For my last stop in the Philippines, I stopped by Port Barton, a beach and scuba diving town similar to El Nido, but much less developed, much less touristy. To use a well-worn cliche, it’s like El Nido from a decade or two ago. And I stayed here for a couple of days, just relaxing, enjoying the sunsets, and doing not much of anything at all. It’s that kind of place.
The main problem with Port Barton, is that it’s quite difficult to reach. From El Nido to Port Barton, it’s 100 kilometers as the crow flies, or 150 kilometers by road. And yet, it took 6 hours by bus and jeepney – first, taking the morning RORO bus from El Nido to Roxas, then taking the once-daily jeepney from Roxas to Port Barton. It’s a long journey.
Once I got to Port Barton, I noticed there wasn’t much around – no crowded town to block the breeze, no glut of tourist-oriented shops and restaurants, no massive crowd of folks congesting the streets. Just peace and quiet.
Peace to just sit at a beachside restaurant, eat jambalaya, read my Kindle, maybe chat with a new friend, and just enjoy the scenery.
While there is a decent beach at Port Barton, it’s more of a nature beach, very different both the beach crowded with boats at El Nido, or the perfect sunbathing beaches of Las Cabanas.
Seriously though, there’s not much to do at Port Barton, to be honest. There’s a half an hour hike to a waterfall, but the waterfall itself is supremely unimpressive. I’m not even sure I would call this a waterfall.
I did spot a pitcher plant out in the wild though! I find carnivorous plants to be quite scary, even though I know they pose no threat to me, but I still admire the beauty and elegance of this pitcher plant.
So I spent a couple of relaxing days at Port Barton – eating at local eateries, lounging by the beach reading from my Kindle – and admiring the amazing sunsets.