Honda Bay is a group of tiny islands that are situated at the western side of Palawan. It is a popular island hopping spot among tourists, filled with various resorts and white sand beaches. It is the perfect place to put on your swimming gear and to do other water activities under the heat of the sun.
Touted as the Philippines’ last frontier because of the high concentration of marine biodiversity in the surrounding areas, visiting its rich underwater offerings is not to be missed.
While each of the islands dotting the area possess the same fine white sands and clear seaside shoreline in equal measure, each one of them also have something unique to offer. Luli island, for example, is known for its shifting sand bar, which appears and disappears based on the changing tides. It’s name comes from the Filipino term “lulubog at lilitaw”, meaning to appear and disappear, describing how the sandbar behaves on its shores. Look for the dive platform nearby, where you can jump into the water if you wish.
Another must-see sandbar in the vicinity is Snake island, which got its name not because there are wild snakes around, but because the sandbar is shaped like one. From snake island you can also look for Starfish and Cowrie island, which are popular for the large community of bats and starfish in the surrounding area.
One of the best snorkeling spots in Honda Bay is the Pambato Reef, which covers 16 hectares of coral reefs and a wide diversity of fish species, as well as Pandan island, where colorful marine life can be see just a few meters from the shore.
How to get there
If you’re not joining a guided tour, the most feasible way to get to Honda Bay is by riding a tricycle or jeepney from your accommodation to Sta. Lourdes Wharf. After registering, choose the islands you’re planning to visit and you’ll be riding an outrigger boat to get to Honda Bay.
It is best visited during the dry season, from November to April, and during off-peak and non-holidays as it tends to get crowded due to its popularity amongst locals and tourists.
You have to pay for the boat fee, environmental fee, snorkeling gear fee if you haven’t brought your own, and other miscellaneous fees before you will be taken to the island.