Island hopping in the PhilippinesHaving fallen in love with South East Asia many years ago I was super excited to be invited on a blogging trip to the Philippines, as this was a country I’d not yet explored. Our first full day was spent in Palawan, where we had the most amazing introduction to this tropical paradise.

Palawan is made up of its namesake, Palawan Island, which is surrounded by a number of equality beautiful satellite islands. After landing at Puerto Princesa Airport we headed straight to the coast for a day of island hopping. Donning our swimwear, we boarded a traditional bangka (a Filipino outrigger) and took to the sea.

With the sun shining down on me and the sea air tussling my hair, I got my first taste of Palawan’s natural beauty as the coastline sped by and I spotted a sea eagle diving for its dinner. I was already smitten.

Leaving the bangka for sandy beaches.
Leaving the bangka for sandy beaches.
Starfish Island, Palawan
Starfish Island, Palawan.

Leaving the boat and stepping onto the golden white sands you truly feel like you’ve walked into a fantasy world as these islands are exactly how you’d picture a tropical paradise – I had to pinch myself several times!

Starfish Island

Our first stop was Starfish Island, which unsurprisingly is home to the largest number of starfish in Palawan. Here you have to watch your feet as the shore can literally be covered in the little guys. You’ll find you’re constantly staring at the floor – but even then the view is beautiful!

When I found a safe spot to stand I got a bit trigger-happy with my camera – the scenery of the lush green hills in the distance and the sand, sea and palm trees was just too much to miss.

After a dip in the sea and a wander along the beach we stopped off for a spot of lunch. Our picnic was made up of fresh seafood, rice and vegetables and was absolutely delicious. Beats a limp ham sandwich and a wilted salad any day!

starfish philippines
This starfish was magnificent!
starfish island
Watch where you’re walking! Starfish scatter the beach…

Snorkelling on Pandan Island

Our next stop was Pandan Island. Here a first attempt at snorkelling left me breathless – not from a failure of mastering the gear, but rather from my excitement at being surrounded by a school of tropical fish! A complete beginner, I didn’t venture far from the shore, and I was far from elegant in my swimming, but even so I was able to get a wonderful glimpse into this amazing underwater world. I loved it so much that I’ve now vowed to improve my swimming skills and return!

Our third and final hop took us to Cowrie Island. Tired out from our aquatic adventures and the bracing sea air (and of course full from our tasty lunch) we took the time to chill, sipping on cocktails in one of the many thatch-roofed cabanas scattered across the beach and embraced the chilled out vibe of the islands.

Tropical fish off the shore of Pandan Island, in the Philippines.
Tropical fish off the shore of Pandan Island, in the Philippines.
Flags blowing on Cowrie Island, Palawan.
Flags blowing on Cowrie Island, Palawan.
Philippines from the sky.
The Philippines from the sky – my favourite ever view from an airplane window!

Island hopping in the Philippines

A perfect start to an amazing trip, there’s no better way to be introduced to the beauty of the Philippines, and I truly cannot wait to return and explore even more of the country’s 7,000+ islands!


Flown over by Philippine Airlines, my trip was arranged by the Philippines Department of Tourism and the Tourism Promotions Board. As ever all views are my own.

You can follow the Philippines UK on Twitter and Facebook and check out more envy-inducing travel photos on their Instagram account!

Having fun on Starfish Island, Palawan.
Having fun on Starfish Island, Palawan.

 

7 thoughts on “Island hopping in the Philippines

    1. Thanks Flora! 🙂 I know what you mean, I’ve been raving about the Philippines to everyone & am currently trying to persuade Justin that it should be our main trip for next year! 😉

      How was Venice? Loved the photos you shared!

    1. Cheers Paul, have to say I’m smitten now! Trying to decide which islands to go back and visit next year! 😉

    1. Do it, do it! Actually I think price-wise the Philippines is a pretty good option if you’re looking for somewhere in SE Asia to visit. You’ll love it, I promise! 😉

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