When you think of island hopping in Palawan, the first thing that comes to mind is the dozens of idyllic islands around El Nido. But for those who want to experience Palawan’s island paradise while not straying too far away from the capital city, Puerto Princesa has its own collection of tranquil islands in the nearby Honda Bay.
Situated only a few kilometers away from Puerto Princesa, Honda Bay captures the natural beauty of Palawan with its scenic white-sand beaches, clear crystal-blue waters, and large varieties of marine life. Numerous islands dot the bay, though a large majority of tours visit three of them, as most of the others are privately owned.
What to expect
Tour packages exploring Honda Bay mostly go through three islands: Starfish Island, Luli Island, and Cowrie Island. The tour usually starts early in the morning and finishes right before sunset.
As the name suggests, Starfish Island is home to different species of starfish, which you can already see along the coastline. Divers can also go for a short snorkeling session around the island to get a closer look at its beautiful corals and marine life.
Luli Island is famous for its sandbars that disappear and reappear during high tide and low tide respectively. Enjoy a nice swim in the island’s cool beaches, or lounge around in one of its cottages.
Cowrie Island caps off the tour with its picturesque views and scenic beaches. It’s named after a type of sea snail that you can find around the island.
Where to experience it
Puerto Princesa City is an hour-and-a-half flight away from Manila. Unlike the other famous tourist spots in Palawan, Honda Bay is only a 30-minute land trip away from the city proper, making it a great option for tourists who are only staying in Puerto Princesa for a short time.