Puerto Princesa is the major city of the infamous Palawan Island. Located in the far northwestern part of the Philippines, Palawan is a favorite among local and international tourists. Puerto Princesa is also the gatehub to the beautiful El Nido Islands. However, you can also explore a lot of beautiful beaches in Puerto itself. Here, I will be highlighting the amazing Honday Bay Islands.
A lot of travel groups offer tour packages that would range from Php 1,100 to Php 1,500 per person. They would let you choose three out of the four popular destinations. And if you're traveling with a group of less than 10 people, they would usually let you join another group to maximize the van and boat usage. And I don't think you can also visit the islands without booking a tour with the local travel offices.
For us, we chose Starfish, Luli, and Cowrie Islands.
This was my favorite stop. Starfish Island is defined by its long stretch of white sand. The shore is filled with colorful starfishes that are visible to the naked eye. We took the tour on a Sunday, naturally, there were a lot of tourists as well. So, we had to walk to the northernmost tip of the island to get good shots of the place without the numerous people in our background.
This was also the island where we spent the most time in, since our lunch was served here. The tour group we joined prepared lunch buffet for us. But we also grabbed the opportunity to order crabs and lobster for only Php 500.00
Our guide prepared several sumptuous dishes for us that was really bad for our beach bodies, but good for our hungry tummies.
This was the island where we spent swimming the most. As soon as we got down from the boat, we were greeted by this cute little bar filled with all the international and local alcoholic spirits to set your festive mood.
The sand in this island was not as white as the first one we visited. But the swimming area was more enjoyable since the water was deeper. The whole place was surrounded by lengthy ropes, which defined where the tourists were only allowed to swim. Anywhere beyond that area already had the dangers of stonefishes and sea urchins.
The place also had a floating cottage that was open to everyone's use. We enjoyed scampering around, swimming, and jumping on and off the hut.
I'm sure that when you see pictures of this island, this signage is a common sight. The Hollywood-sign of Cowrie is a common favorite for most tourists to have a picture with. The island is huge and filled with different bars and places to eat in.
We didn't really bathe anymore when we visited this islet. We just lounged around and had light snacks of buko juice and banana cue (local Pinoy favorites).
All-in-all, this trip is a must-see when you visit Palawan. It isn't as amazing as El Nido, but the for a side trip, these islands a pretty noteworthy and really inexpensive. You could also finish the whole tour in less than a day. Some people just squeeze this visit in on their last day in Palawan. Especially if you're a certified beach bum, these islands are a perfect indulgence.