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!
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.
How the water looks like after the morning rain.
They will start to come out at 11:30 AM
as if they know how to tell time
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Getting ready for Island hopping.
Brenda of Sibadan Fish Cage.
Not so clear photo of the Ponta Cave.
Pacific View Resort
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.
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
Choose any seafood from crabs, fish and lobster.
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.
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.
Rooms available for accommodation.
Itinerary and Budget
|Day 2 – Enchanted River|
|05:00||ETD to Echanted River||Hire a habal-habal||45 mins||
|05:45||ETA in Enchanted River||Brgy. Talisay||
Sibadan Fish Cage
Pacific View Resort
|Boat Rent for P 150/hour||3.5 hour||
P 105 (525/5)
|Entrance Fee – P 10 Each||
|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||
|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!