Showcasing the rich marine beauty of Puerto Princesa, Honda Bay offers an abundant diversity of sea creatures and coral reefs. Honda Bay lies north of the city center and is part of the regular tours offered by Go Palawan Travel.
Honda Bay is host to a number of islands and sand bars, which are commonly visited by tourists. Some of its islands are home to known exclusive and premiere island resorts, one of which is the Dos Palmas Island Resort.
Among the islands that are commonly visited are the Starfish, Snake, and Pandan islands. Also, within the bay, is a sanctuary reef that offers snorkeling and scuba. The islands visited during the tour are dependent on the weather and local government directives; the LGU regularly assesses the impact of visitors on the islands, corals and marine life and will suspend visits to certain islands or sandbars to enable recovery, where this is required.
About 15 minutes boat ride from the Sta. Lourdes wharf, this marine sanctuary may be reached. In the middle of the reef, a floating raft marks the location where tourists may get off. Each visitor is allowed to freely snorkel around the reef.
This reef is located in the middle of the bay where the shallow sections are about 10 feet from the coral reefs. So, life jackets will be required especially for visitor that are not good swimmers. Tourists are also given the opportunity to dive down and touch the coral species and take pictures with the abundant fishes in the reef.
Schools of different species of fish swim and live around the living coral of the reef. Different coral types also grow on this part of the reef like brain corals, staghorn corals and others.
Starfish Island (Tabuan Island)
From Pambato Reef, it takes about 15 minutes boat ride to get to Starfish island. Starfish island is a sand bar that got its name because of the starfishes that used to abundantly inhabit it. The island is also known by locals as Tabuan island.
It is a small island with a few cottages that are available for picnicking island-hoppers. Its main island made up of white sand and is surrounded by greenish waters. A few palm trees grow on the island with a mangrove forest grew on the eastern side of the island.
Not far from Starfish Island, is another sand bar that has an elongated shape giving it the name of Snake Island. Mangroves grew on the southern end of the island while most of its northern section is made of white sand that stretches about 2km long. On high tide, most of its long sand bar sinks underwater.
The island has cottages that are available to island-hoppers. It greenish shoreline is rich in marine life that offers visitors a good place to snorkel.
This island lies south of the Snake Island. It is an oval shaped island that is managed by the Legends group of hotels. The island offers a beautiful view of Honda Bay. Like Starfish and Snake islands, Pandan has cottages that are available for visitors. Its shores is as green as the other two islands and its sands are soft and white.
Another sandbar in Honda Bay which has garnered its name from the local description of Lulubog-Lilitaw and is shorted as LuLi. It meant sinks and arises. During low tide, its sand bar is visible while on high tide it sinks underwater leaving only the houses on it are visible.
Farther east of the Snake Island, this isolated island is owned exclusively by the Dos Palmas Island Resorts. This exclusive island paradise resort offers high end beach experience. Separate island tours are offered to enter the resort.