Port Barton is a barangay in the municipality of San Vicente, in the island of Palawan. A place where backpackers enjoy each minute that passed by and tasting the sweetness of each moment.
Port Barton is now making a loud whisper to backpackers. If you love going to Palawan and had explored Coron, El Nido and Puerto Princesa, then this the perfect time to visit Port Barton, San Vicente.
Let Me Walk You First to San Vicente, Palawan
Why visit San Vicente? One is to feel their white sand beach while leisurely walking in their longshore. That answer is more than enough response to go and pack for at least two nights.
Second, if you are travelling to El Nido, and you had been told the 5-6 hours road trip and you had an option not to get bored, experience the old folks-life before continuing to your El Nido escapade.
This is the best place to unwind to cut your long trip. Compare to El Nido, San Vicente is a 3-hour drive from Puerto Princesa. And you won’t regret it.
Third, there is the old village of Port Barton. If you want to merge with white tourists and make the tick of your time be like theirs, and ready to drink the night away until the wee hours of the night, then definitely, come and join.
Puerto Princesa to San Vicente, Palawan
San Vicente is about 180 km from Puerto Princesa City. As a traveler to Palawan, I always frequent Puerto Princesa International Airport to travel more to alluring towns of Palawan.
There is a flight direct from here to San Vicente Airport that takes for only about 30 minutes.
For land travel, it is a one tricycle ride-away to a transport terminal, Recaro Terminal. Here, you can ride a passenger van or your group can rent the whole van.
There are desks where you can coordinate the fare if you decided to rent one. Fare is 350 pesos per passenger, about $7. If you want to rent the whole van, a 3,000 pesos charge, about $60, is reasonable.
San Vicente Airport
San Vicente Airport is only opened a few years back. You can check flights both from Manila and Clark to San Vicente Palawan. Or a 30-minute flight from Puerto Princesa. All done to lessen travel time.
This is one of the few small airports in Palawan. You can also find one in Lio Beach, El Nido, Palawan.
But where in San Vicente?
Now you had to be clear on it. For there are two known towns of San Vicente that offer the vacation you wanted.
First is the Poblacion, San Vicente. It has a very long beachfront with few barangays surrounded it, a must-visit for each traveler of San Vicente. The only setback is that there are few lodging houses and hotels that accommodate travelers.
The second town is Port Barton.
Port Barton, Palawan
Now, meet the exciting old village turned paradise to backpackers – the Port Barton.
Here lies the shorter version of smooth white sand of the long beach of San Vicente. And almost as the same as the white sand of Nagtabon beach in Puerto Princesa City.
The shore is a bit busy. Here seen the dining places and resorts that offer backpackers the real weekend getaway. And every night is a weekend.
Port Barton Beach
When the sun is up, all white tourists lay their bodies on the sand for sun-bathing. And when the sun is down, people are on different corners soothing themselves for a drink.
Port Barton’s guests are mostly backpackers. They only carried their bags on their back after unloading from the van in the terminal. They casually walk on the dusty road searching for their lodging houses.
Why are there more foreigners than local tourists?
Would you believe that we walked the whole stretch of the shore of Port Barton only to find that me, I and ourselves were the only Filipino tourists here?
Of course, restaurant owners, entertainers, servers, and lodging proprietors are all Filipino. But as tourists, our group of six were the only local tourists.
This place is flocked by white tourists who submerged their bodies from the heat of the sun. While us, walking closely on the shed of trees in high noon, trying to hide from its rays.
It’s just an observation. I am lucky to experience to be surrounded by all these people. It seemed I am the guest from all of the tourist guests.
As we had interviewed a resort owner of URS & Josie Lodging, she said that they were the first ones who established a resort in Port Barton, about 30 years ago.
One of her relatives is the president of an international diving group that is based in Europe. And many scuba diving events were held in this place with invited divers from all over the world.
Europeans had loved the place ever since on the day they came. And, the next, they fluctuated Port Barton.
From then until now, Port Barton Palawan is frequented by European visitors. Especially now that the winding road traversing from Puerto Princesa to Port Barton was cemented that travelling is a breeze.
Though, there are still some rough road portions. But it is more than enough satisfaction and an easy ride compared several years ago.
Port Barton Booking
As time goes on, tourist backpackers usually stayed from 3-5 days on average. They came alone or in small groups. Some made reservations, but mostly, they just popped out and looked for lodging houses.
While foreigners are not delicate on their dwellings, they don’t mind sharing comfort rooms with other fellow guests. Actually, they are comfortable even if they lived on same rooms, called as dorm type, mixing males with females.
Moreover, it doesn’t bother them if they sleep side by side with a stranger even with the opposite gender. Alright, isn’t that unique? But that is Port Barton.
Due to the fact that on peak seasons, inns are not sufficient enough, tourists are open on this mixing-up. As said by an experienced inn’s owner, this is the situation that is normal in Port Barton.
They are all joiners on all things, from beds, cars, island hopping, and night lives. That’s why it is like one whole, big family in this small town. You would never be left alone.
If you had a budget, there are resorts with a room and with your own comfort rooms. If you wish to stretch your money, there are transients and dorm types. Got it? Stretching your budget with fun won’t stop.
So now, you already know where the party is.
ATM Port Barton
As the party continues, these white tourists need not worry running out of funds, hurray! There is an ATM here uniquely serving them!
It is not the normal ATM of a certain local bank, because it seems not one exists here. These ones are different. At first glance, you knew already that they are not intended for locals.
These machines internationally served ATM cards of foreigners for their convenience 24 hours a day. They are strategically positioned throughout the village.
So, the party goes livelier when the sun goes down, and the streets filled with drunk party-goers on the next day’s dawn.
Best Place to Stay in Port Barton
In lean months, you can hop around inns, lodging houses or hotels to look for what suit your need and budget. But, of course, best is to have a reservation to avoid the disturbance of inn-hopping.
But, as stated above, when peak months are on, be ready to squish yourself in with the other joiners on dorm-type inns.
Recommending lodging like Besaga Cottages for its good ambiance and family-oriented stay.
You can avail rooms for 800 pesos, about $16, with a shared comfort room to another five rooms or more. URS&Josie Lodging had this set-up.
They also had a room with its own comfort room. The lodging house is located on the beachfront.
If you walk farther more away from the shore going on to inside streets, you can avail the same rate of 800-pesos room with your own comfort room. This is where we stay – Princesa Michaella’s Tourist Inn.
Farther walk, you can have it cheaper. Room is good for two persons, extra charge for another.
There are dorm types that are best for one’s budget. You share with others. Be sure to ask whom you are sharing with if that interests you. The value starts at 400 pesos, about $8.
A gorgeous to see a tree-top hut on the beach front like that of Ausan Beachfront Cottage & Resort.
Generated Energy of Port Barton
Port Barton generates its electricity through a generator located in the center of the town. It is good to have such things to prevent frequent power interruption. Though, the cost of electricity is a little expensive.
Few only offer air-conditioned rooms. So, the rates given in this article applied for non-aircon rooms.
What is there to do in Port Barton?
- Swim on the clear-water beach
- Island hopping
- Experience being a joiner in everything
- Eat freshly caught seafood
- Party all night
It was a real adventure island hopping in Port Barton. Such a memory that each one of us really treasured. Details are all written on a separate article, tackling it deeply.
Where to Eat in Port Barton, Palawan?
Rising early and finding a sleeping town is a bit unique.
Well, yes, tourists are still on their deepest dreams because they had just slept from the night’s party. But locals are up.
And luckily, I spotted one selling cassava rice cake. So wonderful, that I felt sorry after consuming one, that I wished I bought more.
I did have a chance to buy suman the next morning with another vendor walking along the alley. She carried it with a tray on her head. Good thing that I saw her and had a chance for her rice cake.
There are peddlers roaming around the area selling freshly caught seafood. You can buy one. Then you can look for a dining place that could receive the seafood for cooking. They will charge you a little for that extra service.
The best we had is the liptin fish, super juicy. The best I’ve tasted!
We bought it for 290 pesos, about $5.82, weighing about 3 kilos. It was brought along with us and grilled for lunch on our island hopping.
Kusinero del Barrio Restobar
There are restaurants that are already open, serving breakfast. We dined in at Kusinero del Barrio Restobar.
Their serving size is big, so filling to have enough energy for the start of our island hopping. Choices from European and Filipino breakfast, prices range from 165-170 pesos, about $3.21, served with coffee.
So, you see, even their menu is patterned for who their frequent guests are.
If you want to have crabs for lunch, Santa Cools is highly recommended. For 400 pesos, about $8, you got two pieces with loaded rice.
Their Fresh Tuna Steak with an option for medium-rare and well done is superb. They had served such a juicy lunch. Satisfied tummies.
Find a nook to stay on sunset watching. And while waiting, indulge with the pizzas of El Busero.
The spot is usually where island hoppers disembarked. Actually, European tourists did not hurriedly unload themselves. Even when the boat parked on the shallow waters, they continued laughing and talking.
And upon setting foot on the shore, they bid goodbye to each other, hugging each to the last second. That’s a joiner tour. New found friends. No lonely trips!
Munching pizza after island hopping is superb. Just look for a the best place, order food and watch the sunset rolls.
As for dinner, be ready for early dining for many set the last order at 8:30 pm. Oh sure, as I told you, there are lots still open for drinking and snacks. But if you are for a fill-up, better dine earlier.
Bamboo had the exact serving for the night. You can have pancit or noodles that’s good for two. Or you can order from their menu. There are lots to choose from.
So as the night became deeper, there are lots of unwinding places. Live music performers attract most of the customers. Their places packed with night drinkers.
Restaurants in side streets got tourists to dance while drinking. Yes, it is all more of drinking. What to ask for? Chit is cheap. You can party all night, not hurting your funds.
Soup and Noodles
If you want soup, there’s lomi, flavorful thick soup-based noodles. Their dining place is still open at night. They also served burger and fries. They are located just behind the live music performance stated above.
Our last day’s food is free. Would you believe that? Have you seen someone, as strange as someone, offered free breakfast and lunch to their renters? But we did experience that.
Curious where? I’m sure she was fond of us, but I think she was fond of everyone.
The owner of Princesa Michaella’s tourist inn had made breakfast for us. She had bread rolls and hot coffee. And offer to those guests who were already awake.
And maybe we’re a little bit special that she told her staff to cook lunch for us. Amazing lady. This 80-year old woman with its lively love life had cooked sinigang na bangus and fried yellowfin for us. Where can you find someone like her?
As she had told us, no one can make the feeling special this special to guests of Port Barton except her. Thanks, Mama Lucy. I may not salute the accommodation but I honor your accommodation.
Port Barton Neighborhood
Port Barton thankfully acknowledged the gift of nature given to them. They continually take care of it. One can see it how they manage to maintain the cleanliness of the beach water.
As for the peaceful neighborhood, they practiced simple living. As I roam around side streets, I found several finished roofing made on backyards.
These were roofs made from dried cogon leaves. Some used coconut leaves, whichever is available.
This kind of roofing is traditionally made by old folks before the roofs became modernized. It maximized the use of natural abundant materials. And, at the same time, it practiced being organic and eco-friendly. Amazing, right?
The same roofing used in the beachfront cabanas of Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort in Puerto Princesa. Daluyon Resort deeply give importance to preserving the surrounding nature.
Not only that, but they also produced walls for a nipa hut. This rolled finished job is ready to be delivered.
The town has no big market place. Few houses set up their fronts to sell assorted raw vegetables.
As I had said, fish are sold by roaming vendors, either on foot or bicycles. There seemed to be no meat shop.
Aside from suman and rice cakes, there is ice cream sold from a store nearby.
They had no hospital here. You need to go to the city for medical needs, about hour travel. Though, there is a clinic for everyday minor medical assistance.
Overall, it is an old town with still sandy and dusky streets, a perfect feeling that you are vacationing on an old village mingling with natives and folks.
People are kind and simple, you need not bother someone would cheat you when you are real sober. You can surely go back where you stay even if you are drunk. Someone would point you where you stay-in to sleep your night away.
Port Barton Experience
I always had a positive outlook on every aspect of life. In my visit to Port Barton, I look forward to the white sand, long walks, less-waves travel on island hopping, and more.
It was nice walking on cool sands on very hot noon. Trying to walk on the sheds of the trees, leaving sunbathing tourists undisturbed. Resorts had massage areas offered on justifiable cost.
The shore swarmed up with tourists. They loved the sun and more alive in sunny areas while us keeping are huge eyes hidden on sunglasses.
All is peaceful. Each relaxing.
You can dine while others are drinking. Each has its own.
You can walk on side streets to explore the inner part of the village. Never mind the sandy pavement brought from the shore, and the dusty roads for it were still not cemented compared to the main road.
If tourists love to swim while the sun is up, we treasure our swimming time after the sunsets. The water is so refreshing and cool. And, of course, we own the beach water. No tourist love to get wet without the sun itself.
As the night walk, so some establishments came alive. And there goes more of the tourists. They laugh, listen to songs, and drink merrily.
My friend would smile when remembering how a tourist guy managed to walk in our inn and missed the road, so he was asking where the road is.
Our room is located on the side of the street. For each dawn, it made me awakened from the shouting and singing of those who passed by, coming from guests walking back to their inns.
How about a waterless night? Some tenants’ rooms had no water coming from the faucet that makes them freak-out, without any staff present on the inn? Actually, we were lucky that our very old comfort room had water. Actually, it flooded the floor making it yucky.
And while you are relaxing, a tourist guest collapsed with eyes wide, staring blankly. A condition of hypoglycemia.
Everyone helped to carry her. Someone ran for a Coke drink. And one rode a motorbike to look for medical assistance. That’s how much concerned the Filipino staff around here.
We worried. And after an hour or so, the patient was up and strolling down the shore.
Going home with satisfaction is what I treasured while leaving Port Barton. All is light with lots of side-dramas but all got right in the end.
From the terminal, the van going to Puerto Princesa City left at the specified time. The driver was lucky. If not on us with the group of six, he would have only a lone passenger. So, the van left with us in a much spacey room.
And, as in the middle of travel, a motor accident happened. A couple swiped down on side of the road. No other vehicles were driving the road at that time.
The woman broke her arm. You would see that it lump sided and bone detached from the link. No blood, yet you know that inside had disentangled and broken.
No second thought and our driver lift the lady and her driver husband went with us. We travel for another hour to the city. See humanity? It’s still alive. All in the veins of Filipino. Help the fellow, more help to tourists.
The Right Place
So if you are here in the Philippines, you are in the right place. Though there are incidents that fell to cold-hearted unconcerned persons, there are more Filipinos that are deeply concerned about their mates and people around them.
Giving a hand, carrying you, helping you, running errands for you – at no cost! Hail to Filipinos!
Thanks for the experience. It made me a year more mature, looking at all these things, observing and belonging.
Is Port Barton Worth Visiting?
Yes, Port Barton has so much more to offer from its white-sand beach, smooth sand, island hopping, good food, new friends, party nights and friendly people, be it tourists or the neighborhood. It is such vacationing with your one, big family.