How to Go to Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao
Mindanao is rich with so many fascinating things that only tourist who dare to explore this part of the Philippines could appreciate or witness. On the eastern side of Mindanao specifically in Talisay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur lies this mystical river called Enchanted River. Its name alone ignite tourist's curiosity of checking out and exploring why this river is called as such.
A local told me that beneath the river is a cave that is still unexplored. Many had attempted exploring the river including a foreign scuba divers but none of them succeeded. At a certain time of the day, the management feed the fishes in the river and swimmers need to get off the water and then afterwards, the fishes disappear.
Enchanted river opens as early as 6:00 in the morning and entrance costs 30 pesos per person. There are cottages/table available you can rent for 100 pesos. At the mouth of the river, there are outrigger boat you can rent at 160 pesos per hour (good for 4 pax) for island hopping.
How to go to Enchanted River
From Surigao City to Enchanted River:
There are buses in Surigao Terminal that go directly to San Franz, Agusan del Sur. Then from there, you can get either a van or a jeepney bound for Hinatuan. Drop off point is at Hinatuan Terminal. Travel time is 7 hours.
From Butuan to Enchanted River:
From Butuan Terminal, there are Bachelor buses that plies directly to Mangagoy/Bislig. Ask the driver to drop you off at Hinatuan Terminal. Travel time is 4-5 hours.
From Davao City to Enchanted River:
You may take a Bachelor Bus or van and do not forget to ask your driver to drop you off at Hinatuan. Travel time is 5-6 hours.
Once you are in Hinatuan, you will have to ride single motorcycles or habal-habal to get you directly to the Enchanted River. It would probably take you about 30 minutes – 45 minutes travel time to reach the Enchanted River.
Where to stay in Hinatuan
Since Enchanted River is now a popular tourist destination, it is advisable to go there early in the morning. A recommended decent and cheap accommodation in Hinatuan is Marky's Hostel (09284397785). It is just a walking distance from Hinatuan Terminal or you can get a pedicab/padjak from the terminal to bring you to Marky's Hostel. Fare for pedicab is 5 pesos. Room rates start at 300 pesos (fan room) good for 2 persons.