We needed a place to stay between our time in Langogan and Port Barton and Picardal Lodge was one of the more affordable places we could find on a short notice. The lodge is situated in San Vincente - home of the famous Long Beach. The town itself is very peaceful with an amazing town square where you can dine on local food. My wife and myself enjoyed a liter of Red Horse (by far the best beer we’ve had here in the Philippines) and an entire grilled Mackerel. Yes you have to be careful around the bones but the taste of a freshly caught fish coupled with a tasty beverage in the late afternoon was nothing short of paradise. And that is where paradise ended. Picardal Lodge looks very inviting from the outside. The staff are welcoming and friendly and answered any and all questions we had. The room we stayed in wasn't as welcoming I’m sad to say. The pipe from the water supply to the sink leaked constantly and created a puddle at the base of the toilet. The shower curtain and surrounding walls was home to some type of mold/mildew. Our outside door had an issue closing fully and resulted in an invasion of sorts. At night the light we had on in the room attracted a swarm of flying ants which I quickly dispatched using my wife’s sandal. After that it was lights out for good. The trifecta of the leaky pipe, moldy shower, and ant invasion was proverbial straw on the camel’s back which resulted in this less than positive review. The upside, Picardal Lodge is extremely affordable for budget travelers. Perhaps we had a bad room. An exception to the rule if you will. The wi-fi in the room was also the best we’ve encountered thus far on our journey in the Philippines. There is also an internet cafe and separate wi-fi signal in the lounge/reception area of the lodge. Staff are friendly and helpful and the town and Long Beach are chill and fun to visit.
Cost: Budgeting? This place is for you. Better than a hostel but nothing to write home about.
Accessibility: From Puerto Princesa you’re looking at a 4.5 hour bus ride with a 30 minute stop at the terminal in Roxas. From where we were in Langogan it was about 3 hours of driving total. The road is smooth until you get into the San Vincente area then you’re driving a combination of dirt and paved roads. The lodge itself is right on the main street within walking distance from the terminal. Everything is within walking distance from the terminal to be exact, but the lodge is maybe 200-300 meters away. It cost us 150 pisos from Langogan to San Vincente in an open air bus.
Activities: Since our stay was one night we walked the 2km to Long Beach. The exercise was nice after a long bus ride and the beach is a sight to see. Though not an activity, hanging out at the town square is fun for people watching. It seemed as if everyone gathered there as the sun began to set. You can meet and chat with locals as well as other travelers.
Food: Our only meal was at the town square and consisted of beer and a grilled mackerel. The fish was amazing and accompanied by a very spicy soy sauce mixture. I don’t ask. I just eat if it tastes good. If you have an aversion to eating a whole fish - head, bones, and innards all - this is not for you. However, with some picking around and avoiding entrails the reward is worth the effort.