Tips & Articles

Port Barton: Island Hopping

The most popular activity to do across Palawan is island-hopping tours. Some of the coastal towns are beautiful in their own right, but the true beauty of this region lies in the thousands of small islands that scatter across the bays, which you can’t see without a boat.

Port Barton is no exception. When in the town, you will see plenty of these tours advertised. Similar to El Nido, they are advertised as Tour A, Tour B, etc. These all include buffet lunches, life jackets, and mask & snorkels (depending on the locations).

We booked our group tour with our guesthouse, Sunset Colours, as we had read reviews stating theirs was excellent. Their tour takes just one route, which they believe showcases the best that Port Barton has to offer.

On the day, we got very lucky and discovered that it would just be the 2 of us on the tour. Essentially getting a private tour for the cost of a group one! This would be the first island-hopping tour of our trip, so we were ecstatic that it was off to such a good start.

After stepping through the water, avoiding numerous large rocks and climbing up onto the boat, we were on our way. We would get quite familiar with this feeling of being out on sea. Sailing past unbelievable natural beauty at every moment. To finally be doing it for our first time felt amazing and set the tone for what the rest of our trip would look like.

German Island

German Island

We hadn’t asked about our itinerary. So weren’t quite sure what we were going to be seeing on the day. This added a nice element of surprise to each destination.

Our first stop was at a coral reef for a brief stint of snorkelling. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much fish here (just lots of coral).

Next, we were on route to German Island. We were supposed to stop for more snorkelling just outside the island, but our guide said we should come back after lunch as there were a lot of boats in the area, and that the turtles and fish would be scared away.

Approaching German Island

We spent the next couple of hours on German Island. Part of the island has been turned into a resort where you can camp overnight. There is also a small bar where you can buy drinks. The beach and views here are beautiful, and we had a great time swimming and wandering around. However, it was soon overrun with other happy visitors ready to enjoy the small island.

Our lunch during the tour

Our boat crew prepared a delicious lunch for us including rice, grilled chicken, Filipino eggplant and salad. With the tastiest pineapple I’ve ever eaten for afterwards.

Next, it was off to enjoy the snorkelling while everyone else who came enjoyed their lunch. (The benefits of not being in a massive group!)

Snorkelling (Round 2)

Sea turtle spotted just off German Island

Our boat crew had the right idea beforehand, and we ended up having the area to ourselves. We were lucky enough to see this sea turtle casually swimming around. It’s certainly special seeing animals in their natural habitats!

Double Island

Views from Double Island

As the name suggests, our next destination was famous for being two islands connected by a narrow stretch of sand. Here too, there was opportunity to camp overnight. Plenty of seating areas too. I suspect this is a popular place to come for lunch for other group tours if German Island is too busy.

The part that connects the islands was quite rocky. Shoes were needed. Nearby though, there was a beautiful stretch of sand just inches under water that was fun to walk out on and sit in.

We were fairly exhausted by the sun at this point in time, so enjoyed a break of saying nothing to each other and resting our eyes in one of the beach huts. Until our crew came over and let us know it was time for our last stop for the day.

Sand Bar

On the sand bar, surrounded by islands

Our luck for the day continued and we were the only ones here when we first arrived. On arrival, we weren’t quite sure what the fuss was all about. It just looked like a patch of sand in the middle of the ocean. ‘What were we meant to do here?’ we thought to ourselves as we jumped off the boat.

We soon realised that it extended out more than 100 metres (Wouldn’t be able tell you the exact amount as we turned back at a certain point.).

It’s quite a feeling to be able to keep walking out and feeling like you’re standing on top of the ocean. Being surrounded by such natural beauty with such beautiful, colourful tones of turquoise and emerald was the highlight of the day.

Walking on the sand bar

Last Thoughts

No one will regret doing an island hopping tour in Port Barton. Our only fault was not spending more time in this charming town and getting out on the boat for one more day.