The Philippine islands are home for various tribes and ethnic groups with different faith and beliefs. These beliefs gave birth to numbers of mythical tales about their gods and goddesses and many other mystical beings. Few of these stories tells about the so called “engkantos” or enchanted supernatural beings which live in thick forests, rich mountains, huge rocks or in bodies of waters like flowing rivers.
In Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, a charming river flows with the tales of these enchanted beings attached to its name and spectacular beauty. The Enchanted River which flows in the town of Hinatuan is said to be a gateway towards a supernatural world because of its enchanting magnificence which attracts many tourists both from within the country or from abroad.
Its clear blue, slow-flowing water which shouts out the seems to be the reflection of its name lures the people to itself as a great attraction authored by mother nature for the world to see. The limestone which bring thoughts that it was being intentionally carved, the fishes that live in this fusion of fresh and saltwater and its grandiose surroundings proves that it deserves to be named as such.
Early morning on weekdays is the best time to visit the river to avoid the large crowd on lunchtime and afternoon especially on weekends and holidays. On 12 noon and occasionally at 3:00pm, caretakers feed the fishes in the river that’s why swimming or dipping in the water is prohibited for an hour.
You may get to Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur via Davao City or Butuan City route. From Davao City, you may take a bus to Mangagoy (Bislig City), Surigao del Sur which will take for about 6hours and take a short ride to Hinatuan afterwards. On the other hand, you may take a five-hour bus ride from Butuan to Hinatuan. As soon as you get on Hinatuan proper, you may now take a motorcycle or habal-habal to the Enchanted River. The entrance fee is 30php and cottages were about 100php. You may also bring your own food and drinks or eat at a nearby restaurant but, staying overnight at the river is strictly prohibited.