Honestly, I 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 by the thick evergreen islets, amazingly clear water, stingless jellyfish you can touch, and of course, the famous beautiful Club Tara. And I wondered why I didn’t know about this place before, given that I love searching for beautiful places. How many more hidden paradise is still waiting to discover? Without even reading a single blog to what to expect, I hopped into a three-hour boat ride to Bucas Grande from Siargao.
HOW TO GO TO BUCAS GRANDE
Bucas Grande is between Siargao Island and Surigao Del Norte main island. If you’re coming from Siargao, there are boat rentals that offer the 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 – P4,000
We traveled for almost 3 hours until we reached the Socorro’s municipal tourism office. You’ll never miss it out since it is a large villa with a blue roof in the middle of the sea. We arrived around 9 AM and paid P2,080 (for six people) for the Sohoton Cove tour plus Jellyfish Sanctuary. We ate our pancit canton breakfast first because we can’t enter Sohoton Cove until it’s low tide.
P.S They only cater 400 tourists for a day on 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 rode a motorboat with two local guides who take videos and photos well. Sohoton came from Cebuano so-oton, which means to pass through a small opening. I didn’t understand it at first until we were in the entrance, where we need to duck, cover, and hold because of the low-ceiling cavern. It’s a literal Narnia! Then, I understood why we need to wait for low tide.
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 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 was 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 was 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 stones were wet and sharp, so it’s better if you’re wearing water socks, like this one from https://www.globosurfer.com/best-water-socks/, to protect your feet and survival in case of slipping.
When you reach the top, you need to climb down a somehow muddy human-made stair to the diving platform.
The Jellyfish Sanctuary is not inside Sohoton Cove. We bid farewell to this hidden cove and proceed to our last activity.
From Sohoton Cove, we went 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. After 20 minutes of paddling, we arrived at the stingless jellyfish sanctuary.
February turned out to be their mating season, so most of them are at 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 above the water. And since we’re lucky, we saw the translucent jellyfish as well. Guides told us that the best time to go from April to May where all the jellyfish are floating.
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 that good with water, and water activities scare me. The fact that I can’t see 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.