✈ Surigao 2016 — Enchanted River with Island Hopping

My second time in Surigao del Sur was still a different experience than the first, especially that I'm with another set of friends. I was with my high school gals, Kneesa and Jan (sans Franie), plus their respective boyfriends. We didn't get to push through our original date of travel because the weather was acting up. Did you hear the news about the Signal #1 advisory in Mindanao around the 24th of October? That's what got us moved us to the next weekend.

This time, this isn't a DIY trip. We paid for a tour via Travelink Tours which costs 1,999 PHP per pax. The payment covers the van service to Surigao and all the tourist spots, then for the trip home. There's the driver and overnight accommodation as well. Pretty much worth it, if you ask me. We were with other people though, but that just meant new friends! I  actually know some of them from school. You just realize that it's a small world  after all~ 

After the grueling 7-hour journey, it's time for fun and action!


Location: Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

Entrance Fee: 30 PHP
Life Jacket Rental: 15 PHP per hour (present an ID)
Cottage / Table (with Umbrella): 150 PHP
Additional Cottage / Table (with Umbrella): 100 PHP
Additional Cottage / Table (w/o Umbrella): 50 PHP

Don't throw it away just yet!
After paying your entrance fee, you're gonna have to walk with your bags to the very gate of the river. They don't allow vehicles inside anymore. Before, we were able to~ Things change, yeah? Anyways, we didn't have to do so because they offer a shuttle for free.

This wasn't supposed to be our first stop but thank you to Kuya Driver for being so smart! Well, he said that it's better we stay there and wait for the fish feeding by 12NN. Yasss because we were able to have the place to ourselves (and a few others, of course ) and it was a more peaceful sight compared to my previous visit.

Kneesa and I excitedly got down to business and took snaps (mostly hers)~

These shots are indeed very possible since there are not many people around yet. Less to no photobombers! Haha

And since we're excited AF, we directly signed ourselves up for island hopping. I have never tried it before, so again, 'tis a whole new experience for me!

Off we go~


Boat: 150 PHP / hour (maximum 5 pax)

Boat buddies!
The four of us decided to go on the activity after the buzz of photo ops. There should only be a maximum of 5 people per boat so when Jan and Craig came, they had to take another one. #RelationshipGoals ㅋㅋㅋ

Here's our first stop...


Entrance Fee: 20 PHP

Marine life we visited here are stingrays and apparently, sharks  (They're probably kidding...?)


There were 3 stingrays and I got to touch them! They're really slimy - feels very much like fish but eerie. Or it's just my mind playing tricks on me Rest assured, they don't sting or bite! It's just that when they come to your feet, the feeling's quite, again, eerie. Lels but they're fascinating~

The boatmen then offered to give us free buko, as in straight from the tree, so why not, coconut? #howpunny

They're like and we're like

The wait isn't that long though, so we then got them fresh coconuts!

Langhap sarap! Hahaha
I don't really enjoy the juice without the evap / condensed milk. Hihi. I like the soft, creamy meat(?) more~


Entrance Fee: 20 PHP

I'm realizing we're not really island hopping but resort hopping. Lels

I actually didn't want to go inside because the boatmen didn't tell us that there will be entrance fees and all that. I didn't bring money so not being able to know beforehand is just... Good thing the friends did have the cash. And since we were there already, might as well go in~

Does anyone know the name of this flower? It's very pretty camouflaging like that. Hihi

It seemed like our own private beach because there was no one else around. I didn't swim there though. I wanted to do that in the Enchanted River itself.

My very own tree! PJ = Pearly Jane 

Now, this was the time when we thought to ourselves that 150 PHP per boat would be too good to be true. That's what the boatmen told us from the start though. But NO. It's 150 PHP per boat PER HOUR. They were actually buying our time by stopping and giving us the free coconuts, etc. I felt so betrayed. And while we were complaining loudly, they weren't even batting their eyelashes. It's as if they do deceive every chance they get. Lels

Our moods turned sour but well, oh, well. Things don't really go the way you want them to. *shrugs*


Entrance Fee: 20 PHP

We decided to carry on and just see what else they had to offer.

Unfortunately, it rained really hard, emphasis on REALLY HARD. That dampened our spirits more. Huhu. There were a lot of fishes there though.

The rain stopped shortly after and we all chose to go back to Enchanted River already. Time is ticking, after all. If I remember correctly, our group paid a total of 372 PHP = 93 PHP per pax. That means we were away for 2 hours + 48 minutes~

When we got back, the area was just packed! Anyways, we rented our life jackets and swam. Witnessing the fish feeding was futile because there were so many people. I could only see phones and tablets too; everyone's so busy recording. Then the rain came again. Tsk

Advice: better go to Surigao when it's not rainy season! It was summer when I first went (in April) and it was perfect. Or check the weather forecast. It's not my tradition to do that but I'm starting to because of all my failed travel plans due to the weather.


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