Saturday, September 22, 2012

Touring the Honda Bay | Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Some of the sights during the Honda Bay Tour

Touring the islands in Honda Bay is a must when in Puerto Princesa City. 

In the half-day tour, travelers get to experience swimming with colorful fish, lounging around a white sandy beach, and doing the catwalk on a narrow sandbar. Each stopover has its own unique charm.

The Honda Bay tour takes more than half a day, which starts early in the morning and ends with firefly-watching at night. Travelers may opt to move the firefly tour to a different date if they're tired after all the swimming.

Islands in Honda Bay
Unfortunately, travelers won’t be able to visit all of them in a day.
(Image from

Here are the three islands we toured:

1. Cowrie Island (20 minutes from the Honda Bay port)
It’s a small and peaceful island where the water around is fairly shallow. This lets you see the colorful fish instantly. Just watch out for the huge sea urchins and the sudden drop in the ocean floor.

Visitors can opt to have lunch there, though beware of flies. 

2. Pambato Reef (20 mins away from Cowrie Island)
Look down while snorkeling in the protected area and you’ll see lots of colorful fish. Unfortunately, the corals are mostly dead. According to our guide, it takes a decade to produce an inch of corals!

3. Lu-li Islet (5 mins away from Pambato Reef)
Do the catwalk along the narrow sand bar, get up close to the mangroves, or take a leap out into the ocean from the diving board. It’s a relaxing and fun way to end the day tour. Watch out for jellyfish!

Lu-li is short for "lulubog-lilitaw"—which is what actually happens depending on the time of day.

How to get there:
From Rizal Ave., it’s a 2-hour drive to get to the Honda Bay Wharf. A service van and tour guide is part of the tour package.

Honda Bay Wharf
This is where the tour guide takes care of securing permits, etc. 

There's a rest stop on the way there. Travelers can rent snorkeling gear (Php 150), underwater camera cases (Php 200), and aqua shoes (Php 150). Bread for feeding the fish (or the travelers) is Php 15 a bag.  

Take note that the snorkeling gear is cheaper by Php 50 at the wharf itself. Since these weren’t on display, I'm just not sure how great these are.

After a few minutes of waiting at the wharf, we boarded the bangka to start the tour!

Fortunately, the hotel gave us a great deal for accommodations and tours. For our group of seven, the total cost was Php 35,000 or Php 5,000 per person. It included:
  • 2 rooms for 7 people for 3 nights
  • Breakfast for 3 mornings
  • Airport transfers and tour transpo
  • Underground River tour w/ lunch
  • Honda Bay tour w/ lunch
  • Firefly Watching tour w/ dinner


To view our itinerary, click here!

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