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TRULY ENCHANTED. Local tourists enjoy swimming in the blue waters of the Enchanted River in Hinatuan town in Surigao del Sur on June 22, 2012. MindaNews photo by Erwin Mascarinas

About 30 minutes from the town of Hinatuan in Barangay Cambatong lays the Hinatuan River which has become one of the most popular tourist attraction sites in Philippines. This river is also known as the Enchanted River and was only discovered recent years. None knows where the water comes from and flows into the Philippine Sea. Where does the water come from? Is it from a spring? Or does it come from the sea? This remains a mystery. The river has crystal-clear waters, such that you can see the riverbed even at the deepest part. If you look at the photos of the river you would think that they have been photoshopped but indeed this river is real. Hinatuan is a sleepy town in Surigao Del Sur in Mindanao and has gained a lot of fame because of the enchanted river.


One of the most unique features of the enchanted river is its unfathomable depth. This is why many tourist swim in the shallow part of the enchanted river area with water’s shade range from aquamarine to blue. The dark blue color in the river simply means the water is very deep. The enchanted river has the most magical moment; at exactly 12 noon the caretaker rings the bell requesting everyone to get out from the water as is “feeding time”. The “hymn of Hinatuan” is played and a massive school of fish pops out from nowhere. The fishes gather near the mouth of the river as the caretaker feeds them some leftovers of shrimp, rice, and other food scraps.


The fishes’ silvery scales look spectacular as they’re exposed to light gleaming with radiance as they swirl around trying to beat each other to the food. When feeding time is over the fishes disappear or at least become more inconspicuous.

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Tourists visiting this enchanted river usually swim in specific areas as there are creepy stories where people drown and never floating back. It is believed that probably the spirits took them. The locals here believe that these same spirits are entirely responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and pristine color of the river. Despite these supernatural and unexplainable mysteries that surround the enchanted river, tourists are satisfied with the spectacular beauty upon seeing the place. It is indeed captivating and mesmerizing.


The area has cottages, picnic tables, tent and chairs all available for picnic for all the tourists visiting. The stalls here offer a wide array of drinks and delicious food which are fresh including seafood. There are lifeguards who are always on duty and visible. Smoking is not allowed within the Enchanted River premises. The facility is usually closed at 5:00 p.m. No one is allowed to swim at night or go near the river. According to the legends, this is the time for the people not in this world to use it or some spirits are watching over the river. Indeed, it is enchanted.

After a visit to the Enchanted River, one is left speechless and breathless from seeing this majestic river.

There are also other enchanting places in the Philippines. Best example to this is the mystical island of Siquijor, which is said to be a place full of magic and mysteries.