Port Barton is a lovely little fishing town in Palawan. For all its pristine natural beauty, it’s managed to stay clear of travel hype – and the large crowds that follow – lending the quiet beach town a quaint, rustic feel.
It’s one of the loveliest off-the-beaten-path destinations we’ve checked out in a long time and quite possibly the most underrated tropical destination there is.
If you plan on checking out this lovely beach town, here are some travel tips to make sure it all goes well.
Travel Tip #1. Be prepared for a bumpy ride
It used to be a nightmare getting to Port Barton, but it’s a lot better now. The road has been significantly improved and in more cases, you should be able to reach Port Barton from Puerto Princesa in around 3 hours.
Still, the buses that go are usually endowed with wooden seats and it’s a rather bumpy ride. Be prepared.
Travel Tip #2. Choose the best time
Port Barton’s tourist season starts in November, peaks between late December to March, and ends around early May. It can be hard to find accommodation during the holiday season – Christmas, New Year, Easter – since Port Barton has become a popular travel destination for Filipino travelers.
On the flip side, during low season – June to October – some of the resort and guest houses close down and the ones that are open will usually give you a discount. Although this sounds great in theory – no people! discounts! yay! – it also means there’s a real lack of things to do. Most places will be closed around evening time and it’ll prove a challenge to get enough people together for a boat trip to nearby islands.
Travel Tip #3. Bring all the money you’ll need
When we said Port Barton is off-the-beaten-path, we meant it. There are no banks, no ATM machines and no places to even change money. Make sure you have enough cash on you (and a little extra) to be able to pay for everything while you’re here.
That includes housing, food, island hopping tours, and anything else you might need. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself having to shuttle back to Puerto Princesa for some cash.
Travel Tip #4. Bring what you need.
Port Barton is a one-horse town. There are very few, very basic stores that offer a very narrow range of goods so if there’s a particular brand of, say, sunscreen that you need. Bring it with you!
We highly, highly recommend a bug-repellent-included sunscreen.
Badger Balm’s got an all-natural concoction that’s great at keeping both insects and sunburn away.
Travel Tip #5. Be prepared to unplug
Palawan, in general, has electricity issues. Port Barton is no exception. There’s a limited electricity supply here that comes on at around 6 PM and goes off around midnight. If you plan on staying up afterward, bring an LED headlamp or a flashlight.
The Cobiz Brightest 4 Modes LED Headlight is waterproof and provides plenty of light.
Arrange your WiFi time around this schedule as well.
Travel Tip #6. …and most importantly…
Make sure you’re covered for any travel-related incidentals so you can relax and concentrate on having fun! We highly recommend World Nomads.
They cover travelers from over 150 countries around the world, offer great rates, and cover a range of travel-related costs from the more commonplace – lost baggage and cancellation costs – to the more severe – emergency medical and evacuation assistance as well as coverage for a wide range of adventure sports and activities.