Summer Sojourn at Bucas Grande

Early March, I received a message from my cousin that she is coming  home to the Philippines in April for  a few days. You see my cousin was born and raised in Canada and the last time we saw her was 13 years ago. This trip was long overdue.  We were all excited. We agreed to meet her in Surigao to be with her  and her friends to visit Bucas Grande.  I have long wanted to visit the place and this is the perfect opportunity.  I have long wanted to travel with my cousins, too!

Bucas Grande Group of Islands is part of the municipality of Socorro in Surigao del Norte. To get there, you must reach the port of Hayanggabon in Claver, Surigao del Norte to cross to the islands. Claver is an hour and a half land trip from Surigao City.

This is our home in Bucas Grande for four days. This called Cinnamon Island. There are cinnamon trees in this island. We get an unlimited supply of cinnamon tea.  After every island hopping trip, there is cinnamon tea waiting for us.


Electricity was available from 5 PM to 7 AM the following day.  Who needs power when you are out  exploring the whole day? There is cellular signal in some areas of the island.

On our first trip out of the sea, we visited the Jellyfish Sanctuary. Bucas Grande is home to stingless jellyfishes.

We had to transfer to a paddle boat.


There is only one passenger per paddle boat.  Here’s my cousin and her boatman.


I love the boat ride towards the jellyfish sanctuary. The sea was calm and the air was cool.


Trees surrounded us as we sailed towards the sanctuary.


We were not allowed to swim with the stingless jellyfish because the lotion in our bodies can harm them.  We were allowed to touch them for a little while though.


This is the white jellyfish. I would not have seen it had the boatman not pointed it out to me.


This is the stingless jellyfish that is very visible from the boat. I am glad I was able to capture this photo as it swam near the surface.  I added some calligraphy into the photo.


Bucas Grande has so much to offer.  We toured inside the Sohoton Cove. We  can only do this during low tide since we need to pass through this inlet.


There is so much to see.



We also swam inside the cave. I have no photo to show since my camera is not waterproof. In another activity, they went inside the a cave and the easier way out is to jump off a cliff.   It looked fun but I chickened out. There were so many people. I might cause delay to some people if I take time to prepare myself to jump.


We had lunch in one of the islands.  We spend some time swimming here and taking some jumpshots.



There were 11 of us on this trip.


This island is beautiful.


Oh, we ate fresh sea urchin, sea oysters that are attached to the rocks and other sea creatures whose names escape me right now. We saw this blue starfish.


We had this seaweed for dinner.


We also went spelunking inside the Crystal Cave. Stalactites and stalagmites are encrusted with crystals.


Three of our friends went inside the Bolitas cave.  It was a narrower cave where there are a lot of rounded stones inside the cave.

We cooked our own food so when we ran out of food to eat, we went to nearest island with settlements.  This is Barangay Bay-ang in Socorro.


We bought vegetables from a sari-sari store; meat and fish from a supplier’s house.


This community has a fowl that is a cross between a rooster and a turkey. I do not know what this is called.


We were able to visit Club Tara. This is the most expensive resort in Bucas Grande.


Our humble accommodation was okay, too!


We woke up to this view every day.


Before we left the island, we had a special delivery! Fresh young coconut! Buko!


Oh how I miss the island life! Some good things had to end to welcome new adventures. Can’t wait for the next beach trip!

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  1. what a beautiful country! i cant believe u touched a jelly fish. didnt it sting?

  2. Elizabeth O. says:

    What a beautiful island! The stingless jellyfish is so pretty, you were lucky to get a shot. The hut where you stayed looks so pretty as well.

  3. Such a wonderful snorkelling experience… It’s been s o long since I last went snorkelling!~ Miss it so much!

  4. I was thinking what is a good resort in Surigao area, and then I come across your blog. Will take note of this. That Club Tara looks so nice too, curious to see how much it is there.

    • You can book through Agoda. But, try to explore other accommodations like Hidden Valley and Cinnamon Island. You can visit Club Tara anytime as part of the tour package.

  5. This is a hidden paradise my dear. Love the scenery and have a dip into the water. Malamig ba?

  6. I have to go to Bucas Grande. The place is so beautiful; you had this one shot there and it looks like it’s a scene from movie. I love it!

  7. I didn’t know that there’s stingless jellyfish! How do you know how to differentiate? I’ve heard of friends who are stung by jellyfish and heard how it can be dangerous if not treated in time!

    • The kind of jellyfish found here is stingless. This is the attraction of the place. There are only few places in the world with stingless jellyfish.

  8. Hello Ate Kat! This is the post I’ve been waiting for! Hehe. I was really curious where you’ve been from your previous post. Ughh. The place is beautiful and great photograph on the jellyfish! 😉

    This is another place added to my bucket-list. Never heard of the place but your photographs are enough to encourage others like me to visit the place.

  9. The place speaks for its amazing environment to explore by the natives and tourists alike. The enjoyment of the group showed continuously…with their bellies full…

  10. The island so pretty and I I agree with you. Who needs a cell phone when they are having such an amazing time outdoors 🙂

  11. this is a place a must visit in Mindanao … i wonder how much you spent for the entire trip .. i hope you could share your itinerary and expenses… thanks 😀

    • Oh, you need to get in touch with a tour operation. I think we spent a lot since we stayed there for 4 days. You can visit the places we have visited in one day. I think it would cost around 2k to 3k. DIY would be expensive since you would be paying for the boat.

  12. I’ve never heard of this island before but it seems like a great place to unwind! Also the stingless jellyfish is so cool! 😀

  13. Pooja Kawatra says:

    Thanks for letting us know about this island ! Did you really touch the jelly fish and other stringless fish.. Didnt they are dangerous ?

  14. Wow, stingless jellyfish! Have never heard of those before! Looks like you and your cousin had a great time in Bucas Grande. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

  15. The place looks similar to Palawan islets and beaches. Amazing how beautiful Surigao del Norte is. Thank you for opening the window, I will definitely add Bucas Grande to out bucketlist.

  16. Bucas Grande looks really beautiful. It just a perfect relaxing vacation place to be in.

  17. That was a very good place to have a reunion with your cousin. And personally, I think your pictures are postcard perfect!

  18. Wow! There’s a cave and there’s a beach? Amazing! Why did I just hear about this place now? I so love the place. I’d love to visit Bucas myself too. 😀

  19. Wow! Seems like you guys really had tons of fun! Love all the photos!!! The water and rock formations are so marvelous, and it’s so nice that you can get so close to the stingless jellyfish! I wouldn’t have known about Bucas Grande if not for your post. I’d love to visit and experience the wonderful island life here for myself! 😀

  20. What a lovely place with clear water and beautiful beach. A perfect backdrop for a reunion. Memories are made of moments spent together and yours are surely gonna be beautiful.

  21. This Cinnamon Island sounds so cute and fun! Oh that stingless jellyfish is too cute to boot and the calligraphy which you added into the picture, priceless!!

  22. Fresh seafood (omg sea urchin) and a great view? Love!! I would love to visit there someday!


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