Bucas Grande Island – 3 Compelling Reasons To Visit The Mindanao All-In-One Destination

Bucas Grande Island – Where Is It?

Bucas Grande Island is dubbed as all-in-one tourist destination for reasons that it does not only host a variety of tourist attractions and world-class resorts ideal for island getaways but it is the home of people helping people. The 12,445-hectare island covering the lone municipality of Socorro is situated in the northeastern part of the Province of Surigao del Norte, Mindanao Island, Philippines with its town center openly facing the Pacific Ocean having the geographical coordinates of 9° 37′ 17″ North, 125° 58′ 0″ East.

Bucas Grande Island

Map of the Province of Surigao del Norte, Philippines.

For those who are sill unfamiliar with this province in Mindanao Island, Surigao del Norte is composed of 19 municipalities and 1 city scattered in 3 major island groups namely, the mainland, Siargao Island and Bucas Grande Island . . .

Bucas Grande Island

Map of Bucas Grande Island showing the various natural attractions.

Bucas Grande Island – Why Visit It?

Tourists, local and foreign alike, kept rolling to Bucas Grande Island for 3 compelling reasons:

1. Its Variety of Natural Attractions

Being a native of the place, let me take you to a tour of the various natural attractions in Bucas Grande Island with my Nikon D 7000 DSLR camera and the HD Pro Hero wearable camera that I won in the contest sponsored by my esteemed Canadian travel blogger couple Dave and Debb Corbeil of the The Planet D in tow. Hence, relax, hold your breath and take your most precious time touring with me.

Our first stop is the Sohoton Cove, the most renowned among the tourist spots in Bucas Grande Island frequented by local and foreign tourists alike, which is accessible via a lone entry and exit point dubbed Sohoton Cave passable only during low tide. Nothing beats the thrill and excitement upon entering the 60-meter cave entrance . . .

Once inside, your eyes would surely be captivated by the islets floating like dish gardens arranged along waterways . . .

Bucas Grande Island

A portion of the 7 group of islets dotted inside the Sohoton Cove . . .

And the Dagongdong Rock Formation, named after the dagongdong plant thriving on its mid portion more than a century ago with its falling leaves being mobbed by birds while still on air and by fishes as it dropped into the water, would surely not escape your attention . . .

Dagongdong Rock Formation in Bucas Grande Island

The Dagongdong Rock Formation inside the Sohoton Cove.

Your adrenalin starts to rush up as you enter the Hagukan Cave situated in one of the islets named after the snoring sound it produced while the volume of air escape out of the pinched entrance as the water starts to recede during low tide . . .

Inside the cave, you can stand on a rock platform and savor the luminous surrounding produced by the light from the narrow entrance and the sparkling stalactites and stalagmites inside . . .

Bucas Grande Island

Standing on the rock platform while inside the Hagukan Cave . . .

Bucas Grande Island

. . . Awfully gazing at the luminescent waters.

But surely, your adrenalin would rise up more at the Magkukuob Cave, so named with the bending position you must have to undergo in entering the cave, as you maneuver up rocky steps utilizing stalactites and stalagmites as handrails towards a spotlight and into the diving board. But lo and behold, the height is so deceitful as it would seem you are gazing at the ocean from the window of the plane, hence, it would take time for the less adventurous ones to recite The Lords Prayer before gaining the composure to jump into the azure waters . . .

You would really want to stay longer inside the Sohoton Cove but the thought that you might be caught with the high tide and, hence, be trapped inside would make you jump overboard the boat and heed the prodding of the tour guide that it is time for you to go out . . .

As you reached the Sohoton Tourist Assistance Center, you need to transfer to a paddle boat that would take you to the Jellyfish Kingdom and get yourself contented on swimming with the smack of Jellyfish . . .

Bucas Grande Island

Swimming with the friendly, non-stingy jellyfish.

The Tiktikan Lagoon situated within the vicinity of the Sohoton Cove is surely a must visit site . . .

But the visit to the Bolitas Cave near Tiktikan Lagoon, named after the perfectly spherical ball bearing-like objects scattered on its floor, is the most adventurous one . . .

Bucas Grande Island 1

Crawling my way via a pinched passageway . . .

Bucas Grande Island

Marveling on the ball bearing-like objects on the floor . . .

Bucas Grande Island

Posing for posterity on a sitting position as there is no way for you to stand up . . .

Bucas Grande Island

Exiting my way via the very narrow entrance and exit point . . .

Bucas Grande Island

Taking time to pose at the Crystal Cave near the Bolitas Cave entrance

Bucas Grande Island

... And having a souvenir shot with the scparkling Crystal Cave stalagmites.

A trip to the seaside waterfalls found on the western side of Bucas Grande Island dubbed as Magkahuyog Falls and coined from the Surigaonon term huyog which means fall, is an added attraction . . .

Bucas Grande Island

The Magkahuyog Falls in Bucas Grande Island

And the latest emerging Bucas Grande attraction is the Kanlanuk Falls situated a stone’s throw away from coast on the western part of the island.

Kanlanuk FallsThe comely Kanlanuk Falls in the western coast of Bucas Grande Island.

It is high time to go to the Socorro town center . . .

Bucas Grande Island

The Socorro Municipal Feeder Port . . .

Take a quick dip or a languorous swim at the warm, crystal clear sea waters of Puyangi White Sand Beach and bathe on the cold spring situated on the seashore . . .

Bucas Grande Island

The 1.5 kilometer stretch Puyangi White Sand Beach near the Socorro town center

Capping the Bucas Grande Island tour is a visit to the Kapihan View Park, a vantage point atop the highest peak of the island and where you can savor the 360 degree view of the surrounding islands and islets dotting the Pacific Ocean, the Hinatuan Passage and Surigao Strait, a perfect venue for a sunset, moonlight and star gazing trip.

Kapihan View Park in Bucas Grande Island

The Kapihan View Park in Bucas Grande Island . . .

2. Its World-Class Facilities

Bucas Grande is home to magnificent resorts with amenities and services at par with international standards. Club Tara Resort , situated in the vicinity of the Sohoton Cove, is famous in this part of the Philippines as much for its inspired sceneries as for its world-class facilities and convenience-oriented, comfort-laden and pleasure-bearing amenities…

Club Tara Resort in Bucas Grande Island

The Club Tara Resort

Meanwhile, the Hidden Island Resort found in Barangay Dona Helene adjacent to Barangay Sudlon, where Sohoton Cove is situated, proudly blends among the floating dish garden-like islets dotted on azure seas.. .

Hidden Island Resort in Bucas Grande Island

The Hidden Island Resort

Nevertheless, if you are a budget traveler like me, you may opt to stay at the Sohoton Bay Resort situated just a 5-minute boat ride away from the Sohoton Tourist Assistance Center. Not only does it have very affordable rooms with first class toilet and bath facilities but it offers free Wifi wireless internet conectivity, the only tourist-related facility offering such service in the entire Sohoton Bay Area. Moreover, its proprietor also operates the Island Vacation Travel And Tours.

Sohoton Bay Resort

The Sohoton Bay Resort as seen from the Puting Pato Beach situated within the vicinity of the Sohoton Cove.

For the room rates and other details about the Sohoton Bay Resort, please visit their website by clicking HERE.

3. Its People Helping People

The populace of Bucas Grande Island are noted for nurturing the Filipino tradition of bayanihan or helping one another. If you happen to visit the place by July, you can observe each and every able-bodied Socorronhon leaving the privacy of their lives and offer their services for a period of 30 straight days in the construction of houses and collective farming activities with the house and farm owners shouldering only the food and materials costs while the labor is offered free. But what makes the Bayanihan or Tinabangay in Socorro extra ordinary is the fact that it was not born out of mere tradition but as an offshoot of the 1924 Colorum Uprising, the details of which shall be the subject of my future post. All the facets of the month-long Tinabangay activities are being depicted by dancers with colorful costumes participating in the annual Tinabangay Festival held every 22nd day of February in time for the Socorro Day Celebration . . .

Bucas Grande Island – Who Went There?

Despite the bad publicity about Mindanao Island as a bandits’ lair but local and foreign tourists continue to visit Bucas Grande Island for the reason that it is found in the northeastern most tip of Mindanao while the not-so-peaceful places portrayed in the media are situated on the southern most part of the 94,631 square kilometer-island considered as the 19th largest in the world. In fact, the nimble expedition ship M/V Clipper Odyssey had docked at Sohoton Bay with its European tourist-passengers savoring the beauty of Sohoton Cove.

Moreover, Sohoton Cove was chosen as a filming location of the episode of  Asian Treasure, the popular GMA 7 teleserye . . .

Bucas Grande Island

Angel Locsin, Robin Padilla and other casts on board a boat en route for a take in the shooting of Asian Treasure at Sohoton Cove

And the most recent show business personality visiting Bucas Grande Island was no less than the beauteous Jessa Zaragoza who serenaded his fans with vocal renditions during the June 19, 2011 Socorro Annual Town Fiesta Celebration . . .

Jessica Saragoza in Bucas Grande Island

Jessa Zaragoza in her best vocal rendition at the stage in the Socorro Town Plaza

Bucas Grande Island – How To Get There?

Bucas Grande Island can be reached through a combination of air, land and sea transportation.

How to Get to Bucas Grande Island

By Air:

Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific Air has direct flights from Manila to Surigao City. There is also a Cebu Pacific Air flight from Cebu to Siargao Island.

By Land:

From Surigao City airport, you may take a multicab ride for the Surigao City center, drop by at the Public Market and walk towards Pier 2 where mororized passenger bancas for Socorro are available. Otherwise, from the airport, you can walk your way to the Integrated Terminal, take a bus or van bound for Tandag or Cantilan and drop at the Hayangabon Port within the jurisdiction of the town of Claver. If you come from places in the Mindanao mainland, you can drop at the junction in Barangay Bad-as, Placer and take a ride to Barangay Hayangabon.

Meanwhile, after landing at the Siargao Airport, you may opt to take passenger vans or tricycles to the Port of Dapa where motorized passenger boat for Socorro are docked.

By Sea:

Fom the Port of Surigao, you can ride the motorized banca bound for Socorro leaving Surigao City at 12:00 noon at 2.5 hours, more or less, travel time with the fare of PhP 200.00. Meanwhile, there are 2 motorized boat trips per day in Hayangabon Port leaving for Socorro at 11:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the afternoon. On the other hand, there are also 2 trips available per day from the port of Dapa to Socorro, the first being at 7:30 in the morning and the 2nd at 4:00 in the afternoon. The boat fares from either Hayangabon or Dapa Ports to Socorro is Php 100.00 and travel time for both destinations is 1 hour, more or less. You may also opt to hire special boat trips to the various tourist destinations in Bucas Grande Island straight from the ports of Surigao City, Hayangabon and Dapa.

Bucas Grande Island – Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a legitimate travel and tours agency to assist you in your planned vacation to Bucas Grande Island, the ISLAND VACATION TRAVEL AND TOURS being the first and only travel and tour agency accredited by the Department of Tourism in the island, is offering affordable and reliable tour packages suited for your needs. For details PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Bucas Grande Island

This Bucas Grande Island blog post is my 6th entry to the Blog Carnival of the Pinoy Travel Bloggers with the November theme Mindanao Bliss hosted by Olan Fernandez Emboscado of The Travel Teller.


  1. Wow… this is amazing. Looks wonderful.

  2. amazing comprehensive guide sir ed about Bucas grande… i hope this post generates a lot of visitors for your hometown… sharing this in my network…

    • It’s an honor that my post had merited the attention of a travel blogger of your caliber Flip. Thanks very much for the kind words and for sharing this in your network which would surely redound to increased interest to visit Bucas Grande Island.

  3. very useful guide! 🙂 Now I wanna go back to Surigao! 🙂

  4. Kuya,thanks so much po for your offer. I will surely include Bucas Grande in my itinerary and will contact you before I start my trip. In fact, pa south ang route ko muna because I’m excited to explore Visayas at Mindanao first since most of the time, Luzon lang naiikot ko tlga. This is a comprehensive guide, will sure take note of this when I start doing my itinerary. thanks for sharing!

  5. thanks for sharing this guide sir. i cant wait to visit bucas grande at sana may mga jelly fish din pag punta ko dyan. Sa july pa nga lang. hehehe

    • The jellyfish, by nature, disappears when there is heavy concentration of fresh water in the sea, hence, they cannot be seen starting November until January. They thrive in abundance in July and the other not-so-wet months in Caraga Region. I would be willing to see you come July more so that it falls with the month-long annual Bayanihan or Tinabangay activity so you can also witness the real essence of Bayanihan widely practiced by the Bucas Grande islanders.

  6. WHO discovered the Sohoton? wy is IT called SOHOTON? I AM ASKING becoz, I chose this topic in my term pper..

  7. im very grateful sir ed for the hospitality. your place is superb, worth visiting! =)

  8. superb article! excellent information! i have been there in kapihan view park its more beautiful than tagaytay.

  9. amazing! sana maka visit ako dyan soon.

  10. I’m bookmarking this for a possible trip soon. Thanks po

  11. Hi Sir Ed,

    Planning to go to Siargao and Bucas zgrande and upon reseaching for package tours I chanced upon your blog and your name being mentioned by travel bloggers. Any chance you can recommend someone to give us a package tour?


    • Will be launching the family-owned Island Vacation Travel and Tours, to be managed by my daughter who had just finished her BS Tourism Management course, the soonest. Will keep you posted once the tour packages becomes live.

  12. this is very informative … Planning to visit sohoton this month.. Hope am lucky enough to witness the jelly fish!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *