Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge Park | Basey, Samar
Samar Island Natural Park is gorgeous on the surface, underneath the earth & high above it. But within its 450,000-hectare protected landscape, 840 hectares attract the most visitors — Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge Park in Basey, Samar.
Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge Park is a maze of natural adventures. It features caves, rivers, limestone karts formations, waterfalls, lush forest as well as a natural stone bridge. And as wonderful as what meets the eye, it’s also teeming with exotic wildlife.
Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge Park: Go Large in Adventure
However huge this natural park is, there’s always an adventure or a chill-out place here for every kind of tourist. You can take it like a Sunday stroll or push your mettle.
Here are the top 5 activities that make any trip here fun & exciting.
Relax at Sohoton Visitor Center & Eco-Lodge
All adventures in Sohoton begin at the Sohoton Visitor Center & Eco-Lodge. This is where guests are received for registration & orientation. But it also serves as a restaurant that plates up Waray favorites. It sells handcrafted souvenirs too made by local weavers & the indigenous Mamanwa people.
Cruise on Kadak-an River
In what is Samar’s most scenic waterway, local boatmen take you on a smooth cruise along Kadak-an River lined by lush greens on the banks. Imagine the chirping birds, the stillness of the water & gentle murmurs of the ripples. All these prelude to a grand destination ahead.
Kadak-an, also known as The Golden River is more than just a body of water. It is actually an important part of the flow of Samar’s civilization. From pre-historic time until today, it bears witness to the story of every Basaynon.
Go Deep Under Panhulugan Cave
Lucky for us, Panhulugan Cave is an easy one & allows unfettered explorations. It has huge cathedral-like caverns punctuated by amazing speleothems. And like other caves, it also has a “stalacpipe organ” that creates music when tapped.
Science-backed history has it that Panhulugan Cave & the areas around it showed evidences of habitation as far as Stone Age. It also served as a burial site of the indigenous people & later on became a shelter during the Spanish-American war.
Paddle Down or Raddle Up
If you think you had the best river cruise at the beginning of the tour, hold on ‘til you make it to this part of Kadak-an.
Give your muscles some workout by paddling a kayak upstream. The view of massive rock walls, age-old trees & roots breaking out from million-year old rocks surely pay off the sweat. It’s so NatGeo-feel, promise.
You can also clamber up the woods & get lost among the thick vines. Or better yet, wallow on the shallow pools & give yourself some rock scrub exfoliation.
Stand Small but Feel Big
The Natural Stone Bridge is the Show-Me part of Sohoton Caves. And truly, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s massive underneath as it’s seen from afar. Add the dramatics of light & what you get is a spectacular showpiece of nature.
Its rock walls are unimaginably huge that standing under or beside it makes anyone look like a pebble. The verdant frame of trees & the placid river that hems it under surely create that perfect castaway scene.
In my other story, I mentioned how Samar is the perfect example of big adventures for those claiming to be big. Clearly, Sohoton Caves & Natural Bridge Park is a huge addition to it all. Remember, this is just 840 hectares of the 450,000 uncontestable largest terrestrial protected area.
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Betwixt and between the arthritic 40 and a horrendous body mass index of positive 30, escapism and yummyeology are my real-life double post-graduate degrees conferred with the highest honors. I lived nearly half of my life in fancy suitcases, jetsetting between reality and fantasy... read more