About 30 minutes from the town of Hinatuan in Barangay Cambatong, Surigao del Sur lays the Hinatuan River which has become one of the most popular tourist attraction sites in Philippines in recent years. This river is also known as the Enchanted River which started from a 80 feet deep spring and was only discovered not too long ago.
It is called the “Enchanted River” because the water seems to magically flow without any source, as well as being so deep and blue. None knows where the water comes from which eventually 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 edited 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 immeasurable 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.
Several legends according to the locals have been associated with this mysterious body of water. One story tell of fairies that added the colors of sapphire and jade to the river to make its unique shade. Local fishermen also report seeing a kind of fish in the river that cannot be caught through any means.
But besides the unseen urban myths connected this breath taking tourist spot, the enchanted river actually has a magical that are visible to the naked eyes; 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.
Tourists visiting this place usually only swim in specific areas. Creepy stories has it that some people who have drown in the river never had their bodies floated back in the surface. Many believed that probably the spirits took their lives and their material bodies as well. Locals 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. The Hinatuan Enchanted River is indeed captivating and mesmerizing.