Before my trip to Surigao del Sur, I searched and researched several times in the internet on different tourist spots this land can offer to its visitors. And most of my readings from different articles and blog posts are pointing and suggesting to a common and a must-see destination in Surigao. None other than, the Enchanted River of the municipality of Hinatuan.
As I Google for images of Enchanted River, my first reaction was like "Photoshopped! Photoshopped! Photoshopped!". Seeing the color of the water of this river in images were for me is unreal. It's like precious stones of jades and sapphires were melted in this river and colored the riverbed.
But my initial judgement fades away as I continued reading more write-ups about this river and stands on how true and real the tint of this water is. By that, Enchanted River was immediately included in our itinerary.
How to get there?
From Bancasi Airport, ride a jeepney going to Langihan Premium Terminal. As you arrive at the terminal, look for the bus with a signboard of Mangagoy. Travel time is about 4 to 5 hours which costs 210 pesos. There are also vans available there that offer cheaper transfer. We avail the van instead of taking a bus and bargain its price with the van conductor. At the end, it only costs us 180 pesos going to Hinatuan.
Just give your driver a heads up that you are going to Enchanted River. You will be dropped at the crossing going to Enchanted River where you will be renting a habal-habal (a motorcycle). It is the only public transportation going to Enchanted River so don't be picky. Habal-Habal rental costs 200 pesos/motorcycle. It is a 12km bumpy ride so be prepared and just enjoy the view going there.
|Welcome sign as you landed at Enchanted River (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)|
|Other side of Enchanted River. Experience island hopping starting at this point (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)|
After our island hopping in Hinatuan Bay, read full details here, then we had witnessed and experienced the majestic beauty of Enchanter River. I must say that the water in the images in Google were all real. It is really (super, duper, mega, ultimately) crystal clear and the tint of this body of water is hard to believe even after seeing it personally.
It is a combination of different shades of blues and greens. Nature at its best - is the right statement for this spot. I am stunned because of the mystical charm of Enchanted River.
|Cleanest and blue-st water I've seen so far! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)|
Enchanted river is a salt water river. It is near the ocean so it is then assumed by people there that the reason of its saltiness is because ocean water also flown to this river. Other than its eye popping color, this river is called enchanted because the water seems to flow and have current without any source.
I couldn't even lasts for 30 mins in the water because I easily get tired paddling to stay on one area of the river. By the way, Enchanted River is approximately 50ft deep. It is still an approximation because they haven't get yet its exact measure. A 50ft deep river - another reason why it is called enchanted. Lastly, fishes are visible in this river.
By fish, I mean school of big fishes. So expect swimming with them once you jump in to this river. There were actually lots of stories how this river was called in such a way. Some thinks it is because of its almost unreal beauty. Some thinks it is because this place is enchanted by spirits. But despite if it is true or not, it can't scare away local and foreign tourists to visit and experience this wonder.
|Just enjoy life! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)|
At 12 o clock in the afternoon, people were asked to vacate the river. Why? It is because its feeding time. A bell signal denotes this event in Enchanted River that happens everyday. A staff from Enchanted River will go near the pond and will start throwing sliced shrimps, fish, breads, etc. In a matter of few seconds, fishes in different sizes will start to appear. I wonder where do some of them go after the feeding activity.
|The man in the eye glasses facilitate the fish feeding (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)|
|Fish Feeding at Enchanted River. Please bear on the quality of the video|
Entrance fee to Enchanted River is 30.00 pesos per head which allows you to go anywhere the vicinity. Cottages and picnic tables are also available. It ranges from 100 to 500 pesos.
For non swimmers, life jacket rental costs 15 pesos per hour. Googles can also be rented at the cost of 20 pesos. On the other hand, at the end of enchanted river, boats can be rented for Hinatuan bay island hopping. Rate is 160 per hour which can accommodate 5 person per boat.
|The full length of Enchanted River (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)|
My visit in Enchanted River was Surreal. I recommend others to visit the place and see for yourselves the mystical beauty of this wonder.