Hinatuan's Island Hopping

by 6:40 AM 2 comments

'Cradle for Enchantment'

Hinatuan is famed for the azure blue Enchanted River that can lure anyone's eyes who dare gaze on it's indefinable beauty but what few knows is that the river is just a head start of a wonderful adventure that awards the brave explorers who tries to uncover the hidden gems in nature found in Hinatuan. Among those are the golden shores of an island peak which offers a panoramic view of the vast sea of the Pacific, a floating marine life sanctuary which gives you a close encounter with the marine life in the area and serves fresh sumptuous sea delicacies, a huge river with lots of small islets, a vanishing island, a picturesque white sandy islet which only holds three palm trees and lots more to discover for those who yearns exploration and adventure.

It was the third day of our six days Mindanao trip with a traveler friend. Hinatuan was tuck into the itinerary because of my dream destination - Enchanted River but we were caught off guard that within the river's sanctuary they actually offer an island tour for meager fee of P160 per hour rent of a small boat that fits 5 people. We were supposed to be there for only a couple hours and we end up extending our stay for that irresistible opportunity. 

As our boat departs it got me so excited like a little kid because it's a first for me to ride a boat from a river out into the open sea. It's a completely different experience that will definitely make a mark in your memory. The water is so shallow in that area that you probably can walk to get to the first islet. If I were the only one on that boat my excitement will probably lead me to dock on every islets we pass by. I have my fare share of island hopping in my life to be living in a coastal area most of the time but that one by far standout as the most exciting and fresh experience I ever had. It's the closest you'll ever get of an amazon river experience besides Loboc.


Margarett Island Peak was the first stop. It offers a new sight for me with its golden sands and a breath taking panoramic view of the Pacific sea. When we got out of the boat the golden sand will suck in your feet with its smooth texture and the closest feeling of walking in the clouds. It's just that great for your feet and I could probably walk miles without ever getting tired if the pavement feels like that. 

It back flips to the opposite side of comfort when we started climbing the 100+ steps because you will be definitely out of breath and hurt your feet with the rugged steppe you will go through but the reward up there is worth all of it. I want to run to the viewing deck when we reach the peak but its just not possible for my weary body so we decided to catch our breath and rehydrate in a cottage. The view up in the peak will leave in awe of the grand beauty of nature. You can see the waves hurling in the sapphire blue sea and a beautiful aquamarine water in the shallow.


Sibadan fish cage is a perfect place for those who adore sea foods and want to get in close with huge fishes. We both decided to take our first dip in their. It's ironic that out of all the many beautiful waterscapes we've been through that day we first take our swim in the fish cage. 

You can never really take a good underwater shot of the fishes because the school is a bit elusive. If only I'm fond of seafoods we could have tasted the delicacies in the fish cage but I'm not. The only expense we have there is the bottled water for P20. What I like of the place is that they entrance and exits for the boats docking in so I salute them to be able to clever as that.



Tinago River is a huge inland river that connects to the open sea. A perfect place for a salt water crocodile to thrive that's what come first in mind and there's indeed sighting of that great beast as our guide told us that's why a small resort in the river was shut down because of it. I wonder also what mythological tales that the local folklore can say about this place as it looks hauntingly beautiful.

The main attraction of the river is its islets. I've never seen a river like this one that's as wide as the sea and contained many islets within its vicinity.

One of the common features that I've seen here are the variations of fish cages that are left out in the open. An evidence that the people's main resources is fishing. They have indeed slowly tap in the potentials for tourism in there place especially now that the Enchanted River is thriving in the tourism industry they can definitely make a good living out of it and protect nature at the same time. It's a promising place that could attract more tourist if they can develop it well.

Getting here!

via BUTUAN AIRPORT (best route)
BUTUAN CITY --- Langihan Bus Terminal ( take the Hinatuan bus ) P2oo for 4 hrs with earliest bus to depart at 4am --- reach HINATUAN --- take a bumpy habal-habal ride to Enchanted River for P150 for more or less 20 mins -- in Enchanted River go to its farthest secluded area to reach a spot that has a mini port to rent a boat for P160 per hour good for 5 pax.

I will definitely come back here. Still to explore Vanishing Island & Mawmawan Island.

Christian Vincent Literatus

Travel Blogger

Chris just loves to travel, and for a long time now has been drifting from place to place around the Philippines. With his combined passion for travel and photography, he’s managed to find himself in the middle of some magical moments and mind blowing scenery. The Bisdak Explorer is Chris’s way of sharing his experiences with you, and showcasing not just his travel photography, but the moments and stories behind those photos.


  1. Perfect place to explore boat watching or river cruise. Suitable exploration for families and friends. We can learn a lot as we travel through this area with the marine life and their ecosystem as well at the same time learning to appreciate the beauty of nature.

    Joseph @ Boat Rental Websites

  2. Thanks for dropping by Joseph. Indeed true nature at its finest.


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