Accommodation near Enchanted River Surigao – Marky’s Hostel

Enchanted River, Hinautuan, Surigao del Sur

Being one among the long list of beautiful places in the Philippines, Enchanted River in Hinatuan Surigao del Sur is truly a promising tourist attraction and travel destination in the country.

Enchanted River, Hinautuan, Surigao del Sur
Enchanted River, Hinautuan, Surigao del Sur

Due to the local government’s efforts in protecting and preserving Enchanted River, there are no accommodations within the river’s vicinity. However, there is a number of accommodations, lodges and inns in Hinatuan proper. One of which is the highly recommended by backpackers and travel bloggers – Marky’s Hostel.

Note: Hinatuan is a small laid-back town in Surigao del Sur. So don’t expect hotels or high-end resorts in the area.

Marky’s Hostel is just few minutes away from Hinatuan terminal. This Hinatuan accommodation is perfect for budget travelers and backpackers for their very affordable and cheap rates.

Marky’s Hostel Room Rates

  • 400 fan room good for 2
  • 1500 aircon room good for 6
Marky's Hostel in Hinatuan
Marky’s Hostel in Hinatuan

The hip and cool facade of Marky’s Hostel makes it stand out among other accommodations in Hinatuan. From outside, it appears to be very clean and well maintained.

Warm Welcome

When I arrived at Marky’s Hostel, the owner immediately welcomed me with a smile. He shared some tips and information about Enchanted River and other Surigao del Sur tourist attractions such as Tinuy-an Falls and Licbuacan cold springs.

Related blog post: How to get to Enchanted River from Manila + Itinerary, Budget and Travel Trips

We further exchanged stories. I mentioned that I’m a travel blogger and also came to know about Marky’s Hostel thru Ms. Gael’s blog It was nice that he knows about the internet specifically blogs. Since I’m traveling alone, he was so kind to give me a discounted rate of 200 Pesos instead of 400 Pesos for a fan room.

Very Clean and Well-Maintained

kitchen area and toilet and bath
kitchen area and toilet and bath

True enough, once you get inside, Marky’s Hostel is very clean and well maintained. There is a common area with dining table where guests can eat or simply hang-out. There are 2 separate toilet and bath, for men and for women.  I learned from Sir Anselmo that Marky’s Hostel was originally planned to be a house for rent but was turned into a Hostel when tourists started pouring in because of Enchanted River. This is the reason why they were unable to place toilet and bath in each room.

Marky’s Hostel Fan Room

fan room at Marky's Hostel
fan room at Marky’s Hostel

I have to admit that I did not really expect anything since the room is cheaply priced. Surprisingly, the room is very clean and well maintained. The matress and pillows were comfortable. The room is well ventilated and I never had a hard time sleeping given that I had a fan room.

Highly Recommended Accommodation Near Enchanted River

I enjoyed my stay in Marky’s Hostel. The owners, tatay Anselmo and nanay Lumen were very welcoming and accommodating. They were more like a family to their guests. They ensure that you enjoy your stay in Hinatuan and are always willing and available to chat and share stories with you.

The hostel is also strategically located as it is few minute tricycle, pedicab or habal-habal away from Hinatuan bus terminal. There are also nearby cheap food places (cartenderia) such as Leng-Leng and Drawde’s Tudlo Hakop.

Note: Since Marky’s Hostel and other Hinatuan accommodations, lodges and inns are situated in Hinatuan proper, travel time from Marky’s Hostel to Enchanted River is approximately 30 minutes by habal-habal. For my complete Enchanted River Itinerary, visit link below.

How to get to Enchanted River from Manila + Itinerary, Budget and Travel Trips

Marky’s Hostel 

  • Adress: Poblacion Hinatuan, Maharlika, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
  • Contact Numbers: 0915 2009017 / 0905 3879319

This blog post is part of my Surigao del Sur and Camiguin trip last September 2017.

How to get to Enchanted River from Manila + Itinerary , Budget and Travel Tips

Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

The majestic Enchanted River is located in municipality of Hinatuan in the province of Surigao del Sur. If you are planning to visit Enchanted River, unfortunately, there is no airport in Surigao del Sur. However, Enchanted River is accessible via Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City or Butuan City airport. Geographically, the Bancasi airport in Butuan is the nearest airport to Enchanted River.

How to get to Enchanted River from Manila

1. Manila City to Butuan City

Bancasi Airport, Butuan City (Agusan del Norte)
Bancasi Airport, Butuan City (Agusan del Norte)

The fastest route to Enchanted River is via Butuan Airport. Book a flight from Manila to Butuan. The Philippine based budget airline Cebu Pacific has 3 flights daily from Manila to Butuan. Alternatively, you may also book your Butuan flight via Philippine Airlines. Travel time is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Tip: Book the earliest flight to Butuan so that you’ll arrive in Hinatuan on or before noon time.

2. Butuan City to Hinatuan (Surigao del Sur)

Once you arrive in Butuan’s Bancasi Airport, you may ride a bus or van to Hinatuan terminal.

Butuan Bus Terminal
Butuan Bus Terminal

By bus – From Bancasi airport, just locate the multicabs in the area and tell the driver that you are going to Butuan bus terminal. Fare is 10 Php per person. In Butuan terminal, ride a bus (Bachelor bus lines) bound to Bislig. Just tell the driver to drop you off the Hinatuan terminal. Bus fare is approximately 200 Php and travel time is 5 to 7 hours.

By van – Walk few meters from the Bancasi airport’s departure area and you will find vans bound to several municipalities and cities. Just look for the van headed to Bislig or ask the driver if the van is passing through Hinatuan Terminal. Fare is 350 Php and travel time is approximately 4 to 5 hours.

Since I didn’t want to waste time, I decided to ride a van instead of a bus. I soon later regretted it as the van had numerous stopovers, just like the buses. I also learned from the owner of Marky’s Hostel, the accommodation where I stayed during my Hinatuan visit, that vans do not provide accident insurance to its passengers unlike with buses.

Tip: If you are on a budget and after security and safety, ride a bus going to Hinatuan. Note though that most of the buses are non-airconditioned.

3. Hinatuan Terminal to Enchanted River

Hinatuan Terminal, Surigao del Sur
Hinatuan Terminal, Surigao del Sur

In Hinatuan terminal, habal-habal drivers will approach you and offer their service to Enchanted River. A two-way trip from Hinatuan terminal to Enchanted River costs 300 Php good for 2 persons. Habal-habal travel time to Enchanted River from Hinatuan terminal is approximately 30 minutes.

Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

Tip: You may also arrange Tinuy-an trip with your habal-habal driver for an additional price. In my case I paid 1,200 Pesos for Enchanted River and Tinuy-an falls trip. I was offered a cheaper rate than the standard tour rate which is 1,500 Pesos.

Enchanted River Entrance Fee + Other Fees

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Since I’m alone, I did not rent for a shed or a cottage. I just paid the 40 Php for the entrance fee including the environmental fee.

Enchanted River Operating Hours

Note that the river is open to the public daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM only.

Tip:  Plan your visit on a weekday and during the morning. The area gets crowded during weekends and during noon time and afternoon.

Enchanted River Itinerary and Budget

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Related Blog Post: Accommodation near Enchanted River Surigao – Marky’s Hostel

Other travel tips / Things to consider

  • There are no ATMs in Hinatuan. Ensure to bring enough money before traveling for Enchanted River.
  • You can do Enchanted River and Tinuy-an falls in one day.  It is highly recommended to spend a night in Hinatuan to rest.
  • The mobile and internet signal in Hinatuan proper are fairly decent but expect poor internet signal in Enchanted river and Tinuy-an falls.
  • Habal-habal can only accommodate 2 persons. Hire multiple habal-habal if you are travelling in a group.
  • Swimming is allowed on a certain part of the river. Local tourism has prohibited swimming in the deeper part (darker blue) of the river to ensure that fishes are protected.
  • Do not wear sunblock if you are planning to swim in the river. Locals say that sunscreens can be toxic to the fishes and other sea creatures in the river.
  • And, please include your habal-habal driver in your lunch or snacks. If you have spare money, give them tips. The tourism industry in Surigao del Sur is struggling since the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.