Time to feed our hearts desire with adventure; sharing you my wonderful memories in Northern Mindanao. Northern Mindanao is quite far with mostly rough roads, plenty of barangays, and a lot of road constructions, but have you ever wondered why some people think Mindanao is crucial in terms of reputation? the answer is this: you are not adventurous. We always think of safety, of course, yet safety also depends on how you handle your trip. If you're a smuggler, well, of you go in the hands of death, but if you love to travel by road tripping, i suggest you travel light, and travel by daylight. Hitchhikers? it's up to you if you trust them, and I'm not saying it only happens in Mindanao because hitchhikers are everywhere in the world. There are also stop-overs and rest areas with toilets along the road. The rough roads are usual, the road constructions will tick you off but it's for the betterment, you will see why.
So enough with the introduction and let's start with our first trip to Enchanted River in Hinatuan. This is pretty much my own itinerary, If you want to have yours arranged by me, please feel free to message me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org with no charge of course.
You can watch clips from enchanted river in this video I made using my gopro hero3+
and clips from our underwater journey in this video too
Welp! here we go.
From Davao to Hinatuan is a 3 hrs and 30-minute road trip, but that depends on the traffic and driving skills. We started our trip at 4 in the morning, and stop-over breakfast at Kambingan sa Hillsview, just along the highway, easy to locate actually.
This weird delicacy has such a ridiculous name, i mean putoytoy in kapampangan means a boys weenie haha! I didn't try it but it looks delicious, what do you think? hahaha!
The place is neat, and they also sell filipino delicacies such as puto, tablea and suman, but the nicer part is they serve affordable and a variety of filipino dishes including good ole' tapsilog.
After the meal, I decided to take a picture of a peculiar family portrait lol
Done with our breakfast fix, we went ahead to our destination at Hinatuan. Dear friends, we were lucky enough to have taken Enchanted River as our first stop because the day after we enjoyed its waters, someone died in there, and closed Enchanted River for a week, so I suggest since it's open again, you can visit Tinuy-an falls first before going to Enchanted River, but if you like this itinerary, no worries :)
Hinatuan is a splendid place, I have to mention the red color of the soil. There was one particular area there where the formation was all red, I wanted to take a picture but I don't know why I didn't, maybe because it rained a little or maybe... I was just too excited. You won't get bored by Hinatuan's scenery.
Enchanted River was easy to locate thus the signs all over the place, but if you still find it confusing, don't fret to ask one of the locals, they are very familiar with the place.
Enchanted River is indeed enchanting and risky if you're a dare devil. Since I know how to swim and float, it's easy for me without the use of a life vest, but! the current is really strong, and if you can't float then don't swim without a life vest on. It was such a great experience though and the deep was terrifying but also beautiful.
Bring your own snorkel so you may enjoy the wonders of this blue hole!
Fun in the blue made us really hungry. Enchanted River serves steamed Talangka or Crablets; baby crabs which you can eat the body in one go without breaking it's body shell, but of course the head, arms and leg shells aren't edible. A must-order, and bring plenty of rice so you can binge the whole damn thing! haha
Entrance fee - 30php/per Adult
Life Jackets - 15php/per Hour
more information: Enchanted River
1. Nice people
2. Great food
3. Big cottages
4. Easy to locate
6. Fish feeding was quite fun to watch since I had a gopro
7. I didn't lose my slippers lol
8. No smoking
1. The comfort room door locks need a fix.
2. Gets really crowded, really really crowded in whatever season lol but I think that's normal, especially in the afternoon.. so I suggest you should be arriving there in the morning.
3. There isn't a place for camp, or any of that backpacker stuff since the resort is not available for an overnight stay. Be sure you have booked a hostel or inn in central Hinatuan for a hassle-free travel SERIOUSLY!
Continue reading to know about my awesome stay at Marky's Hostel - which I think is the most hospitable and budget friendly hostel I've been to.
I would totally recommend this place for everybody! even dogs! considering pets are allowed inside.
I'm going to make this short. Marky's was a comfortable and pleasant stay, the owners were very kind and helpful. The comfort rooms are only common however they are divided by male and female. It is near Enchanted River, and sentro of Hinatuan.
Marky's Hostel is your typical budget or backpacker's stay. It also gives you a feeling of home, and safety.
As you can see, they offer your needs, water is necessary and other necessities including souvenirs :)
I like the living room area, it's quite small but somehow we had a nice breakfast with my companions.
Let's talk about the rooms. I think there are only two rooms available in the hostel, which means they have limited accommodation, and I've reserved us rooms to accommodate 10 persons so they gave us both rooms for only 2000 php, imagine that!
The rooms were very clean with a nice scent. We had the room with three beds, the airconditioning was going smooth, and the bed sheets were neat.
1. I suggest you bring a mosquito repellent cream, and use it wherever you may sleep because you will never know when they strike
2. You send/text a message to their contact number about your scheduled stay because we just got lucky that the last guests have gone so we can rent both of the rooms. It's better to inquire first :)
3. Keep the doors close every time you go in and out of the rooms. When we went there, stinky bugs flocked around the streetlights and inside the house, so don't let them in your room or else.. stinky bugs!!! lol
Marky's Hostel contact number: 0928 439 7785
Where to eat?
During our stay in Marky's Hostel, we had to fuel ourselves before hitting the bed because dinner. So we asked one of the owners and pointed us a place called "Kamayan". It was a bit confusing because there was no such thing as "Kamayan" restaurant, however we asked the neighbors and it had a different name, not kamayan but we are expected to do "kamayan" style of eating lol. Anyway, it's not a pretty kind of restaurant but they have the best barbecue in town, and normally have many customers. I forgot the name of this place, but its quite near Marky's and its the only barbecue place (I think) with tables and chairs, and quite spacious inside.
Made me hungry lol
Well, what are you waiting for? pack your bags and hit the road! get a glimpse of the blue waters of Hinatuan and feast on seafoods! Enjoy :)