PORT BARTON TRAVEL GUIDE 2020
Port Barton is a tiny and charming rural village (barangay in Philippino) along the western coast of northern Palawan in San Vicente’s municipality, not to be confused with the town of San Vicente Poblacion located near the well known Long Beach. Despite its small size, it’s so small that you can walk from one end to another in a matter of minutes, Port Barton has become in the last years a top-rated destination among tourists. It’s peppered with guest houses, small hotels, cafes and restaurants. Several tour operators in the tiny village offer activities in the wild and lush hills of the area and around the bay to visit its amazing pristine islands. After all, you can still enjoy a quiet atmosphere since most of the tourists prefer spending their days in the famous El Nido and Coron.
- Click here to read the travel guide of San Vicente;
- Click here to read the travel guide of El Nido;
- Click here to read the travel guide of Coron.
- BEST TIME TO VISIT PORT BARTON
The best time to visit Port Barton is from December to March, during the dry season. In this season, an annoying wind blows basically every day, making the sea a bit choppy. We visited Port Barton at the end of February, and the weather was mostly sunny and windy. Most tourists prefer to stay in Port Barton instead of visiting the neighbouring coast of San Vicente Poblacion, a perfect place if you are looking for peace and relaxation.
- HOW TO REACH PORT BARTON
Even though Port Barton has no airport or port either, its small bus terminal is well connected to the main destinations in Palawan. You can use the 12go.Asia.com transportation search engine below to find your mean of transport.
1. Puerto Princesa to Port Barton
Port Barton is located about 4/5 hour from Puerto Princesa, the biggest city and central hub of Palawan island. The major local companies served by the Puerto Princesa airport fly from Manila, Clark, Cebu, and Davao.
The bus station in Puerto Princesa is the San Jose Terminal, located about 25 minutes by tricycle from the city centre (200 PHP the ride). The SBE bus company has daily trips to Port Barton (about 250 PHP – 5 USD). It’s a local bus picking up/dropping off people along the itinerary with the main stop in Roxas town. You can buy your bus ticket on board or by clicking on the link below.
By shared/private minivan
At San Jose Terminal, you’ll also find several vans for the locals going to San Vicente Poblacion from 5 am to 5.30 pm. You can also book in advance with Lexxus and Recaro Transport companies that run shared trips for tourists from 5 am to 5 pm (500 PHP – about 10 USD). If you are a group, the best option is to book a private transfer. Lexxus also offers private transfer to Port Barton (about 80USD – up to 9 pax). If you sleep in Puerto Princesa, you can even book your ride through your accommodation.
Port Barton to Puerto Princesa: the same means of transport are available to reach Puerto Princesa. You can book through the tour operator in Port Barton your accommodation or book in advance through the website 12go.Asia.
2. El Nido to Port Barton
El Nido is plenty of tour operators where you can book your minivan ride to Port Barton. Anyway, there are just a few companies that operate between the two destinations. The companies Lexxus and Recaro transport run a few shared rides a day. Both companies also offer private transfer to Port Barton. It could be useful to book your ride in advance. You can also go straight to the El Nido bus terminal in Corong Corong and check if you find minivans for the locals going to Port Barton. The ride lasts around 5 hours and costs about 650 PHP – 11 USD. The private van up to 9 pax costs about 100 USD.
Port Barton to El Nido: you can catch Recaro Transport or Lexxus to reach El Nido from Port Barton. You can book the ride through the tour operator in Port Barton, your accommodation or with the website 12go.asia.com.
3. San Vicente Poblacion to/from Port Barton
You have 2 options to reach/leave Port Barton from/to San Vicente: by van or boat. The fastest way is by boat. The boat departs from San Vicente Port at 8 am, 11 am and 3 pm, whereas it departs from Port Barton at 9.30 am, 12.30 pm and 4.30 pm. It takes 1 hour and costs 350 PHP – 6 USD. You can also rent a private boat transfer for 3000 PHP (usually up to 4 people – for each additional person is 800 PHP). The van is not that worth it since it takes 2 hours and a half. You first have to go to Roxas and then ask for Port Barton. The transfer can be arranged through the San Vicente Travel e Tour agency at San Vicente Pier (next to the public market) and in one of the many tour agencies in Port Barton.
- HOW TO MOVE AROUND
Port Barton is a tiny village, and you don’t need means of transport to move around. In case, catch a tuk-tuk or rent a motorbike.
- WHERE TO SLEEP IN PORT BARTON
Port Barton offers a good range of accommodations, but it is always better to book in advance as the town is often crowded. Another option is to relax in an exclusive Resort on one of Port Barton bay islands but indeed is more expensive. Excellent accommodations are Rubin Resort, Kiwi Lodge, Coro Rico Hostel, Theresa’s Pension House, Lady Ghagha Pension House, Dragon House Dorm, West Point Inn, Ausan Beachfront Cottages, Kna Boybits homestay, Nobi’s Place.
- WHERE TO EAT IN PORT BARTON
Along the beachfront and its alleys, you’ll find many restaurants.
- ATM, MONEY CHANGER, ELECTRICITY
The method of payment is cash. There is an ATM only, located near the White Hauz Inn. It’s always better to have the right amount of money (you can exchange your currency in Puerto Princesa/ElNido) since the ATM could be out of order. The Pawnshops always offer the money exchange, but we didn’t see any of them. The closest Pawnshops are in Roxas and San Vicente Poblacion. The electricity is now all day. The plug is Type A; therefore, you need a universal adapter.
- TRAVELLER’S SAFETY
There is no hospital in Port Barton, only a small clinic along Ballesteros St., next to the school. If you need medical assistance, you have to go to Roxas (about 30 km), where 2 hospitals are located. For specialized treatments and emergency, you must go back to Puerto Princesa. The medical expenses could be very high abroad, and it’s always better to have travel insurance. We did it with Worldnomads.
- GUIDE BOOK
Our favourite guide book is Lonely Planet.
- WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN PORT BARTON
The area’s main attractions are the pristine islands of Port Barton Bay and their coral reef teeming with colourful fish. Other exciting activities are the several hiking trails to reach some of the beautiful waterfalls that dot the area’s hills.
You can book the boat tours through your accommodation or going straight to the beach where you’ll find many stands selling the tours and all the activities in Port Barton.
- Boat tours
The most popular attractions are divided into different packages: Tour A and B. We noticed that the operators offer the 2 tours with little differences. There are other boat tours like “half-day island hopping tour”, “white beach round trip” and “San Vicente Long Beach tour”. Some agencies also offer special tours like the “Island camping tour” and the “fishing tour”.
The average price for the shared tour is about 1200 PHP (including lunch, masks, island fees), whereas a private tour (all-inclusive) of up to 2 people is about 5000 PHP, up to 5 is 7000 PHP, additional person is 1300 PHP. You can also hire a boat and decide where to go for 5000 PHP up to 6 persons, 8000 PHP from 7 to 10 plus 800 PHP as additional per person.
- Boat tour A and B
Tour A: the stops in tour A usually are the Twinn Reef, Turtle Point, Pena Plata, Exotic and Maxima Island, Fantastic Reef and Starfish Island.
Tour B: the stops in tour B usually are Wide Reef, Paradise Island, Lagoon Reef, Bulalakaw Reef, Capsalay Island.