Palawan Island, Philippines

Port Barton, Palawan Island, PhilippinesPalawan was recently voted best tropical beaches in the world. The crystal aqua-blue sea is always warm there, and every beach has white powdery sand with overhanging palm trees.

Last week was my second Palawan trip  – arriving in the capital, Puerto Princesa on a short flight from Manila. Then taking a van for 6-hours to El Nido.

El Nido
Big Lagoon, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines“El Nido” is Spanish for “the nest” – ref to swifs that live in the karst cliffs. My favourite thing to do there is eat barbecued seafood by candlelight on the beach, with lots of iced beer. Island hopping is the best daytime pursuit. For US$16 per person a small outrigger will take you around all day, including  snorkeling, swimming, and a huge barbecued seafood lunch. The colourful coral there is spectacular.

Port Barton
Port Barton, Palawan Island, PhilippinesSeafood Lunch, Palawan, PhilippinesPort Barton is a remote west-coastal village about 5-hours from El Nido. It’s laid-back, friendly atmosphere is popular with backpackers seeking solitude and natural beauty.

There are no paved roads all the way there, no banks, no ATMs, doctors, or electricity before 6.30pm to midnight. Internet is limited to wi-fi dongles on Globe network.

Jambalaya Beach Resturant, Port Barton, Palawan, PhilippinesJambalaya Port Barton beachfront cafe owned by a Scotsman and his Filipino wife.

Nigel On Beach, El Nido, Palawan, PhilippinesAccommodation

Manila: Citadel Inn, Makati City – US$44

El Nido: The excellent Devayn’s Inn, Town Centre, but across road to beach – only US$22.  All new – A/C, balcony, and wi-fi. Best Restaurant: Spider Bar on the beach.

Port Barton: Besaga Resort: US$27. Basic, but on the beach with friendly and helpful owner.
Floral Villarosa Hotel, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, PhilippinesPuerto Princesa: Floral Villarosa. Beautiful hotel with large pool owned by a Swiss guy and his Filipino wife – US$50. Close to airport.

Philippine Air Hong Kong to Manila US$194. Air Asia Manila to Puerto Princesa US$71. All round trips with tax.

Six-hours Puerto Princesa to El Nido. Private van for US$110 (6 people). 4-hours El Nido to Roxas – then 1 1/2 Jeepney to Port Barton, very rough road, not possible in rainy-season (private boat costs US$120)

1 1/2 hours back to Roxas jeepney, then 2-hours van to Puerto Princesa.

Palawan Island, Philippines

See the video of my previous trip to Palawan Island on YouTube

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