This is not the first blog about Palawan but changes especially in El Nido and Port Barton I found the time has come to revisit Palawan. Palawan has been voted as the most beautiful island in the world for the last 2 years. And travelling from Puerto Princesa to El Nido with side steps to Sabang, Port Barton and San Vicente, I can also say that this rating is absolutely justified. Keeping also in mind what North Palawan (Busuanga) has to offer. See North Palawan. Palawan offers an amazing variety of nature such as lakes, un-numerous amazing beaches, lime stone cliffs, virgin forests, rare birds and other tropical animals such as big lizards, crocodiles and monkeys. Also the underwater world rates in Asia among the best and the most famous diving site is the Tubbataha reef which can be reached only by live aboards from Puerto Princesa during the months of March to until May.
Lots of Palawan remains undiscovered because of lack of roads, though the road from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is in good condition and the roads in some places are even being widened even up to 6 lanes. But with few traffic around you might wonder why?
The first place we visit is Port Barton. Unlike before Port Barton has now Electricity 24 hours unless there is a brown out of course. Palawan is the most beautiful Island in the world but also has worst internet connection and electricity is unreliable in every place.
In Port Barton the better and the newest Resorts are Rubin and Besage Resort and both offer a very nice ambiance. Rubin Resort has a swimming pool but rooms are basic. Still fan cooled but soon with aircon. In Port Barton bay you may encounter jelly fish so a swimming pool is more than a nice incentive. Another upcoming hotel is morning star hotel with aircon rooms but on the moment of writing not yet operational.
A couple of a new higher end restaurants has started eg reef, mojito restaurant and jokse to name the best around. So Port bartom is definitely coming up and with a road construction underway from San Vicente the development might speed up even more. In Port Barton you can choose tours A, B, C, and D. At the end of the road, a 30 minutes walk from town passing by the nearby local village you might want to visit the waterfall and take a jump in the pool.
For group we can organize private Island hopping with camping on one of the islands. Port Barton would be my favorite place as El Nido is too touristy which spoils the experience.
Our next destination is San Vicente, a new upcoming destination with a few high end resorts such as Peak view resort and Club Agutaya Beach Resort. Since the area is still being developed there is not much to do than to relax and enjoy the quite beach. Similar Island hopping tours as in Port Barton depart from San Vicente. If you are in a lower budget and want to relax and be away from the crowd you can check out Victoria beach house, which is 30 minutes drive from San Vicente town. PAL flies 3 times a week to SAn Vicente.
Then El Nido was very hot place to visit the last couple of years. New resorts are being built at a fast pace. The Ayala Group is developing a whole new area called Lio with hotels called Kalaw, Covo, Balai Adlao with bars and restaurants. All the hotels are quite sizable so ideal for big groups. The Ambiance is more being liked by Asian customers. Europeans prefer to stay in Corong Corong in our preferred resorts such as Last Frontier, Coco and Mahogany Resort for customers with high budget. Another place called Mouringa Hotel same owners as Coco Resort, though not along the beach offers great rooms similar to Coco Resort but you pay not even half.
We don’t favor to book any place in El Nido town as it’s crowded, noisy and the quality of accommodation and service is below par.
Some places in El Nido town has been demolished by the government as they did not comply with the new environmental regulations. Some Hotels in town are still closed for same reason such as Cuna Hotel.
Before we reached Sabang we visited Batak tribe. In just 1 hour walk you can reach their village. If you want them to perform a dancing show then they will be happy to do so for Php 2,500.00
Sabang famous for the underground river is still a sleepy place. You can also start the underground river tour from the end of the monkey trail. The name already says it, monkeys on this trek of 45 minutes can be seen as well as big lizards of almost 1.5 meter long. There are only two higher end resorts Sheridan and our preferred Daluyon Resort in Sabang which are already existing more than 5 years. Sabang did not change for a bit in the last 5 years.
Our trip started and ended in Puerto Princesa. There are too many hotels in Puerto Princesa to mention. However our preferred place here is munting paraiso though Ivy Best Western Hotel along Rizal Avenue is the most popular place to stay. Also Canvas and Acasia Tree Resort offers a nice ambiance though the location of Canva Hotel is along a busy road. For our complete list of Palawan Hotels you may click here