An Enchanting Sohoton (Bucas Grande) Experience

PAGASA has declared the start of the rainy season but I haven't experienced the 2016 Summer yet. Though the Philippines has been experie...

PAGASA has declared the start of the rainy season but I haven't experienced the 2016 Summer yet. Though the Philippines has been experiencing El Nino since late last year, getting under the sun for fun is still a different story. That's why my friends and I decided to make our last hurrah for summer at the beautiful Surigao del Norte.

The original plan was actually just an overnight stay at Mabua Pebble Beach in Barangay Ipil, Surigao City. However, my friend Doris (the person behind made a last minute suggestion that we go island hopping on our second day in Surigao. Therefore, I revised our itinerary to include a short island hopping to Basul Island on our second day there.

Then a couple of days before our trip, I revised our itinerary again. The final plan was a whole day tour in Sohoton Cove (Bucas Grande) then head to Mt. Bagarabon Resort in Mabua Pebble Beach for our overnight stay. The revision was so worth it and all four of us really enjoyed our jam-packed weekend (Full itinerary at the end of this post.)

Check my previous blog post on how to get to Sohoton.

One of the many islands in Sohoton

Day 1 of our Surigao del Norte summer escapade is the Sohoton Tour.

First Stop: Crystal and Bolitas Cave

Boats docked outside the Crystal and Bolitas Cave

Next stop: Tiktikan Lake Resort
We ate lunch and swam with stingless jelly fish here

Spread the Love at Tiktikan Lake

Next stop: White Sand Shore with Beautiful cave-like rock formations
White sand shore where we continued swimming

left - right: Me, the hubby, Doris (, and her hubby

Look at that beautiful blue waters

After swimming our hearts out, we went back to Tiktikan resort for our lunch.

Next stop: Sohoton Cove Tour and Tajuman Stingless Jelly Fish Sanctuary

Sohoton Cove Tour Registration area

(My phone isn't waterproof so photos of Sohoton Cove Tour were taken by Doris)
(ctto Doris)
Entrance to Sohoton Cove
(ctto Doris)

Inside the Sohoton Cove
(ctto Doris)

(ctto Doris)
(ctto Doris)

(ctto Doris)

(ctto Doris)

(ctto Doris)

(ctto Doris)

That's me. Jumped off the cliff with shaky knees
(ctto Doris)

Next Stop: Tajuman Stingless Jelly Fish Sanctuary
Waiting for our paddler
(ctto Doris)

(ctto Doris)

(ctto Doris)

Tajuman Stingless Jelly Fish Sanctuary
(ctto Doris)

Heading back to the mainland after the fun filled tour

At around 2 PM, the tour was done and we headed back to Hayanggabon port to catch a ride back to Surigao for our next destination.

P.S. I thought we were all going to die on our trip back to the mainland. The waves were huge and one big wave hit our boat and I thought that was the end. Thank God we reached land safe and sound.

Next post: Mabua Pebble Beach.

Below is the total cost of how much I spent during our 2 days / 1 night vacation trip in Surigao del Norte.

Destination:Bucas Grande/Mabua Pebble Beach
Date:May 28-30
DayTime (mostly estimate)DetailsCost per pax 
0 (May 28)8:50 PMTravel by non aircon bus to Surigao City (via PP Bus Pasay-Cubao route)Php 570
1 (May 29)5:30 AMBreakfast (the boyfriend and I shared a meal)Php 54.50
6:30 AMSurigao City to Hayanggabon PortPhp 120
8:00 AMHayanggabon to Sohoton/Bucas Grande (3500 boat rental) *Php 875
8 AM - 2 PMSohoton Cove Tour (Php 1,680) **Php 420
8:15 AMCrystal and Bolitas Cave Tour entrance feePhp 50
11:00 AMLunch at Tiktikan resort (Php 350 per kilo of fresh seafood including cooking)Php 87.50
2:00 PMTravel back to Hayanggabon Pier
3:15 PMTravel to Surigao City (In our case we were able to get the driver to agree to send us to Mt Bagarabon for an additional Php 50) ***Php 170
6:00 PMCheck-in @ Mt Bagarabon (Room for 2 @ 1300 less 25% if check-in after 4 PM and comes with free breakfast)Php 487.50
6:00 PMDinner at Mt Bagarabon (Total bill is Php520. Serving is good for sharing up to 4 pax) ****Php 130
Day 2 (May 30)10:00 AMCheck-out
11:00 AMTravel to Surigao City Bus TerminalPhp 37.50
12:00 PMLunch at Jollibee GaisanoPhp 88.50
2:00 PMTravel to Butuan *****Php 205
5:30 PMTravel to DavaoPhp 490
8:00 PMstop over for dinner (I brought cup noodles so I just bought hot water and rice)Php 15
Total ExpensePhp 3,800.50

Note: There are 4 of us in the group. The boat rental, Sohoton Cove tour, Lunch at Tiktikan, and Dinner at Mt. Bagarabon is divided into 4. The rest of the costs are per person. (rates are subject to change without prior notice)

*The boat rental already includes day tour and transfers to Crystal and Bolitas Cave, Tiktikan Resort, White sand shore where you can go swimming, Sohoton Cove registration area, kick off point for the Sohoton Cove tour, and kick off point for the Tajuman Jelly Fish Sanctuary tour. (I think [but not sure] you can request or ask your boatman to tour you to another attraction if time permits).

**This is another tour within your day tour (yes quite confusing). I think the Sohoton Cove tour is handled by the LGU/Tourism office. You will need to get into a smaller boat to get into the Sohoton Cove at noon when the tide is low. From there you will tour inside the cove and you'll also go into two caves and go cliff diving. Tour is Php 1280 good for 4 pax but we decided to add Tajuman Jelly Fish Sanctuary to our tour so we had to pay Php 100 each for paddlers fee.
Tip: Ask the boatman if the registration for the Sohoton Cove tour is already open then proceed with the registration first. This will save time from queuing in line during peak season.

*** If the van driver will not allow to drop you off at Mabua Pebble Beach then you can still ride a tricycle from the Surigao Bus Terminal to Mabua Pebble Beach. Fare is Php 150-200.

****Food prices at Mt Bagarabon range from Php 150 - 275. Generous serving. Good for sharing. Rice is Php 20.

*****There are direct trips from Surigao to Davao. However, the last aircon bus trip to Davao already left and there is no more aircon bus going directly to Davao. That's why we decided to take the Surigao-Butuan-Davao route.

I hope you find this blog helpful and may you enjoy your Surigao experience!!!

God Bless,

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