Visiting Port Barton in The Philippines: All You Need to Know

Port Barton
This post may contain affiliate links to things like hotels or tours. This means I may earn a small commission without any cost to you. If it's not something I personally use myself, I won't recommend it to you.

Port Barton was the last destination I visited in the Philippines, and it turned out to be one of my favourites.

This small, sleepy town is a little off the beaten path and the perfect spot to relax for a few days. Port Barton is growing in popularity, but it’s still away from the major tourist route. It’s much quieter than other tourist places I visited in the Philippines, but has plenty of things to see and do. 

The locals are welcoming, the beaches are beautiful and it’s a fantastic spot to slow down and take it all in. 

In the following guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about visiting Port Barton. This includes how to get to Port Barton, how long to spend there, things to do in Port Barton, and the best places to eat.

If you have the chance to visit Port Barton, I really can’t recommend this gem of a spot enough.

You can easily build Port Barton into a backpacking trip around the Philippines

How to get to Port Barton?

Port Barton is in the San Vincente area of Palawan. It’s on the west coast about a three-hour drive north of Puerto Princesa and four hours south of El Nido.

Despite being off the beaten track, getting to Port Barton is relatively straightforward.

Port Barton
Port Barton

The easiest option is to take a shuttle from either Puerto Princesa or El Nido, depending on where you are. This can be booked through 12goAsia, or through your accommodation. I paid 600 pesos ($11 USD) to get from El Nido to Port Barton (Feb 23). I booked through the hostel I was staying at in El Nido (Spin).

The other option would be to take the public bus – but this won’t be the easiest journey or save you that much money.

The easiest and best way to get to Port Barton is to book a shuttle.

How long to stay in Port Barton

This really depends on your schedule and what you’re after.

Ideally, aim to spend 3 to 4 nights in Port Barton. This will give you enough time to explore the area, join an island-hopping tour and relax. At an absolute minimum, be sure to give yourself at least one full day there. Port Barton is a little out of the way and not the type of place that is worth going to for one night.

Port Barton is the perfect place to slow down and relax. If you’re looking for somewhere to settle for a few days, Port Barton is a great option. Just be aware there isn’t an endless list of things to do, but that might be just what you’re looking for.

Port Barton Eco Fee

When you arrive in Port Barton, you’ll be required to pay a 50PHP eco/environment fee (1USD). There will be a desk to do this where the bus or shuttle drops you off.

They will hand you a receipt to prove you have paid the fee. Keep this safe as you are sometimes required to show it to your accommodation at check-in. I was also asked for mine when I did the island-hopping boat trip.

What’s the best time of year to visit Port Barton?

The best time of year to visit Port Barton is in the dry season, which is December – April. This is the best time to visit the Philippines as a whole.

Rainy day in Port Barton
Rainy day in Port Barton

December to April sees the least rain and has calmer seas. Of course, this is never guaranteed. I visited the Philippines in January/February and saw a lot of rain.

Of course, the peak season also sees the biggest crowds which some people prefer to avoid.

Is Port Barton expensive?

Port Barton is on par with other tourist areas such as Siquijor and Moalboal. It’s probably slightly cheaper than the likes of El Nido, but not significantly.

Before visiting the Philippines, I had heard it was an expensive country to travel in comparison to the likes of Thailand. This was not my experience. In 2023, I found Thailand to be significantly more expensive than the Philippines, especially when it came to food and alcohol. 

Are there ATMs in Port Barton?

Yes, there are several ATMs in Port Barton which allow you to withdraw cash. These are notorious for breaking, so it’s important to also take cash with you. 

Very few places will allow you to pay by card in Port Barton, so make sure you have an ample amount of cash.

Where to stay in Port Barton

Port Barton is a small town, and you can walk from one end to another in around ten minutes. Despite its small size, there are plenty of accommodation options to suit all needs, from backpackers to luxury options. 


During my stay in Port Barton, I stayed at a homestay called Ferranco Tourist Inn. The accommodation was simple, and the family lived downstairs. In fact, when coming and going, you’d often walk past the family watching TV or having dinner. It was a lovely spot to base myself for a few days.

There seems to be lots of homestay style options in the area, most of which can be found on


CocoRico is the main hostel in Port Barton. The hostel is a lively spot, offering free alcoholic drinks for 30 minutes each evening. The hostel has an 18-bed dorm room and a 20-bed dorm room.

Even if staying in a hostel isn’t up your alley, I’d recommend visiting CocoRico for the food, drinks, live music, and overall atmosphere. The food was by far the best I had in Port Barton and it’s a social spot making it easy to meet people.  

Check out Hostel World for other hostel options in the area. 


If you want to experience a bit more luxury, consider a hotel stay while in Port Barton. The beachfront seemed to be lined with hotels of all standards, some with swimming pools.

I use to find my accommodation whenever I want to find somewhere to stay. 

Port Barton
Port Barton

Things to do in Port Barton

There isn’t an endless list of things to do in Port Barton, but that’s the beauty of it. You can spend your days relaxing on the beach and taking in the stunning scenery of the area.

If you’re not one for relaxing, there are still a few things to do in Port Barton to fill your time.

Swim with turtles

Port Barton is known for its local marine wildlife (as is the Philippines as a whole). Turtles frequent the area and it’s relatively easy to snorkel with them.

To have the best chance at swimming with turtles in Port Barton, join a boat tour or island-hopping trip. They are sold all around the small town.

There’s a spot close to an island called German Island which is known to be the best place to see turtles. 

Go Island Hopping

If you’ve been in the Philippines for a while, then you’ll be no stranger to island-hopping tours. After a few tours, they can become a little monotonous. However, the tour I did in Port Barton was my favourite out of all the ones I did in the Philippines (aside from my multi-day tour with Big Dream Boat Man).

The Port Barton area is known for its pristine white beaches, clear waters and beautiful reefs making it the perfect destination to explore by boat.

Island Hopping Port Barton
Island Hopping Port Barton

Once you arrive in Port Barton, speak to your accommodation, or wander round the town to look at the different tour options. I saw itineraries being sold advertised as tour A, B etc.  In the end, I ended up booking a tour through my homestay. Whatever you decide, make sure your tour includes a stop at Sand Bar (Starfish) island. This small piece of sand sticks out of the ocean and is surrounded by starfish. It’s truly beautiful.

Other popular spots for the island hopping in Port Barton include:

Turtle Spot: as mentioned above, this area is known to be frequented by turtles. Visiting here gives you the best chance of getting to snorkel with these wonderful creatures.

Twin reef: most of the tours will include a visit here as it’s one of the best places to snorkel in the area. There’s an array of fish here as well as colourful reefs.

Paradise Island: this is where most tours will take you for lunch. It’s a great place to swim too with shallow, warm waters.

Most of the island-hopping tours also include lunch and a snorkel set. Honestly, the lunch here was DIVINE. While we were snorkelling, the crew caught fresh fish and started a barbeque. There was also delicious meat and vegetarian options.

Note: The Port Barton area is known for its jellyfish, including the notorious and lethal box jellyfish. Don’t let this put you off, but it’s worth asking the locals beforehand what the current situation is. They tend to appear heading into the rainy season (April/May time).

Walk (or drive/kayak) to Coconut Beach and White Beach

Port Barton is surrounded by hidden gems including Coconut Beach and White Beach. There are options to walk here or hire a scooter/kayak.

Coconut Beach is about a 40-minute walk from the main beach in Port Barton. The stretch is sand is the definition of paradise and lined with coconut trees. There were also some resident pigs when I was at Coconut Beach.

Spend your time at Coconut Beach walking along the white sand or relaxing (away from the coconut trees – you don’t want one to fall on your head). There was a small fee to pay when I visited the beach, but I’m not sure how legit this was.

Coconut Beach
Coconut Beach

Another 15/20-minutes on from Coconut Beach is White Beach, another beautiful beach in the Port Barton area and well away from any crowds. There were only a handful of other people on the beach when I was there.

To walk to the beaches, you’ll need to follow the trail from Taytay Beach. From the town, turn left on the beach and walk until the end where you’ll see a trail leading you through the jungle. Follow this and keep walking until you get to Coconut Beach. White Beach is on the same path beyond this. It’s an easy walk but wear the right footwear as you’ll be walking through jungle and on a rocky road. 

If you don’t want to walk, you can consider hiring a scooter to reach the beaches. Be aware that the road is not well maintained and full of potholes.

You can also kayak to the beaches or hire a local to drive you in a boat. Which takes me to the next activity…

Go kayaking

If walking or island-hopping isn’t what you want to do, consider hiring a kayak. There are plenty of places offering half-day and full-day kayak hire along the main beach.

Pigs at Coconut Beach
Pigs at Coconut Beach

Opt to kayak to popular spots such as Coconut Beach or White Beach. Just remember that the seas can become rough in the Philippines. If you’re not an experienced or confident kayaker, stick close to the shore in case you run into any difficulties.

Watch a sunset

Okay, so this is an obvious one, but the sunsets in Port Barton are truly stunning. The Philippines has some of the best sunsets I’ve ever witnessed, with most of them being in Port Barton.

Head to the main beach (Taytay) for sunset, grab a cocktail and enjoy the views!

Explore waterfalls

Philippines is full of beautiful waterfalls, and there are two popular falls in the Port Barton area – Pamuayan Falls and Bigaho Falls. Most people opt to hire a bike to reach them, but they can be accessed by foot from the town (it’s at least an hour’s walk each way).

Local operators also offer driving tours which take you to these popular spots (as well as Coconut Beach and White Beach), so this is also something to consider.

Best restaurants in Port Barton

Most people will tell you that food in the Philippines is nothing to scream about, but this wasn’t my experience. While the food might not be as flavoursome as the nearby Thailand, it’s fresh and delicious nonetheless.

Sunset in Port Barton
Sunset in Port Barton

The streets in Port Barton are full of local restaurants selling both local and western dishes. Here are some of my favourites:


This is the local hostel but also a fantastic restaurant selling both local and western dishes. It’s particularly a good spot for breakfast/brunch.

Raquel’s Canteen

This delicious spot sells local dishes including fresh fish caught the same day. It’s delicious and cheap.

Kusinero Del Barrio

This was one of my favourite meals in Port Barton It has plenty of local and western options. It can get busy here so be prepared to wait or share tables.

Milano Café

For coffee or a light lunch, try the Milano café. The coffee was delicious.

Heading to the Philippines? I have a guide to backpacking in the Philippines

A Guide to Visiting Port Barton in the Philippines
Share this guide
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.