Somewhere around 100 plus kms away from the city of Butuan, you can find this very magnificent river. They call this the “Enchanted River.” I do not know of any stories behind the name but I just assumed that this place is indeed enchanted. It was the month of May when me, my girlfriend, brother, and my cousins went to the place. We planned it way ahead of time that we almost canceled it. But with my strong will, I convinced them to go. Thanks to my dad who sponsored our ride and gas, woohoo! It took us 4 hours to travel from Butuan to our first destination, Tinuy-an falls that is somewhere in Bislig, then 1 hour from Bislig to Hinatuan where Enchanted river is located.
When we arrived, a bunch of spectator gathered around to see a show. The only man in the water at that time as showed in the picture was entertaining the people. He danced in the water in along with the music “itapon nyo, basura nyo” with the creepy tune. It was like, “Are we in Enkantasya?” but we enjoyed it though. It was a nice welcome for us.
From Manila/Cebu, your portal city of entry would be Butuan city since this is the main hub for plane or boat in the area, or you also have the option to fly through SEAir via Bislig. Check your airline/travel agents.
From Butuan: If you are a backpacker or with a group, commuting would be the best option. There are a number of buses en route the Butuan-Mangagoy, Bislig ply. Bachelor’s Express is the most dominant among the bus liners in the area and the most safest for me. Tell the bus conductor that you want to be dropped in Hinatuan town. In Hinatuan proper, you can ride motorcyle or multicab (for groups). Remember to keep a low profile to avoid overpriced deals. However, the people there are nice and are not taking advantage to tourists.
What to do:
- Swim and snorkel. You can see big fresh water and salt water fish since the water is 50% fresh and 50% salt.
- Diving. It is nice to discover the depths of the river. For me, I did not try it coz it’s too scary and I think it is for pro divers only.
- River cruising. I think this is a must for those who visit the place.
- Turtle island. Visit the turtle island located at the mouth of the river.
- Eat the Dried Fish. The dried fish is one of the best since they are not that salty. This is a must try.
Enchanted river was indeed a memorable experience for me. It was just quite a dip but I tell you, the water is refreshing. This is worth the long and pain-in-the-butt travel. The Hodophobic shall return.
To know more itineraries visit: The Philippine Travel Itineraries.