When in Manila, it is a known fact that Palawan hosts a bevy of world-class destinations and natural wonders. But aside from the much sought-after beaches of Coron and El Nido, this southern slice of paradise still has numerous destinations waiting to be discovered. One such place is Port Barton, located north of Puerto Princesa. For those looking to escape to an unpretentious and picturesque patch of sand to call their own, Port Barton beckons. Here we offer you the basics of this breath-taking wonder, starting with:
How to get there:
Our trusty ghetto a$$ ride :P
Port Barton is accessible from Palawan’s main town of Puerto Princesa via shuttle, bus or van. Upon arrival at Puerto Princesa airport, we took a multicab to San Jose terminal, priced at PHP 120 per ride. From the terminal, you can opt for the cheapest option, which is a shuttle or bus, which costs around PHP 200 (which we took); although the one and only shuttle bus/jeep trip for the day leaves at 9 in the morning, and the entire trip will take about 4 hours due to the ride’s many stops along the way.
Admiring the view at our pitstop.
If you miss the 9am ride, you can instead take any bus headed to the town of Roxas and ask to dropped off at the intersection leading to Port Barton. From there, you can hitch a ride on a “habal-habal” bike to Port Barton. The road leading there goes uphill and is often muddy/dusty, so come prepared.
For a more convenient and comfortable ride, we highly suggest catching a van instead. Although we didn’t encounter any vans at the terminal during our trip, we’ve been told fare goes for about PHP 350 per person, and takes only 2 hours. Some resorts also offer van pick-up directly from Puerto Princesa airport, although this will set you back at PHP 2,500.
Where to Stay:
Deep Moon Resort’s beach-front cottages
There are already a number of local resorts scattered along Port Barton’s shoreline, so finding affordable lodging shouldn’t be a problem. Rooms are available for as low as PHP 800-900 for a basic fan room with shower and double-sized bed. Pricier options offer air conditioning, larger bed space and (in some cases) bathtubs. Who needs fancy rooms though when you have a breath-taking view waiting right outside?
Our simple yet comfy room during our stay. Complete with shower, fan, and electricity from 6pm to 12mn
Our pretty porch!
We opted to stay at Deep Moon resorts located right at the threshold of Port Barton, and one of its more popular accommodations. We especially loved their charming gardens, beachfront huts, and their open and spacious common room with lots of comfy couches to sink in with a book, a drink, or some company. You may visit Deep Moon Resort’s website here: http://moon.deepmoonresorts.asia/
What to Do:
Hang out by the coconut trees! No seriously
When you’ve reached you hammock time quota, Port Barton offers heaps by way of island hopping and snorkeling
Port Barton covers all the basics and more when it comes to outdoor activities. Be sure to pencil in some island hopping when you get the chance to visit, as Port Barton boasts of numerous breath-taking island neighbors with pristine beaches, clear waters, and an abundance of swaying coconut trees. Also not to be missed is a proper snorkeling session at any of the spots within Port Barton’s Marine Sanctuary, where you can experience coral reefs in every color and shape imaginable. For inland adventures, there are numerous waterfalls within the area ready to wow those who are curious enough to make the trek.
We hired the services of Kuya Mike to organize our island hopping itinerary, who was recommended to us by our resort. We got to marvel at the beauty of Twin Reef which was located right across the beach, and felt like an entirely different world below. After which, we had lunch and spent a lazy afternoon at German Island, lounging in our hammocks underneath coconut trees, and admiring the view of the many islands surrounding us, from a corner of the island flanked by powdery sand. You may reach him through this number: (0946) 4240394.
Kuya Mike and co.
YUM FRESH SEAFOOD
Island hopping trips range from PHP 950 – PHP 2,000, depending on which islands, reefs, or waterfalls you plan on visiting, and include a sumptuous seafood lunch. However, due to the strong winds and heavy rain during our stay, we were only able to visit two islands. Best to book your trip during the summer months to make the most out of it!
Where to Eat:
This place is so quirky!
Spent an obscene amount of time here reading and lounging. This is where i learned how to play chess!
Jambalaya Cajun Café was hands-down our favorite hangout for the entire trip. This quirky restaurant in the middle of Port Barton’s beach offers board games, a mess of books, a cozy cool hang out spot facing the sea, and G-R-E-A-T food. Their best-sellers are their hand-made loaves of bread which are baked in-house, their brewed coffee (the best on the beach), their freezing cold beer, and their jambalaya.
Breakky of Banana Pancakes (PHP180) and Corned Beef Jambalaya (about PHP 350). Quite pricey, but you get what you pay for
Deep Moon’s Chicken Tempura and Ginger Chicken in question. I give these a thumb’s up!
We spent many fun hours at Jambalaya, lounging at their no-shoes chill cubby, waiting for the heavy rains and strong winds to pass, while enjoying their freezing cold beer and ogling all the interesting quotes and sayings tacked to their walls. Deep Moon Resorts offered some really good Ginger Chicken and tempura, but we still kept going back to Jambalaya for breakfast, dinner, and drinks.
Our very own slice of paradise pie.
Despite it raining for the entirety of our trip, we have nonetheless gotten to experience the beauty and charm of Port Barton’s quiet coastline. What made our stay truly exceptional was the kind, friendly and honest individuals we’ve met along the way. Palaweños were always on the ready to extend their knowledge, help, and company whenever we asked for tips or advice; one kuya stopping by our cottage to ask if we’ll need a van on our way back home, and the friendly girl who managed Jambalaya who chatted up a storm with us. Add to that Palawan’s unmistakable laid-back vibe and surrounds that never fail to awe and amaze rain or shine, and we’ve made for ourselves a relaxing escape, away from it all. Hope this inspires you to witness Port Barton’s beauty for yourself!
Thank you, Port Barton! You’ve been wonderful.
Feature and square-frame photos by: alessilikesit.tumblr.com
Landscape photos by: Marinette Panganiban