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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Port Barton : Off-the-Beaten-Path Paradise in Palawan


When people say Palawan, the first thing you would hear is PARADISE. Or maybe El Nido and Coron. But rarely would you hear about a town named Port Barton.

Port Barton
German Island, Port Barton, Palawan 


Even before the Big Trip started, it has always been my plan to go to El Nido but I wanted to do it cheap. Which meant flying to Puerto Princesa and taking the long bus ride to El Nido. Back then I was planning on doing it the end of my Big Trip if I still had enough funds left, my last stop before going back and getting employed again. Luckily, everything worked out.

We had almost 9 days in Palawan. We also heard that El Nido during that time was already a bit crowded, it was only February. Good thing we made friends with the hostel staff in Puerto Princesa and he suggested going either to San Vicente or Port Barton on our way back from El Nido. And that’s what we did. 

The road to Port Barton 
road going to Port Barton
photo by jahapaula

Port Barton is almost halfway in between Puerto Princesa and El Nido. However, to go to the town you would have to endure an hour of bumpy ride from the highway, even longer when the road is muddy. Normal route is taking a jeep from Puerto Princesa to Port Barton. But since we came from El Nido, we had to risk stopping at a canteen in the highway and hope that there will be a jeepney going to Port Barton. And risk it we did. Good thing there were also 2 other couples who were waiting for a ride to Port Barton. So we just decided to hire a van, it was quite expensive given how we normally travel. But it was worth it.

Port Barton 2

Port Barton is a really small town, a typical small provincial town in the Philippines, except for a few resorts. But I loved it there. Why? Because of the beach, the beautiful islands, El Busero Hostel, and the wonderful people. But more than anything it was so nice to be in an isolated town with only a few tourists, my kind of traveling. In fact, I believe I was the only Filipino tourist during that time. All the other travelers we met were foreigners – either retirees or young backpackers. I guess the place is more famous to non-Filipinos, which is a shame given how the place is really really nice. It’s just that you would have to allot more days into your trip for travel time.

Upon arriving in the town, we were ushered to their small tourist center where we wrote down our names. They even assisted us in looking for a place to stay. We stayed at El Busero and got ourselves a small room (shared restroom) for only 300 pesos a night. It also has a common area with a hammock on the second floor where you can spend a lazy afternoon reading a book or just looking at the beach. Or spend a whole day hanging out by the restaurant downstairs and play cards, which is what we did. Too bad we went there during the jellyfish season so we really couldn’t swim by the beach. But the sunset was still worth it. 

Port Barton 3
Sunset

After two lazy days we finally decided to visit some islands. We visited two snorkeling sites and two beautiful islands – German Island and Exotic Island. I'll let the photos show you how beautiful the beaches are :)

Port Barton 4
Exotic Island

Port Barton 5

Port Barton 7

Port Barton 8

Port Barton 9
German Island
(photo by Anthony)

Port Barton 10

Port Barton 6

Just another beautiful day in paradise :)

Photography 11