Hinatuan Enchanted River looks more like a natural lagoon with clear deep-blue waters. The upstream of the river is hidden under a cave-like opening which is restricted to swimmers and visitors. I learned from our guide that they used to get inside the cave before - where they allegedly drink and dine in a table-like rock inside while lovers enjoy the privacy and darkness of the place - but vandalism and safety concerns called for disallowing people getting there anymore.The downstream of the river empties toward the sea some kilometers away. The water tastes brackish indicating some connection or fistulous tract exists between the river and the sea. Noon time is fish feeding time hence an assortment of fish emerges onto the surface of the water then disappear after feeding time. The water is calm and serene with very slow current going downstream but swimming can be difficult and scary for non-swimmers. Enchanted River's deep is known as never been measured even by professional divers aided by deep diving equipment. Donning life vest is a must for beginners.
Getting there from Hinatuan proper costs 300 pesos (for 2 pax) back-ride in a motorcycle (habal-habal) covering a total distance of 28 KM 2-way. The driver waits in a parking area outside the resort. If you're coming from Butuan City on early morning bus or van (4-6 hours drive) better get off at the junction going to Talisay (or junction to Enchanted River) about 2 KM before reaching Hinatuan Proper and take a habal-habal to the river in time to see fish feeding at noon. The resort accepts overnight accommodation. If coming out of Bislig, take a bus or van to Hinatuan proper then a 2-way habal-habal ride to the river to make sure you're getting back to the city. Bus or van going back to Bislig are available until 7pm.
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