Palawan is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Philippines today and the gateway to this beautiful paradise Island is Puerto Princesa City. Ideally, after exploring all the tourist destinations in the City, another interesting activity to do while in Puerto Princesa is to experience the Island Hopping at Honda Bay.
The jumping-off point of this Honda Bay adventure is at the port in Brgy. Sta. Lourdes Tagbanua which is roughly 30 minutes away from the City proper of Puerto Princesa. If you did not avail of any tour package and decided to do it yourself style, you have several options on how to go to port.
From the City Proper, there are passenger multi cabs plying the route to Sta. Loourdes. Ask the locals on where to ride and tell the driver to drop you at the port. Another way is to hire a pedicab to bring you to the port. When negotiating for the price, haggle it down to the lowest that you can get.
Upon Arriving at the port, all you have to do is register your name and your companions and pay the rent of the motor operated boat. Prices depend on the capacity of the boat. For a boat with a capacity of 9 persons, it will coast you 900, and 1500 for a boat with a capacity of 15 persons. You also need additional payments for the environmental fee worth 40 pesos and terminal fee worth 50 pesos each.
After complying to all the fees, wait for your assigned boat number to be called, and the Island Hopping will begin. The boat driver and his assistance will serve as your guide, photographer if need be, and the one who knows best on which island to go first. Buffet for lunch and stores are also available in the Islands.
Puerto Princesa Island Hopping Destinations
Main activity you can experience in this Island is snorkeling and fish feeding. Snorkeling gears and life jackets are necessary for safety and total fun during the duration of the activity. I enjoyed fish feeding a lot, you'll get to see colorful and different species of fish. Wish I had an underwater camera to capture the fish feeding moment back then.
|Sands at Pandan Island|
Luli is an Islet- a sand bar actually that appears during low tide. Its name is a short term of "Lulubog-Lilitaw" which means "Sink and Rise" in English and that exactly describes the Island.
|Photo Shoot at Cowrie Island|
Situated few minutes from the port, Cowrie is the nearest Island and a great place to relax after a buffet lunch. It is named after a small to large sea snail which is called "cowrie". The Island has cabanas, huts, tables and chairs available for their guests.
Pambato reef is another snorkeling/dive site which is the home of different species of fish and clams. A floating flat form which is actually shaped like a "pawikan" or sea turtles in the middle of the sea serves the registration and the orientation area. The Pambato reef is truly an underwater paradise and I can say it is the most memorable snorkeling experience I have had.
Honda bay should be first on the list if you're going to Puerto Princesa. The view is spectacular, the people are friendly and accommodating, and I will surely be back one day.