Enchanted River | Travel Guide

November 26, 2015

I bet you’re also wondering why it’s called Enchanted River. Maybe there are fairies, mermaids and other mystical creatures gathering every night. Hmmmm? How I wish!

At the entrance
Welcome to Hinatuan Enchanted River!

The reasons why it looks and feels enchanted is its unusual color, the depth that is still unknown and those big and mystical fishes.

Enchanted River 0001

How the water looks like after the morning rain.

Yours truly

Yours truly

enchanted river 0004

enchanted river 0005

enchanted river 0002

Feeding Time

enchanted river 0006

They will start to come out at 11:30 AM

enchanted river 0007

as if they know how to tell time

enchanted river 0008

or maybe they’re just hungry.

Here’s how to get there?

  • Fly to Butuan Airport (Fare: P 815 | Travel time: 1 hour and 20 mins)

Always book a flight as early as possible so you’ll have a lots of time to explore the place. Cheapest flight will be through Butuan Aiport.

  • Van to Hinatuan Terminal (Fare: P 250 | Travel time: 3-4 hours)

You may take a van going to Mangagoy, Bislig from the airport. Tell the driver to drop you off at Hinatuan Terminal. Travel time takes about 3-4 hours.

Butuan to Hinatuan

HInatuan Terminal

Hinatuan Terminal

Other routes:

a.) From Davao City – From Ecoland Terminal, take the bus going to Mangagoy, Bislig. Upon arrival take a bus going to Hinatuan Terminal. Travel time is usually around 5-6 hours.

(Opt 2) Take a bus going to Butuan City then get off at Trento town. Wait for a bus or public van going to Hinatuan Terminal, which will also pass by Mangagoy, Bislig.

Davao City to Hinatuan

b.) From Surigao City – Take a bus going to Butuan City Bus Terminal then transfer to a bus or van going to Mangagoy, ask the driver to drop you off at Hinatuan Terminal . Travel time to Butuan City is around 3 hours plus 3-4 hours going to Hinatuan Terminal.

Surigao City to Hinatuan

  • Motorcycle or Habal-habal ride (Fare: P 300 | Travel Time : 30  mins)

From Hinatuan Terminal, there are lots of habal-habal drivers take that will you to Enchanted River. You may hire them for a roundtrip fare of P 300. Travel time is 30-45  minutes. Roads are getting cemented now so it won’t be a bumpy ride.

way to hinatuan

Half of the way to Enchanted River.

Vien Recommended: Habal-habal drivers that you may contact.

Don’t forget to tell the driver to pick you up at a certain time. They may ask for half of the payment to fill up their tank.

Kuya Lebert
Lebert Orculyo – 09079520402
Kuya Jessie
Jessie Asilum – 09106443428 / 09268387905
  • Pay the Entrance fee 

Upon arrival, you have to pay the entrance fee of P 30 per person. Pay the exact amount because there are times that they don’t have a change and you might forget about it. If you’re in a large group, you can rent picnic tables for P 100.

Entrance in Enchanted River


Things to do

  • Island hopping

Rent a boat for P 150/hour to go to Sibadan Restaurant, Ponta Cave and Pacific View Resort. There’s an entrance of P 10 at each site. They may take you first at the floating restaurant so you can give your order. You can also try to catch a fish and feed Brenda the sting-ray. It will take 3-4 hours to visit the all the site and have brunch at Sibadan.

island hopping at enchanted river

Getting ready for Island hopping.

Brenda the sting-ray

Brenda of Sibadan Fish Cage.

Ponta Cave

Not so clear photo of the Ponta Cave.

Pacific View Resort

Pacific View Resort

Pacific View Resort
  • Swimming

Enchanted River is open at 6:00 AM until 5:00 PM so you can swim all day but you need to get out of the water during feeding time as fishes come out for their lunch. You can rent a life vest for P 15/hour if you cannot swim well.

Day 1: Tinuy-an Falls

1st tier

Day 3: Britania Group of Islands

Panlangagan Island 01

Where to Eat

  • Sibadan Fish Cage

It’s a floating restaurant near Enchanted River and you have to  ride a boat to get there. You may hire a boat for P 150 per hour.


Sibadan Fish Cage

Food at Sibadan

Choose any seafood from crabs, fish and lobster.

cottage 001

cottage 002

You can rent a cottage for P 100.

Where to Stay

  • Marky’s Hostel (Maharlika, Hinatuan)
    0905-3879319 / 0928-4397785
    Room rates starts at P 250 for fan room to P 1200 for aircon rooms good for 6 pax.

Marky's hostel

The owner of Marky’s Hostel
  • Sibadan Fish Cage (15 mins boat ride from Enchanted River)
    0916-9291305 / 0927-3936207 / 0946-5634927
    Room rates starts at P 300.

Sibadan rooms

Rooms available for accommodation.

Itinerary and Budget

Day 2 – Enchanted River
04:30 Wake up
05:00 ETD to Echanted River Hire a habal-habal 45 mins

P 150

05:45 ETA in Enchanted River Brgy. Talisay

P 30

06:00 Island Hopping

Sibadan Fish Cage

Ponta Cave

Pacific View Resort

Boat Rent for P 150/hour 3.5 hour

P 105 (525/5)

Entrance Fee – P 10 Each

P 30

09:00 Brunch at Sibadan Fish Cage Lobster, Crabs and Fish good for 5

P 400 (2000/5)

10:00 Swim in Enchanted River
12:15 ETD to Marky’s Hostel Hire a habal-habal 45 mins

P 150

12:30 ETA in Marky’s Hostel and Shower
13:45 Check out and late lunch
14:00 Off to Britania Group of Islands for overnight and island hopping the next day


  • Best time to visit Echanted River is December. It’ll be more blue and clear.
  • Don’t forget to bring a snorkeling gear.

I hope this article convinced you to plan your own Surigao Del Sur trip and do share your tips and experiences about Enchanted River.

Have fun backpacking!

Check out my other Surigao del Sur Adventures!

Day 1: Tinuy-an Falls

Day 3: Britania Group of Islands

Surigao del Sur: 3-day Itinerary

  • Hi po! Ask ko lang po since you mainly used public transportation, matagal po ba talaga maghintay ng bus, etc.? Kasi po lahat ng pinagtatanongan ko sinasabi na mahirap daw po mag-abang ng bus, sayang lang daw ang oras. Is this true? They keep on recommending na para di mahirapan, mag-rent na lang ng van. Saan niyo po nilalagay yung mga gamit niyo? Kung dala dala niyo po? 🙂 Thank you!

    • hi!

      van po ako sumakay since meron ng ngaabang d labas mg airport.. s lap lng.. or likod ng van ung gamit