The Ultimate Island-hopping Guide to Honda Bay, Palawan

  • PANDAN ISLE (2)
  • PANDAN ISLE (2)
  • DOS PALMAS ISLE (1)
  • SNAKE ISLE (1)
  • Pandan Island
  • LULI ISLE 1
  • IMG_6510
  • DSC00219
  • sunset at honda bay
    sunset at honda bay
  • collage
  • PANDAN  (1)
  • PORT BARTON (3) - Copy
  • PANDAN ISLE (2)
  • DOS PALMAS  (1)
  • DOS PALMAS
  • EXOTIC BEACH, PORT BARTON (2) copy
  • PANDAN ISLE (1)

DOS PALMAS

Honda Bay is a small community on the western side of Palawan Island. Travelling to Honda Bay from Puerto Princesa city proper will take approximately 30 minutes. For most tourists, Honda Bay has become popular for the group of islands floating around the bay. The most popular among others is Dos Palmas Island, a private island with high-end beach resort facilities managed by the Arreceffi Island Resort Inc. The other notable islands are Pandan Island and Snake Island. Activities for tourists include snorkeling, kayaking, island hopping and diving. With the exception of Dos Palmas, the other islands do not have beach front hotels. But, a one day island hopping tour would suffice to see most of Honda Bay.

DOS PALMAS

  HOW TO GET THERE

  • The local airlines that fly directly to Puerto Princesa include; PAL Express (formerly Air Philippines), Zest Air and Cebu Pacific Air. These are low-cost carriers that frequently offer discounted fares. The lowest fares are usually offered 6 months to 1 year prior to the travel dates.
  • From Puerto Princesa Airport take a tricycle to your hotel. There are standard fares from one point in the city to another. Visitors can inquire at the airport desk to avoid paying overpriced tricycle fares.
  • Another option is to travel by boat. One of the shipping companies that service the Manila-Puerto Princesa route is 2GO travel. It’s a long 30 hour trip but a cheaper alternative to air travel. More about 2GO Travel here.
  • From their hotels, tourists can hire a tricycle to the Honda Bay wharf which will take approximately 30 minutes. Upon arriving at the wharf proceed to the kiosk. Visitors are charged mandatory port fees and the boat fee and are then assigned to the next boat man on queue.  You can also rent snorkeling gear at the stalls at the wharf.

sunset at honda bay

Sunset at Honda Bay

SIGHTS-TIPS-COSTS 

Tricycle Fares – ₱15 around the city

Boat Fare at Honda Bay – ₱1,000 to ₱1,500 (depending on how many islands will be visited)

Start Early – Leave the city and start out early in the morning to have more time time to explore the islands. (Take note, boat travel from one island to another can take anywhere from 20-45 minutes).

PANDAN (1)

Pandan Island

Snorkel at Pandan Island – Pandan Island has a vast and beautiful coral reef not far from the shore. There are beach huts for rent at ₱500.

Admission and Cottage Fees – Most islands are privately owned and managed by private corporations. Non-hotel guests are welcome to visit, admission fees range from ₱100 to ₱150. The only island open to the pubic was Snake Island. However, recent reports from Honda Bay locals suggest that the island has recently been acquired by another private corporation. Thus, an admission fee can soon be expected by visitors. The usage and rental of beach huts on private islands range from  ₱400 to ₱500.

EXOTIC BEACH, PORT BARTON (2) copy

Dos Palmas Day Trip – Dos Palmas is a private island managed by the Arreceffi Island Resort. Its exquisite beaches attract hundreds of visitors all year round. It is a high-end resort with hotel rates starting at ₱5,000 per night. But budget travelers can opt for a day tour which costs around ₱1,700-₱1,800. The tour includes land transfers to and from the wharf, boat transfers to and from the island, a buffet lunch and usage of recreational equipment and facilities. Activities at Dos Palmas include;   kayaking at the mangroves around the island, snorkeling, island-hopping and diving.

Snake Island

Snake Island, Palawan

To book a Dos Palmas Day Tour look for the resort’s office beside NCCC  Mall at Puerto Princesa City. Tourists have to book their trip at least 1 day advance. Departure time from the mall to the wharf is around 8:00 am and departure time from Dos Palmas Island back to the city is around 3:00 pm. More about Dos Palmas Resort  here.
Luli Island

Luli Island, Palawan

The Islands of Honda Bay include:

Pandan Island – Managed by the Legend Hotel in Puerto Princesa City. The island is ideal for snorkeling with its vibrant coral reef found just a few meters near the island’s shore. It is a good site for a beach picnic with spacious and sturdy beach huts built along the shore.

Snake Island – The island is not infested with snakes but  was named Snake Island because of its shape, which from an aerial view does resemble a snake. It’s another ideal location for a beach picnic with several beach huts along the shoreline.

Luli Island – This is a tiny island with beautiful sand bars. The name of the island was derived from the Philippine words, “lulubog and lilitaw.” During high tide the island is partly submerged “lulubog” meaning it sinks. While during low tide it rises “lilitaw,” meaning it reappears or resurfaces.

Starfish and Cowrie Isand – These two small islands are known  to have a large community of starfishes and bats.

Dos Palmas Island – The most popular beach resort in Honda Bay, Palawan, beautiful but pricey. For budget travelers you can try the day tour.

PANDAN ISLE (1)

Pandan Island

See more images of Honda Bay, Palawan here.

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Iza Sanchez

Iza Sanchez is a freelance ESL Teacher, adventurer and moderator of Take The Travel. She writes about solo-backpacking, travel saving tips and other awesome travel resources.

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11 Responses

  1. James says:

    Oh I loved Palawan but I never made it to Honda Bay. Looks like this gives me a good excuse to go back 🙂

    • Iza Sanchez says:

      Hi James, Yes, I am sure you will love Honda Bay, it sure is worth another trip to Palawan and since summer is in the air the beach calls.. Go ahead and book that flight. Have fun!

  2. Liz says:

    I am going to add Honda Bay after reading this page. I have 8 days on Palawan. How would you recommend me organizing my time? I am flying on seaplane into El Nido and out of Puerto Princesa.

    • Iza Sanchez says:

      Hi Liz, that’s great. I recommend spending 3 to 4 days at El Nido. Then, on your way to Puerto Princesa you might want to check out San Vicente Beach or Port Barton and spend a day or two there. These are two very beautiful sites in Palawan, but not very developed so to get there you might need to rent a private van. At Puerto Princesa, you can spend 1 day on a city tour, 1 day island hopping at Honda Bay and 1 day tour of Dos Palmas. Enjoy your trip. Cheers

  3. Rhoderic M. Abache says:

    what beach resort in honda bay where it is nice to enjoy the beach (nice white sand and the like) the for an an overnight stay with affordable accommodation.

  4. Fem says:

    Hi madam iza..gusto ko day tour lang sa honda bay…pano at magkano

    • Iza Sanchez says:

      Hello, sorry for the late reply. Take a tricycle lang po from Puerto Princesa town proper pahatid po kayo sa port (30 minutes). Rent po ng bangka for whole day tour P1,200 a few years ago po so baka mas mataas na ngayon, around P1,500 maybe. Whole day tour na po yun. Most islands may admission fee P100 per person kasi na privatize na halos lahat. Baon po kayo food and drinks and picnic/lunch on the islands, I suggest Pandan Island. Best snorkeling in Pandan and Snake Island. Remember na magpasundo din po sa tricycle driver pag balik sa port. Exchange numbers with your driver. Hope that helps. Good luck!

  5. len says:

    how much po ang tryk from puerto town proper to honda bay wharf?thank u hope someone will reply 😞😌😊

  6. sutra says:

    Sad to say it is the worst tour ive had..people working there are so rude they dont respect tourist they should be train well in goodmanners not to embarass tourist.. not like in el nido i prefer el nido than honda bay…el nido people are much kind and always smiling… i will not come back to honda bay but i definitely come back to el nido.

  1. 8 March, 2014

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