Port Barton: Palawan’s Hidden Paradise

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Port Barton was a total mystery to me.  I didn’t even know it existed until two weeks before I went there.  And even then I heard it’s not worth going.  But, like everywhere else, I heard it was awesome and totally necessary to visit.  This seemed to be how most things went in the Philippines.  Since I knew nothing about it, I was fine either way.

My friend really wanted to go so I figured why not?  After getting a little bummed about how much it cost to get us there, I quickly forgot about it when my focus shifted to not getting carsick on the ridiculously bumpy, probably always being worked on, road.

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When we got there, we were greeted by an adorable little lady that wanted us to stay at her guesthouse.  It was pretty cheap so we followed her back.  The place we would be staying was just as adorable as she was.  We put our stuff down, prepared for the beach, and set off right away.

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It takes about 15 minutes to walk through the whole town.  And that’s at a leisurely pace because it’s so hot.  There are a few restaurants and hotels along the beach, then a few more restaurants on the main street in town.

Little shops for snacks and basic groceries dot the corners that make up the few blocks of town away from the beach.  There aren’t a lot of things to do in Port Barton, but it’s a lovely place to relax and read, away from the crowds of El Nido.  If you’re feeling adventurous, there is a waterfall within walking distance, island hopping tours available, and snorkeling options nearby.  I would just ask at your hotel for more information about those.

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Oh, did I mention there is only power between 5PM and 12AM in Port Barton?  That makes for really hot days and hoping that you don’t wake up in the middle of the night because you probably won’t be able to fall back asleep because it’s too darn hot.  That’s what I thought at least.  I made sure I fell asleep before the fan turned off.

If you haven’t caught on by now, the Philippines has phenomenal beaches.  Port Barton was no different.  This beach was just a little smaller than most, but still had plenty of room for the few occupants to not be anywhere near crowded.

 

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Things to do in Port Barton

Island hopping

Like El Nido, and most beaches tourists end up at in the Philippines, island hopping tours are available in dreamy little Port Barton.  It may not be as well known as the island hopping in El Nido, but there is no doubt that it would be just as amazing, maybe even more so since the number of people in Port Barton is drastically lower than El Nido.  This is also a great way to get some snorkeling in while you’re in Port Barton.  If I ever end up back here, you bet I’ll be spending more time here and doing some island hopping, too.

Hike to waterfalls

While there aren’t tons of waterfalls in the area, there are at least three that you can either hike to, take a boat to, or a combination of both.  One that you can hike to, Pamoayan Falls, is about an hour and a half from the north end of the beach.  There is a small trail leading into the jungle, follow that.  You’ll have to cross a river a few times.  Just keep following the signs that say Do Not Litter or Keep Going.  You can swim under this one.  The other two falls are Intake Falls and Bigaho Falls.  To get to Bigaho, you need to take a 20-minute boat ride, then hike about 20 minutes after that.

Relax on the beach

This was what I did the whole time I was in Port Barton.  I would read for a bit then grab a mango juice.  Then I would read some more and take a dip in the water.  Then I would read again and just wander up and down the beach a bit.  The main beach in Port Barton was one of my favorite beaches in the Philippines.  It was pristine and I didn’t have to set up shop right between strangers.  There was plenty of beach for everyone and there were beach chairs to use.  I would definitely recommend spending some time doing this.

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As usual, the sun was shining, the water was glorious, and the mango juice was flowing.  I spent two days lounging around on the beach, making some pretty good progress on Shantaram.  After all, I wasn’t going to be carrying it all the way home.  It was time to move on to a different beach and try new mango juices.  I was really branching out on what I do in the Philippines.  Can you tell?

Helpful things:

  • If you’re going to El Nido, I would go there first, then here on the way back to Puerto Princesa or Sabang.
  • This is a good place to have a portable charger with the power being pretty limited.
  • I don’t think there’s tons of accommodation here, but it’s not totally necessary to book ahead unless there is somewhere specific you want to stay.
  • If you try or have tried the weird little cup with weird, colored stuff mixed into it that is sold on the main road to the beach, let me know how it is.  I also hope this is a good enough description for you to know what I’m talking about.
  • The beach is really nice and not crowded at all.
  • There are a few waterfalls nearby that you can hike to.  I didn’t, so I’m not sure how to get to them, but I would ask at your hotel.
  • You can go on island hopping tours to do some snorkeling here, too.

Have you been to Port Barton?  What did you think of it?  Do you want to go?

4 thoughts on “Port Barton: Palawan’s Hidden Paradise

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