Travelogue: Port Barton

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.
Port Barton - panorama sunset

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.
Port Barton - local road Port Barton - beach 1.5

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.

Not that there weren’t any boats at Port Barton, but they mostly seemed more for fishing and transportation, less for tourist-related services.
Port Barton - boats on beach

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.
Port Barton - hike to waterfall Port Barton - disappointing 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.
Port Barton - pitcher plant

There’s also kayaking – with a new friend, I rented a kayak and we went out paddling out into the bay.  There’s some interesting mangroves, which reminded me of the Life of Pi:
Port Barton - mangrove 1 Port Barton - mangrove 2

Also interesting were these ‘stations’ cobbled together and anchored out on the open water.  From afar, we couldn’t figure out what it was, but upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a fish farm!
Port Barton - floating fish farm

In some places on the bay, the water was so shallow and so clear, you could see the coral underwater:
Port Barton - underwater coral

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *