Aerial view of Itaytay Beach, Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan, Philippines
Beaches,  Luzon,  Travel Guides,  Travels


Every town in Palawan has a distinct charm that is incomparable to the other. I beg not to compare them as they are indeed special in their own ways. This just shows how Palawan could make you fall in love in in its various faces and ways, too. Recently, I set foot in one of the tourist hotspots of this blessed province – Port Barton. I’ve always been curious about it since the foreign tourists that I met in El Nido would never miss it in their short stay in the country. I came with no expectations but this small and quiet village in the town of San Vicente has showed me that it does not disappoint. If you wish to be dazzled by this place, here’s a DIY Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan travel guide to help you with!

About Port Barton

Port Barton is a small fishing village seated in the west coast of northern Palawan. It is used to be known as “Itaytay” dating back in the days when Tagbanua, a local tribe, used to reside near ocean. People started to call it as such in 1940 after the Englishman who came to survey the land. It used to be a part of Puerto Princesa City until San Vicente became a municipality in 1972. Today, people know Port Barton as it is but locals would still call its beach as “Itaytay beach”. Unlike the other tourist hotspots in the province like Puerto Princesa City, Coron and El Nido, Port Barton remained unspoiled. Its peace, teeming reef and uncrowded beaches and islands made this laidback village in San Vicente, Palawan a tourist magnet.

Useful information for tourists:

  • The best time to visit is at around mid-December to April. Take note that this covers the peak season hence, expect higher rates especially on accommodations and crowded tourist attractions.
  • Electricity is available 24/7 but take note that they are paying Php 62.00 per kWh (as of October 2022) since supertyphoon Odette (Hurricane Rai) hit the province in 2021.
  • Tagalog is spoken at large but locals can converse in English, too
  • No ATMs nor money changer available. Philippine peso is the only currency accepted
Port Barton in bird’s eye view

How to Get There

There are two airports that you can fly to if you want to visit Port Barton located in San Vicente, Palawan. One is the San Vicente Palawan Airport which is the nearest and one is Puerto Princesa International Airport. While there are several flights daily to Puerto Princesa City, there’s only one flying to San Vicente coming from Clark Airport in Pampanga.

From San Vicente Palawan Airport

As of October 2022, there are no direct trips from San Vicente town to Port Barton. However, you may consider these options:

Option 1: Take a cab or tricycle from the airport to San Vicente port or “pantalan”. From there, haggle a tourist boat that will take you to Port Barton. The trip takes 45 minutes to an hour and the boat rental rate is at Php 3,000.00. Take note that this is good for 4 persons. Hence, you may share it with other tourists who would opt for this in going to Port Barton.

Option 2: From San Vicente Palawan Airport, take a van going to Puerto Princesa City. Fare is at Php 200.00 per head. Tell the driver to drop you off San Jose Roxas junction. From there, you may hail for a van coming from El Nido or van/bus Puerto Princesa city that directly travels to Port Barton; or, you may haggle a tricycle that will take you directly to Port Barton. A tricycle ride from San Jose to Port Barton costs Php 500.00 per way.

From Puerto Princesa City

By Van

You can either book online for a trip to Port Barton, San Vicente or make your way to San Jose Bus Terminal. There are also ones that depart from the airport, too. The trip would take 3 to 4 hours and the fare ranges from Php 400.00 (coming from terminal) to Php 500.00 (pick up) per head. This is the highly preferred way to go to San Vicente as it is the fastest and most convenient.

By bus

From Puerto Princesa City International Airport, take a cab to San Jose Bus Terminal. From there, take a bus to Port Barton. There are only two trips to Port Barton, San Vicente daily. At 8:00 AM and at 2:00 PM. If you opt to take the bus, make sure that you’ll arrive at the terminal at least 30 minutes prior to your time of departure to reserve your ticket. You may also book online via BookAway for a hassle-free reservation. Fare is at around Php 380.00 to Php 400.00 and the trip would take 4 to 5 hours. Take note that these buses are not air-conditioned.

From El Nido

Option 1: Take a van from the terminal at El Nido directly to Port Barton. This land trip take 3 hours and fare is at Php 600.00.

Option 2: Take a bus or van bound for Puerto Princesa City. Alight at San Jose Roxas Junction. Travel time is around 3 hours. From there, take a van or tricycle to Port Barton.

Getting Around Port Barton

Land Tour

The best way to go on a DIY land tour or trip is through hailing a self-drive motorbike or the one with habal driver. The self-drive motorbike rate starts at Php 500.00 for 24 hours excluding the gas fees. The habal with driver is at Php 1,000.00 for a whole day tour, gas excluded.

Island Hopping

If you wish to go on a private island hopping tour, below is Port Barton’s official tariff rates:

  • Php 6,000.00 – 1 person
  • Php 3,000.00 – 2 persons/head
  • Php 2,000.00 – 3 persons/ head
  • Php 1,500.00 – 4 persons/head

Take note that these rates are inclusive of lunch, use of mask and snorkel and island entrance or environmental fees.

Places to Visit in San Vicente, Palawan from Port Barton

Twin Reef

What I personally love about San Vicente’s reef as an ocean enthusiast is that it’s full of life. During our island hopping tour, we went snorkeling at Twin and Fantastic reef. Among the many species of corals that you can find in San Vicente’s reef are staghorn, elkhorn, grooved brain, table corals, blade fire, boulder star and more. As for the fishes, you can occasionally swim with variation of butterflyfish and clownfish, bannerfish, batfish and a lot more.

Fantastic Reef

Exotic Island

One of the destinations during our island-hopping tour is the Exotic Island also known as Cayoya Island. It is a pristine, uninhabited island with a stretch of white sand and surrounded by clear turquoise waters. There is also a resident turtle in the island that they call “Mike”. It is also where the guides would prepare and serve the lunch on tour. As they prepare, we busied ourselves swimming and picture taking, too. One of the picture-perfect spots in the island is the rock formation in its northern end.

Maxima Island

Adjacent to Exotic island is Maxima Island also known as Albaguen Island. When the tide is low, one can actually walk or swim from the other island to Maxima. Like Exotic island, it also has a stretch of white beach but quite longer than the former. Few meters off its shore is a drop where one can enjoy diving into with the sight of teeming coral reef.

On the other side of Maxima island that the tourists would often enjoy is a small community.

Starfish Island

The last destination in our tour is the sandbar they call as Starfish island. It’s called as such as its shallow waters are dotted by starfish. During our visit, the sandbar jutting out of the waters shaped like a heart. It’s also quite a spot to admire the golden sunset.

Other places to visit in San Vicente:

  • German (Inaladelan) Island
  • Wide Reef
  • Paradise Island
  • Bigaho Falls
  • Pamuayan Falls
  • Bato ni Ning-Ning
  • San Vicente Long Beach (second longest beach in Asia)
  • Secret Beach

Where to Eat in Port Barton

  1. Ausan Beach Front Cottages & Restaurant (beachfront dining)
  2. Alon Cafe at Holiday Suites (beachfront dining)
  3. Besaga Cafe & Eestaurant (beachfront dining)
  4. Oasis Port Barton
  5. Gacayan (budget-friendly)
  6. MacFredo’s (budget-friendly)
  7. Elsa’s Cottage and Restaurant
  8. Kusinero del Barrio
  9. Yoske Restaurant & Cottage
  10. Balai-Balai Food House

Where to Stay in Port Barton

The accommodation in Port Barton ranges from homestays, inss, hostels to 3-star hotels mostly concentrated in Itaytay Beach or Port Barton. Don’t expect much of upscale nor luxurious resorts in the area. Only few as well has air-conditioned rooms. Here’s a list of the accommodations you may want to consider:

Ausan Beachfront Cottages, our accommodation during our San Vicente trip
  1. Ausan Beachfront CottagesClick here for the rates and for reservation
  2. Besaga Beachfront Bed & Breakfast
  3. Holiday Suites Port BartonClick here for the rates and for reservation
  4. Forest Wood Suites
  5. Rubin ResortClick here for the rates and for reservation
  6. Aquarius – Port BartonClick here for the rates and for reservation
  7. Hotel Oasis Port BartonClick here for the rates and for reservation
  8. Elsa’s Beach Resort
  9. Parrots Boutique Resort – Click here for the rates and for reservation
  10. Gacayan Homestay (budget-friendly)
  11. Inaladelan Island Resort
  12. Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary

Sample 3-Day Port Barton Itinerary

The average duration of stay to enjoy what Port Barton has to offer is at least three to four days. Below is a suggested itinerary to maximize your stay in Port Barton.

Day 1: Arrival and Chasing Waterfalls

6:30 AM – Departure from Puerto Princesa City
10:00 AM – Arrival at Port Barton/ Brunch and early check in
12:00 NN – Pamuayan Falls/ lunch along the road
2:30 PM – Begaho Falls
5:30 PM – Back to Port Barton/ Wash up
7:30 PM – Dinner
9:00 PM – Lights Off

Day 2: Island Hopping

6:30 AM – Wake up
7:30 AM – Breakfast
8:30 AM – Register/ Start of Island hopping tour

You may opt to choose between the two island hopping packages:

Package 1
Twin Reef
Fantastic Reef
Exotic and Maxima Island
Pena Plata
Starfish Island
Inaladelan (German) Island

Package 2
Wide Reef
Paradise Island
Lagoon Reef
Turtle Spot
Capsalay Island

Day 3: Inland Beaches

5:30 AM – Wake Up
6:00 AM – Breakfast
8:00 AM – Bato ni Ning-Ning
8:30 AM – Long Beach
9:00 AM – Brunch
11:00 NN – Secret Beach
12:00 NN – Back to Port Barton for lunch
1:00 PM – Wash up and free time
5:00 PM – Sunset watching at White Beach

Aerial view of Maxima Island, one the places to visit when in Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan, Philippines
Maxima island

Sample 3-Day Port Barton Budget

Take note that this suggested budget is assumed to be shared by two people. Accommodation rates have increased lately due to the spiking rate as well of power in the town.

Day 1Php 1,830.00
Van fare – Php 400.00
Food – PHp 300.00
Accommodation – Php 600.00
Motorbike rental – Php 500.00/2 – Php 250.00
Gas – Php 200.00/2 – Php 100.00
Bigaho falls entrance fee – Php 30.00
Pamuayan falls guide fee – Php 300.00/2 – Php 150.00

Day 2 – Php 2,200.00

Food – Php 100.00
Island hopping tour – Php 1,500.00
Accommodation – PHp 300.00

Day 3 – Php 1,050.00

Motorbike rental – Php 500.00/2 – Php 250.00
Gas – Php 200.00/2 – Php 100.00
Food – Php 300.00
Van Fare – Php 400.00

3 Days 2 Nights Port Barton BudgetPhp 5,080.00

The peaceful Itaytay beach at sunset

Things to Remember when visiting Port Barton

  1. The local tourism office collects a tourist fee of Php 50.00 valid for 5 days. They release a card that they check from time to time especially during tours
  2. There are no ATMs nor money changers in Port Barton and establishments accept cash only. Hence, have your money of different currency and bring enough cash prior to your trip.
  3. Bring waterproof bags especially if you’re going on an island-hopping tour
  4. Bring insect repellant and reef-friendly sunscreen.
  5. Accommodation rates around this time are a bit pricey due to the current rate electricity rate caused by Odette.

Contact for Port Barton Tours

For a hassle-free Port Barton experience, you may want to contact Joey Ronda of Island Hopping in Port Barton with Joey. Below are his contact details:
Mobile: +63 945 866 5492

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Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.


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