Enchanting Sohoton Cove and Bucas Grande Islands

Sometimes the sky belongs to me
And wraps me in infinity
Sometimes it turns the other way
And hides itself in clouds of gray

-Elizabeth Santos

After a devastating two days of bumming around, finally we’re off to test the waters of Siargao sans tsunami mishaps.

Sohoton Cove Slogan:
Here you will find peace: serenity of the mind, simplicity of the heart and tranquility of the soul

Our kind host at Island Dream Resort promised  a day of wicked adventure as he arranged our service boat. Being haunted with the previous day frenzy, I still have anxiety attack on braving the wild waves.

Sailing on rough weather is not my cup of tea. Although the sky is clear, I know that somehow the 2 hours boat ride will encounter a rough turn. It was reassuring to know that our boatmen grew up in this small island and anything unusual they would know. So there, four people aboard and madness waiting to happen.

stunning display of islets

Did I mention, it was hubby’s birthday? The resort’s in-house restaurant serves good food as they perfectly put together our breakfast and lunch in a neat picnic basket. Sweet!

At 7 AM, we were bound to Bucas Grande Island for an early morning tour.

Contrary to what I was expecting, there were no violent waves harassing our idyllic journey. We lost count on the natural islets dotting this tropical  destination and whether to cross it off from the 7,107 islands in the Philippines.


Tranquility Indeed!

A change in temperature is evident when we finally reached the entrance to the hidden Sohoton Cove.

Soothing to the eyes, the lucid waters seemed colder and transformed into deep turquoise. Corals and fishes are almost visible to see. We felt lucky to have reached this tropical paradise.

enchanting waters

Sohoton Cove is part of Bucas Grande Islands located in the town of Socorro. To get there, one can rent a boat from Surigao City or in the town of General Luna, Siargao Island.

While waiting for the tourism officer to get there (he sails  everyday to get to his office! pretty cool huh?), we spoiled ourselves with our filipino breakfast. There were tables and chairs for dining, but nowhere to buy any food or drinks. A reminder to guests, travelers, backpackers and everyone who visits this place, please let’s keep this paradise as beautiful as it is. Take as much trash when you leave. Take nothing but pictures leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.


On our way to Sohoton Cove. See how Mother Nature blessed this paradise with richness

We paid P930.00 for boat rental, tour guides (x3) and docking fees. When everything was settled, we transferred to a smaller boat.

The cave entrance and exit point to Sohoton Cove is half-submerged in water, thus it’s only accessible on low-tide. We have to wear hard hats and duck down to avoid being knocked off by the low ceiling.

The cave entrance to Sohoton Cove. Watch your head!

It’s quite exciting to see the light at the end of the passage. It opens up into another stunning lagoon with more surreal landscapes.

Dawongdong Wall or Dagongdong? Perhaps next time, we’ll try kayaking here.

First Stop: Hagukan Cave. The name is derived from the word haguk, a local term for snore. Our guide told us that during high tide when the waters splashed through the walls, it makes a snoring sound. Sounds creepy.

Oh No! Do we really have to go in there?

Growing up in the Philippines where nice beaches abound, it’s a shame that me and my other half don’t know how to swim. I know. I can float though, but I think that’s not even counted.

Our ever efficient and encouraging guides has ways to persuade us. Rather than missing this once in a lifetime experience, we gave in to this dare. No life jackets on. Hubby first.

To get inside the submerged cave we have to go underwater for about 2.5 meters stretch. It opens up to a small, dark cavern with a nice display of stalactites. There’s a piece of large rock inside to stand on while your guide points the light to the rock formations accenting the ceiling.

Second Stop: Magkukuob Cave

As if we have enough of a surprisingly extreme day, this one makes it to the highlight. Further to the entrance, our guide pointed out a wooden plank hanging about 16 feet above the water.

I think I have rather a long list of fears, heights and deep water included.

iJump. iFly. iDive.

Magkukuob Cave just like Hagukan has low opening. But this time, one can wade to get inside as there is enough space to stick out your head. Just watched out for sharp rocks.

The small cavern is adorned with rich stalactites and stalagmites. The temperature quickly dropped and seconds later, I’m already freezing.

We have to climb up to the exit, and there it is, the jump board inviting us to take a plunge on this natural wonder.

I haven’t dive in a pool, moreso an open water before. And our guide won’t let me use  a life jacket. I think I lost my soul there for a  moment. The water is more than 15 feet deep.

Reminder: If you don’t know how to swim or dive, trust your guide. they will find a way!

I wish they will allow visitors to visit Sohoton Cove in an extended period. We want to take in as much serenity of the place but the guides warn us about the danger on the cave entrance on high-tide. But they do this even when you come in early morning? Why hurry?

It only took us less than 2 hours to explore the place, then we’re off to the no-sting jellyfish sanctuary or also called Tojoman lagoon. Palau is well known for their jellyfish lake, well we have one for the books too!

Luck isn’t on our side as no brown stingless jellyfish were playing around, I reckon they evacuated from fear of tsunami too? Seen a white one instead.

Best to go March – May when you’re up to snorkel with stingless jellyfish.

just keep swimming.

We went back to the tourism office and switch boat to  proceed to our next stop: Pansukian or Naked Island.

Naked Island is a 200 meters stretch of sand bar, stripped off with trees or shelter.  The sparkling water and white sand beach makes you want to forget time.

finding solitude in Naked Island

she sells sea shells by the sea shore. and oh the invisible shorts.

We spent a good time cam whoring on this beautiful island. On the way back, heavy rain caught us in the middle of the sea, nevertheless were able to survive and reach the resort safely.

What else to see in Siargao? And the risk of being stranded in the island, find out on my next post!

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Haven Hunter -Weekend Haven

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  • Reply Mr. Havenhunter August 27, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I Love this trip, One of my best birthday ever =)

    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter August 28, 2011 at 12:28 am

      Should I expect something spectacular on my birthday too? :P

  • Reply happysole September 3, 2011 at 10:28 am

    oohmygahd! bucas grande! we will be going there in 3 weeks (or less). any tips? care to share your contacts (e.g. accommodation, boatman, etc)? thanks!

  • Reply Iris September 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm


    Would you mind sharing how much you shelled out for this trip?

    Where did you stay and do you still have the contact number of your tour guide?


    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter October 23, 2011 at 1:38 am

      Hi Iris,

      Awww, do you mean the whole trip? We splurged a little on the accommodation, so I can’t say :D but for the boat ride to Sohoton from General Luna, it’s around P3,500 for the boat rental, guides and docking fees. We stayed at Island Dream Resort, the relatively new resort in the island with posh rooms :)

  • Reply melvin January 15, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Wow! ang lapit lang nito sa hometown ko pero di ko mapuntapuntahan.takot kasi ako tumawid sa area na yan dahil maalon daw.sa experience nyo ok lang ba ang boat ride?yung mga jelly fish it’s like what i saw on tv sa palau,ganda!

    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter January 15, 2012 at 10:48 am

      hi melvin, medyo maalon nung time na yun and paranoid pa ko kasi mga 2 days pa lang yung nakalipas since tsunami strucked japan. Nirisk lang talaga namin yung trip since ayaw naman naming umuwi ng hindi namin napuntahan yung purpose ng vacation namin sa Siargao. Yung jellyfish lake, ok talaga pag season. sadly, nagevacuate din yata sila nung pumunta kami kaya isang white lang ang nakita namin.

    • Reply Cemal March 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      wow ganda ganda naman, wish ko lang marunong ako mag-surfbtw, ni-TAG po kita, psalee list down 8 random facts about yourself, :) These are the rules:1. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.2. Tag eight people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).3. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs

  • Reply melvin January 15, 2012 at 4:25 am

    hahaha.bilib ako sa inyo ng hubby mo na kahit hindi kayo marunong lumangoy (ok aaminin ko na,kasi sa comment ko kanina hindi ko binanngit,nahiya ako,hindi rin ako marunong lumnagoy) malakas loob nyo magpunta sa ganyang islands.its the boat ride talaga that stops me from visiting siargao and calaguas.sayang

    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter January 15, 2012 at 10:44 am

      thanks for reading melvin. try mo pumunta ng summer or march-april. mas tamed yung waters nun for sure. and yun daw yung jellyfish season. ok naman yung guides namin as in hindi kami tinantanan hanggat hindi kami pumapayag na pumasok ng cave at tumalon sa ledge. masaya sya and exciting. pero may fear pa rin ako after so hindi ko na uulitin. hahaha.

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  • Reply Gastronomic Adventures & Island Hopping Tour in El Nido | Weekend Haven September 22, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    […] I’m a scaredy cat even with a life jacket on. No wonder it takes a million heartbeat before I jump my way out to sohoton cove. This is the first and I superlove our […]

  • Reply Sohoton Cove December 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Please visit the official website of Sohoton Cove – http://www.sohotoncove.com for more information.

  • Reply Tere January 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    nice blog!
    by April or May, we will be visiting this place.
    Can I have the contact numbers of the guide/s you have been with?
    thanks! :)

    • havenhunter
      Reply havenhunter February 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Tere,

      Sorry, we didn’t get the guide details. Kasi pagnagregister ka sa tourism office, they will be the one who will assign the guides for your group. Easy lang if you already have arrange for your boat to get there, they will know the process na.

      • Reply Tere bernardino May 3, 2013 at 8:48 pm

        Ganun po ba. Is there a tourism office in the Surigao city airport?

        • havenhunter
          Reply havenhunter May 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm

          Not sure about tourism office, but if they don’t have you can go directly to the port and ask around for boats going to Socorro. Bucas Grande is part of Socorro.

  • Reply Randy Besas Humaylab December 7, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Those who are planning to visit Bucas Grande (Sohoton Cove) and Siargao Island just contact Randy Humaylab (Boat owner/Tour Guide) mobile # 09099641659. Thanks !

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