Tag Archives: Beaches in the Philippines

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Honda Bay: Tips and Infos

Honda Bay is a cluster of beautiful  islands and islets in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The islands here have fine white sand beaches, and cobalt blue waters.

I really recommend that anyone going to Puerto Princesa to visit this place at least once.  This is a serene and photogenic place! 🙂

PARADISE in Honda Bay, Palawan

To explore the islets/islands of this bay, one should rent a boat (which is usually provided by the city tourism office) for a price of 1500.00 (depends on the boat size)  So basically, this trip is an island hopping adventure 🙂

There are 3 main islands/islets in this bay, namely  Pandan Island, Starfish Island and the Snake Island. Although there are more islands in this bay, only the 3 mentioned is open to public. They are named as such because of the existence of Pandan and Starfish in those islands while the snake island is named that way because of it’s  long and winding characteristic similar to a snake.

Why is it that when I look at this picture, I feel lonely… 😦 hmmm…

In my visit last April, I was not able to visit the Snake island because it is undergoing beautification However, this would not hamper me in giving and presenting to you the other two beautiful islands of Honda Bay, but first let me tell you the process on how the entire trip came about.

WHEN TO GO HERE?

The Philippines is a sunny place throughout the year however, due to climate change, strong typhoons or heavy rains visits the country a lot more often… The Philippines has only 2 seasons, wet and dry. Dry or summer months starts from March to June or July while wet season starts by August til December. The wet season is where a lot of  low pressure areas are formed, However, I can say that it is a game of luck, or a gamble if you want to visit the Philippines during the wet season, since just because it’s called wet season it would rain the whole time… there are only days that it would rain while the rest is sunny…
However, for foreigners who will visit the Philippines (especially for those in the far most corner of earth) I think you need to plan your visit during the summer months, so you will be sure that no rain would ruin your vacation.

HOW TO GET HERE:

Honda Bay is about 20-45 minutes drive from the city center. The mode of transportation from the city center towards Honda Bay Port is by land, you can rent either a tricycle or a van. I opted to rent a tricycle for P500.00 or $11USD. The road is well paved/cemented, so going here by tricycle isn’t a problem. If you decided to rent a van, it will cost at around P1,500-2000.00 (this is the price that was given to us by the van driver we hired going to the underground river). We left the city center at round 6:45 am and arrived in the port at around 7:15.

HOW TO GET A PERMIT:

Upon arriving in the port, you will notice that people are lining up, that line is where you will pay for the boat rental, environmental fee, and where you can get your permit. Unlike the underground river, there is no need to get a prior permit before heading there, so it easier to tour than the latter.

There are 4 simple steps in getting your permit and paying for the fees and these are:

First, you need to line up for the lane stating no.1 and where you will fill up a form and state how many passengers or tourists that are coming with you, you also need to put up their names, you should also know if what type of boat you are going to use, whether it is a 6passenger boat (which is the smallest) which costs P1200.00 while there are 10-12 passenger capacity boats which costs at around P1400-1800.00…

the 2nd step is where you will get your permit and pay for the boat rental fee and in exchange, you will receive the name and number of your boat.

The 3rd step is again filling up a particular form and paying for the environmental fee. The 4th step is waiting for your name to be called and VOILA, you are good to go.

The boat we used for our island hopping adventure

OTHER TIPS:

However! before you go anywhere else, you need to buy water, food or rent a snorkeling gear. Food and Water is expensive on the island itself, and it is advisable if you bring them with you at the start of the journey, so if anytime you feel thirsty you have a water/drink with you. But, I suggest that you go grocery shopping while you are still in the metro, since it is cheaper there than buying in the port itself.

Snorkeling gears and swimming shoes

As for the snorkeling gear, Part of your itinerary is to visit a snorkeling site with lots of fishes and various corals! Moreover in Pandan and Starfish island, you can snorkel and feed the fishes which is quite interesting because the fishes swarm around you if you give bits and pieces of tasty bread.

The fish and coral sanctuary

Click here to see my other posts for puerto princesa, palawan.

HAPPY WANDERING! 🙂

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Sabitang-Laya, Caramoan: Philippines’ Hidden Gem

This place is a hidden gem unknown to most individuals and has a beauty that will surely captivate you.

This island will also be found in Caramoan, Philippines south of Manila.

This island has a twin beach.. the Sabitang-Laya and Bag-ing beach, both beach has long stretch of fine sand. Although the sand here is not as white as the one in Matukad  but the sand texture rivals that of Boracay and Matukad. The sand is really soft to touch and it’s like baby powder! You will love rolling in the sand– just like what I did!

There’s also no lodging houses, hotels or any sign of development near the area.. you will notice that the only litters that you can see are from nature itself… seaweeds and seaweeds alone! Nothing else.. This is nature in its finest!

Sabitang Laya

What makes this a lot more different than the others? It is because of how long the beach is.. Moreover, there are 2 beaches, one in the left and the other from the right. Here is a picture for your reference (take note: I didn’t take this photo below:)

Sabitang Laya ang Bag-ing Beach: the twin beaches

Again, as you can notice in my previous posts, you can always see beautiful limestone formation while you traverses the sea to go to your island of destination.

While going to Sabitang-Laya we saw this beautiful limestone formation
Limestones
Limestones once again

Another characteristic of this island is on how wonderful the limestone and other rock formations found in this place. You will surely be captivated!

Limestones in the island itself

It may not be the whitest sand you can see, but it also has its own fair share of beauty--its sand is powdery as milk!

the Beach

Again, I have no words to describe the place, and I will let the photos speak for itself. All I can say is Sabitang Laya is definitely a feast for the eyes when you witness its rugged beauty.

That’s all I can say.. No words can tell how much beautiful this place and how lovely the whole Caramoan is! Everything is simply captivating!

HAPPY WANDERING! 🙂

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS ETC. 

Caramoan, Philippines: How to Get To Caramoan?

UPDATED: APRIL 20, 2016. ive been to caramoan 3x including the time that I went last 2011.

I traveled to this place last September 2011. It is located in Camarines Sur, south of Manila. It is touted to be as the next Boracay.

Simply Amazing (photo from Caramoan Haven)

If you’ve been to Boracay with its fine white sandy beach then this place also has its own fair share of beaches. And also… the beaches here is also fine, white, and sandy…. less the crowd and all-night partying in Boracay. This place is yet to develop… and the Camarines Sur government promised that this nature’s wonder will not be abused and that they will preserve the place.

Limestone Formations

Moreover, what makes this place unique is that it also has amazing limestone formations which rivals that of Palawan. So, coming here is like going to Boracay and Palawan at the same time.

The place is not that popular before, until one Survivor TV Show made this place as the setting of their series…

Now, Caramoan is slowly becoming a tourist spot in the country…

CLICK HERE FOR CARAMOAN ITINERARY 

How to get here?

FROM MANILA

  1. You have two choices either ride the plane (45 minutes) or ride the bus (8-11 hours)
  • Plane going to Naga, Camarines Sur costs aroung (P3,000 round trip ticket or $70USD. The plane will land in Pili, Camarines Sur, 30-40 minutes to downtown Naga City. And also, the plane they are using is a small plane, so expect a longer ride (than in legazpi, where they use airbus a319-20).
    • So after arriving in pili, there are vans and taxis where you can ride to get where your hotel is located.
    • the airport is quite near the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC) around 15 minutes van or taxi ride.
  • Bus going to Naga (P500-900.00 one way, $11-21USD for one way trip). I prefer that you will use the ever so trusted Cagsawa Travel and Tours.
    • the whole bus ride is around 8 hours, with one stop for weewee break (lol)
    • If you don’t need rest and go directly from manila to Caramoan, just ride a tricycle towards the Naga Van Terminal upon alighting from the Naga Bus Central Terminal and then ride a van towards Sabang. The trip starts as early as 6:00am.

2. Then go to Sabang Port (45 minutes to 1 hour travel) 

  • Ride the van or jeep going to Sabang Port (P120.00 or $3USD). The van terminal is in front of SM City Naga
    • The ride will more or less last for 1 to 2 hours depending on how fast the van is.

3. Then Ride the Ferry going to Caramoan (Guijalo Port)

  • The ride will take 2 hours
  • The ferry fee (this is a big outrigger boat) is (P120.00 or $3USD)
  • The first ferry leaves Sabang Port by 5:30 am and the last ferry leaves by 11:30 am. They have travel schedule every hour during that time frame.

FROM LEGAZPI

  1.  Ride a bus or shuttle bus in Satellite or Legazpi City Central Terminal going to Naga (180.00 or 4USD). The travel time will be 2 hours
  2. Then alight to the Naga Terminal and then ride a jeep or van going to Sabang Port (P120 or $3USD).
    1. please be reminded that the Naga Bus terminal is different from the Naga Van Terminal, so if you ride a bus going to Naga, then you still need to ride a trike or a tricycle to go to the Naga Van Terminal.
  3.  Ride the Ferry

OTHER WAYS TO GO TO CARAMOAN WITHOUT RIDING A BOAT/FERRY

My last time to go to Caramaon was last January 11, 2016, the day right after my 25th birthday. Since we were too tired to wake up at 5am, we decided to travel by land instead.

I will post other details regarding my travel in a separate post. So, here is the other mode:

If you are traveling by group then you can hire a van, and travel by land. The land travel takes around 3 hours from Naga City, and 5 hours from Legazpi City. You can contact your travel agency to arrange for your pick up or you can just go hire a van. The cost is from 2500 to 3000 for pick up (Caramoan Haven) for the whole van which sits 11 persons. And if you wanna hire a van for the whole time (back and forth) until your vacation ends, let’s say 3 days and 2 nights then it might be around 5000 to 7000.00 pesos.

If you are going to take public transport, you can ride a bus  going to Caramoan in the Naga Central Bus terminal. Philtranco and other buses travels to and from Caramoan, last trip is 11:30am.

Is traveling by land better: YES. (stay tuned for my next post about my land travel towards Caramoan).

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS ETC.