Philippines // Palawan //

San Vicente

About 15km north of Port Barton is the sleepy fishing village of San Vicente, accessible by bangka or bone-shaking jeepney ride from Princesa. It has a small market, a petrol station and a couple of snacks stalls but little else; it does offer an alternative to taking longer bangka rides between Port Barton and El Nido however, as it has road links to the north coast and Taytay.

The only reason to linger around here is Long Beach, a so-far undeveloped 14km stretch of sand south of town that ranks as one of the most extraordinary beaches in the country – you can see both ends only on a brilliantly clear day. Enjoy it while you can, as the new airport has already prompted the construction of large resorts and it is only a matter of time before the beach is “discovered” by package tours. For now the best place to stay in San Vicente is the simple but friendly Picardal Lodge (t0920/476-4854; P500–999), which has wi-fi, a short walk from the pier. To get to Long Beach you’ll need to catch a lift on a motorcycle from San Vicente’s market, near the pier, for around P50.

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