Enchanted River is located at Barangay Talisay, It’s 12 kilometers away from the main highway, and the limestone, rough road can give you a bumpy, dusty and undulating (in some parts) ride. It’s not that bad though; the place is readily accessible by motorcycles, vans and even trucks.Hinatuan and is now one of Surigao del Sur’s most popular tourist destination. Not suprising, because this body of water really is one of a kind with its pure crystalline blue-green water, the local legends that surround it, and the actual exploration on how exactly deep the river is are reasons enough to make tourists flock the place. There are quite a number of stories as to why it got its name but the one that made sense to me was it was called “enchanted” because of the air of mystery the area gives out, local legend has it that spirits are guarding this river.
The magnificent color of the water in the Enchanted River is the result of a mixture of fresh and saltwater from Hinatuan Bay. The middle part was deeper in color (they said it was 80m deep) while it was light green along the sides. Alas, we didn’t get to swim since there were a lot of people there (weekend + holidays) but when I dipped my foot, the water was quite cold.
There are a lot of fish; at certain times of the day, the management ask the swimmers to get off the water when the fish feed, and we could see them fighting for the food scraps, and then disappearing afterward.
Entrance costs only P10 per head, and there are cottages you can rent as well if you’re planning to have a picnic. You can also take a boat ride from the river to Hinatuan Bay. You can swim, snorkel, and even scuba dive there.
How to go to Enchanted River
From Manila to Enchanted River:
You can fly to Butuan, Surigao or Davao. Best option is Butuan since airfare is usually cheaper.
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.