Port Barton is one of the quieter parts of Palawan. It doesn’t have the grand karst formations and lagoons in El Nido or pristine lakes in Coron, but it has beautiful beaches and snorkeling areas. Tourists often visit here to unwind or have a relaxing beach holiday. Here I’m going to tell you about our island hopping tour in Port Barton.
P.S. Don’t forget to read our complete 3 days itinerary to Port Barton.
How to get here
From Puerto Princesa Airport, ride a tricycle or jeep to San Jose Terminal. From there, there are vans going to Port Barton (P350, 3 hours). Schedule of vans start at 6AM to 6PM.
When is the best time to go here
The best time to visit is from March to June, but island hopping tours can be done all-year round. During bad weather, tours can be cancelled but this is less common compared to other beach destinations in the country.
Island hopping in Port Barton
Island hopping tours
There are different island hopping tours in Port Barton: A, B, C, D and E. Rate is P1200 per person (inclusive of lunch, masks and miscellaneous fees). If you’re going to choose only one of these, I suggest Tour A because it’s the most popular.
- Tour A (Essential Tour): Twin Reef, Turtle Spot, Inaladelan Island, Smart Island, Starfish Island
- Tour B (Fishing Life): Paradise Island, Exotic Island, Sanctuary Reef, Albaguin Village, Starfish Island
- Tour C (Tribal Life): Aquarium Reef 1 and 2, Reef #5, Bunuanguin Town, Luli Beach Island, White Beach
- Tour D (Waterfall Life): Inaladelan Island, Reef 1, Lagoon Reef, Bigaho Falls, Pamuayan Beach
- Tour E (More Reefs and Islands): Paradise Island, Maxima Island, Wide Reef, Capsalay Island, Fantastic Reef, Starfish Island
Island hopping starts at 9AM to 4PM.
It’s also possible to avail of a private tour, inclusive of lunch, masks and miscellaneous fees. Rates are as follows: P5000 for 2 pax / P7000 for 3-5 pax, additional P1300 per person.
As for us, since it was off-peak season when we visited, we got a discounted rate of P1000 per person. Entrance fee to German Island (P100 per person) is not included.
Where to book the tours
You can walk along the shores of Port Barton beach to look for island hopping tours or ask your accommodation for assistance. We did the latter when we stayed at Westpoint Inn.
If you’re staying in Long Beach which is in another part of San Vicente, you can also find island hopping tours to Port Barton (2 hours away).
Our island hopping experience in Port Barton
We visited last July and we were fortunate to experience good weather throughout our stay. There were only 5 of us and there were no other joiners in our boat. As such, we could stay as long as we want in each stop.
Before going through the stops we visited, let me give my thoughts.
I love the attractions in Port Barton. In particular, I like that Port Barton offers a perfect balance between commercialism and accessibility. You get to enjoy preserved natural beauty and at the same time do not have to go the trouble of venturing into off-beaten locations to do so. It’s easily accessible, there are proper accommodations and there are standardized island hopping tours. Moreover, in our trip, there were only a handful of boats with us and we get to enjoy the exclusivity of some places.
Here are the places we visited in our island hopping tour in Port Barton.
Twin Reef is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in Port Barton. The water here isn’t too deep (at 5 meters at most) and you can see various corals and fishes.
If you brought bread or biscuit, you can also use it for fish feeding so you can see the fishes up close.
Inaladelan Island/German Island
German Island is an island with creamy white sand and pristine water. It’s named as such because it used to be own by a German fellow. To step foot in the island, you need to pay an entrance fee of P100 per person (if you’re on a tour package, this is likely to be already covered). As we weren’t very interested in staying on the shore, we simply stayed near the island where sea turtles can be spotted.
We didn’t stay long because our boatmen said the turtles were already gone, disturbed by the other tourist boats in the area.
We went back here later in the afternoon for another attempt (an advantage of getting an exclusive tour). From my experience in Apo Island in Dauin, searching for turtles can be exhausting so I grabbed the buoy being pulled by one of our guides in the water. We swam for about 20 minutes before we spotted one. Our efforts paid off!
We spent our lunch time in an island called Pina Plata. With soft, powdery sand and magnificent emerald water, this is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches I’d been to.
There are tables and cottages in the island, swings facing the beach and small bohemian wooden displays. There are also dogs living here.
Anyway, we had a sumptuous lunch. We also bought crabs from the Port Barton beach earlier, so we asked our boatmen to cook this also. We ordered soft drinks and fresh coconut (P50 each) for drinks.
We also went snorkeling around the island. There isn’t much to see here except seaweeds, but if you get to the part where the seaweed covers end, you’ll see this little tunnels with schools of fishes. The word that popped in my mind was magical.
Exotic Island and Maxima Island
Exotic Island is another island where you can swim and relax. There are beachside cottages, so some tours stop here for lunch. There’s also an interesting rock formation at the end of the island.
Exotic Island is directly across Maxima Island. Our boatman said we could swim to Maxima Island, but when we assessed the distance up close, it didn’t look easy for casual swimmers like us.
We didn’t really stay here for long (since we wanted to get back to German Island to see the turtles).
This is another snorkeling spot in Port Barton. Compared to the Twin Reef, it’s quite deep. There are a lot of huge corals here especially table corals and cabbage corals. Accordingly, it’s also possible to have sighting of turtles here.
Starfish Island is a sand bar where you can see clusters of starfishes. To be honest, we didn’t really see a lot of starfishes except for a small group in one area, but it’s possible there are times when there are more starfishes here.
This is the final stop of our island hopping tour in Port Barton.
We visited White Beach the next day, but there’s no reason not to include this in your island hopping tour as well. The White Beach is literally a wide shore filled with creamy-white sand, green water. This is a great place if you simply want to relax or beach bum.
Where to stay in Port Barton
We stayed at Westpoint Inn. It’s not a beachfront accommodation and it’s about a 5 minute walk to the beach, but it’s cheap and the rooms are spacious for the price. Because it was low season (July) when we visited, we were also able to haggle down the rates (P1000 per night for a room with 2 double beds, good for 4 people).
Book discounted rates here
Other recommended stays in Port Barton:
Ausan Beach Front Cottages
Book discounted rates here
Deep Moon Resort
Book discounted rates here
Has this Guide to island hopping in Port Barton, Palawan, been helpful to you? If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below.
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