Day 1: Tinuy-an Falls and Enchanted River

Day 1, Surigao:

It's 6:20AM and we just arrived at the Butuan Airport, the starting point of our 4-day Northeast Mindanao Adventure. This is my first ever out of Cebu Adventure Trip and I also just had my first ever plane ride getting to Butuan. Our plan is to visit Tinuy-an Falls, Enchanted River, Sohoton Cove and Siargao mainland with a limited budget of P5000. We have not prepared any arrangements beforehand so we definitely needed to have our haggling skills ready.

We chartered a van for hire at the Butuan Airport and arranged the driver to take us to the Tinuy-an Falls and Enchanted River and drop us at Cantilan where we decided to spend the night. After negotiations and some haggling, we were off to Bislig City where the famous waterfall is located.

Tinuy-an Falls

We arrived at the falls at around 1:30PM. Yes, it took us 6 hours of travel time instead of the normal four since the van had some wheel misalignment problems that took 2 hours to fix. Well, it's better knowing that you are safe on the road than sorry.

Tinuy-an Falls
Dubbed as the Niagara Falls of the Philippines, the Tinuy-an Falls is such a marvelous sight to behold. I am not quite sure how the name Tinuy-an came to be, but one thing's for sure, this is a very tuyuonon (hard to get by) place.

The view upon entering Tinuy-an Falls
Entrance Fee to the falls is just P50 per person. If you're not a swimmer or just want to be safe, you can rent a life vest for P30.

Other breathtaking views of the Falls:

Kids playing at the shallow portions

Wooden bridge at Tinuy-an Falls
Lowest Tier of Tinuy-an Falls

We went under the falls using the bamboo raft with the help of the kuya guides and had ourselves taste the power of the mighty Tinuy-an Falls.

After having our fill of the falls and had our stomachs mumbling in hunger, we decided to go to our next location. We had lunch at 3:00PM at a carenderia along the way to Hinatuan.

Enchanted River

Our next stop is the Enchanted River at Talisay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. It is approximately 1 hour away from the Tinuy-an Falls. After a gruesome bumpy ride, we arrived at the Enchanted River. It is already 4:00PM so we wasted no time and head to the river. Most of the guests are already leaving thus having the river all to ourselves and some few of other guests left.

Enchanted River - Talisay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

The entrance fee to the river is a minimal P30 per person. There are picnic tables and cottages available for rent but we chose to just lay our bags on the stairs near the river for us to easily look out for. For non-swimmers like some of my friends, life vests are available at P15.

View from the top.
I cannot believe what's in front of my eyes upon seeing the river for the very first time. There is nothing that can compare to the blueness of the water.

Deep blue Enchanted River
I failed to inquire why this magnificent place was called Enchanted River but it definitely enchanted me to never wanted to leave this place.

Closer look to the mouth of the cave - the source of the river
Swimming at the river is until 5:00PM. We were told by the caretakers that we should wrap up. All of us were sad as we don't want to get out of the water yet. I am not sure as to why the swimming time is only up to 5:00PM but I also noticed that large mosquitoes (yeah as big as flies) are already feasting on our skin so we decided to call it a day.

Large Fishes at the Enchanted River
By the time the river was clear of people, our eyes were treated to a group of large fishes that surfaced to the shallow portions of the river.

After washing up and had some rounds of picture taking, we were on the road heading to Cantilan where the uncle of our friend offered us a place to stay for the night. Cantilan is around 4 hours ride from Hinatuan. We had a pit stop at Tandag City for fuel and have our dinner at a carenderia nearby.

We arrived at Cantilan, Surigao del Sur at 10:00PM. We were tired and already sleepy from a very long day.

After day 1, here is the breakdown of my expenses:

  • MCIA Terminal Fee - P200
  • Breakfast at Jolibee Butuan (2pc pancakes and hot choco) - P49
  • Tinuy-an falls entrance fee - P50
  • Life vest and donation for bamboo raft drivers - P35
  • Lunch - carenderia (1 rice, pork chop, lechon manok - shared by 10 persons, softdrinks) - P37
  • Enchanted River entrance fee - P30
  • Life vest - P15
  • Dinner at Tandag City (1 rice, tinolang isda, softdrinks) - P50
  • Van Fare from Butuan, tinuy-an falls, enchanted river, cantilan (P8000 divided by 10 persons) - P800
Day 1 of our adventure damaged my pocket by P1266 which leaves me P3734 remaining on my pocket.

Stay tuned for Day 2 of our northeast Mindanao adventures. We are heading to Sohoton Cove of the Bucas Grande in Socorro, Siargao.


  1. I want to visit these places!!

  2. Hi do you still have the contact person for the van? Also is it easy if we charter van rental within the airport? In butuan? Thank you

    1. Hi Maria! Sorry, I failed to get the contact person for the van. Anyways, there are vans for hire waiting just outside of the Airport. You can negotiate with the drivers as to your destination and you can also haggle for the price. Enjoy Surigao del Sur! :)

  3. Really helpful! Good thing you included the van rental cost. Thanks!

    1. Thanks :) Hope you enjoy Surigao del Sur!

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  5. hi do you know the closing time of tinuyan falls? thanks!

  6. Hi XO Ish! Thanks for reading the blog. Unfortunately, I do not have the details on the operating hours. I would suggest though to go before it's dark.

  7. Would love to visit this enchanting place soon!
    You might want to rent motorbikes instead! Visit


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