It’s no secret that this adventure around the world for me is super exciting and like no trip I’ve done before. I have no idea where I’ll end up next week, or who I’ll meet along the way. Part of my strategy for this adventure is to try not to plan too far in advance. What if I don’t like a place and want to leave early? What if I love a place and want to stay a few more days? What if I meet fellow travelers who invite me along for the next part of their journey? These are all reasons I try not to have a day by day itinerary planned out. And the first payout for this plan may have come when I visited Port Barton.
I had no knowledge of it’s existence until I had dinner with Toby, a fellow traveler I met while in Puerto Princesa. He told me it was a destination off the beaten path, literally. The road to get there isn’t fully developed. It was so remote, most of the city doesn’t have electricity expect for 3-4 a day after the sun goes down. It is a place where one would could potentially be cut off from the rest of the world. And while most of the time that may be a deal breaker, there was something about this that seemed charming and adventurous.
After talking about Port Barton a little bit more, Toby pulled out his phone and showed me an Airbnb he had saved for when he visits Port Barton. It was very simple and basic. A one room hut with an attached bathroom. There was also a patio that looked over the water which is just feet away. SOLD.
After my trip to El Nido, I took a van to Port Barton. As described, the road isn’t fully developed. The last hour of the ride is on again, off again dirt road. Very bumpy and muddy. It certainly is not an easy journey, especially if you get car sick easily.
When the van arrived, I was greeted by a man working for the owner of the AirBNB. He told me he would take me to the property after paying my environmental fee (you will find these fees over the Philippines, typically with any tours you do. But everyone has to pay it in Port Barton when they arrive, it equates to about a dollar.)
After paying the fee, we were off. We walked a few blocks until we reached the water, where a number of small Philippine fishing boats lined the shore. Then we came across the smallest boat on the beach, and the guy I was walking with hopped in with my backpack. “Wait, we actually get to ride to the property,” I thought to myself. In my mind, we were just going to walk there, but this was way better.
The waves were a little choppy but manageable (all part of the rainy season). We started to make our way around the bay, and I was smiling ear to ear. I couldn’t believe that this is how I was getting to my Airbnb. The ride lasted for about 10 minutes or so before we pulled up to what would essentially be my little oasis for the next few days. There are two cottages on the property and a small restaurant managed by the host, Rosemarie.
I walked up close to the restaurant, and Rosemarie, a tiny Philippine woman with a lot of energy came running out to greet me. She walked me over to my hut so that I could settle in.
It was everything and more than what was described. One room, made entirely out of bamboo. It had a bed, insect netting, a small table, a fan (only works when the electricity is on, and an attached bathroom. Very basic, but everything I would need. But the selling point was that this was a water front hut. And there it was, just feet away from me. I couldn’t believe, that I was only paying $16 a night for this.
The beach of course was a major selling point. The water is pretty shallow, so during low tide, the water was a bit further out. But what was incredible about this beach was the amount of wildlife. Never in my life, had I seen so many starfish and crabs. This is where I spent most of my days.
This was also an incredible place to watch the sunset every night. Ok, well they weren’t as great as I would have hoped because it’s rainy season, so they were pretty cloudy, but still incredible. During high season, I’m told you can see the stars at night, which I am going to have to go back and see for myself. This was still a good place to camp out, clouds or not.
I did however venture off to explore Pamuayan Falls, a waterfall where locals like to spend their weekends. I went early in the day and was told it was about a 45 minute hike from the hut. I managed to make it about 5 minutes and someone offered me a ride on the back of their motorcycle. How could I refuse!? I’m glad I hopped on, because there were a few turnoffs, and a small waterfall along the way. After about 10 minutes, we came to the area where the road had been washed away. The motorcycle driver and I hopped off the bike and climbed down a ravine, crossed some water, and then hiked for a minute or two before we came to the registration office of the waterfall. Without him, I would have never found this place and would have just given up. I thanked him for the ride, offered to pay him money but he didn’t want anything.
From the registration desk, it’s about a 10-15 minute hike. In order to get there, you do have to cross a small river a couple of times, so you do get wet. The trail is also a little slippery. I did fall once and ended up with a cut on my finger, just take your time and be careful. I could hear the roar of the waterfall begin echoing downstream and was fortunate to find I had the entire waterfall to myself. It was very serene. As I began hiking out, I passed a few other hikers heading in.
During my time at the hut, Rosemarie cooked all of my meals in her restaurant. I told her about my vegetarian diet and she was very accommodating. While she would often ask what I would like to eat, I told her to surprise me, and it never disappointed. It of course was an additional charge, but I had 9 meals there during 3 days and paid $20. Not bad.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time here. If you are interested in booking a stay here, click the link.