Port Barton is a small town half way between El Nido and Puerto Princesa, the roads along the way are a bit rougher and the route itself is very windy which made for a not too comfortable journey.
Although only 3 hours down the road from El Nido , we saw a real difference on our first arrival, firstly being the weather after near enough two full days of non stop rain in El Nido it was glorious .. yay!! Blue skies ,clear water and fewer boats. The other change was the atmosphere , a lot more chilled and relaxed then El Nido..double yay!!, just what we wanted and needed.
We quickly found somewhere to stay, Kiwi Lodge, which had a nice outdoor seating area and was on a quiet back road but only metres away from the beach along a nice little path which was home to a massive pig. There are two beach areas, the main area where most of the boats are moored which was good for swimming and another sand bar/lagoon area which is very nice to watch the sun go down.
After speaking to a few boatman and our host, Jerry, we decided to do an island tour the next day, it was a lot cheaper then the tour in El Nido , but we had been promised it was the best one for snorkelling so decided to give it a go. Our captain picked us and another lady up at our accommodation at 9am the next morning, and another 8 people and we were on our way. The tour was excellent, we did so much snorkelling and the water clarity was amazing and best of all there was only ever one other boat at the same destination as us so it didn’t feel like we were being herded around like cattle.
As well as snorkelling we also stopped on an island for lunch where, while Ed was having a doze, I found a path and walked around to the other side and had a swim. Lunch was the typical bbq fish and chicken but very tasty.
On the last snorkelling stop of the tour we also managed to see a turtle, well I say we, but sadly I did but Ed missed it , but super swimmer Sharlie managed to follow it along with a French girl for a good 5 minutes and it was amazing, at first all we could see was a dark shape but as we got closer he started to swim up towards us, when it came into focus it was breath-taking.
The following day we relaxed on the beach and generally lounged around but we did find a restaurant with electricity all day and wi-fi that worked! (The only down side to staying in Port Barton is that there is only mains electricity between 6pm and 1am which makes for some uncomfortable sleeping conditions). It was called Gacayan and we had some really tasty and cheap food there including their speciality fish curry and kinilaw which is a raw marinated fish dish.
We ate at a couple of other places but we weren’t too impressed, there wasn’t as much seafood as we were expecting and what they did have was overpriced.
We really enjoyed our time in Port Barton, if there was power throughout the night we would have stayed longer but there’s only so many sweaty nights you can put up with. We much preferred it to El Nido.
Our next destination was Puerto Princesa for an overnight stop before another very early flight back to Cebu and our first ferry voyage.