You need to get to Port Barton quick! This quiet beach village in Palawan is an oasis- they say it’s like El Nido was 20 years ago. Lazy days here consist of swimming, sun bathing and if you’re feeling particularly energetic, some island hopping. The only conundrum you’re likely to face is choosing which beach bar to drink at during happy hour! You seriously won’t want to leave, this place is a dream come true. Here are our picks for where to eat, things to do and some handy tips…
Chasing a Plate’s Pricing Guide
$ around150PHP-200PHP/$3.50-$4.50USD per person
$$ around 300PHP/$7USD per person
$$$ around 600PHP/$15USD per person
Getting to Port Barton
The quickest and easiest way to get to Port Barton is via mini-van. From El Nido, the fare is between 600-700PHP/$15-20USD per person and from Puerto Princesa around $350PHP/$10USD per person. They are sealing the dirt road which makes up the last 20 km/12 miles into Port Barton (about 70% complete at the time of writing) so you can expect the visitor numbers to rise rapidly once this is completed.
All visitors need to pay an environmental fee of 50PHP/$1 per person at the Port Barton Tourist Office. Your mini-van will terminate here so pay it on arrival.
Once you’re in Port Barton, the place is tiny and you can walk everywhere.
Island hopping $$$
Island hopping in Port Barton is a lot more relaxed and cheaper than in the bigger beach resorts like El Nido. Book with Santa Cool’s run by Rizza who owns the beach bar next to Radio Palawan. It costs 800PHP/$20USD per person which includes the use of snorkelling gear and fins, lunch and even beer! The captain will take you to some fabulous spots for snorkelling and you might even get to swim with sea turtles.
Sunbathe and swim at White Beach $-$$
If you’re after a picturesque white sand beach framed by swaying palm trees then the aptly named White Beach should be on your hit list. You can actually walk here (it’s a sweaty 1 hour walk away) or you can contact the front desk at Deep Moon Resort (last resort at the left hand end of the beach) who run the only accommodation option on White Beach. They have a boat that goes to and fro between the beach and Port Barton bay. The price per boat ride seems to vary between 50PHP/$1USD to 300PHP/$6USD so try and haggle.
Jambalaya Café $$
Left hand end of the beach
We agree that it’s kinda strange to have a restaurant dedicated to jambalaya in a small beach village in the Philippines, but once you have a taste you won’t care one iota. The Jambalaya Special is the dish to order- saucy rice, chunks of fresh fish, juicy tomatoes and a good whack of spice! Get there in time for happy hour at 5pm and climb up the ladder to one of their giant tables. You feel as though you’re waiting for the BFG to join you, it’s a hoot!
Olive’s Crib $
Ballesteros Road close to the basketball court
If you want local food, then you have to eat at Olive’s Crib. The menu changes daily depending on the day’s catch, it’s really affordable and the potions are plentiful, fresh and delicious. Try the vegetable salad and the chicken curry if you get a chance. They also do delicious Filipino breakfasts, with free coffee!
Besaga Beachfront Cottages Cafe $$
Right hand end of the beach
It’s a tad pricier than some of the other eateries in the area but Besaga offer great quality food and big portions. Their gigantic breakfasts which feature buttermilk pancakes will keep you full until dinner, their Filipino breakfasts are delicious (especially the garlic rice) and their fish and fries make for a tasty lunch. There’s no reason you’d be in a hurry but make sure you have some time up your sleeve if you’re dining here, the food can take awhile.
For delicious fruit shakes and ice-cream, Mabuti is the place you want to head. Looking like it belongs in an upmarket beach resort with its white wooden tables and palm trees overhead it’s a peaceful place to hang out. Try their banana ice-cream with a scoop of chocolate- a winning combination!
Rizza’s Beach Bar $
Middle of the beach
The place to drink in our opinion! Run by the gorgeous Rizza and located next to Radio Palawan right on the beach, this tiny bar has everything you need- cold beers (they do a mean rum and coke too), feet in the sand, a view out to the bay and friendly staff.
We hope this Port Barton travel guide has helped you eat and explore like a traveller, not a tourist.
Found this post useful? Check out our 48 hours in Bohol post.
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