To visit Bucas Grande Island in Surigao del Norte is to discover a world hidden in a labyrinthine terrain, a world where hilly and rounded islets, each covered in thick evergreen, dominate the landscape.
From afar, these mountains of lush greenery leap out at the eye in full three-dimensional glory. There is more to it visitors can enjoy once they get to its inner recesses.
Among them are pristine lagoons, sea caves, coves and lakes, some of which are still undiscovered, while others can only be accessed in certain conditions.
First stop: the Jellyfish Sanctuary
The sail to the Jellyfish Sanctuary requires transferring to a small paddle boat that can carry two to three persons. Keeping the natural environment is a priority to the island’s caretakers, so a motorized boat is prohibited in this part of the island.
As the boat sails forward, more details of this part of the island are revealed.
The mountains are limestone deposits; the water is clear and shallow, making some marine species visible at the bottom. Among them is “tajum” (sea urchin) which used to dominate the area when it was not yet known as the Jellyfish Sanctuary.
At the entrance is a narrow passageway, walled with limestone rocks on both sides and covered in a canopy of protruding branches of wild plants and trees.
With only the sound of the flowing water and the rowing paddle can be heard in the area, one could easily guess where this is heading – a tranquil body of water set in blissful seclusion.
Indeed, the lagoon is a grand expanse of still turquoise water, making the shadows and outlines of corals in full grandeur visible underneath.
Millions of jellyfish start to show up in the months of March until May, and they bloom into full grandeur, from July until August.
During those months the lagoon becomes filled with millions of non-stinging jellyfish. How many these actually are, visitors can easily lose count.
Read more at www.rappler.com