Are you planning a trip to Port Barton? This comprehensive guide will give an insight into everything. If you’re looking for an unspoiled, slightly undeveloped paradise, there’s only one place.
The tranquility and relaxed atmosphere are one of the biggest attractions in Port Barton. The small fishing village in Palawan was once an unknown destination, but it has changed in recent years.
The influx of tourists in Port Barton has grown. But it remains beautiful and feels much more relaxed. Also, it is now easy to travel than before the fractured road is all asphalt.
How to get to port barton by air
Due to its remote location, the easiest way is to fly to Puerto Princesa. There’s a small airport in San Vicente, but the prices of flights are high.
You can fly from any airport in the Philippines to Puerto Princesa, and if you’re lucky, you can get a ticket for 600 pesos. Subscribe to Cebu Pacific and Air Asia, and you’ll be the first to know if they have promo fares.
There’s no need to book through an agency. You can save by booking straight from the airline’s website. Read on how to find the cheapest flights and how I do it.
Be Aware of Packages!
Don’t book a package! Did you see a package deal for Palawan at a low price? For that reason, they’ll send you to budget resorts with no comforts. The best is to book the flight and hotel separately.
We flew to Puerto Princesa (PPS) with a direct flight from Cebu. Be conscious; some of the itineraries include a stopover in Manila. To clarify, Port Barton is still three hours away from Puerto Princesa. If you want to get there before dark, it’s sensible to take an early flight.
Transfer to Port Barton from Puerto Princesa
There were two choices; the regular buses and the minibus. And each isn’t expensive – it is just a time difference. The regular bus costs 7 euros and takes 4 hours to Port Barton, but you must get to the San Jose bus terminal in Puerto Princesa.
The vans (minibus) were the most direct and cost only 8 – 9 euros (500 pesos). It takes just three hours to Port Barton.
But to remind you, the van has 15 seats and a capacity of 22 passengers altogether crammed in the vehicle. So it is a little uncomfortable trip for more than 3 hours.
The other option is to hire a van, which costs around 3500 – 4000 pesos. And if more people can share the costs.
You can pre-book the ticket online and clarify where you want to be picked up during the booking. For ticket reservations, I used 12Go.
Arriving in Port Barton
You’ll be dropped off at the terminal if you come with a minivan. In the same place, your driver will tell you to register and pay a one-off environmental fee of 50 pesos.
A lady is sitting at a table collecting the environmental payment. You get a receipt that you must keep as it may be needed if you are going on island hopping.
However, there are tricycles (tuk-tuks) outside the terminal if you have heavy luggage. Port Barton is a tiny town where you can walk to everything. However, for the first-time visitor is a little bit of searching, but it doesn’t take long to find your way around.
It was my first time here too, so we took a tuk-tuk, and our hotel was just a hundred meters away. We were lazy to look at our GPS. And besides, it was only 20 pesos per person.
why choose Port Barton?
I want to escape the crowds, and Port Barton is less touristy than El Nido and Coron.
When planning a trip to Southeast Asia, I planned to spend the last days on the beach. So I save four days to relax after traveling for three weeks.
We visited five countries in three weeks, isn’t that amazing? Blame me on these because I wanted to see many places on one trip.
It sounds all good, but five countries in three weeks? It was factually exhausting. We started this trip in Qatar, India, Brunei, Kuala Lumpur, and the Philippines. The exhaustion was worse than I thought, especially the flights. So, in the final part, I looked forward to the last day to relax.
And Palawan is my favorite in the Philippines. Don’t send me to Boracay because I’ve been there and dislike the place. Thus, without further ado, I want a beach. Whereas for El Nido and Coron, you need to take a boat. While in Port Barton, you’re right away into the sands.
how many days you need in Port barton
For a reason, Port Barton is a perfect place for relaxing where you can enjoy the beach and food. Some people could linger around for one week, enviable! And while we only have four days, I could stay longer.
This place makes every visitor stay forever or return. Everyone is so kind, and nobody cares as long you have fun. It reminds me of Caye Caulker Belize. The atmosphere and motto in life (go slow).
So, there’s no limitation on how long you stay. I met some locals from Manila who came for a night only to experience the atmosphere in town; they will return.
In general, the outward journey takes three hours; by the time you get there, nothing much you can do. So the minimum stay would be two nights to enjoy a bit in Port Barton.
Getting around in town
Walking is the best you can do. The center is pretty small – you’ve seen it in less than 30 minutes. There’s tuk-tuk in town, and cost 25 pesos per ride.
Hiring a scooter is another option. I’ve seen tourists rolling around with scooters, but I think not necessary! Why pay 500 pesos a day for a scooter? Take a tuk-tuk if you plan to go out of town. It’s cheaper.
ATM machine and credit cards
Firstly, there is no bank in Port Barton. Therefore sensible to take enough cash before going into town. When writing this blog, there’s one ATM available in Port Barton.
The ATM is located on the corner between Rizal and Lona’s street at Petron station. The maximum amount for withdrawal with visa or master cards at ATM in the Philippines is 10.000 pesos per day and additional local fees of 250 pesos.
On the other hand, some hotels and restaurants accept credit cards as payment, but the smaller establishment only takes cash.
24-hours electricity and the internet
Since 2019 the electricity has been available 24 hours in Port Barton. But, not 100%, yet we still experience some short brownouts during the day. At night is the best time to charge the gadgets with no interruption of brownouts.
The free wifi that some hotels offer is unstable – they’re available in the common area, but don’t rely on it.
The connection is pretty slow and only works during specific hours. Therefore, purchasing a local sim card with a continuous internet connection is efficient. The two best networks in the Philippines are Globe and Smart.
From my previous visitation to the Philippines, I used Smart Sim Card and never had any issues. It works pretty well, especially in Palawan. So this time, I purchased a sim card from Globe; it’s the most sluggish network I’ve ever had.
I would never use that network again! I paid 599 pesos for the prepaid card with 4 GB of internet, plus unlimited text and call. That said, don’t use Globe in Palawan. Instead, go for a Smart network.
In general, Port Barton is slightly cheaper than El Nido and Coron. Nevertheless, the island hopping price is the same. The cost of food in Port Barton differs in location. Restaurants on the beachside are expensive; by all means, it is like you’re paying for the view.
But for less expensive food on the beach, Ausan resort has pretty good low prices on food. For 200 pesos, you can get a good meal, plus you have the Seaview.
Though sometimes worth looking around. There’s one restaurant on the beach called Beach Barn; they sometimes offer a dinner buffet for 350 pesos, which is worth it. But I do not recommend going there on regular nights because they’re pricey, and the serving was small.
I understand that some budget travelers want to know the cost of Port Barton. The logistics, if you are really on a tight budget – 40-50 euros per day, you’ll get through with it. And that includes lodging, island hopping, food, and drinks. If you’re not picky, the guesthouses or tents are pretty cheap to stay in.
What to do
Port Barton is also a place to do nothing at all. Naturally, there’s enough you can do in Port Barton. If you don’t know what to do, go to the white beach. It’s a splendid place to spend one day away from a busy Itaytay beach.
You can get there by tuk-tuk, boat, or walking. There’s an individual fee of 50 pesos for non-guests, and you can use the facilities in the area, such as hammocks, swings, and the beach.
How about kayaking or diving? It’s one of the best things to do in Port Barton. However, not my kind of stuff – these are some exceptions you can make if you get bored.
The kayak is available for 500 pesos a day. Diving is it Palawan is known for it? There are two diving schools in Port Barton – if you walk down to the beach, you will find Easy dive and Aquaholics. It is not the cheapest thing to do as the average day trip for diving costs 4000 pesos.
Island Hopping and snorkeling
Go on an island hopping to discover the most beautiful beaches in the archipelago. The tour prices cost 1200 pesos, including environmental fees. It’s a combination tour of A, B, C, and D – including snorkeling and a buffet lunch.
Port Barton is a place to marvel at the underwater world where you find the most untouched corals in the Philippines.
Another option goes on a private tour – it costs 5000 pesos. So if you can compile a group and share the cost, you were able to visit the islands, which are not included on a regular tour.
You can point out where you want to go and request to bring you to uninhabited islands. You don’t have to worry about food; these are included in the rental and the snorkel gear.
Port Barton Beaches: Itaytay or white beach
It was confusing at first. When looking for hotels, I didn’t know precisely where the beach was, as they seemed all in the same place. So looking at the map of Port Barton clarifies where I have to stay.
Itaytay is the main Beach of Port Barton. It’s a long shoreline where you find most of the establishments. It is also the primary point for island hopping.
Don’t get entangled with White Beach – this is a secluded area far from everything. It is, in fact, the best area for relaxation, but nothing around except you’re bound to get everything in the hotel, and it’s an expensive place. We pay more for the food and drinks than in Itaytay.
The comparison with El Nido and Coron
I may sound absurd, but based on my experience, I have to say what I think about these three places in Palawan. I find Port Barton is one of the best places, and I will return someday.
Port Barton: a small town where the jungle runs out to the sea. An excellent place to relax, and you’re right on the beach.
Coron: is located in northern Palawan, and flights are expensive. There is no beach in town, and it takes 20 minutes with a boat from Coron town to see the beaches.
However, Coron has stunning islands to see during the island hopping. One of the best diving sites in Palawan because of its Japanese shipwrecks from the Second World.
El Nido: No wonder many travelers are avoiding this place – one of the most popular destinations in Palawan. The number of tourists is increasing yearly—El Nido consists of dozens of small islands with beaches of the Bacuit Archipelago.
Where to stay in Port Barton
Although Port Barton is a tiny town, there’s no lack of accommodation. Prices differ in location – a beachfront room costs more or less than 50 euros. Whereas, on the backside of the shore, you can find guesthouses as low as 11 euro.
So whatever place you are staying in, the beach is just a short walk away.
We were staying at Ausan Beach Front Cottages booked through booking.com.
One of the most renowned places in town because of its location on the beach.
If you intend to stay here, you must grab a room far in advance as it sells out quickly. I made my reservation nine months beforehand to get a hold of the room with an ocean view.
It’s a bit pricey. I grabbed their most expensive room facing the ocean, which was awesome. Also, they have bungalows/cottages for an affordable price but don’t have a sea view.