In photos: The sail to the Jellyfish Sanctuary

Into the hidden world of Bucas Grande

Muffin-shaped mountains are scattered all over the island of Bucas Grande, providing a beautiful background against the paddle boats sailing to their first destination: the Jellyfish Sanctuary.

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Sailing forward, more details of this part of the island are revealed. The mountains are limestone formations abundantly covered in untrimmed and thick vegetation.


In between mountains are tunnel-like passageways covered in canopies of protruding branches of wild plants and trees.



At the entrance the water is clear and shallow, making some marine species visible from the bottom such as “tajum” (sea urchin) that used to dominate the area when it was not yet known as the Jellyfish Sanctuary.


With only the sound of the flowing water and the rowing boat can be heard in the area, one could easily tell where this is heading to – a lagoon that is set in blissful seclusion.




Indeed, the lagoon is a wide expanse of flat turquoise calm, making the tableau of corals visible underneath. Seeing the corals from the bottom makes one feel like being able to touch them without having to dive down.

It’s amazing how everything remains unspoiled and the tranquility that envelops the area undisturbed. It is as if a thin sheet of blanket is blocking the outside noise, allowing only the chorus of various chirping birds to penetrate the invisible shield.


During off seasons, the different species of non-stinging jellyfish are nowhere to be seen. That was exactly the scenario when we visited Bucas Grande last November.

Mother Jellyfish. The only jellyfish we saw at the sanctuary during when we visited it in November.

I admit it was a little disappointing. Thankfully, the lagoon is itself a thrill to see. Not to mention that passing through the maze-like waterways make the journey to the sanctuary quite like otherworldly.

For me, that part of Tojoman Lagoon, now called the Jellyfish Sanctuary, makes it an entirely unique natural gem in Surigao del Norte.



*The local government of Socorro – one of the 9 municipalities of Siargao – and the DENR must have done a good job in keeping the islands of Bucas Grande in Surigao del Norte well preserved and protected.

*According to tour guides swimming with millions of jellyfish can be experienced in the months of March until May, where they start to spring, and in the months of July until August, where they bloom into full grandeur.

photo credit: travel buddies Joann, Gin and Ely


5 thoughts on “In photos: The sail to the Jellyfish Sanctuary

    1. Yes, we were able to enter Hagukan Cave. It was scary because the water was high during our visit, not to mention the enclosed space. I regret not taking photos from the diving platform, especially when I saw the picture you took of the view from the diving platform in Magkukuob Cave. Btw, are there other places in PH where tourists can swim with different varieties of jellyfish? I remember you mentioned a place in your blog about Bucas Grande.

      1. Hi Maviconde,

        It’s great that you were able to enter Hagukan Cave. It’s like entering another world, right? And we’re also happy that you entered Magkokoob Cave. How was your dive? Hehehe!

        Regarding the jellyfish, we swam with the creatures at Isla Noah, which is at the Dagatan group of islands outside Bucas Grande. Our guide told us that swimming in Sohoton Cove’s jellyfish sanctuary is prohibited, so he took us to Isla Noah. It’s a smaller sanctuary, but you can swim with the jellyfish there.

  1. The dive was what I remember most about Sohoton Cove hehe. It was exhilarating; I’d do it again! Re swimming with Jellyfish at the sanctuary really? But you can take a dip and touch it, right?

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