Are you planning a trip to Port Barton? This comprehensive guide will give an insight into everything. If you’re looking for 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 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 there by air
Due to its remote location, the easiest way is flying to Puerto Princesa. There’s a small airport in San Vicente, but the prices of flights are high. You can wing from anywhere in the Philippines to Puerto Princesa. For the lucky ones, you can fly for 400 pesos. Subscribe to Cebu Pacific and Air Asia, and you’ll be the first one to know if they have promo fare.
No need to book through an agency, you can save by booking straight to the website of Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. Find out how to find the cheapest flights how I do it. Don’t book a package! Did you see a promotion package deal for Palawan at a low price? For that reason, they’ll send you to a budget room with no comforts. 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.
Getting to Port Barton from Puerto Princesa
Port Barton is 3 hours from Puerto Princesa. Three minivan companies have daily trips: Recaro, Lexxius, Diskubre. The ticket sale for 500 pesos available in any travel agency in Puerto Princesa or at the airport. If you’re staying in Puerto Princesa, hotel pickup included. Hence, don’t expect they come on time; Filipino time, picked up one hour later.
We went with Recaro, it was a regular minivan with a capacity of 15 seats, and 22 passengers altogether crammed in the vehicle. It was an uncomfortable trip of 3 hours with one stop on the way.
On our way back to Puerto Princesa, we took a private van from the same company Recaro for 3500 pesos. The regular price costs 4000 pesos, but that is after I negotiate.
Another option, if you’re not in a hurry and have all the time in the world. The public buses will be more comfortable and cheaper for 250 pesos per person, but that can take 4 hours trip. The bus departs at the San Jose bus terminal in Puerto Princesa.
Arriving in town
If you arrive by minivan, you’ll drop off at the terminal. In the same place, the driver will tell you to register and pay a one-off environmental fee of 50 pesos. You get a receipt that you must keep as this may be needed if you are going on island hopping. Outside the terminal, you will find tricycles (tuk-tuk). The terminal in Port Barton is a short walk to everything, but if the first time in town, I understand it is not easy to find your way around. We took a tuk-tuk, and our hotel is just a hundred meters away. We’re lazy to look at our GPS besides, only 20 pesos per person for the ride. And maybe before leaving the terminal, arrange your transport for the return trip.
Choosing Port Barton
Why did we end up in Port Barton? When planning a trip to Southeast Asia, I already planned to spend the last days on the beach. I save up four days to relax after the round trip because we’ve been continuously traveling for three weeks. We were visiting five countries, oh I’m the one to blame because I wanted to see a lot of places on one trip.
However, it sounds all good, but five countries in three weeks? It was factually exhausting. We started this trip to Doha Qatar, India, Brunei, Kuala Lumpur, and the Philippines. The exhaustion was worse than I thought, especially the flights. So, in the final part, I’m longing to be able to relax on the last day.
At the time of pinning the trip, I was thinking of going back to El Nido or Coron – Palawan is my favorite in the Philippines. Please don’t send me to Boracay because I’ve been there, and I 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 to spend
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 it seems nobody care 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 meet some locals from Manila who came for a night. Only to experience the atmosphere in town, and they will come back again. However, the outward journey takes three hours; by the time you get there, nothing much you can do. The least stay would be two nights to enjoy a bit in Port Barton.
Walking is the best you can do. The center is pretty small in less than 30 minutes I have seen it. There’s tuk-tuk in town, cost 20 pesos per ride. Hiring a scooter is another option, I’ve seen tourists rolling around with scooters, but I think not necessary! Why paying 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. At the time of writing this blog, there’s one ATM available in Port Barton. The machine installed 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 a form of payment, but the smaller establishment only takes cash.
24-hours electricity and the internet
Since 2019 the electricity is 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 as 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 only works on specific hours. It is efficient to purchase a local sim card to have a continuous internet connection. The best two networks in the Philippines are Globe and Smart.
From my previous visitation to the Philippines, I use Smart Sim Card, and never had any issues, it works pretty well, especially in Palawan. This time I purchased a sim card from Globe, it’s the sluggish network I’ve ever had. I would never use that network again! I pay 599 pesos for the prepaid card with 4 GB internet, plus unlimited text and call. That said, don’t use Globe in Palawan go for 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 on location. Restaurants on the beachside are a bit expensive; by all means, it is like your 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 to look around. There’s one restaurant on the beach called Beach Barn; they sometimes offer a dinner buffet for 350 pesos, and it was worthy. 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 precisely the cost for Port Barton. The logistics, if really on a tight budget – 40-50 euros per day you’ll get through with it. That includes lodging, island hopping, food, and drinks. If you’re not a picky person, the guesthouses or tents are pretty cheap to stay.
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 didn’t know what to do, go to the white beach. It’s a splendid place to spend one day away from the crowded Itaytay beach. You can get there by tuk-tuk, boat, or walking. There’s an individual fee of 50 pesos for non-guest, and you can use the facilities in the area, such as hammocks, swing, 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 do 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
To discover the most beautiful beaches in the archipelago is go on island hopping. The tour prices cost 1200 pesos included environmental fees. It’s a combination tour of A, B, C, D – included snorkeling and buffet lunch. Port Barton is a place to marvel the underwater world, here you find the most untouched corals in the Philippines.
Another option goes on a private tour; it cost 5000 pesos. If you can compile a group and sharing the cost, you were able to visit the islands which 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 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, as they seem like all in the same place. So looking at the map of Port Barton, it clarifies me where exactly 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 would come back 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: located in northern Palawan, and flights are expensive. There is no beach in town. It takes 20 minutes with a boat from Coron town to see beaches. However, one of the best diving sites in Palawan because of its Japanese shipwrecks from the Second World. Moreover, Coron has stunning islands to see during the island hopping.
El Nido: no wonders a lot of travelers avoiding this place – one of the most popular destinations in Palawan. The number of tourists is increasing every year. El Nido, consisting dozens of small surrounding 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 40 euro, whereas the backside of the shore, you can find guesthouses as low for 11 euro. Whatever place you are staying in, the beach is just a short walk away.
We were staying at Ausan Beach Front Cottages. One of the 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 sold out quickly. I have made my reservation nine months beforehand to get a hold of the room with an ocean view. It’s a bit pricey 276 euros for three nights, I grab their most expensive room, and with the comfort we had, it was genuinely worth it. They have bungalows/cottages for low prices but don’t have sea view.