After the surfing lessons we’ve prepared for our next adventure. This time we’ll be exploring the Enchanting Sohoton Cave!
Luckily we’ve meet new friends in Ocean 101 – Jay R, Michael and their African friend Jin. If not for them we probably won’t afford the P4,000 price of the boat ride going to Sohoton. Thank you Lord. 🙂
How to go to Sohoton?
You actually have two options:
- Option A: Hire a Boat from General Luna to Sohoton
Boat price P4000
Probably the easiest and convenient way, but the cost is high. Better if you are 5 or more so you could divide it. The journey will take around 2-2.5 hours. (This is the one we took)
Sohoton BOATMAN NUMBER – EDITO QUINTAS & JERRY GANIA
- Option B in going to Sohoton: go to Dapa, GL to Dapa P300 habal2x
From Dapa ride ferry to Socorro: sked 8am & 4pm P100 per head
From Socorro to Bucas Grande: P1500 boat
Longer but cheaper, recommended if you’re traveling in a small group (less than 5persons)
- Option C:
From Surigao City (Hayang Gabon Port) to Sohoton (1,500php per boat/one way)
Journey will take around 30minutes only.
The Journey to Sohoton Cave
The journey took almost 2.5 hours. On the way, we were again able to see Guyam, Dako, and Naked Islands. Within an hour’s time, we have seemed to approach a large island that did not have sandy shores. Instead, it had sprawling rocky cliffs with heavy vegetation. For another hour, we were maneuvering around small green cliffs that must have sprung out of the sea from nowhere. There were lots of them! I was feeling smaller and smaller… I felt smaller but, at the same time, I was feeling more peaceful inside — stunned in awe of the beauty that surround me.
We thought the journey to Sohoton cave will be an easy and peaceful one. Well in the beginning it was. Most people in the boat already fell asleep until we’ve reached the borderline to Bucas Grande Island. Here big waves came to shake our small boat because of the ongoing Habagat. Water splashed everywhere. Up and down we went with the strong and fiery waves that I thought I would only see in movies.
But as they say that there’s a rainbow after every storm, we’ve survived the wave. And boy I should say the adventurer in me actually enjoyed it. Haha.
Arrival at Sohoton Cave
Upon arriving at the Sohoton Cave, we were welcome by their tourist assistance. Here we’ve signed another bunch of tourist registration papers, followed by a free orientation and brief background about Sohoton.
Sohoton Cave Brief Background
This enchanting cove is half-submerged in water most of the time and accessible only during low tide. As such, it can be entered only during low tide passing through a cave entrance. Once inside the cove, visitors can go around paddling in kayaks passing through rocky islets while enjoying the pristine waters and beautiful natural sceneries.
Striking limestone formations rise out of the glassy waters to create a maze in which only the experienced can find the way out. Your guides will take you to caves and jumping rocks and finally to swim with the very rare non-stinging jelly fish.
How Much to Pay at Sohoton Cave
We then paid the following:
- Mandatory Fees and Charges:
- Municipal Government:
- Entrance Fee & Environmental Fee:
- Foreign Php150
- Local Php50
- Rentals (Helmet / Life vest) – P40
- Docking Fee Php50/boat
- Partner Peoples Organizations:
- Pumpboat: 500/boat
- Boat Guides: Php165/guide (there will be two guides assigned)
- Paddlers: Php100/person (1 paddler per boat per person for the Jellyfish interation)
- Tourist Assistance: Vincent A . Tamayo
- Contact No. 09308028704
What to do in Sohoton Cave?
The tour will include the following:
- Jellyfish interaction
- Snoring/Hagukan cave
- Magkukuob cave with bats
- Bulitas Cave
- Tiktikan Lake
- Crystal Cave
- Mangrove Tour
- Magkahuyug Falls
Jelly Fish Interaction
As a Spongebob lover, I’ve always been curious to know, see, and touch these jelly sea animals. I remember Spongebob and Patrick going jelly fishing. At first I thought the jellyfish that I’ll be seeing are also color Pink just like in cartoons, but they weren’t.
The five of us were separated on each boat. One person with one guide on a single paddle boat.
The journey had been peaceful and serene I should say. Going around rock formations in the area, cool breeze blowing over your face, the tranquil waters, luscious green forest where you’ll hear the distant sound of birds, owls, and other insects.
Along the journey, I started a conversation with my guide asking the basics about the life of the jellyfish. Here are some of what I’ve known:
- Jellyfish abound in the months of April and May, during the summer season.
- They only live up to 3 months. Such a short life span L
- They do not have any brain
- The jellyfish here DO NOT HAVE ANY STINGS. Hence one could touch them without electrocuting theirselves. Amazing right?
- Jellyfishes could only be held and taken away from the water for a maximum of five seconds. My guide told me they could die if they stay out longer.
After the jellyfish interaction, we were taken back at the tourist assistance center and transferred to another boat. This time we are all in one boat together.
Horseshoe – Sohoton Cove’s Landmark
As soon as we got through the cove, the guide showed us the only landmark that helps him (and the other locals, as well) recognize Sohoton Cove amongst the many islets/cliffs and its crevices. It’s a rock with an oversized “stalactite” that barely touches the water. They call it Horseshoe.
Snoring Cave / Hagukan Cave
Next stop is the Snoring cave. Named because it produces snoring sounds during high tide.
“Haguk” means to snore in Surigaonon dialect. They say that on the onset of high tide, the opening of Hagukan Cave almost gets flooded. The entry of splashing water plus the strong winds create the sound of a snoring giant. Thus, it was named Hagukan Cave.
To go inside one needs to get down the boat, wear a life jacket if you don’t know how to swim, and swim to get in the cave.
We had to be careful though; there were barnacles that are sharp enough to scratch one’s face. It could be scary to enter for people with claustrophobia and water phobia combined. It was really dark inside. Our only source of light was from the opening of this cave. Inside is a big rock to stand on. It’s a relief for the tiring challenge of treading water.
The Luminous Water in Snoring Cave
It’s amazing to note that at the middle of the cave there’s a portion where the water appears to be luminous. You’ll see yourself turn into a bright and clear bluish green color. This is brought about by the reflection of the light outside the cave.
Stalactites and Stalagmites Inside the Caves
Various stalactites (rock formations pointing DOWNWARDS) and stalagmites (rock formations pointing UPWARDS) can also be found inside the cave.
For the next cave, apart from Stalactites and Stalagmites, we’ve also found bats inside.
It was not as dark as Hagukan, but it had more visible and beautiful rock formations inside it. The water inside was waist-level.
The exit to the cave is the challenging part for we have to rock climb into its elevated chamber of plentiful jugs (large holdings for climbing). It was a steep climb. Most of the holds were pointed upwards, but atleast they were not sharp. We climbed up till we realized we were out of the cave and 15 feet above the water! A make-shift wooden ledge was tied to the branches and roots of some trees.
And from the top one needs to jump high to the water below.
Jump?! My heart was beating faster. There are rocks beneath the rapids. I am terrified by these rocks for they might knock me off unconscious and eventually make me drown. But do I have a choice?! So here I go!
Boy, my butt hurt! Next time remember to land with your feet down.
The tour could should have included visits to the Crystal cave, Buletas cave, Tiktikan lake, etc. but since we’ve arrived late in the afternoon, we don’t have enough time since we’ll still be travelling for another 2.5 hours to go back to GL.
The tourism officer even told us that a day won’t actually be enough to navigate the entire Sohoton. He even recommended that the next time that we’ll be going it is best to just stay over the night for they also have various resorts that you could choose from. I’m also looking forward to the firefly tour at night time. Maybe next time!
Sunset Photo ops
On the way back to GL, we get the chance to witness the splendour of the sun setting by the mountains and the seas. We also passed by mangrove forests.
“The only question in life is whether or not you are going to answer a hearty ‘YES!’ to your adventure.” — Joseph Campbell
|The above blog post is part of my surfing adventure series of posts in the Island of Siargao, the Philippines’ Surfing Capital that happened last August 2-6, 2012. | Wow! Siargao (Shar-gow): Three Islands Hopping | Surfing at the Philippine’s Surfing Capital: Siargao Island | Siargao’s Enchanting Bucas Grande Sohoton Cave | Siargao Countryside Tour: Inland Sights and Wonders | What to do in Siargao: Suggested Siargao Budget Itinerary|