Starfish Island is situated among the group of islands in Honda Bay, near Puerto Princesa, Palawan. It is often included in the Honda Bay island-hopping tours, since the islands are so small and close together. Despite that, Starfish Island does have the highest population of starfish among its sibling-islands.
It may not have the pristine white sands of Snake Island (one of its sibling-islands), but Starfish Island has the richly colored pink-and-white of ground coral. The protected position of the bay allows for very little buffeting waves, so the sands are partly grainy underfoot, with others still holding the cores of the shells and coral pieces they once were. Filtering through those pieces is white sand like powder.
Like all other pink-and-white sand beaches, the water promises to be the clear blue that sustains sea life, rather than the murky harbor waters which have mutant fish randomly hopping into the air. Starfish Island’s waters do not disappoint. The presence of quite a few tourists does not allow for absolute clarity, but the water is still a sky-mirroring blue.
The Honda Bay protects its family from the harshest of winds and waves, and sea life thrive in those conditions. The calmer the sea, the closer fish and their coral beds can live to the ocean surface. In Starfish Island, a few steps out into the water and you can float, watching the fish darting in and out of crevices in rock and coral.
Further out, with a mandatory life-vest, you can feed the fish with pieces of bread saved from your own food, or bought from the locals. The fish are used to the feeding and cluster around you. There’s no danger in them, and it’s a fun change to see them excitedly coming near instead of hiding in the coral and anemones.
In healthy ocean waters, it is quite normal to see a few starfish sunbathing on the sands and near-surface rocks. What gives Starfish Island its name is the unusual number of starfish colonies you can see everywhere. Starfish pepper the bottom in groups, and you can pick them up and hold them–they don’t bite. Many are bigger than your hand.
Other Parts of the Island
Lunch nipa huts stand large enough to contain small parties for lunch. Anything sold on the island will cost an eye and an ear. It’s best to bring your own food and drinks, especially water. The drinking water on the island will cost an arm and a leg besides. Starfish Island is the best place to end your Honda Bay island-hopping trip, or you could just stay there the whole day. The winding arms of sand stretching from the island disappear as the tide comes in, but until then they are perfect places for beach walks.
Why Go To Starfish Island?
It is a lesser-known island in the Honda Bay, so there are fewer, much fewer, tourists. Besides quickly finding a lunch spot, you can relax and swim on the beach in peace and quiet. It is becoming harder and harder to find less-touched beach paradises, so enjoy this one while you can.