Since the jeepney from Roxas arrived a little past 1 PM from Roxas, Palawan there’s really nothing that I could do in Port Barton but to walk around, sit on the beach and talk to locals. One of the locals that I have talked to offered me an island hopping tour. Originally the prices of the island hopping tour for 2 pax is 1,200 Pesos and for 3 or more pax it’s 500 Pesos each. Since, I was alone I agreed so that I would not pay the hefty amount of 1,200 Pesos all by myself. He said that for the 500 Pesos per person to proceed he will look for other people to join me. We exchanged numbers and I went back to my lodging. Night came, there was no message that the tour will proceed. Next day around 7AM came, there was still no message so I texted him back to confirm of the island hopping tour. I decided if he does not message me at 8AM, I would have to take the offer of another local who offered me 800 Pesos for a boat for island hopping. I got word that on off-peak season, the boats could go that low. 8AM came, I texted the other local and he replied that the boat will be ready at 9AM.
Went to meet the local at 9AM and turns out he was not the boatman. So he referred me to my boatman and first things first, we needed food to eat. We looked for fresh fish so that we could cook on the islands. Though the front of the beach of Port Barton has been filled with accommodations Port Barton is still a fishing village so what we did was we went to people who they knew buys fish from the fishermen and sells them again at the market. Unfortunately, their fishes has either been reserved by the resorts or had been delivered to Puerto Princesa or Roxas via their public jeepneys. We saw a woman peddling some fishes and since it was either too big or too small, we decided that we’re having squid for lunch. Bought some onions, tomatoes, kalamansi, snacks, water and some cooked rice. Just when I thought we were going to start, he suddenly said that he’ll get some utensils from their house so we can use it. I think that’s good service. Around 9:20AM we road the boat and it was time to visit the islands of Port Barton. And what a way to start my island hopping trip but to meet huge jellyfish on the way. Like bigger-than-my-head huge! Â For our first stop, we arrived at Lowly Island.
Â According to the locals, Lowly Island was originally pronounced as Lu-Li Island. Lu-Li is short for Lulubog-Lilitaw (sinking-floating) because only during low tide would you be able to visit the island, during high tide it will be submereged in sea water.
Our next stop, is Ausan Island.
Then Paradise Island.
When I saw the island with trees giving shade at the beach I really wanted to stop there for a while and just relax but the island has an entrance fee of 50 Pesos per person. I just told my boatman to get the boat as close as possible so that I may take pictures and we’ll just head to the next island.
I somehow felt that my pictures were a bit dreamy. When I looked at my lense there was moisture on it. Unfortunately, I did not brought a glass cleaner so I tried gently wiping off the moist with my shirt. That’s when I learned that drifit shirts are not good to absorb moisture! Panic mode! When we arrived at Exotic Island, I tried again but drifit shirts were not really meant for removing moisture. Fail! So if drifit shirts were not meant for that, maybe I should try my drifit shorts. Super Fail! With no extra camera with me, I need to remove the moisture. Since my boatman went ahead to look for charcoal, I was thinking of approaching other tourists to ask “Hey, can I borrow your shirt?” but I had a great idea of using my
underwear camera bag who has a cotton cloth covering the inside. Luckily it worked! Â Going back to reality. The locals created a pathway made of rocks so that one could go around Exotic Island and see the view on the other side. While I was going back to where our boat was parked, my boatman followed me to check if I was alright. This is where I got to talk to him about why the prices of island hopping tours goes down to 800 Pesos per boat. Originally, the price of the island hopping tour is 1,200 Pesos for 2 pax and for 3 pax above it’s 500 Pesos per person. Apparently, the 800 Pesos per boat offer comes from mostly the middleman. The middleman offers the 800 Pesos per boat to the tourists, then when it’s off season many of the boatmen would take the deal than not be able to earn that day. After the tour, the tourist pays the boatman then the boatman gives a cut to the middleman making the earning of the boatman much lesser. Wooops! Looks like I’ve thought more of myself and my budget on this island hopping tour than think of how my boatman makes a living.
Since, I cannot do anything at that moment. I decided that we should head to the next island, German Island, but my boatman made a detour to let me see Sitio Albagi closer. I did not mind as I’m seeing more and it was just near Exotic Island.
It’s time for lunch and what better way to spend it under the trees of German Island.
Since I was not really feeling the island hopping vibes that time, I requested my boatman to just skim through the nearby islands and beaches so that I can take a picture and we’ll just finish the island hopping earlier than expected. Most likely the cause to this is that I’m doing the island hopping solo. It’s really better to enjoy things with your friends or new found friends. But before we left I swam on the shores of German Island so that I would finish my island hopping checklist. What’s an island hopping tour if you did not swim? The boat passed the developed Double Island.
Smart Island. The name of the island comes from the company of the communication tower that was built on it.
Last but not the least was White Beach, which is a part of mainland Port Barton but is easily accessible by boat.
Around 1:30 PM we arrived back at the beach of the town of Port Barton. Though it was still early to finish the island hopping there, I was satisfied with what I saw during the tour. Payed my boatman 800 Pesos plus an additional of 200 Pesos because he actually did a pretty good job touring me around. I also paid around 150 Pesos for snacks, ingredients and water. That makes the total of my island hopping tour to be 1,150 Pesos.
- 1,200 Pesos per boat for 2 pax
- 500 Pesos per person for 3 pax or more
Some of the boatmen offer food with the rates but some do not. Ask your boatman before riding your boat to be sure. Time of Island Hopping Usually the boatmen schedule the island hopping from 9AM to 4PM. Notes
- Most of the boatmen can be located under the Tourist Assistance Center of Port Barton. You can talk to them to arrange your island hopping tour.
- You can rent a snorkel gear in some of the resorts in Port Barton.
- Don’t forget to bring snacks and water.
- Bring an umbrella so you can hide from the sun during transit.
- For big boats they have a roof on the boats to shade guests.
This post is part of my 12 for 2012 Travel Project which aims to document places in the Philippines to help travellers. Follow my San Vicente, Palawan Series
- My San Vicente, Palawan Expenses (Helpful)
- Longest Beach in the Philippines (Must See!)
- Dairy Farm and San Vicente Airport
- Daplac Cove in Boayan Island (Must See!)
- How to get to Poblacion, San Vicente, Palawan (Helpful)
- Where to Stay in Poblacion, San Vicente, Palawan (Helpful)
Port Barton Subseries