Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande

Day 2, Bucas Grande:

We had an early wake up call at 5:00AM for us to prepare and catch the earliest ride to Hayanggabon Port. After we had a feast of hotdogs, omelet and kinilaw na pasayan (alive and kicking shrimp dipped in suka) for breakfast, we bade goodbye to our hosts and head for the road. The mountainside parts of the road to Hayanggabon is still on the works, so expect a slow and bumpy ride.

Bucas Grande Islands
We arrived at Hayanggabon port at around 8:30AM. Our first plan was to get to Socorro Town first through the regular scheduled trip of the lantsa. When we learned that the lantsa to Socorro will not depart until 11:00AM, we opted to find other options on getting there. We were able to arrange an outrigger boat to take us to a tour to the Bucas Grande islands first and drop us at Socorro town afterwards.

Sohoton Cove

One of the main tourist attractions in Bucas Grande is the Sohoton Cove National Park. Before we even arrived at the Sohoton Cove, we were greeted by the grandiose islands of Bucas Grande. It is so heart-warming to see that there are still unspoiled parts of our country like the Bucas Grande.

Corals beneath the sea and lush green vegetation above

Excited as we are, we still need to register, pay the tour fees and wait for our turn for the tour though before we can take the much awaited glimpse of the Sohoton Cove. We were divided into two groups since the boats to be used for the tour can only accommodate five people.

Approaching Sohoton Cove
The only way in and out of Sohoton Cove
We first visited the Hagukan Cave and had a refreshing swim at the cold waters inside the cave.

Swimming at the Hagukan Cave
We were then taken to the Diving Cave where the only way out is to jump off a 20 feet high cliff.

Marx going for the jump

After the Sohoton Cove tour, we then transferred to a much smaller boat (1 passenger per boat) to take us to the Stingless Jellyfish Sanctuary. A small boat is needed so it would be easier to maneuver against the strong currents to the sanctuary.

Tourists are allowed to touch the jellyfishes but swimming is strictly prohibited. They used to allow swimming with the jellyfish before, but it is said that the sunblock lotions can poison the jellyfish thus diminishing their numbers. So they made it a rule to prohibit swimming in the sanctuary.

Stingless Jellyfish
These jellyfishes surely don't sting.

Another stingless jellyfish angle

If you happen to have the tour in a good weather, I suggest that you wear ample protection from the sun such as a rash guard which I failed to prepare.

Bolitas Cave

We also visited another cave in Bucas Grande, the Bolitas Cave. The cave features stalagmites with crystalline formations although most of them are already tainted. Our guide told us that once the crystals are touched and smudged, its glow would forever be gone.

The bolitas or small circle pebbles which the cave got its name can be found in a much deeper part of the cave. It is only accessible by crawling down to a narrow hole near the entrance to the cave.

Into the Deep

I was hesitant on going deep into the cave at first but hell I conquered my fears. The deeper we went into the cave, the more leg room we had. We were now able to crouch.

Funny formations
After the agonizing way back to the top of the cave, I realized that I am now bathing in sweat and dirt. None of us noticed that we took too much time exploring the cave that it is already past 4:00PM. We wanted to visit the famous resorts in Bucas Grande, the Club Tara and the Hidden Resort, but we just don't have the time and so we headed straight to Socorro Town.

At Socorro, we tried searching for the cheapest place that can accommodate us. We were lucky to find the Island Vacations Country Inn which offers AC Rooms and free WiFi. Standard rate is P200 per person. The  Inn is located above a bakery at the first corner when your walking from the port.

Island Vacations Country Inn - AC Room
We had dinner at a carenderia near the port at 8:00PM and went back to the inn to chill and relax. There is a famous place in Socorro called Kapihan which the locals described as mini Tagaytay of Socorro. We did not have time to check out the place though. Maybe next time.

How much damage did the Bucas Grande/Day 2 tour dealt to my pocket:
  • Cantilan to Hayanggabon Vhire - P100
  • Bucas Grande Tour Outrigger rent - P3500 - P350/person
  • Sohoton Cove Tour for 10 persons - P3660 - P366/person
  • Lunch at Reendaleethams Cottage - P1635 - P164/person
  • Tricycle at Socorro - P20
  • Island Vacations Inn - P200
  • Dinner at a carenderia near Socorro Port - P112
Total damage for Day 2 is P1,312 which leaves me P2,422 for the next one and a half day in Siargao.

Special thanks to Marx and Rodia for sharing and allowing me to use their pictures.
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