Travel Guide To Enchanted River


The Enchanted River, located in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, is known for its rare, majestic deep blue water like a basin in the bottom. It has unusual colors and unexplored depths that have inspired various local legends -- of the mermaids,  fairies, nymphs, encantados and all sorts of supernatural beings allegedly dwelling in the area as its protectors.

This river is located in the edge of a beautiful lagoon, allowing you to feel like you've entered a different world. Also, it is considered the deepest river since no one has yet reach the floor of the river. According to the locals, one diver stayed four days inside the mouth of the river but still he hasn't reach its floor. The Enchanted River is truly magical, right?

The Enchanted River flows into the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The color of the river changes according to time and rays of the sun. It is being surrounded by unexploited forest. So, imagine how beautiful it is. Majestic!


To get to Enchanted River, book a flight from Manila to Butuan City. This is the fastest route to get to Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. Cebu Pacific has three flights  daily to Butuan City. You can also book a flight via the Philippine Airlines. Travel time is around an hour and 30 minutes. Regular air fare costs Php 3,000 to Php 5,000. However, please be reminded that air fare varies from time to time.

Once you arrive in Butuan City, you may ride a bus or a van heading to Hinatuan terminal. However, just few meters away from the airport, there are vans heading to Bislig City. Ride a van here and inform the driver to drop you off at the Hinatuan terminal. Fare is around Php 350 to Php 400. Travel time is around 4 to 5 hours.

Just in case you prefer riding a bus to Hinatuan, from the airport, ride a multi-cab heading to Butuan bus terminal. Fare is around Php 10 per person. At the terminal, take a bus bound to Bislig City. Inform the driver to drop you off at the Hinatuan terminal. Bus fare is around Php 200 and the travel time is around 5 to 7 hours.

After the long drive, at the Hinatuan terminal, you can ride a motorcycle (habal-habal) passing through a dirt, rough road and then a forested area leading to the beautiful Enchanted River.

If you're visiting the Enchanted River from Davao City, ride a bus bound to Bislig City. Then, take a bus or van to Hinatuan.


  • The presence of a spring at the beginning of the Enchanted River has never been proven.
  • Bring enough cash as there is no ATMs in Hinatuan.
  • Low-cost eateries are mostly located at the downtown.
  • The Enchanted River and Tinuy-an Falls can be visited for a day.
  • Spending a night in Hinatuan is highly recommended.
  • Phone and internet signal is weak and in some areas, it's non-existent.
  • Habal-habal is the most common mode of transportation in Hinatuan and Bislig City.
  • Habal-habal can accommodate two persons only. 
  • The local tourism has prohibited swimming in the deeper part of the Enchanted River.
  • There are designated areas for swimming. Your tour guide will direct you to these areas. Please do not wear sunblock as it can be toxic to the fishes and other sea creatures in the river.
  • Tourists are allowed to swim 10 meters away from the main pool.
  • No one really knows the exact depth of the river simply because no one has ever reached the bottom.
  • A bell struck at 3 PM (before it was 12 o'clock) signaling people to go out of the water. At this hour, staff will feed the large fishes that seem to come out from nowhere. Magical, right?
  • The "Hymn of Hinatuan" is being played while feeding the fishes.
  • Please include your habal-habal driver in your lunch or snacks. Give them tips too!
  • Life vests can be rented for only Php 15 per hour. You are required to show a valid ID here.
  • Tourists are required to pay the entrance fee amounting to Php 40 per person. For children (4 feet and below), they are required to pay Php 15.  Php 34 is being collected for Senior Citizens/PWDs (20% discount).
  • Aside from the entrance fee, tourists are required to pay the environmental fee amounting to Php 10.
  • If you're up for the island hopping, you can avail the package tour amounting to Php 500, visiting 7 destinations for the first 3 hours. This is good for at least five persons.
  • Visit the Enchanted River early morning and during week days to get rid of the crowd during weekends.
  • Hinatuan is two hours away from Bislig City, Surigao del Sur.
  • The local tourism closes the Enchanted River compound every 5 PM daily. Operating hours: 8 AM to 5 PM daily.
  • Facilities at the compound includes shower areas, comfort rooms, dining areas, vendor stalls, waiting area, parking area including the swimming areas.
  • You may rent a nipa hut/mushroom type for Php 150; good for 6 persons.
  • The umbrella type shed costs Php 100; good for 4 persons.
  • For the beach umbrella including chairs, tourists are required to pay Php 150.
  • Nearby tourist destinations include Tinuy-an Falls, Libuacan Cold Spring and the Britania Islands.
  • The Enchanted River is 15-minute habal-habal ride from the downtown Hinatuan.



0919 658 0570

You may contact Kuya Rommel ahead of time so he can also arrange your hostel accommodation. He's very helpful, respectful and trustworthy. You'll never regret hiring him as your tour guide. I can vouch for him! Keep my regard to him, alright? Thanks in advance! ☺