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Surigao del Norte
Bucas Grande + La Janosa                Surigao City + Siargao         
The Sohoton ecotourism park is a really insider tip for snorkelers, the islands and chanels in front of the park, rather the whole area of the southwest until a waterdepht of 5 meter.

The Sohoton ecotourism park itself is a lagoon system with many limestones and some grottos. At lowtide you can swim inside. Some entrance fee (the typical philippine way: tourists pay 5 times the fee of the locals), and you must change into flat boats.
For free and very interesting is the world of corals and colorful fish outside of Sohoton!

One can charter boats in Socorro, because of the long way around the southern coast it will be not very favorable, but it`s a nice trip. But much cheaper then the daytrips from General Luna (it is a very long way from there).
A better occasion for your moneybox: Take a motorbike taxi to Santa Rita (on the westcoast) and arrange a backtrip. Here you can get a boat quite favorable (of course you have to bargain - if not, the fishermen try to make the best business in their life!)
Bucas Grande is around 3 boat hours away from Surigao City (southeast) and lies south of Siargao. The village Socorro you find in the middle of the eastern coastline and it has daily boattrips to Surigao City and Dapa/Siargao.
The tourism development is limited to daytrips to the Sohoton Ecotourism Park in the southeastern part of the island and the nearby luxury Resort Club Tara.
Socorro is a quite big village with some simple accommodations and eateries, which orients just on local visitors.
The advantage for a backpacker is, he sees here just a regular philippine island life at a remote area. Nobody wants sell him any tourist shit. To get the necessary things, one must get in contact with the ordinary people, don't expect touristically standard!

Close to the pier is a simple hotel, maybe 4 rooms with bath, in which regulary more than 2 people stays. Prices start at 600 Peso.

100 meter backside, straight on, you find a small pension house on a very basic level, small rooms with common bathroom starts at 100 Peso.

Alabat Cottage, around 1 km southside, 2 nice little rooms with fan or aircon and bath, starts at 500 Peso.
By the pier one can find some eateries. Talk with the people about your special desires, (for example) eating after 6.30 in the evening, maybe buy a fish for yourself at the market. No american breakfast available!
Some more eateries in the streets backside - cooked food in pots for looking, show what you like!

South of Socorro a beautiful beach sections follow. More in the backside of the village you will find a public swimmingpool, but mostly without water :-). Snorkeling brings not much joy, a long way to the reef edge, mostly waves and no interesting corals or fish.
La Janosa is a small island, around 1 hour by boat south of Siargao and 1 hour east of Socorro/Bucas Grande.
There are also 3 islands in the neighbourhood, just close in the south is Mamon Island, more southeast in the backside lies the small Antokon Island and 2 km to the southwest, the Anahawan Island is situated.

At the southern coast of La Janosa you find the small fisher village of Suyangan, here is also a very simple accommodation, 2008 I paid 400 Peso for a room. Some years ago the resort was in a better condition, but maybe there will be anyone a renovation or a new owner.
Energy is only available for some hours (or you have to pay the gasoline for the generator). The staff cooking for you - there is no restaurant. All seafood products you get fresh, but all other things are rare, maybe you can buy a chicken. Any other desires (fruits for example) you must bring from GL, Dapa or Surigao!
But the magical southsea atmosphere compensates all deprivations!

Charterboats from GL (sometimes daytrippers), Dapa, Socorro. Depending on the wind and season - powerful waves, take a closed boat with lifejackets.

Really dream beaches waiting in the south by Suyangan and on the other side on Mamon Island, also the westcoast of Anahawan Island is worth a visit.
It`s nice to swim just over to Mamon, at the eastside is a big reef and regulary you don`t have to expect a strong current!
You have to cross only 50 meter deeper water, after that, coral reefs coming again.
The corals are not in a very good condition, but there is still something to discover.
Better snorkeling you can find on the reef edge west of Mamon and west of Anahawan.
A small village lies in the south eastern part of Mamon Island, from here you can swim to the island of Antokon (no deep water), but don`t expect to see good corals on the way.
It is not necessary going always downside to the southwestern part, around Santa Rita you have also nice snorkeling (date: 8/2008).
But I cannot promise that the good condition will be forever, the fishermen practise here also dynamite fishing.
But I made the experience, they do it more on the deeper reefs outside. And it seems the underwater streaming conditions in the channels around Sohoton are very good and supports the growing of corals!
Anahawan Island, upside-pic and left side.
At the northside of La Janosa you find the main village, it`s a walk of 45 minutes, bring enough water.

The trip to Anahawan Island is recommendable, a village on the eastside, remote beaches on the westcoast.
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Outside the Sohoton Ecotourism park
beach by Socorro, Bucas Grande
children go fishing, Bucas grande
fishermen from Bucas Grande
Mountains south of Socorro, Bucas Grande
Boat on La Janosa island
children selling fish on la janosa island
beach on la janosa
view to Anahawan island
children from suyangan, la janosa island
beach on anahawan island
Anahawan island
The northern part of the island you can explore with motorbike taxis (or rent one for yourself), it`s going about bumby roads to remote villages.
A viewpoint in the mountains offers a beautiful scenerie of bays and islands. Again and again you crossing streets and fields with red soil (metalliferous material).
Some very nice areal photographs of the islands around Sohoton you can find on the website of
book recommendations
On the left side you see Bucas Grande,  rightside La Janosa.

Very good zoom for La Janosa, you can go downside until the coral reefs!