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Bucas Grande Island: Mystical Side of Nature

More than the obvious attraction that is Siargao Island, there is a sweet escapade that awaits the curious guests in the eastern part of mainland Surigao Del Norte. Just two hours away from the laid-back vibes of Siargao Island is the serene Bucas Grande Island. It is a great destination choice for family vacations and honeymooners who seek tranquility and calm in its truest sense.

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

July 30, 2017 — It was a sunny day in Sayak airport when we arrived via Skyjet Airlines at 7 in the morning. As my group and I walked towards the exit gate, we were welcomed by Club Tara Resort’s General Manager, Ms. Mitch Saylo. The resort happily provided us our meals, land and boat transfers, island day tour, accommodation and everything we could ever need during our stay. Yey! We were in for a treat!

Our main destination is still two hours away from mainland Siargao. It took a lot of effort before we reach Bucas Grande Island. It’s not a smooth journey, but it is worth it. First, we drove for about 30 minutes from the airport going to Dapa. The municipality of Dapa is where most trading activities take place in mainland Siargao. It is considered the commercial center of the island. In here stand the marketplace, computer shops, the island’s main sports complex, hardware stores and other local businesses. It also houses the port terminal of Siargao Island, namely Dapa Port.

 

 

How To Go To Bucas Grande Island

For commuters, a public transport van bound to Dapa is available at the airport, and it costs ₱150 per head. From Dapa Port, one may ride a passenger boat to Socorro Port which costs ₱100 per head. Surrounded by waters and lush hills, the dreamy resort can only be reached via private boat. So from Socorro Port to Club Tara Resort, the group must call the resort office to arrange the private boat service for ₱1,500 one way. Although it involves several transfers, this is the cheaper alternative. Meanwhile, a more convenient option is to avail the resort’s private boat service which costs ₱3,500 per one way, from Dapa Port in Siargao Island directly going to Club Tara Resort in Bucas Grande Island.

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

Since our trip was sponsored, we rode Club Tara’s private outrigger boat straightly heading to the resort. We were grateful that the waves were flat and our skilled drivers didn’t have any difficulties navigating the oceans. The ride was so smooth that we even fell asleep at one point! The long journey gave us diverse sights. We passed by mangroves of different kinds until the seascape changed into a vast horizon of the waters and skies.

 

 

Club Tara Resort: Palace Among The Islands

Bucas Grande Island is comprised of patches of islands scattered unevenly, and surrounding it is the enchanting caves and coves. Approximately after an hour and a half travel, we passed by Bucas Grande’s mainland, Socorro. It is the only municipality in Bucas Grande Island. The primary mode of transportation on this side of the region is a boat. It is no wonder why most men work here as either a fisherman or a boatman.

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

As we got closer to Club Tara Resort, we crossed through the waters in between small mountainous islands covered with an abundance of lush trees. We were amazed by the view! And by far, I have not spotted any bald island. The picture reminded me of Palawan.

 

Club Tara Resort, Bucas Grande Island (6)

Club Tara Resort, Bucas Grande Island (6)

Club Tara Resort, Bucas Grande Island (6)

 

After 40 minutes of being in awe of the scenery, we finally docked. We were pleasantly surprised by the staff of the resort who handed us a complimentary drink, a fresh coconut! Club Tara Resort was paradise away from the world, figuratively and literally. The place can be compared to the laid back water cottages of Maldives. It evoked peace and solidarity, just some of the things that are difficult to find in the face of a bustling crowd.

The water cottages here are specially designed for honeymooners. Through the glass doors leading to the veranda, the spacious room is greeted with a spectacular view of Bucas Grande. Being on a lone island is not as fearsome as I thought, rather it was relaxing.

I wouldn’t lie, okay, the resort is not perfect. There were many cons – the place needed a new paint job, woodwork is old and flaking, the docking area is brittle, water system still undergoing some improvements, staff needs extensive hospitality training, the swimming pool and jacuzzi demand to be revamped. BUT these negatives were outweighed by the pros – the place is surrounded by a magical view, the lagoon is so enticing who will ever want to swim in the pool, the staff is the friendliest, and the food is heaven.

Probably the least of your concern, but let me warn you that there is no mobile signal and no television reception. The only thing you can do other than soaking yourself in the presence of nature is to eat and surf a bit via the wifi.

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

But I guess people wouldn’t come here to chase the city life. Nature doesn’t need attention, but it demands to be noticed. When the tides are high, you may opt to go for activities such as kayaking or paddle boarding in the lagoon of Club Tara. (At the further portion of the lagoon are harmless reef sharks that swim around.)

 

Club Tara Resort, Bucas Grande Island (6)

 

When tides are low, you can still kayak and paddleboard. Or if you feel like just dipping in the water, the swimming pool will also do the trick.

 

Sohoton Cove National Park

The experience I had in Sohoton Cove made me realize that wonders happen even when I do not see them with my own two eyes. Nature is beautiful, basking in its own glory with or without me. (I’m obviously too in love with this place!)

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

After a ten-minute boat ride to the Sohoton Tourism Office from the resort, we registered and transferred to a smaller boat. The adventure begun when we had to duck down as we pass through what seemed like an underground river. We passed by a horseshoe-shaped hanging limestone and was directed to Hagukan Cave. We were blessed because it was low tide at that time. Guided by the tour guides, I was face to face with the oysters clinging to the cave’s entrance as I floated on the waters. Should the tides have risen, we would be diving to get out of the cave.

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

As I swam further to the core of the cave, the ripple created by the movement was casting out a glow! The place was lit with bright blue, like fireflies in the night. I swam back and forth three times to witness this wonder repeatedly. If given a chance, I would go back again and again to this side of the world.

We went to Magkokoob Cave next. Unlike Hagukan Cave, we just waded to get inside Magkokoob. It was just waist-deep and the rocks weren’t slippery.

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

The cave was rich with various stalactites and formations. There were fruit bats quietly dwelling in Magkokoob.

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

If one would climb up the elevated exit, they will be led to a makeshift diving board where adrenaline junkies could jump and cliff dive a height of 10 feet off the air.

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

It was already getting dark and we didn’t have time left to explore the remaining attractions in Bucas Grande Island. We went home with eyes filled and hearts satisfied.

 

 

This is Home.

During my brief two-days stay at Club Tara, I am glad to have found family in this distant land. The smiles of Surigaonons are those that promise genuine warmth. In here, everyone treats everyone like family. Even though they speak in a different tongue, I understood their language of kindness and compassion. I didn’t have to hear them word per word because I knew that I was safe and comfortable wherever they led me to go – their eyes and smiles told it all.

 

Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island (16)

 

 

Guide to Bucas Grande Island

    • The adventure in Hagukan and Magkukuob caverns are not advisable for tourists with a heart ailment.
    • Cliff diving in Magkukuob is not allowed, but the tour guides will encourage you to try it! Hehe.
    • Bring your own trash as you leave the Sohoton Park.
    • Acquiring souvenirs out of natural resources of the park is prohibited.
    • Make sure you maximize your time! Sohoton Park can only accommodate 400 visitors a day.

 

Contact Persons

Sohoton Cove Booking Office

Contact number: 09071171767 / 09063100346
Facebook Page: Socorro Tourism Office (from Monday to Sunday, 8am-5pm)

 

Club Tara Resort

Contact Number:  +63 917 522 5500
Email Address: clubtara_rsvn@hotmail.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/clubtararesort/

 

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This trip was part of a media tour sponsored by Travelbook PH, Club Tara Resort, and Skyjet Airlines. Itinerary and expense are not published.

 

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