Nature really comes to the fore of San Vicente Palawan. Punctuated by rocky outcrops, the sprawling landscape here varies from forest fringed mountains and windswept grassland, to a swirling mix of aquamarine beaches and rough-hewn coves. Tucked between the famous Puerto Princesa and El Nido, San Vicente Palawan is a relatively newcomer in tourism. This bucolic town thrives mainly on fishing and farming, but that is about to change a few years from now, as San Vicente Palawan is slowly making its mark on the tourists’ radar. Thanks to the opening of San Vicente Airport with cheap flights from Manila and Clark, it makes San Vicente a practical base for your trip to San Vicente Palawan and Port Barton. Hotels and resorts are also slowly emerging in San Vicente Palawan, but as expected, spectators have driven up real-estate prices here.
Although the town center itself doesn’t offer much to see, the long, palm-fringed, sandy beaches here are worth a visit. San Vicente Palawan is also flecked with approximately 22 islands, most of them are accessible from San Vicente Port and from Port Barton. While many European tourists head to Port Barton to do the island hopping, the same tours for the same prices are also available in San Vicente Palawan.
To help you plan your trip, here’s my San Vicente Palawan Itinerary and Travel Guide blog with sample budget, my handpicked list of top things to do in San Vicente Palawan, and hotel and beach resorts recommendation.
SAN VICENTE PALAWAN PRE TRAVEL GUIDE
BEST TIME TO VISIT SAN VICENTE PALAWAN : The dry season – December to May are the best months to visit. Since most tourists in San Vicente Palawan are Europeans, peak season is from December to February when they are trying to escape the cold weather in their country. We visited around end of March, the weather was perfect, and there’s not a lot of tourists. We got to swim with a pawikan (sea turtle) too! Avoid the weekends and public holidays if you want lesser crowd.
SAN VICENTE WI-FI: There’s data and mobile signal for major mobile networks but it’s intermittent.
SAN VICENTE PALAWAN MODE OF PAYMENT: Everything is on cash basis. Stack up cash before heading to San Vicente Palawan as there’s no ATM in this town. Your option is to do money transfer via Palawan Pawnshop, but that’s a lot of hassle. Also, you can go to Caltext station in downtown San Vicente, they can exchange cash with your debit or credit card using a POS Machine, but there is a 6% charge per transaction.
SAN VICENTE PALAWAN ELECTRICITY: Power socket is Type A. Electricity is 220 V, 60Hz. Good news is, there’s electricity 24/7 in San Vicente town and even in beach resorts or hotels near or in Long Beach.
SAN VICENTE PALAWAN SAFETY: San Vicente Palawan is a tourist-friendly place, and safe for group or solo travelers. However, as in any other places, watch out for your valuables, don’t just leave them anywhere. We heard stories of theft here, so just be careful. I lost my Birkenstock sandals while island hopping in Port Barton. I left it at Maxima Island, and I told my boatman right after I realized I left it. But he said we’ll just get it after lunch, he was confident that it won’t be lost. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The staff there said someone from another boat took it, when we went looking for that boat, they denied it. I’m disappointed actually because it never happened to me before while traveling around the Philippines. But then again, I will still encourage you to visit San Vicente Palawan, I’d like to think of it as an isolated case. I hope it won’t happen again to other travelers.
More importantly, take extra care while on tour or when doing adrenaline pumping activities because if mishaps happen (knock on wood) there are only small clinics in San Vicente and in Port Barton. San Vicente Palawan District Hospital is still under construction, and the nearest major hospital is located in Roxas, the next town.
WHERE TO STAY IN SAN VICENTE PALAWAN
If San Vicente Palawan is your base, I recommend staying in a beach resort near Long Beach. Here’s a list of some of the top-rated San Vicente Palawan beach resort and hotels.
- Turublien Long Beach Inn and Beach Bar
Location: Pinagmangalokan Beach (Long Beach) in New Agutaya, San Vicente Palawan
If you want to see the main Long Beach strip and stay there, Turublien Long Beach Inn and Beach Bar at Pinagmangalokan Beach (Long Beach) is a good option, it’s a 3-star accommodation that’s perfect for budget travelers. We found out about this place from our good friend Gabz of Pinoy Travel Freak. You have to cross the river using a make-shift raft that will be pulled by the staff of the inn on the other side. Alex, the owner was pretty helpful and friendly too!
- Victoria Beach House
Location: Alimanguan Beach (Long Beach), San Vicente Palawan
Club Agutaya Resort
Location: New Agutaya, San Vicente Palawan
Location: New Agutaya, San Vicente Palawan
Nelman’s Nipa Hut
Location: San Vicente, Palawan
SAN VICENTE PALAWAN TRAVEL GUIDE
HOW TO GET TO SAN VICENTE PALAWAN
Option 1: Manila to San Vicente Palawan
1.From Manila, Skyjet flies to San Vicente Airport during Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Travel time is about 50 minutes. Fare starts at ₱971 ($18, €17, AUD 27).
2.At San Vicente Airport, you can ride a tricycle for ₱75 ($1.43, €1.29, AUD 2) per person to your hotel or beach resort. You may also hire a tricycle to take you to your resort, rate is roughly ₱300 ($6, €5, AUD 8). Travel time is roughly 15 minutes.
Option 2: Clark to San Vicente Palawan
1.From Clark, Pampanga, Philippine Airlines has daily flights to San Vicente. Travel time is 1 hour and 30 mins.
2.At San Vicente Airport, you may board a tricycle to your hotel or resort for ₱75 ($1.43, €1.29, AUD 2) per person. You can also hire a tricycle to take you to your resort for about ₱300 ($6, €5, AUD 8).
Option 3: Puerto Princesa to San Vicente Palawan
1.You may also fly to Puerto Princesa International Airport in Puerto Princesa Palawan.
2.From Puerto Princesa Airport or from Puerto Princesa city center, you may take a tricycle to San Jose Terminal for ₱150 ($3, €3, AUD 4), good for 3 -4 passengers.
3.At San Jose Terminal in Puerto Princesa, you may take a van going to San Vicente. There are many vans in Sa Jose Terminal to Port Barton from 4:00 AM t0 5:00 PM, make sure you are riding the van going to San Vicente, not to El Nido or Port Barton. Van fare is ₱400 ($8, €7, AUD 11) and travel time is about 4 hours.
4.You can alight ask the driver to drop you off at your resort (for an additional fee). Or alight at San Vicente town proper and take a tricycle to your resort or hotel in San Vicente. Fare is roughly ₱50 ($0.96, €0.86, AUD 1.41) per person.
Puerto Princesa to San Vicente Palawan Van Schedule
- Virus Shuttle Van
Van Schedule Puerto Princesa to San Vicente: 4:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM
Contact#: +63 998 577 5008
- Saviour Vans
Van Schedule Puerto Princesa to San Vicente: 7:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM
Contact#: +63 946 191 2528
- Cathy Transport
Van Schedule Puerto Princesa to San Vicente: 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM
Contact#: +63 946 191 2528
Alternatively, at San Jose Terminal you may also ride a bus (SBE bus) to San Vicente Palawan for ₱350 ($7, €6, AUD 10) per person. Travel time is 4 hours. RESERVE HERE
Puerto Princesa to San Vicente Bus Schedule: 6:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 02:00 PM
Option 4: Port Barton to San Vicente Palawan
1.From Port Barton, you may rent a boat to San Vicente Port for ₱3,000 ($57, €52, AUD 84), good for 4 -6 passengers.
2.At San Vicente Town Proper, you may take a tricycle to Long Beach or to your hotel or beach resort for roughly ₱50 ($0.96, €0.86, AUD 1.41) per person.
Option 5: El Nido to San Vicente Palawan
1.From El Nido Bus terminal, you may take a van to San Vicente Palawan. Fare is roughly ₱500 ($10, €9, AUD 14) per person.
2.At San Vicente Town Proper, board a tricycle to Long Beach or to your hotel or beach resort for about ₱50 ($0.96, €0.86, AUD 1.41) per person.
Van schedule El Nido to San Vicente Palawan
El Nido to San Vicente Palawan van schedule: Daily 4:30 AM, 1:00 PM, 6:00 PM
Contact #: +63 926 744 1040, +63 928 622 8666
- Nature Island
El Nido to San Vicente Palawan van schedule: Daily except Tuesday and Thursday 4:00 AM
Contact #: +63 908 343 2907, +63 915 644 1630
GETTING AROUND IN SAN VICENTE PALAWAN
From San Vicente town proper, tricycle fare to Long Beach is ₱50 ($0.96, €0.86, AUD 1.41) per person. From San Vicente Airport, tricycle fare to San Vicente Proper or to Long Beach is roughly ₱75 ($1.43, €1.29, AUD 2) per person, but you may hire a tricycle to your hotel for ₱300 ($6, €5, AUD 8).
To tour San Vicente, Palawan, you may rent a motorcycle (excluding gas) for ₱500 ($10, €8, AUD 14) per day.
Alternatively, you may hire a motorcycle with driver for ₱1,000 ($19, €17, AUD28) good for 2 persons to explore the beaches of San Vicente like Alimanguan Beach, Erawan Beach (Irawan Beach), and Bato ni Ningning.
By Group Tour (Island Hopping)
If you are a solo traveler or a party of 2 – 3, you can save by joining group tours for Port Barton Island Hopping from San Vicente. This includes lunch, snorkeling masks, and entrance fees.
Group tour rate is ₱1,200 ($23, €21, AUD34)
By Private Tour (Island Hopping)
If you want a private island hopping tour, you can do so. This includes lunch, snorkeling masks, and entrance fees. Here are the private tour rates (both from Port Barton and San Vicente):
|# OF PERSONS||RATE|
|2 person||₱5,000 ($96, €86, AUD 141)|
|3-5 person||₱7,000 ($134, €120, AUD 197)|
|Additional per person||₱1,300 ($25, €22, AUD 37)|
By Boat Rental
You can also rent a boat to tour around Port Barton, but take note that it doesn’t include gas, lunch, snorkeling masks, and entrance fees. Here are the rates:
|# OF PERSONS||RATE|
|6 persons maximum||₱5,000 ($96, €86, AUD 141)|
|10 persons maximum||₱8,000 ($153, €137, AUD 226)|
|Additional per person||₱800 ($15, €14, AUD 23)|
Here are the rates for regular destinations:
|Drop Port Barton (4 pax)||₱3,000 ($57, €52, AUD 84)|
|Additional per person||₱800 ($15, €014, AUD 23)|
|Roundtrip Port Barton||₱5,000 ($96, €86, AUD 141)|
By the way, there’s an Eco-tourism Fee that every traveler needs to pay when visiting San Vicente or Port Barton.
SAN VICENTE TOURIST MAP
Here’s a tourist map of San Vicente to help you plan your travel itinerary.
SAN VICENTE PALAWAN TOURIST SPOTS
1.San Vicente Palawan Long Beach
- Entrance: FREE
- How to get to Long Beach San Vicente Palawan: From San Vicente Palawan Airport, you can take a tricycle to Long Beach, travel time is roughly 15 minutes. Fare depends on which part of Long Beach, Long Beach 3 (Alimanguan Beach) is the farthest so expect to pay more if you’re heading there. Regular tricycle fare is roughly ₱70 ($1.33, €1.20, AUD 1.97) per person, but you have to wait for other passengers or for the tricycle to be full before it leaves. You can rent the entire tricycle for about ₱250 ($5, €4, AUD 7) – ₱300 ($6, €5, AUD 8).
If coming from San Vicente town proper, you can take a tricycle for about ₱50 ($0.95, €0.85, AUD 1.41) per person.
Long Beach in San Vicente has long been marketed as the “Longest White Beach in the Philippines”. But the truth is, it’s actually composed of 3 cream sandy beaches and trust me, it would be tiring to walk the entire 14 kilometers. My friend Marcos of Detourista, walked the entire Long Beach back in 2011. If you want to explore it, best to hire a motorcycle with driver or rent a motorcycle.
To simplify things and avoid confusion, let’s divide them into 3 beaches.
- Long Beach 1 – Pinagmangalokan Beach in Brgy.Agutaya. This is the closest to San Vicente Palawan town center. This is where Turublien Beach is located.
- Long Beach 2 – Enarayan Beach in Brgy.San Isidro. This is where Club Agutaya, the popular luxury resort in San Vicente Palawan is situated.
- Long Beach 3 – Bokbok Beach, Tagpis Beach and Alimanguan Beach in Brgy. Alimanguan. This is where Victoria Beach House is located.
We stayed in Long Beach 1 (Pinagmanglokan Beach) during our trip to San Vicente Palawan. We enjoyed our stay here as it is tranquil, not crowded by tourists. The beach here is nice, powdery cream sand hugged by azure sea. It’s good for beach bumming, but I won’t recommend swimming here due to regular waves plus the current seems strong. The only problem is, there’s no restaurant here unlike in Port Barton that is peppered with cafes and restaurants
2.Bato ni Ningning
- Entrance Fee: ₱10 ($0.19, €0.17, AUD 0.28)
- How to get to Bato ni Ningning: Hire a motorbike with driver to take you to Bato ni Ningning.
This popular tourist spot in Sa Vicente Palawan was named after “Ningning”, a defunct TV Show on ABS-CBN that aired back in 2015. But even long before that, Bato ni Ningning was already a known viewing spot for Irawan Beach (also Erawan Beach) below. It’s also a perfect spot to watch the scenic sunset in San Vicente Palawan. It also offers a jaw-dropping view of the rice field and the mountains hugging the island.
Now, there’s already a native cottage that was built here, where visitors need to pay a minimal fee for the upkeep of Bato ni Ningning. Bato ni Ningning is quite far from Long Beach, about 30 – 45 minutes by motorcycle.
3.San Vicente Palawan Beaches
- Entrance Fee: FREE
San Vicente Palawan’s major tourist attractions are its denim blue, sandy beaches lapping its coast. As I mentioned above – the following beaches – Pinagmangalokan Beach, Enarayan Beach, Bokbok Beach, Tagpis Beach, and Alimanguan Beach are all part of Long Beach. The other beaches after them are Nagtulay Beach, Boong Beach, Erawan Beach (Irawan Beach), Ombo Beach, Boding Beach, and Lumambong Beach.
The best way to explore them is by hiring a motorbike with driver. Rates depend on where you are coming from, but we paid ₱1,000 ($19, €17, AUD28) good for 2 persons, for a motorcycle roundtrip fare to visit Tagpis Beach, Alimanguan Beach, and Bato ni Ningning. You may also rent a motorcycle for ₱500 ($10, €8, AUD 14) excluding gas per day.
4.Port Barton Island Hopping
Port Barton island hopping is on top of our things to do in San Vicente Palawan. It is believed that there are roughly 22 islands in Port Barton, a barangay of San Vicente. Good news is, you can also visit them by availing of island hopping tours from San Vicente. Yes, you can join group island hopping tours in Port Barton from San Vicente, Palawan.
If you’re overwhelmed and don’t know which tour to choose, recommend Tour. Also, don’t miss snorkeling in Port Barton. There’s a really good snorkeling spot somewhere in the middle of the sea. It was quite shallow but the corals are really huge with thriving colorful fishes. If you are lucky enough, you can also spot a dugong or sea turtle while swimming at one of the islands here. Because of its pristine and somewhat protected environment, Port Barton is one of the best spots to spot sea turtles like hawk bill or green turtle. There’s actually a turtle sanctuary near Turtle Island and the peak of their nesting period is around October to March. During our visit, a famed luxury resort in San Vicente released a couple of sea turtles to the sea.
The Port Barton Island hopping is divided into 5. Standard rate is ₱1,200 ($23, €21, AUD34) if your join a group tour. The tour already includes lunch, masks, and miscellaneous fees. Island hopping starts at 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
- Tour A (Essential Tour): Turtle Spot, Twin Reef, Inaladelan Island (German Island), Smart Island, Starfish Island
- Tour B (Fishing Life): Paradise Island, Exotic Island, Sanctuary Reef, Albaguin Village, Starfish Island
- Tour C (Tribal Life): Aquarium Reef 1 & 2, Reef # 15, Bunungauin Town, Luli Beach Island, White Beach
- Tour D (Water Life): Inaladelan Island (German Island), Reef 1, Lagoon Reef, Bigaho Falls, Pamuayan Beach
- Tour E (More Reefs and Islands): Paradise Island, Maxima Island, Wide Reef, Capsalay Island, Fantastic Reef, Starfish Island
You can also do a private tour like we did, rate is ₱5,000 ($96, €86, AUD 141) good for 2 persons, and ₱7,000 ($134, €120, AUD 34) good for 3-5 persons plus additional ₱1,300 ($25, €22, AUD 37) per extra person.
- Entrance Fee: FREE
Port Barton is a popular backpacker destination to many foreigners, especially Europeans. Despite the crowd it brings, the island still exhibits a laidback appeal. It is peppered with houses and guesthouses, restaurants, and café. It’s a thriving community where locals and tourists stay harmoniously. I will write a more detailed blog for Port Barton soon.
- Entrance Fee: FREE
Since we were staying in Turbulien Inn, Inandeng River is sandwiched inside the confines of the resort. Inandeng River has green, tranquil water, surrounded by coconut trees. You can rent a kayak to go kayaking along the river. It’s also a great photo op spot.
7.Mangrove Forest in San Vicente Palawan
You can join a Mangrove Forest tour in San Vicente by inquiring at the San Vicente Tourism Office. But since there’s a Mangrove Forest near our beach resort, we took the opportunity to kayak there. Because it was so silent the thought of crocodiles in the cloudy water scared us, my friend wanted to back out, but it was too beautiful to pass, so I convinced him to go inside. Haha. And good thing we did because it was well worth it. The place is scenic and it’s also a good photo spot.
- Entrance Fee: Donation
- How to get to Pamuayan Falls: It’s a few minutes’ walk from Pamuayan Beach and about 1.5 hour trek from Port Barton.
If you are based in Port Barton, you can walk for about 1.5 hour to reach Pamuayan Falls. But if you’re based in San Vicente and Pamuayan Beach is part of your island hopping tour, you can walk to Pamuayan Falls for a few minutes. There’s no entrance fee but donation is recommended. You need to sign in the logbook. Our boatman guided us to Pamuayan Falls.
ALSO READ: TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN SAN VICENTE PALAWAN
SAN VICENTE PALAWAN ITINERARY
Here’s a sample San Vicente Palawan itinerary, this is good for a 3 day 2 night stay. This itinerary assumes that you are 2 people traveling and your flight is coming from Manila to San Vicente Palawan.
*Sample budget for San Vicente Palawan itinerary below is per person, and doesn’t include airfare + souvenirs. Airfare from Manila to San Vicente Palawan via Skyjet starts at ₱971 ($18, €17, AUD 27).
|DAY 1||SAN VICENTE BEACHES + BATO NI NINGNING|
|01:45 PM||Depart Manila|
|02:35 PM||ETA San Vicente Palawan Airport|
|03:00 PM||Hire tricycle to beach resort. ₱300 /2 = ₱150 (€3) per person|
|03:20 PM||Resort check-in. ₱800 /2 = ₱400 (€7) per person|
|04:00 PM||Motorcycle Tour (with driver) to San Vicente beaches.|
|₱1,000 (roundtrip fare, good for 2) = ₱500 (€9) per person|
|04:30 PM||Alimanguan Beach|
|05:00 PM||Watch sunset at Bato ni Ningning|
|06:00 PM||ETD Hotel/Resort|
|07:00 PM||Dinner. ₱150 (€3)|
|09:00 PM||Lights out|
|DAY 1 EXPENSES||₱1,200 ($23, €22, AUD 34, SGD 32, MYR 96)|
|DAY 2||PORT BARTON ISLAND HOPPING|
|09:00 AM||Start of Port Barton Island Hopping. ₱1200 (€21) per person|
|11:00 AM||Lunch (included in tour package)|
|04:00 PM||End of island hopping in Port Barton|
|05:00 PM||ETD resort. ₱50 (€1)|
|05:30 PM||Watch sunset in Long Beach.|
|06:00 PM||Freshen up|
|07:00 PM||Dinner. ₱150 (€3)|
|08:00 PM||Sleep. ₱800 /2 = ₱400 (€7) per person (hotel)|
|DAY 2 EXPENSES||₱1,800 ($34, €32, AUD 51, SGD 47, MYR 143)|
|09:00 AM||Kayaking at Inandeng River|
|Kayak to Mangrove Forest|
|10:30 AM||ETD Resort. Freshen up.|
|11:30 AM||Lunch. ₱150 (€3)|
|12:00 PM||Check out.|
|Beach bumming. Photo op.|
|01:30 PM||ETD San Vicente Airport. ₱300 /2 = ₱150 (€3) per person|
|03:10 PM||ETD Manila|
|04:10 PM||ETA Manila|
|DAY 3 EXPENSES||₱300 ($6, €6, AUD 8, SGD 8, MYR 24)|
|TOTAL EXPENSES||₱3,300 ($63, €60, AUD 93, SGD 87, MYR 263)|
SAN VICENTE PALAWAN TRAVEL TIPS
- Bring sunblock and insect repellent lotion.
- Bring dry bag for your gadgets when island hopping in Port Barton.
- Stack up cash as everything on cash basis. There’s no ATM in San Vicente Palawan or in Port Barton.
- Bring your steel or bamboo straw and reusable water bottle. Refill your water in your hotel.
- Bring power bank, charge your phone and battery after your tour. If you are staying in Port Barton, power is available from 5:30 PM to 12:00 PM.
- Be extra careful when doing activities as there’s no large hospital in town, only small clinics both in San Vicente and Port Barton. The nearest major hospital is in Roxas.
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