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Sibaltan – Archeological Village in Palawan

Now that you’ve made it through the zoo of Manila, Puerto Princesa and El Nido, you can finally begin your real vacation by relaxing a little. But don’t worry, there will always be plenty to do! Sibaltan is also the launching pad or final destination of our multi-day private custom boat tours to or from Coron. We can also arrange local land and boat tours around Sibaltan only.

And this is a true oasis. Actually, an archeological site and prime example of traditional Filipino housing and lifestyle.


Only about 1.5 hours east of El Nido, you no longer need to worry about long journeys and travel stress, but can begin to relax and enjoy what you really came here for.

Things to do in Sibaltan

This is a historical, archeological village and is being protected as such, so you can easily spend a few hours just walking around.




No 711 to be found here but only simply prepared snacks.
Rice field on the outskirts.
Drying rice in the sun. Fine use of a road around these parts.


Symbiosis with modern technology.

Then on one end of the village you have the free entry boat museum:

Boat builder just around the corner.


The boat museum:


View of the top deck.
Some artifacts on display below.
Mangrove suburbs just beside (click to zoom in).

On the other end of town you have another museum, showing traditional housing, with coconut shell lined sidewalks, artifacts on display inside when open:




The historical center now has its own restaurant. 


New masseuse now in town.

And if that ain’t enough, there’s always the endless stroll along the beach, or frolic in the water by renting a canoe to go up the mangrove river for about 500p, or windsurf boards.

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Right: local cemetery by the sea. 

After a lovely stroll you can dine in one of the village’s restaurants:


Another one recently opened, part of Tapik:


Or dine and wrap up the evening in one of the resorts (both have good menus and cooking):

You can also rent a motorbike from one of the locals for around 500p and explore the outlying area, where often cock-fighting goes on in the villages, or summer festivals on the weekends.

YouTube video

Typical Sunday in this area.

How to get to Sibaltan

You can catch a bus or jeepney from the El Nido bus station, but it can take a while with all the stops, or if you book a tour with us we can arrange a private van for you, which is much faster.

If coming from or continuing on to Coron the best way is by one of our private custom boat tours, or we can also offer local land and boat day tours around Sibaltan only.


History of Sibaltan

Managed to glean some history of the area from Ben the ex-mayor of San Miguel, Linapacan, who was born in Sibaltan and whose grandfather was the first school teacher of the elementary school built there by the Americans in the 1930s. Ben started out his business collecting dried fish to ship to Manila, but would stop for a couple of hours in Linapacan before sailing on and where he met his future wife.

The people of Sibaltan are predominantly Cuyonan, originally from the island of Cuyo, where around the 800s the local tribe began venturing elsewhere to grow their rice when the island’s landmass could no longer support its population’s feeding needs. They would ship the cargos on an ancient ship which proved seaworthy risky and which was eventually used as a museum as shown in the pictures above.


“Sibatan” means war or battle in Tagalog and during WW1 the area became a battleground between the Muslims and Spaniards. The Muslims would hunt crocodile up the mangrove rivers to use their skin for belts around their waste, bags and shoes. Sibaltan then became a training ground by the US for local soldiers against the Japanese. One Japanese person remains in Linapacan and who is now living on its beach with his family, is on the local tourist committee and guides tourists to the Senora caves, teaching them not to rest their sweaty hands on the 10+ million year old stalagmites, lest they flatten and lose their interesting shapes.

There are 18 barangays (regions) in the El Nido area, Sibaltan being one of the oldest of them. During the 1800s the old people would bury their belongings, such as kitchenware, necklaces and other jewelry, such that now many treasure hunters frolic to the area digging down only a few feet to find precious antiques. This has given the village its archeological reputation and its locals the desire to preserve this history by focusing mostly on traditional bamboo and coconut structures. Its heritage building is now home to a thriving weaving coop which exports hand made purses and other goods.


Tapik Beach Guesthouse, take good care of you, personal pickup from El Nido (600-1,600p)

Warm people who can pick you up straight from El Nido, rent you their kayak and take care of all your needs. A cozy atmosphere with traditional huts for your accommodation.









So peaceful here that this loose art in the sand on table top looked untouched even two months after the occasion!

Their prices:

Beach Cottage – 1,600p (=$33)
Beach Hut – 800p
Traditional Loft Room – 800
Traditional Loft Small – 600
Camping Tent – 600

Ursula Beach Club, very nice people, next door to resort 1 above (800p = $17, or 300p tent)

On the same, long stretch of quiet beach, these two places compete against one another by trying to start a cozier evening fire on the beach. Either place has a restaurant and bar and nice place to hang out in the evenings. Short distance walk from the village.



Their prices:

One of two rooms in small structure, complete with own toilet and shower – 800p (=$17)
Tent under open, roofed hut – 300p
– more places are currently being built on the hillside

Low price stay in village (200p = $4.5)

Nice woman runs this place, with internet cafe and solar power for 10p an hour during the day (like many smaller villages, this one turns on the power generator only from 6-10pm, as do the two resorts above). She has a well on her property, which can come in handy during the drier summer months, as both the resorts above occasionally run out of water.

She prefers not to post her contact information, so you’ll just have to try your luck once you get there. You can also try other places along the beach (where there is now a third resort I’m told, part of Tapik), or possibly set up a tent for free, as some parts of the long stretch are totally unused.


One of her single rooms for 200p.


Loft upstairs with room for four (mattresses on floor), 200p each.


The kitchen above with picture of coconut shell fired stove below.


The water well, for those dry summer months.
Pleasant seating in her front garden, with view of the ocean in the background.

Floresita’s Beach Resort

A new place which opened up just next to the top two resorts.









Bayog Beach Campsite

Further down the endless beach away from town.





Eda Beach Campsite

And still further down the beach away from town, a really relaxing and quiet place.





Randy the owner would be glad to show you how to make a coconut leaf hat, among other traditional skills:

YouTube video

Explore the area or go on a multiday expedition to Coron

Whether you would like a land tour of this archeological village, rent some kayaks to explore the mangrove forest up the river, or go on a multiday expedition to or from Coron, we’re happy to help you!

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05:51 03 Apr 24
I give 5 stars because they actually helped me to arrange the tour to Balabac in last minute. However, because the money wired through the local bank in my country took time to be processed, so i missed the boat due to peak season as many people paid before my money was received by the tour guide.As most of people usually feel, once your money has been transferred out to someone you do not know, you probably frustrated that your money would not be able to be refunded.But not in my experience. I dont need to be worry, the owner refunded me the money he has received (minus the bank fees). He promised to refund me and he did it. It was around 18.700 Pesos.So, eventhough i didn't manage to go with the tour, but i am really satisfied with their legitimate and great business practice. Hopefully, people will try their services and not worry about their legit business!Thanks a lot!
Chloe BlanchardChloe Blanchard
13:38 27 Mar 24
The most wonderful experience from booking to beach! Karel and Mel were so fast and responsive to my very last minute trip over the holidays. We booked a private boat for two and could not have been happier with our four day trip! We didn’t think about anything other than snorkeling the entire time. Linda, our captain, cooked wonderful meals and took us to totally empty beautiful beaches. We loved staying the night in Pical especially! Wonderful to experience the Philippines this way! Will come back again and would recommend to anyone!
hotel luci del farohotel luci del faro
08:13 31 Jan 24
We booked the 3 day 2 night expedition, from Coron to Sibaltan.First of all the booking part was really simple. I organized this trip to the Philippines last minute for my family (my parents and my uncles) but Karel answered all my questions very quickly and really made everything easier for me. It was an incredible experience. Albert, our tour leader, is a wonderful guy, always smiling and ready to help us. They assisted us in everything and really took care of making everything go smoothly. The accommodation on the islands is as spartan as you expect but the location of each hut alone is worth the trip. The wonder of nature was then added to the goodness of cuisine. It's really difficult to argue how you can cook all that goodness on a boat.If you are looking for an authentic experience, in contact with nature, off the beaten track, this company's private expedition is certainly for you.
Kate BrownKate Brown
00:22 27 Oct 23
What an unforgettable experience! We did a two night (3 day) island hopping tour from Sibaltan to Coron. Everything was so well organized and the boat crew were amazing and really made sure we had a great time. The accommodation was rustic, but added to the authentic experience of the Philippines. Karel always responded to any queries we had promptly. Our boatman, Albert, was the most amazing chef and we enjoyed every meal. The crew taught the kids how to fish with a line which was their highlight of the trip. They took us to the most unbelievable snorkelling spots along the way. Would highly recommend this trip.
Ian PascualIan Pascual
02:43 10 Aug 23
One of the most amazing, unforgettable things you can do in your life
Lou PrataliLou Pratali
11:04 25 Jul 23
This is a must to do!!Super ultimate tour is the best with Kayangan and barracuda lake, twin lagoons (my favorite), coral garden (blue fabulous coral) were the best. It’s really worth it to pay for private tour (3500 to 4000 PHP). You will also have to pay for entrance fees (150 to 200PHP by location) and eventually shopping at the market - must do (count 300 for 2 for fish, pork, fruits and vegetables, water).
16:11 07 Feb 23
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the stunning Bacuit Gulf.Based on the comments, I contacted Mel.Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization.The on-board staff were very friendly and very helpful.And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel.In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I cannot recommend Mel and his team highly enough.A big thank-you.
Alyse TarbottonAlyse Tarbotton
23:48 30 Aug 22
This tour went well above all our expectations! I couldn't recommend this enough! The boat crew, captain and tour guide were nothing but amazing, everyone was so kind, helpful and friendly. The crew knew the best spots to visit that weren't overcrowded with tourists, 3 times we were lucky enough to have whole islands to ourselves! It was my partner's birthday while away and everything went above and beyond, bonfire, cake, birthday card, singing and celebrating with us.If you love camping this is definitely a tout you should do, it has been the highlight of our trip!!
Danish KayaniDanish Kayani
10:24 31 Oct 19
Coron is the best place i have ever seen.. picturesque. Beautiful. Peaceful
We booked a 4 days/3 nights private boat trip from Coron to Sibaltan. The organization went very well from the beginning, the owner answered to all my questions, and we were able to choose which islands to visit and where to sleep. The first night we slept in a bungalow in Banana Island, the second we camped in Araw beach and the last we slept in a seafront bungalow builded on a tree in Pical on Iloc Island.The islands in that area are the most beautiful islands I have ever seen, with clear water, lots of coral reef and fishes to see, white sand and almost deserted. The crew was very friendly and polite and they organize every single meal and for camping they give you a tent which was just perfect! This was our highlight in our 2 weeks in the Philippines and I wish I had booked a longer trip. A private trip gives you the freedom to decide where and when to go.
Gérard Benoit
Gérard Benoit
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the beautiful bay of Bacuit. Seeing the comments, I contacted Mel. Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization. The crew were very friendly and very helpful. And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel. In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I can recommend Mel and his team highly enough. A big thank-you.
André Mardoñal
André Mardoñal
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The island world of Linapacan between Coron and El Nido with the clearest waters in the world is truly a dream for itself! Without a boat you won't be able to see it! But what this boat trips makes so amazing is the crew! Once you come on board they might be shy in the beginning but will make you feel welcome and home from the first moment. Not only that they are looking that you sit comfortable all the time, they will prepare fresh and delicious food what the buy from local markets. They know the best spots and most beautiful islands and will bring you to places where you get this "Robinson Cruisoe feeling". Every day you visit 3 to 5 spots for snorkeling, enjoying a beach or exploring a little island. The accommodation we had was good and simple. We slept in bungalows and tents right at the beach. Sheets and towels were always provided and sometimes towels. After a while you feel like a family on board. We loved living the boat life didn't wanna leave! If you doubt take a longer than shorter trip! For any questions please message me.
Sarah Uhan
Sarah Uhan
All in all it was a really great experience. It's a once in a lifetime thing to do and you won't get more authentic and basic Philippino experiences anywhere else. We were not so lucky with the wind and waves so we couldn't do all the stops we wanted to unfortunately. So be aware that especially the months from January to May can be very rough on water. But we still saw some great places Benji took us. Benji and his family was very nice and they did everything they could. The food was amazing - always freshly made in authentic Philippino style and way too much for the 2 of us. Make sure to bring enough cash - many of the islands cost extra (entrance fee) and be aware that any kind of accommodation and food (200php per meal) is not included in the boat fee. Also the deposit and commission fee for the agency are a little over the top, especially since the crew does not get any of it. The costs all in all are rather high for phillipino circumstances especially given the basicness of it all. However if you think about that all 5 boat people (in our case) live off of the boat fee alone, you spent the money willingly. Be aware though that accommodation and sanataries are very basic if even existant. So you gotta have the right mindset. Bring tissue, sanatiszer and earplugs to get some better sleep. Another feedback I have concerning the size of the boat. I don't think it is sufficient for more than 4 people. If the weather is like it was these days, you always have to sit on top and it was already a little squeezy with us 2 and 5 boat people. So I guess 4 guests can be fine but more than that won't have the space. There is different boat sizes but make sure to talk about that with Karel in advance. Other than that it was really worth it and we got to see so many great beaches and reefs which we could have never been able to visit without the tour.
Eric Liu
Eric Liu
It was scary to book a 5 day trip with no places to stay confirmed or a strong itinerary. And in the Philippines, communication is difficult. But that is part of changing mindsets to a rural island mindset. In the end, everything worked out. We had some tough moments with bugs. But we also had some amazingly beautiful secluded beaches, the best snorkeling in the world, relaxing on the beach, and freshly made food on the boat while docked at beautiful places (better than being on land). Note, we went with Benji. Recommendations: - you must get a local SIM when you arrive to make sure pickup and everything works out - some islands have bugs - use bug spray! Pros: - a fraction of the cost - away from the crowds - can customize what you want - just ask! - a truly local experience - saw a REAL rural town Cons: - locals aren't really polished tour guides - if you don't ask for it, you won't get it, need to be pretty proactive - pretty simple "activities" - no frills like bathrooms or kayaks etc.
Ángela Deand
Ángela Deand
We can't be more grateful to have had the opportunity of experience the peace in Patoyo Kitesurfing Camping! Spending two weeks in Dimancal Island, gave us the chance to experiment the rural and traditional way of life, in touch with the nature and people. We have learnt how to cook with fire, how to open a coconut and how to survive in an environment where for a time we forget about unnecessary needs, just to focus on enjoy the small details and pleasures of life. Mentioning too the amazing snorkeling and beautiful islands around this place, which make it unique​ and special. It is a lovely option if you are running away from tourists and overcrowded places in the Philippines. You will find yourself in the middle of virgin beaches and nature, surrounding​ by charming people. We will definitely come back!
Caroline Danielle
Caroline Danielle
We haven't done a Tao tour, but I would suspect that this is a cheaper version of the same thing. Our boat operator (Benji) and the entire crew were were fun, friendly and made an effort to ensure we had a good time. If you get a large group of people together it can be a really inexpensive alternative to other Coron-El Nino and vice versa island hopping tours. The food was good, but more expensive than as advertised by Karl. The price quote we got was 100 php a meal, but the boat charged us 200. Since the food was good we didn't mind the extra expense, but it is important to keep in mind if you're on a budget. Definitely plan for some incidental spending. Our boat did have some mechanical issues and as a result we ended up being stuck in the same place for longer than we wanted to be. That being said, little could have been done about it and the trip was fun nonetheless.
Hauk Are Fjeld
Hauk Are Fjeld
If you believe that doing the touristic tours in El Nido and going to "The hidden beach" takes you off the beaten path, you are wrong. There are lots of beautiful places in Palawan, but few of these places are without any other tourists. If you want to spend some extra effort on getting away from the tourist places, and don't mind a little "primitive" living, Island Hopping in the Philippines is definitely something you should check out
Arnold Cabiguen
Arnold Cabiguen
The snorkeling in this area is phenomenal. Clearest waters in the world. I guess it's because there is relatively such lower tourist traffic through here, and the locals really protect the reefs!
Karel Kosman
Karel Kosman
Love it so much, just had to say it twice!
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