Sohoton Caves: Exploring The Hidden Gem in Samar

Sohoton Caves: Exploring The Hidden Gem in Samar
Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park cover
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Basey, Samar may not be as popular as other tourist destinations in the Philippines like Boracay or Palawan, but it has a lot of hidden gems waiting for you to discover, like the Sohoton Caves.

At Sohoton Caves, you will find some of the country’s most marvelous and unique stalactites and stalagmites that come in varied sizes, some of which look like an elephant, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, the Statue of Liberty, rice terraces, the Great Wall of China, natural musical organ, a beehive, human body parts, an eagle, guards, and jellyfish.

About Sohoton Cave

a view of the stunning waters

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Sohoton Cave derives its name from the Cebuano word so-oton which means to pass through a small opening. In order to reach the cave, you have to pass through the jungle and the limestone walls with a small boat or kayak. 

This cave has a high cathedral-like dome with an entrance of parabolic arch. It is within the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park and was established on July 19, 1935 by virtue of Proclamation No. 831, to preserve its geological features and natural wonders. It was named Sohoton Cave Natural Park but this was changed in 2005 to Sohoton Cave and Natural Bridge. 

The National Park stretches over 841 hectares filled with lush jungle, pristine waterfalls, the vivid river, and numerous limestone caves.

What to do and see in and out of Sohoton Cave

1. Swim with thousands of jellyfish

stingless jellyfish

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Yes, you can swim with thousands of them in the luminous waters of the cave! And don’t worry, the jellyfish in the Sohoton Caves are stingless so you’re safe. 

2. Kayak at the Sohoton River

kayak at sohoton river

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Just a few meters from the Sohoton Cave, you can already reach the Sohoton River through kayaking. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!

3. Discover the beauty of Panhulugan Cave

tourists at sohoton cave

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Panhulugan Cave is the largest cave in Sohoton National Park. It consists of two main chambers: Panhulugan Cave I and Panhulugan Cave II. The Panhulugan Cave I is the largest and most spectacular endogenic cave, while Panhulugan Cave II is a long scar that cuts into the face of Panhulugan Cliff.

4. Spelunk at Hagukan and Magkukuob Cave

If the above destinations can be admired in the open, others are concealed in secret coves and caves, like the Hagukan and Magkukuob Caves.

In Hagukan Cave, green water glows, illuminating the dark cave. Hagukan is a Visayan word which means snoring. Once inside, you’ll hear a snore-like sound of the waves inside that makes it feel like the cave is actually a sleeping beast.

In Magkukuob Cave, you have to go through waist-level water to get inside and walk like a duck to reach the dry path for you to discover the spectacular rock formations.

If going in is a challenge, going out is, too. To exit the caves, you have to climb up a very steep path and choose whether to take the plunge or go back to the entrance to complete the caving episode.

5. Explore Sohoton Cove National Park

Interesting natural features will greet you, from the luminous blue waters to the mountainous backdrop of the island.

There are also trees that stand as hard as stone, and a picturesque cliff in the middle of the jungle-laden islets.

During high-tide, Sohoton Cove is not accessible.

When is the best time to visit Sohoton Cave

Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park cover

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park is perfect to visit most of the year. But try to avoid traveling between August to December because heavy rains are expected that may result in increased water levels in the river. If this happens, the park often closes.

Sohoton Cave Location

Sohoton Cave is located in Basey, Samar.

How to get to Sohoton Cave

Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park 2

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The closest airport to Sohoton Cave is in Tacloban. Only domestic flights to and from Tacloban Airport are available, so you need a connecting flight from either Manila or Cebu.

From Tacloban, take a van bound for Basey town where you can register and settle fees for tours at the Municipal Tourism Operations Office.

Alternatively, you can ride a habal-habal (motorbike) to the Sohoton Visitor’s Center and Eco-Lodge in Barangay Wespal, the departure point to Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge Park.

Travel time will take about 2 hours from Tacloban to Sohoton Cave.

Sure it’s not as popular and frequented by travelers but Sohoton Caves & Natural Bridge Park is something that will give travelers the chills for its majestic, tranquil, and unspoiled beauty. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Sohoton Caves

Q: What are the best things to do in Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge Park?

A: The most popular activity in Sohoton Caves is of course, spelunking given the many caves in the area. But here are some other things you can also do:

  1. Swim with thousands of jellyfish
  2. Kayak at the Sohoton River
  3. Spelunk at Magkukuob Cave
  4. Cliff dive at Hagukan Cave
  5. Discover the beauty of Panhulugan Cave
  6. Explore Sohoton Cove National Park

Q: Where is Sohoton Cave located?

A: Sohoton Cave is located at Basay, Samar.

Q: How to get to Sohoton Cave from Manila?

A: From Manila, take a flight to Tacloban. Upon arrival at Tacloban, take a van bound for Basey town where you can register and settle fees for tours at the Municipal Tourism Operations Office. Travel time will take about 2 hours from Tacloban to Sohoton Cave.

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