There are lots of tours and places to explore within Puerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan. From firefly watching, exploring an underground river, touring the city, one of the best you can do here is island hopping!
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Honda Bay Island hopping is a must-see, must-do and must-experience when you fly to Palawan, there are numerous activities you can do, swim, snorkel and just have fun with what the unique islands can offer. Island activities aside, the boat ride alone is breathtaking, the view of the sea and the islands are a sight to behold.
HONDA BAY ISLAND HOPPING TOUR
Our group bought a package tour since we don’t know this place well to do a DIY. There are 5 main island destinations:
- Cowrie Island
- Pambato Reef
- Luli Island
- Starfish Island
- Pandan Island
We visited 3 out of 5 for an island hopping day tour, with an eat-all-you-can buffet included in our package.
TO HONDA BAY WHARF
Activities in Palawan always start out early to avoid the crowd. In the morning, we waited for our guide to fetch us in our inn. Along the way, the van picks up other tourists too, that we will be joining in the activity.
The van will stop by Panz Mask and Snorkeling Shop, it’s a rental shop for snorkels, wet shoes, diving equipments and you can also buy here food for the fishes!
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A lot of people are lined up in the wharf waiting area, but since we were on a package tour, our group gets to ride the boat first. Maybe because those whose activities are under a travel agency were prioritized first.
HONDA BAY ISLAND HOPPING ACTIVITIES
As the name says, this island is literally filled with starfishes. THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. Holding them is allowed, but we were told not to let them out of the water too long. You can go snorkeling here and there are huts where you can take shelter from the sun. The island is not only filled with sea stars but the center of the island are filled with mangrove trees too. You can see a horizon of them.
I thought starfish' are squishy, like cooked squids, however when you touch them, they're just like wet stones.
The second island on the list. LULI Island got its name from the Tagalog word “lulubog” and “lilitaw”, means sinking and rising. The island is only visible on a low tide, you can see the sandbar and even have a race with your friends there. We did, and it was fun! I fed the fishes with the bread I bought before, they’ll really swarm on the food you toss. On a high tide, you can only see the huts floating on the water, the water covers the whole island!
It is said that Cowrie island is shaped like a shell, hence the name. This island is our last stop before going back to the shores of Puerto Princesa, the restaurant here offers an eat-all-you-can buffet lunch. The buffet is included in our package. YAY!
Cowrie Island has clearer water than Starfish and Luli Island, and looks more like an island restaurant, there’s even a bar. More tourists are swimming here and I think I saw someone on a jet ski, lots of huts and coconut trees reside on this island where you can just relax. As a side activity, we tried making sand sculptures, and it was a fail as you can see.
The 2 other islands, Pambato Reef and Pandan Island are not included in the package. Aside from the 5 islands I mentioned, there are private islands in Honda Bay too. You can visit them, but will charge you a higher price. I wanted to take a lot more pictures, but I didn’t buy a waterproof case for my cell phone, I didn’t risk to pull out my phone while in the waters.
Be careful of the items you rented in Panz’s shop. You’ll have to pay thousands if you lost something from them. The tour ends before late noon, and we still had the energy to go cycling on bay walk at night.
This is definitely on the list of places I need to visit again. I didn't get to even swim here and go snorkeling because I just can't at this time. And the foods pretty tasty, or maybe I was just too hungry that time?
ISLAND HOPPING IN HONDA BAY. ARE YOU IN?
If you want a relaxing outdoor trip in Palawan. Go Island hopping in Honda Bay!
Apart from the buffet and snorkeling activities, feeding some fishes and building some sand castles, Honda Bay's wonderful landscape will swipe you stress away. The scenery is such a therapy away from home, away from the metro.
- Let's be respectful of the starsfishes. Please don't take them away from the water too long. Just imagine yourself not breathing from the lack of air.
- Do remember to put all gadgets in a safe case as you will need to get off the boat and walk from a deep part of the water to get to the land.
- Honda Bay is just so beautiful!