After that cliff diving/jumping experience at Canibad, Samal Island, I wanted to do more adrenaline-pumping-experience. Since its sunny season in the Philippines, my body was longing to jump and dive in a very cool body of water. Best place to do it; the famous ENCHANTED RIVER at Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
I’ve been to Enchanted River a few times. The first time back when I was young and the river was in its all-natural glory (untouched;pristine). The second time was when it became popular to tourists and the third time was the last time, 2 days after we buried my tita.
ENCHANTED RIVER is around 6-8hrs travel from Davao City according to travel blogs. I think it actually depends on what kind of transportation you have. If you take the public bus, you probably will have the maximum hours to get there. But if you have your private vehicle and you are a rough road fast driver, it wouldn’t take too long. Since I was already at San Franz, Agusan Sur (my family’s hometown), the travel was more or less 2 hours. San Franz to Hinatuan would be around an hour and a half; and from Hinatuan proper to the Enchanted River would take you roughly around 30mins. When I say roughly, I mean rough roads from the Hinatuan junction to Enchanted River.
When you go through the rough road, you’d probably think if the destination’s gonna be worth it for you to go through a VERY BUMPY ride. But I tell you, that if you get there, the scene will take your breath away. I’ve been there a few times but the scene still takes my breath away. The color of the water is surreal as if its a painting brought to life. The water is oh so clear you could see the fishes just by looking at the water. Its really enchanting, hence the name.
Enchanted River doesn’t have rooms if you’re planning to stay in for the night. I don’t think they allow overnights in there because locals believe that during the night time, fairies, elves and other mystical creatures appear to enjoy their river. But that’s just the locals. I haven’t seen anything mystical yet so I couldn’t really comment about it. They do have small cottages and tables where you can put your things and probably some food/snacks while you’re swimming.
Security-wise, the area is well protected by the Surigao Police. You’ll be greeted by a police person at the entrance. They collect the 30 pesos entrance fee (for adults). You can also rent life vest if you’re not so confident with your swimming skills and goggles if you want to see the underwater basin which is really amazing, but for some, really scary.
I recommend, for those of you who are planning to go there this summer, go during the weekdays, because people usually crowd the place during the weekends. But if it can’t be help and you the only day you can come to the place is on weekends, try to go there after lunch. For us, the last time, we went there at around 1:00nn and got there at around 3pm. It was not crowded and we were the last people to get out of the river. It was really fun because we really enjoyed the area with only a few people around.
At 12nn, everyone is asked to get out the water for an hour because the staff will be feeding the fishes. The staff will start playing some music, and amazingly fishes from underneath as large as someone’s leg will come out to be fed. These fishes react to the music. They sometimes do the feeding at 3pm.
IT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES. So explorers, adventurers and nature lovers, be enchanted now at ENCHANTED RIVER!