It was day three of our tour in the island of Palawan. My cousin Archie, his girlfriend Carol, and myself were going on our last tour before going back to Manila. Our final adventure will take us on the Honda Bay Island Hopping tour.
We booked our Honda Bay Island Hopping tour through our hotel (Canvas Boutique Hotel) who contacted a local tour operator called Island Explorer. We’ve taken a tour with this company during our last two days in Palawan going to Puerto Princesa Underground River and doing the Puerto Princesa City Tour.
“Island Explorer” has proven itself to be very reliable along with our very friendly and helpful tour guide Tina.
What’s included in the Honda Bay Island Hopping tour:
- Air-conditioned Land Transfers
- Boat Transfers
- Buffet Lunch at Cowrie Island
- Licensed Tour Guide
- Environmental Fee
- Entrance Fees
Islands where the Honda Bay Island Hopping tour is going to:
- Starfish Island
- Luli Island
- Cowrie Island
Total cost of the tour: P1240 ($35.43 CAD) including environmental fee.
Cost to rent snorkeling gears including booties: P150 ($4.29 CAD)
As usual, the pickup process went well. Our tour mini-bus took us to a local snorkeling shop where we rented some gears. Afterwards, we went to the docks and boarded a boat taking us to the three islands.
First stop: Starfish Island
My first impression of Starfish Island wasn’t very good. The grounds were very rocky which can easily hurt your feet. There was also barely any starfish in the island which I found ironic since it was called Starfish Island.
The only starfish in Starfish Island
Altogether, it was a lacklustre experience. My cousin Archie was also not pleased and the corals weren’t very nice at all during our attempt to do some snorkeling.
My cousin is not pleased by Starfish Island
We were more than ready to leave as soon as we arrived there.
Second stop: Luli Island
Now we’re talking! Luli Island was our favourite island of the three and for good reason! There are tons of fun activities to do and the island was so much nicer in comparison to Starfish Island.
Luli Island is actually a private island but the owner lets tourist use the beaches.
Interesting fact: Philippines has 7107 islands; however, during low-tide, Luli Island become’s island number 7108! The name Luli means floating and sinking island because it tends to go up and down depending on the current tide.
When Archie, Carol and myself started swimming around the water, we noticed there was an abundance of big fishes swimming around. We quickly throw pieces of bread in the water and suddenly, tons of fishes will start swarming trying to get a piece of that bread. It made for some very good videos.
There was also a diving board right by the waters and we took turns jumping in. Good times was had by all the tourist.
Luli Island has definitely been the best island so far in the Honda Bay Island Hopping tour.
Third stop: Cowrie Island
The third and final stop of our Honda Bay Island Hopping tour is Cowrie Island. One of the main attraction for this island is apparently the many small fishes and nice corals that occupy the waters.
This is also the island where they serve us a buffet lunch.
Quite honestly, the lunch was okay, nothing to rave about. We didn’t go snorkeling by the time we got here because we were exhausted from swimming around the first two islands. Not to mention the boat transfers between islands is strangely a tiring experience.
We used our time here to use their showers to rinse off the sand out of our body and just relaxed while we waited to get back to Puerto Princesa.
If you absolutely love snorkeling and can’t wait to go further into other parts of Palawan, then yes, the Honda Bay Island Hopping tour will be worth your awhile. If you are a casual tourist looking to take some nice pictures, relax by the beach and go for a swim, then I think there are cheaper alternatives available to you.
Out of the three tours we’ve done during our three days in Palawan, the Honda Bay Island Hopping tour was my least favourite.
But, don’t let my opinion sway you from doing it. Everyone has different experiences and you might have a blast when you join this tour.