Nothing beats seeing a travel destination with your own two eyes!
Hinatuan Enchanted River has been on my travel bucket list so after our Siargao trip, we headed to Surigao del Sur. It was a butt-numbing 2.5-hour ferry ride (Fortune Angel 2) from Dapa Port Siargao to Macapagal Terminal Surigao City and 4 to 5-hour land travel (van) across CARAGA region. Good thing they have this “integrated bus terminals” that are very systematic. The van stopped at all terminals so we didn’t get lost. From Surigao bus terminal, we took the van to Butuan Terminal. Then from Butuan, we took the van to Mangagoy/Bislig and got off at Hinatuan Bus & Jeepney Terminal. We went through several military & police checkpoints here, had to get off the van and present our IDs. Other than that, there were no major signs of Martial Law in this part of Mindanao, as of this writing. I always travel the DIY-way so it’s challenging and fulfilling, albeit risky. Anyway!!
We checked in at our very basic pension house in the sleepy town of Hinatuan. Went to Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City on our 2nd day (watch video below).
From Hinatuan terminal, we took a habal habal (Kuya Ramil 0919-8165878) to Enchanted River. It was super early and the 20-minute ride was very smooth and relaxing. Love the morning sun and fresh air!! If only I could take in all that fresh air and bring it home with me in Manila.
We were first to arrive at around 6:30 am. As per the internet, it opens at 6am but the updated opening time is really 8am. Had our breakfast first at the designated dining area (P100/table). You have an option to buy ready to eat food or fresh seafood paluto. We were fortunate enough to get in at around 7:30am because the ticket booth personnel came in early.
WOW!! Super worth it yung long trip to this part of Mindanao when we saw the Enchanted River!!
It was SO beautiful, serene and mesmerizing nakakatulala talaga. I really had an urge to jump but good thing they prohibited swimming in the deep area to preserve the river. I am a HUGE fan of nature and all its hues and for me this is one of Philippines’ best destinations. Some people say this place is overrated, but it’s still different when you see it in person. Definitely a must-visit for all Pinoys. And I never thought swimming in the Enchanted River could be fun! Here’s the fun part – swimming & struggling against the strong current. We were just laughing as we fight the current. They have a strict “no vest, no swimming” policy. We thought it’s a hassle to wear a life vest but soon we realized that we actually need it.
We waited for the fish feeding at 12nn. It’s a cultural segment, which symbolizes how we should give back to mother nature. It’s also a thanksgiving offering to the ‘spirits of the underground spring’. It’s a fascinating spectacle with accompanying “Hymn of Hinatuan” on speakers.
This was the best Php40 I’ve spent so far!
*Php40 – entrance + environmental fee
Squeezed in our Enchanted River mini adventure in a short video. Watch it here:
Tinuy-an Falls Adventure:
Travel date: September 2017 | Enchanted River and Tinuy-an Falls, Surigao del Sur, Philippines