden onslaught of the wave and the fact that the nearby towns of Casiguran, Dipaculao and Dingalan were left untouched has turned the catastrophe into a folk legend of biblical proportions.
By 1737, Franciscan priests had established a barangay form of government in the area. A revolutionary government took over Baler from 1898 to 1901.
Baler is home to the Baler Catholic Church, where in 1899, Spanish resistance fighters held off an onslaught from American troops until they finally surrendered on July 2, 1899.
On November 1, 1901, the Americans established a municipal government in Baler.
Baler is known for numerous tourist attractions. In addition to the Baler Catholic Church and other historical sites , there are resorts at Sabang Beach and Cemento Beach, where surfers from all over the world compete for the annual International Aurora Surfing Cup. The coral-rich islands of Dimadimalangat, Aniao and Lukso-Lukso lie just off the coast.