Starfish Island, Luli Island & Cowrie Island: the best of Honda Bay!

4 minPhilippines

Have you ever swum with starfish? Watched an island disappear before your eyes? Or frolicked on a sand bank engulfed by palm trees? Well on the Honda Bay Islands in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines, you can do all of these activities for about $30 USD per person! Wow, and I thought $30 for a brunch was a deal!

In this video and blog article, Deanna Troy Travels explores the three most exciting islands of Honda Bay - Starfish Island, Luli Island and Cowrie Island - all while getting more and more sunburnt as the day goes on! Haha.

A map showing the islands in Honda Bay

As I've mentioned before, the Philippines has over 7,000 islands, making trip planning somewhat chaotic. Never fear though, I'm here! This tour we went on explored three islands on the Honda Bay. This is a bay off of the Puerto Princesa city of the Palawan Island in the Philippines. Palawan Island alone has numerous mini islands, cities and adventures to engage in. And to think - it's only 1 of 7000!

Starfish Island

A close-up photo of a spiky starfish on the beach

Our first stop on this tour was the famous Starfish Island, which is known for its darling Chocolate Chip Starfish inhabitants which are advertised to cover the whole island!However, this only happens in February and March as that is the starfish mating season. I recommend visiting this island during that time to see the most starfish. While we were on the island we learned four fun facts about starfish:

Starfish Fact #1
Starfish move with their pores / tube feet underneath their arms.

Starfish Fact #2
Male “Chocolate Chip Starfish” have a horn in their center, females don’t.

Starfish Fact #3
Starfish eat by opening their mouth over small prey, like crabs or fish.

Starfish Fact #4
Do not touch their bottom pores, keep them in the water, do not bring starfish home!

The last fact is the most important of all! Although starfish can technically survive out of the water for some hours (exact time differs per species), it's best to keep them submerged. Also, their bottom pores are their most important body part. This means your selfies are better for the starfish if they are taken in the water while lying with them.

Luli Island

Deanna standing on a thin sliver of sand surrounded by water on the disappearing Luli island

The second stop on this tour was Luli Island. The name comes from a combination of two Tagalog (a language in the Philippines) phrases: Lulubog which translates to "will sink" and Lilitaw which translates to "will appear". Luli Island is famous for disappearing and reappearing with the tide, like magic! You can take some cool pictures that make it look like you are walking on water.

Cowrie Island

Deanna jumping on the sand on Cowrie island surrounded by tall palm trees

The last stop was Cowrie Island! Although I loved the starfish, this island was my favorite part of our tour. As a little girl, I dreamed of going to tropical places and this island looked just like a poster I had hanging in my bedroom! I never saw so many palm trees in my life! Not only is this island beautiful, but there are many fun activities that you can enjoy such as banana boat rides, massages, volleyball and more. My tip for you is to bring extra cash to participate in these activities. Also, this was where we had our included buffet lunch, which of course was delicious homemade food. Hmm, it seems my favorite islands are always the ones where we eat lunch. LOL


On a real note, some aspects of this tour were exaggerated (like the starfish) or not emphasized (like needing cash to do Cowrie Island activities). However, we still had an amazing time! Whenever you travel, you should always keep in mind that a place might not look exactly like it does on Instagram. Our motto was to always focus on what our experiences gave us versus what we may have missed.

Which island would be your favorite of these three? Comment your answer on this blog post or on the Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour YouTube video.

Looking for more fabulous fun? Check out my Fabulous Philippines playlist on YouTube for all of my Philippine travel videos. Follow my social media pages (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok) for more pictures, videos and travel tips!

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