Mindanao Towns and Shores: Bucas Grande Islands and Sohoton Cove National Park

Christmas holidays just passed by us a few days ago , and I hope everybody enjoyed some rest and is now fully charged to start the year right and fresh !

To start up my 2014, I have promised  myself to begin uploading posts dedicated to the places I have visited within our home country, the Philippines.  For the moment,  this installment of posts will be focusing on the beauty of the Philippines’ off beaten towns and islands;  And theres no better way to explore this subject than to start with the provinces within Mindanao, with its beaches and shores that have not been abused much by tourist footprints.

The first installment will be dedicated to a place where I found the most enchanting seascape by far , which is in Bucas Grande Islands and Sohoton Cove National Park. This nature reserve is composed of scattered limestone islets  and maze like clear lagoons located at the southern part of Siargao , near Surigao del Norte. The nearest town to this nature reserve is Socorro, which is around 45 minutes away by boat.

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Three most note worthy things to do in the Sohoton Cove National Park:

1. Entering Sohoton Cove is an adventure in itself  . To see the cove , the boat must enter through the only passage , which is a cave, that is only accessible during low tide. The Cave opening is wide enough that a small pump boat can fit.  Given that, your group must also leave the cove before high tide.

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Photo Credits : Mr. Ian Garcia of M Magazine.

The moment you pass through the cave is like entering a ancient world like in times of the dinosaurs. Sohoton cove is a maze like chain of clear blue lagoons walled by groups of islets and rock formations . The islets are covered in lush green and there are patches of pitcher plants. Within the cove, there are a number of caves to explore and perhaps do some diving. =)

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2. Also within the far end of the Nature reserve is an area where thousands of stingless jelly fish dominate the water. It is said that the jelly fish had been castaway to this remote lagoon for hundreds of years. Having no predators to disturb them , they have evolved to lose their stings and venom.  But, of course , safety should always be a priority, that is why it is better not to touch them if you want to be sure. =)

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3. Cheap Seafood in the town of Socorro.

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The trip we had was pre-arrranged from Davao City, thanks to our friend Ian Garcia who managed to tap his connections in Socorro.

To get to the National Park, probably the most convenient way is to fly/drive to Surigao City , and there will be loads of agencies offering chartered tours to the islands for less than 2,500.00 pesos (60 USD) per head.

Alternatively , you can just go directly to the port , as there are boats sailing daily to Socorro , which is around 2 hours travel time.  From Socorro, your group may charter a small boat to tour the Islands for around 200.00 pesos ( 4 USD) per head ..

Photo Credits : Mr. Ian Garcia of M Magazine.

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