Islands and Beaches

Enchanted Hinatuan

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Apr 18, 2013

From the deepest blue to the lightest blue, that’s the color of Hinatuan’s Enchanted River. Pretty unusual for a river that shelters fishes both fresh and sea water and surrounded by different hues of green from the trees and shrubs surrounding it.

What makes it enchanting? For one, the locals tell of countless lore involving fairies who put their wands out to make the color of the river blue. Of boulders of different shapes that you can see today and gone the next. Of fishes that cannot be caught because the fairies/spirits of the forest/sea protect them.

When feeding time comes at three in the afternoon, everyone is told to stay on the banks while the fish have their fill of fresh squid. The sight of fishes in different colors, shapes and sizes just amazes you. You might reach out a hand to touch a fish but you are reminded that they are not to be held nor caught and so you stand or sit in awe, mouth agape.

What of the foreigner who set out to set foot on the bottom of the river and found it unfathomable? Surely, diving into a crystal clear blue abyss takes your mind off the goal to touch bottom and you simply float, careless and free.

The bumpy ride on limestone road disappears, your muscles relax, and your mind clears. That’s what Hinatuan’s Enchanted River does to you. Even the sight of concrete walkways, the noise coming from your fellow “enchanted” throng of people simply fades in contrast with the sight and feel of the blue water.

You take it all in and just BE.


Swim in the river or go floating. Life vest is a must.

Take pictures. Just make sure your camera has a waterproof casing.

Wearing aquashoes is a plus.

Lather on sunscreen or sunblock.

Don’t throw plastic containers anywhere. Trash receptacles are provided for.


Hinatuan Enhanted River can be reached from Davao City through the Davao-Agusan Highway passing through the provinces of Davao del Norte, parts of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur and Norte. It is a good six to 8 hours trip depending on your speed and road conditions.

From Bislig City, private vehicles can go straight to Hinatuan and commuters can hire a tricycle or habal-habal to take you to the river just 30 minutes from the city proper.


Entrance Fee: PhP30.00.

Open Cottage: PhP300.

Life Jacket: PhP30/hour.

Island Hopping: PhP600/hour (6pax)

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