Bucas Grande Island in Surigao del Norte had always been in my list of top island destinations to visit in the Philippines. No, it doesn’t have long stretches of fine white sand like Boracay nor does it share El Nido’s monolithic limestone rock formations but it does have something equally interesting — pristine coastal lagoons that typify my visions of extremely exotic island destinations in the Pacific.
Just look at this satellite image and you will understand what I mean:
Bucas Grande is an island located in Surigao del Norte province in the Philippines. Situated on the country’s eastern side, facing the Pacific Ocean, it is near Siargao Island, a popular international surfing destination.
I had been to Bucas Grande once before. That time, I was able to see its gorgeous lagoons on a whole day boat tour … it’s on everybody’s itinerary, or at least it should be, if ever visiting the island. I explored the usual suspects, which included the Sohoton Cave Lagoons, Hagukan Cave, Tiktikan Lake, Bolitas Cave, Makukuob Cave, and Crystal Cave.
These spots were clustered together in one little corner of the island. I didn’t get to see the rest of the island because of my limited time but I vowed to come back to satisfy my curiosity of seeing what the other parts of the island looked like.
I also didn’t get to experience what made Bucas Grande Island extra special, a paddle boat trip to visit the Tojoman Lagoon, famous for its swarms of golden non-sting jellyfish. It’s a rare occurrence that can only be seen in very few locations in the World like Kakaban Island in Indonesia and the Rock Islands in Palau.
Around Bucas Grande Island
The island kept its off-beat vibe and simple non-touristic island lifestyle even on the main town of Socorro. Most travelers visiting Bucas Grande Island only end up going to the areas around Sohoton Cave Lagoons for a couple of hours on a hired pumpboat from Siargao or the mainland (Hayanggabon, Claver). It was awesome that I got to see and experience other parts of the Island.
When I planned my second visit to Bucas Grande, I made sure to do a longer stay and scheduled it between the months of March and July, prime jellyfish season. I spent 6 days exploring every inch of the island as I could … mostly on foot. My itinerary basically involved following any interesting beach and inland trail I stumbled upon.
The day after my arrival, I followed the coastal trail south of Socorro Town. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect:
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