Port Barton is a village on the west coast of Palawan Island. You can reach Palawan either by the sea or by air. It takes only 1 hour to fly and 32 hours to sail from Manila to Puerto Princesa which is the main town and most likely your starting point.
Reaching Puerto Princesa
By the sea
2go Travel is the only reputable ferry service. It departs from Pier 4 in Manila on Tuesdays and Fridays at 1:30 p.m. and reaches Puerto next day at 9:00 p.m. You can book and buy tickets on-line. It can be as little as USD 20 to sail the Ocean but if you are not on a tight budget consider taking a flight as the sea trip is lengthy and not particularly attractive.
There are up to ten flights a day to Puerto Princesa (PPS) from Manila alone and up to ten more from Iloilo and Cebu. The Puerto Princesa airport accommodates domestic flights operated by: Air Asia, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. None of these companies is fully reliable. Cancellations and delays are a commonplace. In general Cebu Pacific tends to be the cheapest option but also the least reliable. In June 2016 CEO of Cebu Pacific was spotted flying Philippine Airlines. He explained that a Cebu Pacific service tended to be late on the route he flew (sic!).
Buy tickets well in advance and look for promotions. You may try azair.com which offers such options as “anywhere” “major airports in Europe” and is very flexible. Take the following into consideration when you book your flights:
Check which terminals you land at and take off from.
There are 4 terminals in the Manila Airport on 4 different sides of the runway. Cebu Pacific (both international and domestic) operates from T3. Air Asia domestic flights operate from T4. Most international flights operate from T2. When booking separate flights take the transfer time into consideration.
Allow a lot of time if you need to change terminals.
Look for airport shuttle bus as they are a far better option than a cab when you need to change terminals.
There is a heavy traffic on all the roads to and around the airport. Terminal 3 to terminal 2 will take about 1 -1,5 hours. (max 250 Peso for a cab). Terminal 4 to terminal 3 0,5 to 1 hour (70 to 120 Peso for a cab). If you use a cab ask the driver to turn the meter on right after you get into the car.
Check in on-line.
Security staff will want to see your boarding or booking pass before they let you to the check-in area. It’s enough to have a PDF or even a picture in your phone. Do not panic if you do not have it, you will still get through but it will take a bit more time. On-line check-in has additional benefit: a bag drop-off counter may be open and usually there are only 2-3 people or none. You may avoid a lot of lining-up time.
Plan your flights with at least one stop-over.
If you are on a long-haul flight to Manila it makes a lot of sense to stop in Manila or Puerto Princesa for a night and continue your journey to Port Barton early in the morning next day. Remember that the last van leaves Puerto Princesa for Port Barton at 4 p.m., although in a high season there might be an additional service at 6 p.m.
Reaching San Vicente
As of October 2018 there is a new air route from Clark ( 4-hour drive from Manila) to San Vicente operated by Philippine Airlines. Enter Palawan through San Vicente if you are planning to visit it’s Long Beach (the longest beach in the Philippines – 14 km) and only in stable weather. The quickest way to get to Port Barton is by the sea and it might not be possible to go by boat if the weather is bad. The land route is complicated and will take 4-5 hours with one or two van changes although San Vicente is only 30 km from Port Barton