Honestly, I’ve never heard of Bucas Grande Island before I googled places for our Siargao itinerary. And as from the google photos I saw, I’m amazed of the thick evergreen islets, amazingly clear water, sting less jellyfish you can touch, and of course, the famous beautiful Club Tara. And I wonder why I didn’t know this place before. How many more hidden paradise is still waiting to discover? Without even reading a single blog to what to expect, I hopped into a 3 hour-boat ride to Bucas Grande.
HOW TO GO TO BUCAS GRANDE
Bucas Grande is between Siargao Island and Surigao Del Norte. If you’re coming from Siargao, there are boat rentals that offer Bucas Grande day tour in General Luna. But if you’re coming from Surigao, boats to Bucas Grande is available in Hayanggabon Port which is almost 2 hours away from Surigao City. Since our flight is in Butuan, we decided to drop by Bucas Grande before we return to mainland Mindanao.
BOAT RENTAL: SIARGAO – BUCAS GRANDE (VICE VERSA)
KUYA LOYDING (09270289197) – P4,000
We traveled for almost 3 hours until we reached the Socorro’s municipal tourism office. You’ll never missed it out since it is a large villa with blue roof in the middle of the water. We arrived around 9 AM and paid P2,080 (for 6 person) for the Sohoton Cove tour plus Jellyfish Sanctuary. We ate our breakfast (pancit canton) first because Sohoton Cove can only be access in low tide.
P.S They only cater 400 tourists for a day in a first come first serve basis. So you might want to hit the sea at 5:30 AM.
Around 10 AM, we started our Sohoton Cove tour. We were given a boat and two local guides. (who take videos and photos well) Sohoton came from Cebuano so-oton which mean to pass through a small opening. I didn’t understand it at first until we are in the entrance where we need to duck, cover and hold (Nux, Earthquake drill) because of the low-ceiling cavern. It’s a literal Narnia!! Check out my travel video to see!
So our first stop, Hagukan Cave
“You have to hold your breath for 8 seconds”
The water is still high and the ceiling of the cave’s entrance has sharp stones so we had no choice but to hold our breath and swim below. I’m not a diver so I asked the guide to just drag me underwater. But boy, it’s the longest 8 seconds of my life. And all of that for a bio-luminescent azure water. Since the water is still high, the cave is still dark and it’s just perfect to see how the water glows in every ripple.
Second stop, Magkukuob Cave.
Magkukuob Cave is a diving cave. The water is waist deep inside but we were instructed to squat walk (is this even a word, just refer to the picture haha) in a train position. (I’m bad at descriptions!) It is dark inside and you’ll only depend on your guide and his flashlight to see the crystal draperies and stalagmites. If you wanted to dive, you need to trek some slippery rocks and hold tight for your dear life. The rocks are slippery and sharp, so it’s better if you’re wearing water socks to protect your feet and life in case of slipping.
When you reach the top, you need to climb down a somehow muddy man-made stair to the diving platform.
3rd Stop, Jellyfish Sanctuary!
The Jellyfish Sanctuary is not inside Sohoton Cove. We bid farewall to this hidden cove and proceed to our last activity.
From Sohoton Cove, we were brought to a floating paddleboat terminal. One paddle boat can only accommodate one person. You can choose to paddle along with the boatman or not. I did though but I think I’m of no use so I just entertained manong with my Siargao stories. (and he told me about Lovi Poe’s visit here lol) After 20 minutes of paddling, we arrived at the stingless jellyfish sanctuary.
We were informed that it is their mating season so most of them are in the bottom of the lagoon. But there are still some who greeted us. The stingless jellyfish are yellow and soft. (Like what Dory said SQUISHY!!) You can touch them but NEVER EVER lift them up the water. And since we’re lucky, we saw the translucent jellyfish as well. Guides told us that the whole lagoon is filled with jellyfish during April-May.
Other Bucas Grande Gems to visit
- Club Tara (Day Tour- P20 / Overnight Stay – Book here!)
- Cinnamon and Marka-a Island
- Tiktikan Lake
- Kapihan Nature and Adventure Park
This whole Bucas Grande experience is out of my comfort zone. I’m not really that good with water and water activities scares me. Not seeing the bottom of where I’m swimming freaks me. Somehow after this trip, I realized that everything is just in my head. And I think I’m braver.