Saturday, 14 June 2014

El Nido to Port Barton

A quiet beach and the stunning limestone cliffs of El Nido

Our last two days in El Nido were an exact copy of our first two - one day island hopping and one day on Las Cabanas beach. 

Island hopping was gorgeous but a bit crowded in places (the so called 'hidden beach' was not so hidden, infact it was filled with big groups in orange life vests). We ended up having a much more enjoyable day renting a kayak from the beach and paddlling around! We managed to explore a few empty beaches and got a little bit scared of the waves crossing the open water (well one if us did - I will let you guess who).

I'm on a boat - Island hopping

Our lunch spot during our second island hopping outing

Lunch on the beach - super tasty (almost worth the expensive island hopping)

Grilling on the beach

Kayak on our private beach (scary looking storm in the distance making it all rather wavey)





Then after four days in El Nido we decided it was time to explore a bit more of Palawan and headed on to Port Barton, a less explored spot on the way down to Puerto Princessa (the main city and the best way in and out of the island). It was a tad out of the way, involving a change from the touristy aircon vans which drive the El Nido - Puerto Princessa route, to a Jeepny which leaves once a day (time variable depending on lunch time, tire changes etc). 


Kayak stuck in shallow water as the tide goes out

Private beach (almost worth the kayaking)

Too busy taking photos to help with the kayaking

Hidden Beach (not so secret or hidden)

Matloc shrine, Island hopping El Nido
Big lagoon, island hopping El Nido
Port Barton was a very quiet little town with a big white sand beach occupied by lots of banka boats. There was lots of accommodation right on the beach front for the very reasonable price of 500 pesos for a double room (about £7). We stayed at Ausan beach cottages, the staff were super friendly and we had the added bonus of extended electricity hours (usual hours 5pm-midnight, our hours 7am-midnight)!! 

On Helicopter  island during our El Nido island hopping

Heading to Helicopter islanmd (this is supposed to be the tail of the helicopter)


Big lagoon, island hopping El Nido
Sunset in El Nido

From Port Barton we set off to explore long beach in San Vincente, a 14k white sand beach with absolutely no one on it (apart from a few children splashing in the water). Not part of the usual island hopping trips, The Photographer really wanted to visit this completely unspoilt beach (especially since there are plans to open an airport nearby soon). It was stunning, we chilled out on the white sand for a few hours (though we didn't manage to walk the whole thing) and our boat drivers even climbed up the trees and collected coconuts for us to drinks/eat. We then continued the island hopping with a trip to two more beautiful beachy islands on our way back to Port Barton.

Jeepney time

Long beach at San Vincente
Eating coconuts by Long Beach - I am an attractive eater!!

Watching the sunset at Port Barton (this photo has not been altered in any way)

Main road Port Barton

After one more day relaxing in Port Barton it was time for us to leave (as we were now very low on cash- the only cash machines on the island are in Puerto Princessa). So we caught the one and only bus of the day at 9am and made our way to the city where we spent the night before our flight to Cebu. 

Summary

Location: El nido, Port Barton and a quick stop in Puerto Princessa.

Highlights: Kayaking from Las Cabanas beach and Island hopping from Port Barton (long beach was a particular highlight- nothing beats drinking coconut water on your own private beach).

Top tips: If you have time make the stop at Port Barton, its worth the effort (quieter and cheaper than El Nido - does lack the dramatic limestone cliffs but is still beautiful)! Also make sure you have enough cash for your time in Palawan, Peurto Princessa is the only place with cash machines (as far as i know). 

Look out for: Lots of people who cant swim on island hopping tours, possibly in the water wearing life jackets being pulled around by a guide on a rubber ring.

Minutes spent lost: 0, minutes spent waiting for tire changes 90.

Profile pictures: I think so.

Epiphany's: 0


Island hopping from Port Barton

Long beach (all to myself for a selfie)

View from our beach hut in Port Barton

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