Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte Tour - Part 1

As I said on my previous post, we had no preparations whatsoever for this trip. We (or at least I) have no idea where Club Tara is. All I know is that it's somewhere in Surigao. We cancelled our airport transfer arrangements the last minute because the van increased their price. I was so stressed at that time but now I think it's really a blessing. We were able to contact Kap Mero of Bucas Grande and he gave us a very reasonable price for the trip. He gave us a P15,200 package or P1,900 each (since we're a group of 8) which includes the following:
  • Airport to Port transfer via van and vice versa
  • Port to Bucas Grande via boat and vice versa
  • Island Tour with Tour Guide
  • Entrace Fees and other fees
  • Lunch
This is Kap Mero, by the way.

Kap. Mero of Sohoton

Bucas Grande is a long way from home. To get there, we had to book a Manila-Cebu-Manila and Cebu-Surigao-Cebu flights. We spent almost half of the day travelling and that's hopping from Luzon, Visayas and then to Mindanao.

To get to Club Tara from Surigao Airport, you have to travel by land for about 2 hours to the port. Bucas Grande, where Club Tara is located, is approximately 30-minute boat ride. The roads are well-developed but it's mostly zigzag so prepare for the long ride. As for the boat ride, it's very relaxing since the water is very serene.

With one of my favorite travel buddies, Nic. :)

By, 2PM, we're finally in Club Tara! Of course, first thing to do is take pictures.

From here, I'll introduce my travel buddies for this trip.

 Mik and Jeff

 Apol and Carlo

 Nic and Karl

With Rye

Club Tara really offers a very scenic view but don't expect too much! I will get to that on another post, for now, I'll just focus on the activities Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte has to offer. :)

I love that the waters of Bucas Grande is very clean and still as a pool. It's perfect for kayaking and that's exactly what we did when we got there. The kayak is free of use care of the resort. We kayaked our way to the nearby beach. :) No pictures, though. We don't have a water proof camera and we're still trying to learn how to balance that surfboard/kayak.

We returned to the resort by sunset and spent time in their pool which actually gets its water from the sea. After swimming, we had a seafood dinner. The meal is also included in the package. The food is definitely not bad but it's also nothing fancy (definitely not 5-star). It's home-cooked.

Remains of the Dinner

We started the next day as early as 7AM. Kap Mero was already waiting for us at the resort when we got to the dining area. We ate breakfast and by 8AM, we had to leave because we're trying to catch the low-tide so we could visit the caves. Yep, caves. We have no idea what we're going to do that day and we didn't know that we're in for a lot of adventures.

Sohoton National Park

God really blessed us with a good weather. It wasn't too hot and it's not raining either. Good thing, because our boat doesn't have a roof. We jumped to our boat and we're off to their Visitor Reception Area.

Bucas Grande Visitors Area

 Helmets for the Cove Tour

Thank you Korea for the roofing.
Really, we needed Korea to roof the visitor center?

After registration, Kap Mero had us ride another boat that will take us to  Sohoton Submarine Water Cove or Sohoton National Park. It's called Submarine Water Cove because to get inside, you have to go through a cave-like entrance that closes during high tide. This the reason why we need to go early and catch the low tide.

 First Glimpse of the Sohoton Cove

Sohoton Cove

Our tour guide is very nice and he can clearly explain the attractions in the park. Again, I forgot to ask the name of our tour guide, but he is in this picture.

And these are the things he taught us...

Magkono or Iron Wood

Magkono, we learned, is a very strong wood and is actually the hardest in the Philippines. The park is graced with this tree. Kuya also told us that this wood is carnivorous!

The Horse Shoe

This rock formation that they call The Horse Shoe is the only landmark that could lead you to the exit of the park. This rock formation is very important because the islets all look alike, it's very easy to get lost inside. Our tour guide also said that if this rock is already submerged in water, it means you cannot anymore go out of the cave and you have to wait until the next low tide.

Hagukan Cave

Entrance to Hagukan Cave.
Grabbed from Jeff's Facebook.

Inside Hagukan Cave

You have to wear helmet if you want to go inside or else you would hurt your head. "Hagukan" is their term for "Snoring". They say that during high tide it makes a loud snore-like sound when waters enter the cave.

Dagongdong Rock Formation

Where the guardians of the forest are believed to settle.

Magkukuob Cave

Going up the Magkukuob Cave.
Grabbed from Jeff's Facebook.

No way down but jump.
Grabbed from Jeff's Facebook.

I call this "the do or die cave", and probably the highlight of our trip. As I said, we didn't know what we're supposed to do on this trip. Our tour guides told us to climb to the cave and so we did. Turns out, the only way to go back is to jump from this wooden platform which is approximately 15 feet above the water.

I have no fear of heights and this is on my bucket list, but being a non-swimmer, I now have to trust kuya with my life. And so I did, I jumped. Promise. I just don't have pictures  (yet) to prove it. 

Here's how my friends did it..

After the jump

After this, we headed back to the reception center. 

To enter the Jellyfish Lake, we have to move to a small non-motorized boat. The lake is very near the reception area. Along the way, we could already see the jellyfishes. They're brown and they're floating everywhere! We could touch the jellyfishes but we're prohibited to take it out of the water since they are very fragile. We were also told that we they are not allowing guests to swim in the lake anymore since the lotions or shampoos we are using could hurt the jellyfishes.

Stingless Jellyfish of Bucas Grande.
Grabbed from Jeff's Facebook.

Kayaking inside the Jellyfish Sanctuary.
Grabbed from Jeff's Facebook.

On our way out of the Jellyfish Sanctuary.
Grabbed from Jeff's Facebook.

We did all of these in the first half of the day. I'll blog the next half of our tour on my next blog post. Soooooon. :)

This post is originally from http://sacurativo.blogspot.com

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