Aside from our Island Life Expeditions, we always get asked for suggestions on other places to visit while in Palawan. The answer would honestly depend on what you’re looking for. If you are looking for a more luxurious location, check out our blog about El Nido and Coron. If you are a backpacker or you just wanna rough it up a bit while you’re on a break from the techie city life, then we’ve got a perfect suggestion for you!
As Coron’s Top Rated Expedition, we think this place is the right fit for budget travelers and nature lovers. The place is called Port Barton, a paradise to get lazy, relax and do nothing.
Port Barton Photo credit: Warren Camitan
You might have heard that name before, but what exactly can you expect from this humble village? To put it simply, it is a quieter, smaller, and more chill version of El Nido. It’s way cheaper too! Didn’t we say it’s perfect for backpacking?
This village is located at the north-west coast of the island of Palawan in the Philippines. It's about 23km north-west of Roxas, which is one of Palawan’s first class municipalities. The weather there is tropical however, the place gets a little bit more rainfall compared to El Nido during the wet season.
Don’t you worry, by default, it is filled with peaceful and tranquil environment, clear blue waters, and surroundings abundant in natural beauty. Imagine watching the sun go down on a beautiful beachside village on the edge of the rainforest because that is exactly what you’re getting at Port Barton.
Photo credit: Warren Camitan
Okay, while you’re not at Port Barton yet, heads up! You won’t find ATMs, Foreign Exchange services or banks in the area so make sure to withdraw enough cash and exchange your currencies before heading out. It is also a good idea to bring medicine and a basic first aid kit as the nearest hospital from Port Barton is about an hour away. Not to worry, the place is continuously developing so who knows, you might be able to use your credit cards in a few months time.
Although most of the roads to Port Barton are already paved, there are still some parts that are not. So, we suggest you take it slow. If you plan to take a jeepney and go full-on with the “live like locals” experience, expect some bumpy roads. If you don’t wanna do that, that’s fine too. There are van services between Puerto Princesa and Port Barton for a more convenient travel.
What to do here?
There are no large attractions and resorts in the area which means you don’t get loads and loads of tourists coming over. In short, you won’t find huge groups of tourists crowding over the beaches and islands. Yayyy! You don’t have to compete for the perfect spot for your vacation photos anymore. Finally!
Activities here are pretty much the same with El Nido. Snorkeling, island hopping, drinking by the campfire and the works. You can arrange for a private boat called a “bangka” through one of the local boatmen, or join one of the island hopping group tours.
There are many interesting nearby islands with spectacular beaches. These islands are good for snorkeling, kayaking and the like. But you know what’s the best part about going to this lesser known (but definitely as enchanting) place? It’s getting to see and enjoy the beauty of mostly undisturbed virgin beaches.
Itay Itay is Port Barton’s main beach. Here, you will find a more basic and rustic accommodation. To be precise, these accommodations are mostly small guest houses with beach bungalows. Only a couple of them has 24 hour electricity and air conditioning which means that you are in for the total Island life experience. The daily power usually runs around 5pm and gets cut around 1am which gives you ample amount of time to charge your gadgets and power banks.
Photo credit: Warren Camitan
There are also restaurants and bars along the main beach. These aren’t fancy restaurants but the food won’t disappoint and the prices are really good. Oh, and no, we’re not talking about the noisy and crowded kind of bars like in the metro. Bars and restaurants here are pretty chill. Sort of more like a hang out place with maybe live music from time to time.
Photo Credit: Mojitos Restobar Facebook
Now, let’s talk about beaches. The main beach is not exactly good for swimming but don’t worry, the nearby “nicer” and secluded beaches are definitely worth exploring. To name a few, we have White Beach which can be reached by walking along a forest trail, you also have Paradise Island, Exotic Island and German Island which has small white sand beaches with clear blue waters, and then there’s Pamuayan Beach, a 10-minute boat ride from Itay Itay that’s definitely worth the travel.
If in case you fall in love with one of those nearby island beaches, you can spend a night there. Some of the islands have resorts where you can rest before setting out for another day of adventure.
To sum it all up, Port Barton is great if you wanna take a break from the traffic and the loud parties and work. Most especially if you’re sick and tired of being in crowded islands and pictures full of photobombers. You don’t have to break the bank to get away. You can hang up the modern life, you just need the right fingers to put you to the right direction.
If you want to go all the way with going back to basics and being one with nature for a few days, you can also try doing an Island Life Expedition. You can check our schedules here.
Cheers again! And don’t forget, always go.