What do you do when you don’t want to join the hoards of the tourist, who are going to wait for a couple hours just to go into a cave listed by Unesco World Heritage? (Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park). You join another tour that also has the same count of tourists but rent a private boat and tour guide.
The Honda Bay Island hopping is a full day event, it starts with a van picking you up from your hotel travelling 45 minutes to the Lourdes port/docking port if you don’t have proper gear your tour guide will organise for you to rent (at your own expense) water shoes, and snorkelling gear.
The tour includes:
• Air-con Van Transfer from Hotel to Honda Bay
• Motorized Boat Transfer to the islands
• Buffet LunchEntrance fees to islands
• Life Vest and Water Safety Equipment
• Licensed Tour Guide
• Environmental Fee (150PHP per person)
• Snorkelling gear, but this can be rented from a number of stalls at the drop off point.
• Entrance Fee to Pandan Island (800PHP per person, on arrival)
The Honda Bay Island hopping will take you to three small islands allowing you to relax and enjoy the beaches.
1. Starfish Island: Called Starfish Island for the presence of Star Fishes scattered on the shores of the island.
2. Luli Island: This island is known to sink and rise as the tide rises or disappears, this is a translation from Tagalog “Lulubog-Lilitaw” shortening it to Lu-li. This is where we also have the buffet lunch (included in the package, but not the best), there is also a well-placed bar to buy alcoholic beverages from.
3. Cowrie Island: The final island is named after marine gastropod mollusc named Cowrie. From observation, it seems like the largest of the 3 islands and contains more cabanas, huts and a pavilion. Fresh coconut drinks in tow, enjoy the relaxing scenery.
Call time is 7 am in the morning, to make the most of your time at the islands. Drop off is around 4 pm, giving you a lot of free time afterwards.
The included food in the package is buffet style. Honestly, the food was not appetising, for a hot day there was a lot of food with sauces and they looked unrecognisable, honestly, I would have preferred a simple salad and protein of some sort.
Total for the entire trip is approximately Php2,000 per adult and child, totalling for Php12,000 for 6 people.
Personal highlights for me were as follows:
• Sleeping like Jabba the Hutt after lunch, at the place where we ate at Luli Island, while the tourist guide looked on.
• Talking Pinoy entertainment gossip with the tour guide.
• Finding starfishes on Starfish Island, removing it from the water and watching patiently for it to move freely back to the water
• Yana says she found some clownfishes
Back to Lourdes port