Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour: Around Starfish, Luli, and Cowrie Islands

honda bay island hopping tour

Going to Puerto Princesa? Get to know the city’s marine life better by going on a Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour.

Puerto Princesa, the capital city of the world’s best islands, have a lot to offer. But if you’re looking for a dose of sea and sun in the city within a forest, then try booking a Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour for a day.

A Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour is usually filled with snorkeling activities. That means tri-colored fishes swimming right past your feet and enjoying the paradise life while lying on the beach. There are three prominent islands to visit: Starfish Island, Luli Island, and Cowrie Island. Each have their own charm. Starfish Island and Luli Island are best known for snorkeling activities. While Cowrie Island offers a variety of water sports and massage services.

Compared to other Palawan island hopping trips, expect that the beaches in Honda Bay are a lot more crowded. The beaches are also have limited space. Still, it’s a great way to have island hopping trips while being in Puerto Princesa City or alongside the Underground River tour.

About Honda Bay

The are many theories when it comes to the etymology of Honda Bay. Some say it stands for the local term, “unda” or the Spanish word “honda“, which means deep water.

One thing’s for sure, it’s not owned by the prominent automotive brand.

Starfish Island

The typical first stop is Starfish Island. They say it hosts the most number of starfish in Palawan! Upon arrival at the island, you can already see starfish beneath the shallow bay area. There is an enclosed snorkeling and fish feeding site, but sadly you’ll find no starfish there. There are also many cottages for rent, food stores, and souvenir shops. Please don’t patronize buying of sea shells!

The marine life is Starfish Island is remarkable. Maybe it’s not coral reef-heavy like Coron, but the fish are strikingly tri-colored. I’ve never seen anything like it that’s only a few seconds’ swim from land. Your tour guide can assist you in the fish-feeding, where you can merely float on your life vest and watch them swim up close. The beach is not suitable for swimming, however, because of the rocky shores.

There are also photo-op places such as taking trick shots with the sand castle, starfish, and coconut. It’s particularly popular with the Asian family crowds that frequent the Honda Bay Island Hopping Tours.

Luli Island

Short for “lulubog, lilitaw“, Luli Island is a magical stop at the Honda Bay Island Hopping Tours. Upon arrival, you will see a vast, circular shoreline bordered by mangroves on one side. The sand is smooth and can get pretty hot when baked under the sun.

But by around lunch time, water slowly creeps into the middle of beach, forming a small lake surrounded by the shoreline. Pretty soon, the entire island will be submerged. Thus, the name which in Filipino roughly means sink and rise with the tide.

There are snorkeling activities here as well as diving from a platform. Like Starfish Island, there are sand castles here too.

Cowrie Island

The usual last stop is Cowrie Island, which is the alternative to the crowded Pandan Island. It has cabanas, a pavilion, and spa huts. They services offered in Cowrie Island. You can get a henna tattoo, a relaxing massage, and more.

There are various things to do here. You can eat your buffet lunch, get a massage, a henna tattoo, kayak, parasail, and ride a banana boat. Or, you can just lay on the fine sands and chill. You can expect to stay longer in Cowrie Island since it is the last stop.

Things to know before going on Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour

What to wear. Because of the sun exposure and snorkeling activities, I would advise guests to wear rashguards and aqua shoes. Sandals will do, too. Your first stop for Honda Bay Island Hopping Tours are usually the snorkeling gear rental where you can rent aqua shoes, snorkeling gear, fins, and bread for fish feeding. None of these are required but a snorkel is a must! Bring your own if you want to save.

Where to eat. The last stop of our packaged tour is Cowrie Island, where there is a buffet lunch. They serve delicious lumpiang shanghai, seafood, rice, pork liempo, and buko pandan for dessert.

Who you’ll see. The crowd at Puerto Princesa Honda Bay Tour are usually composed of Asian families who are out for vacations. This is no surprise as some Chinese, Taiwanese, and Korean travel agencies partner with Palawan tourism. Expect that many of the three islands are crowded because Puerto Princesa is way more accessible than El Nido or Coron by air transportation. Travel agencies also usually bring in guests in bulk.

How long the Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour take. You can also expect some wait when booking for your boat. It comes in first come first served basis, which means your tour operator will have to take a number upon arrival at the dock. The line might be longer if Underground River tours are canceled, and tourists will flock instead to Honda Bay.

Still, it only takes half a day to do the Honda Bay tour. Starfish Island, Lu-li Island, and Cowrie Island usually finishes by around 2 PM. This may vary depending on your group’s inclination to beach bum or do some of the activities available in each stop.

What to bring. Some of the things that you shouldn’t forget during the Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour are sunblock, money for the extra activities, towels or sarongs, sand mats, and of course your underwater camera!

puerot princesa island hopping
Click Share/Save button to Pin!

More from Palawan

If you have any questions, send me a PM on Facebook. I answer everything!


Northern Hope Tours
Contact No.: (+63) 939-902-2216 (Smart), (+63) 927-735-3221 (Globe),(+63) 942-375-2441 (Sun)


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    February 4, 2017 at 2:03 AM

    Two words caught my attention here. One is “Cowrie”. In India, this word means sea-shells and we play a game with these cowries. The other word that attracted me was Honda and you know what? In India, ‘unda’ also means deep! Surprising , isn’t it?? But, isn’t Honda Japanese name?

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      February 4, 2017 at 5:25 AM

      Wow, that IS interesting! No, it wasn’t Honda before. I think people only named it that way to make it easier to pronounce for tourists šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    February 3, 2017 at 2:41 AM

    Reading your posts never fail to make me miss the Philippines. When I go home again, I will use your blog as my directory/itinerary guide šŸ˜€

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      February 4, 2017 at 5:28 AM

      Thanks Kat! Hope you’ll enjoy once you book that flight back šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kcalpesh Ajugia
    February 2, 2017 at 9:20 PM

    I found the starfish island the most exciting. I can imagine how beautiful the tri colored fishes mist have looked.

    Love the way you described the whole trip right from attire to food and from the sun to the sun block. In plain words you have covered every aspect of travelling here….

    An emerging travel-blogger that is me… I am learning a lot from your articles…

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      February 4, 2017 at 5:29 AM

      Thank you! The tri-colored fish are really something. Even the fishing enthusiasts I know marvel at em šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kathy Kenny Ngo
    February 2, 2017 at 8:12 PM

    I love that it’s called starfish island. I have always been torn between the starfish and wanting to take it as well as just doing without it. They’re so pretty but a little fragile no?

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      February 6, 2017 at 3:59 PM

      I’m actually not sure if they’re fragile. I always see them getting picked up (but Idk if they’re alive or dead). So I can’t tell! But I do love them. They’re a wonder šŸ™‚

    Start a conversation

    %d bloggers like this: