Aside from Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig, another must-see natural wonder of Surigao del Sur that shouldn't be missed is the Enchanted River. Located in the town of Hinatuan, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Surigao del Sur and the rest of Mindanao. With its clear shimmery deep blue water, the river provides an enchanting scene that will stun local and foreign tourists by the river's awe-striking beauty. Submerge yourself into the clear waters of the enchanted river of Surigao del Sur!
Legends and myths exist on how it was called "enchanted" making the Enchanted River all the more intriguing and mysterious. The visible limestones underneath the slow moving blue water creates a mystery that something unearthly is down there. Perhaps there's a gateway to an enchanted world down there? Hello Encantadia? Hello Narnia? Hahaha! But Enchanted River's natural splendor is more than enough for it to be called "magical" and "enchanted".
Since it was a long weekend when went there (August 20, 2012), there were too many tourists in the area. Too many, I can barely recognize the river. May pool party ba? I was not informed! Hahaha! The best time to visit Enchanted River is on weekdays and in the early morning to avoid the huge crowd and for you to really enjoy the river.
I don't know how to swim. So we just settled on the shallow side of the river for a swim. The water is a mixture of fresh and sea water that is so refreshing.
I was able to take a decent photo of the river at around 3:00 PM when it was cleared for the fish feeding. No need for Photoshop to have an awesome shot of the river. It is really beautiful! The river's clean and clear waters are a natural wonder unlike any other.
TIPS, REMINDERS AND BASIC INFO
- Entrance fee is 30.00 pesos per person.
- Be there as early as possible to have ample time to explore the place.
- Picnic huts and tables are available for rent starting at 100 pesos each.
- If you don't know how to swim, life jacket can be rented for 15.00 pesos per hour.
- Comfort rooms and shower areas are also available.
- You may bring your own food and drinks or you may buy at the store/restaurant inside.
- The river is connected to the open sea, visitors have the option for island hopping by renting a boat.
- Overnight swimming at the river is strictly prohibited.
- You may stay at a fish sanctuary and hostel called "C-Fish Cage N Sand Bars Resort" located in the middle of the sea if you wish to stay overnight.
- Fish feeding are done every 12:00 noon and occasionally at 3:00 PM. At this time(s), swimming or taking a dip in the river is prohibited for 1 hour.
- Be sure to ask your habal-habal driver to wait for you so you will have transportation back to Hinatuan proper.
- Always practice "leave no trace" principle.
HOW TO GET TO HINATUAN, SURIGAO DEL SUR
If you're coming from Manila, you may take a flight to Butuan or Davao City. These are the closest cities (with commercial airports) to Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
From Butuan City Integrated Bus Terminal, take a non-airconditioned bus bound for Mangagoy (Bislig City) and tell the bus attendant to drop you in Hinatuan Bus Terminal. Fare is around 200 pesos and travel time is roughly 5 hours. You may also take a van for around 200 pesos and travel time is also roughly 5 hours.
Via Butuan and San Franz
Another option is to take a bus bound for Davao City and alight at San Franz in Agusan del Sur (2 hours). From there, you may take a van directly to Hinatuan.
If you're coming from Bislig, you may take a bus going to Hinatuan. Some habal-habal drivers may also bring you directly to Hinatuan or to Enchanted River.
Via Davao City
From Davao's Ecoland Bus Terminal, take a Bachelor bus bound for Mangagoy (Bislig City), Surigao del Sur. Fare is around 250 pesos and travel time is roughly 6 hours. First trip is at 2:30 AM with intervals of 1-2 hours. Last trip is at 6:00 PM going to Bislig. From Bislig, take a bus to Hinatuan. Alternatively, from Davao City, you may take a bus to Butuan and alight at the town of Trento and transfer to another bus or van going to Hinatuan.
HOW TO GET TO ENCHANTED RIVER FROM HINATUAN PROPER
You can find habal-habal (single motorcycle) around the town that offers trips to Enchanted River. Fare is about 50.00 pesos per person per way going to the river. Take note that habal-habal won't leave until it is full. If you wish charter them, it would cost around 200 pesos per habal-habal, per way. Travel time is about 30-45 minutes.
This is part of my Surigao del Sur Adventure that happened on August 19-21, 2012. Surigao del Sur is the 76th province on my list.
- The Grandeur of Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig
- The Enchanted River of Hinatuan
- Where to Stay in Bislig City: Sleep Inn
- TRAVEL GUIDE: Bislig and Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
More photos on Pinoy AdvenTurista's Facebook Page, click here.
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