Popping out in the jungle, the bewitching waters of the Hinatuan Enchanted River lures tourist around the world with its shimmering deep blues, shrouded with towering trees, dewed with endless tales of mermaids, fairies, and uncatchable mythical fishes. The 290 meters stretch of saltwater on the island of Mindanao, Philippines, flows into the Pacific Ocean at the lively municipality of Hinatuan. Fairly granted the epithet ‘enchanted’, Modesto Farolan singled out the river's majestic beauty through his poem.
Adding mystery to the captivating hidden stream, no one really knows where it's famous unusual saltwater springs from. Whether it’s the underground cave system freeing the water of dirt or just a plain miracle by the Gods ushered by the locals, the unshed enigma amplifies the river’s aesthetic allure.
Although Hinatuan Enchanted River headlines the area’s tourist industry, beyond the dazzling stream lies an equally compelling adventure. With more exploits to hop for the growing flock of travelers in this beaming landing spot, check out this list to make the most of your summer getaway.
Well known for its golden powdery sand beach, the inhabited island in the Hinatuan Bay is an unspoiled beauty. The crescent-shaped archipelago boasts its shallow deep and warm temperature waters, perfecting a restful swim. Also, several sightings of sea cows and sea turtles make up for an all-out adventure.
Apart from the Enchanted River, the municipality of Hinatuan prides itself on its other gleaming stream called Tinago, which is the Cebuano word for ‘hidden’. The crystal-clear water paints the entire river a relaxing shade of green. Besides, if you’ve had enough of its scenic view, you can also either take a swim or do wakeboarding.
Anytime is the best time especially if your travel goal is to destress from life’s unending pressures. But if you want to explore the premier beauty of the Hinatuan Enchanted River and the entire municipality itself, it’s best to avoid the rainy season from May to November. The hot summer from December to April is the perfect date dalliance for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Be aware though, most people are having the same thought, expect to get social with your fellow backpackers.
Planning to visit Hinatuan Enchanted River in the next coming days? Checkout the weather in Hinatuan Enchanted River.
To see something beautiful, you need to mark that calendar first, because apparently, catching a glimpse of the spellbinding waters of the Hinatuan Enchanted River takes a while ----a four-hour trip from the nearest town and a whole day, if you’re traveling from Manila. What do you expect? It’s a hidden gem in the jungle for a reason.
The fastest course to get to the mystical rivers of Hinatuan is via Butuan Airport. Book a flight from Manila to Butuan City at your choice of airline, the low-cost Cebu Pacific has 3 daily flights while for the more flexible pockets, Philippines Airlines accommodates 2. Travel time is approximately an hour and 40 minutes—better get on the earliest flight so you can arrive by noon.
Once you’re in Butuan’s Bancasi airport, you need to catch a van or a bus to the Hinatuan terminal.
From Bancasi, you need to hitch a ride via multicab to reach the Butuan bus terminal. The travel fare is Php 10 per passenger. Once there, you have to locate the bus line bound for Bislig. It’s imperative that you also tell the driver to drop you off at Hinatuan bus terminal for convenience. Depending on how the driver steps on that accelerator and the passengers' funfare, travel time roughly varies from 5 to 7 hours, with a budget price of Ph 200 per person.
Just a walking distance from the Bancasi departure area, the vans traveling to several cities and municipalities are easy to spot. Look for the one bound to Bislig, better yet ask the driver if the van is passing through Hinatuan terminal. With shorter time travel between 4 to 5 hours at Ph 350 per person, this mode of transportation seems to be a better fit for backpackers, who want to save time and don’t want to go through a hassle after a jetlag.
Side Note: For those economical and safety -first packers, riding the bus is highly recommended. Though some are unair-conditioned, buses provide accident insurance, unlike the vans. Moreover, according to tourists, the latter also have numerous stopovers, so it’s more likely that you’ll reach your destination in the same time as the cheap -fared buses.
Once you arrive in Hinatuan Terminal, you’ll definitely get approached by ‘habal-habal’ drivers. A trip to the famous water in the jungle will cost you Ph 150 each. After a 30 minute ride in the cozy motorcycle taxi, you’ll finally get an enchanting sweep of the free-flowing wonder of the Enchanted River unlike no other.
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