If you love snorkeling and diving, Moalboal Cebu should be on your bucket list! This beach town is every snorkeler’s and diver’s dream destination for its abundant and diverse marine life. You can find here sea turtles, sardine run, wild dolphins, colorful fishes, and corals.
Aside from its underwater treasure, Moalboal is where most backpackers and digital nomads settle for a few days or weeks. Its location makes it a great home base if you want to explore the best of what South Cebu has to offer. It’s only two hours away from Osmena Peak, one hour away from the famous Kawasan Falls, and around two to three hours away from Oslob.
If you’re planning a trip to Moalboal Cebu soon, here are crazy fun things to do in Moalboal that you shouldn’t miss including everything else you need to know for your trip.
But first things first, do you have travel insurance? This is something you should have but wish you never want to use. Accidents can happen anytime and having travel insurance can save you a lot of money in case something goes wrong during your travels! Never travel without one. Get a free quote here.
How to Get to Moalboal
From Cebu City
Fly to Mactan Airport. then ride a taxi to Cebu South Bus Terminal. From here, ride a Ceres bus heading to Moalboal. Travel time is around 3 hours and the fare is at P127 for the bus with aircon and P116 for the bus without aircon.
Aside from the bus, you can also ride a van at Cebu South V-hire Terminal.
Travel Tip: Check schedules and availability of buses, ferries, taxis or flights to book online with 12Go Asia.
Important Things To Know About Moalboal
But before we delve into the top things to do in Moalboal, here’s a few stuff you should know before your trip.
Currency in Moalboal: The main currency used in Moalboal is Philippine Peso.
ATMs on the Island: Moalboal has several ATMs so you don’t have to worry. But be sure to bring enough cash, just in case.
Languages Spoken: Cebuano/Bisaya, Tagalog, English
Festivals on the island:
- Kagasangan Festival (May 15-16) – Annual feast of Moalboal
Best time to visit: Best months to visit would be November to May to avoid the typhoon season (June to October).
Getting Around: Motorbikes and tricycles are the most common form of transportation within Moalboal. You can save some money when you rent a motorbike.
Tipping in Moalboal: Tipping is not customary but feel free to tip if you enjoyed the service.
Things To Do In Moalboal Cebu
Island Hopping To Pescador Island (And See Dolphins)
Know what the first thing we did after checking in our Airbnb accommodation? Go island hopping! Moalboal’s island hopping experience isn’t really island hopping. It’s more of a snorkeling experience.
From Moalboal, you’ll go to Pescador island to snorkel and nothing else. Nope. You’re not going to be stepping foot on the island. But the underwater scenery you’ll see will leave you speechless. You’ll see fishes and corals in all kinds of shapes and sizes. There are even schools of fishes!
In the past, Moalboal’s famous sardine run was found near Pescador island. However, after an earthquake, they all moved near Panagsama beach. After Pescador island, you’ll move to see the sardine run and then proceed to look for sea turtles.
During our boat trip to the sardine run, we saw a pod of dolphins swimming a few feet away from our boat. By opting to go island hopping, you’re increasing your chances of seeing dolphins. However, do note that dolphins are seasonal. They’ll only appear on certain months.
Did I convince you to try island hopping yet? I’ve written a separate blog post about our island hopping experience including the rates and what you should expect. Check it out.
Related Article: Moalboal Island Hopping Travel Guide: A Snorkeling Paradise
Check Out The Local Market
The local market is the best place to buy ingredients if you want to cook your own food. You can find fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood (and more seafood!) here.
Visit White Beach
The best beach in Moalboal would be White Beach. Also known as Basdaku beach, White beach is every local’s favorite. As such, make sure to avoid the beach during weekends if you don’t like crowded places. The best time to visit would be during weekdays.
You can rent kayaks in Moalboal resorts. But the best one to rent would be a transparent kayak.
Moalboal is a snorkeling paradise. You can snorkel in Basdaku beach, in Pescador island, in Panagsama beach, or in front of your resort. We stayed in Sambag Hideaway which is just a few steps from the sea. Snorkeling just in front of our Airbnb accommodation, we saw starfishes, small fishes and two sea turtles!
If you want to book Sambag Hideaway, check the prices and availability here:
Visit Panagsama Beach
Panagsama beach isn’t really much of a beach considering the number of establishments around the area but it offers a great snorkeling site. From here, you can swim to the sardine run and look for sea turtles.
What better way to spend your vacation than to go and taste the best meals in town? Check out these best restaurants in Moalboal.
Where to Next?
With its excellent location, you can visit several Cebu tourist spots from Moalboal. Here are some we’d recommend you to visit.
Located in Badian, Cebu, Kawasan Falls is just an hour away from Moalboal. To get there, you can either ride a bus, rent a tricycle, car or a jeepney.
Kawasan falls is famous for its wide basin and blue-tinted clean water. Some of the activities you can do here are canyoneering, swimming, and waterfall jumping.
Related Article: 7 Can’t-miss Cebu Waterfalls to Visit
Thirty minutes away from Moalboal, you will find Lambug beach. If you want to get away from crowded beaches, this is the place to be!
Dao falls is my favorite waterfall from all the seven Cebu waterfalls we visited. The trek going to the waterfall will take you down a hundred steps, through a river, and up limestone cliffs. All in all, it’s a 20 to 30-minute trek. But as soon as you see Dao falls, it’s worth the trip!
Another waterfall that you shouldn’t miss is Inambakan Falls. Being the 2nd highest waterfall in Cebu, Inambakan is a sight to see.
Wake up early and go on a trip to Osmena Peak for the best sunrise of your life! If you’re coming from Moalboal, it’s best to start your trip at around 2:30 AM to 3:00 AM so you’ll reach the peak just in time for the sunrise. You can choose to ride a motorbike (warning: the ride’s gonna be bumpy!) or rent a car.
Related Article: Osmena Peak Sunrise Hike: 2019 Travel Guide
From Moalboal, ride a bus heading to Bato, then ride another bus to Oslob for another adventure. In around 2 hours, you’ll reach your destination. Wake up as early as you can if you want to see the whale sharks. Best to start your trip around 3:00 AM and make sure to avoid going on holidays, long weekends or just about any weekend or you’ll have the worst experience. Oslob’s whale shark watching experience is VERY crowded during the weekends. The best time to go is on a weekday.
But first, educate yourself about the whale shark watching experience. Read on the dos and don’ts. Be a responsible traveler. There have been tons of online discussions on the controversies of whale shark tourism. You can read all about it here.
Siquijor is around 3 to 4 hours away from Moalboal. It takes around 2 hours to get to Liloan Port from Moalboal and another 1.5 hours to get to Siquijor. This laidback beach town offers stunning unspoiled white sandy beaches, diving and snorkeling sites.
Related Article: 10 Unforgettable Things To Do In Siquijor
From Moalboal, you can reach Dumaguete by riding a bus for around 2 hours, then a 1-hour ferry ride. In Dumaguete, you can find the best tasting Silvanas and Sans Rival. It’s near Manjuyod Sandbar where you can go watch dolphins and Apo island where you can snorkel with turtles.
Related Article: 26 Can’t Miss Things To Do In Dumaguete: 2019 Ultimate Travel Guide
Where to Stay in Moalboal
We stayed in Sambag Hideaway and booked one of their rooms. I highly recommend this place if you want quiet and peaceful accommodation that’s a few steps away from the sea.
You can book here:
Here are also a few other accommodations we’d recommend.
- Beyond Island – Check Price and Availability
- Savedra Beach Bungalows – Check Price and Availability
- ADIVAYAN 315 – Check Price and Availability
- Soul Travellers – Check Price and Availability
- ZEN Rooms Basic Gerty’s Place Moalboal – Check Price and Availability
- Ocean Safari Suites – Check Price and Availability
- PIG Dive Hostel Moalboal – Check Price and Availability
- Parrot Resort Moalboal – Check Price and Availability
- Adam’s View Hotel – Check Price and Availability
- Pescadores Seaview Suites Moalboal – Check Price and Availability
- Teobas Homestay – Check Price and Availability
- Tongo Hill Cottages – Check Price and Availability
- Ravenala Beach Bungalows – Check Price and Availability
- Oceanfront Paradise Resort – Check Price and Availability
- The Blue Orchid Resort – Check Price and Availability
- Quo Vadis Dive Resort – Check Price and Availability
Aside from hotels and resorts, you can also opt to stay at an Airbnb.
Responsible Travel Tips
When traveling to one place, make sure you practice responsible tourism. Here are some tips to do so.
1. Respect the environment
Don’t litter. Please hold onto your trash until you find a garbage can.
2. Avoid single-use plastic
Bring your eco bag and refuse single-use plastic.
3. Shop local
Keep the traditional crafts alive and support local artisans. Buy from them. And try not to haggle, P20 may seem small to you but it can mean a lot to them.
4. Always ask permission
Be sure to ask for permission first when taking photos or videos especially when it comes to children
What to Pack for Moalboal
Here’s stuff I’d recommend you to pack when going to Moalboal:
- Eco-friendly Reusable Water Bottle
- Aqua Shoes
- Day Bag
- Dry Bag
- Power Adapter
- Universal Waterproof Phone Case
- Microfiber Towel
- Travel Insurance
- Money Belt
- reusable straw and reusable bag (no to single-use plastic!)
Our Camera Gear
- Mirrorless Camera: Fujifilm XT3
- Lenses: Fujifilm Fujinon kit lens (18-55mm) | Fujinon 35mm f2 | Fujinon 50mm f2
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- GoPro: GoPro Hero Black 7
- Power Bank: Romoss Powerbank
- Camera Backpack: Case Logic Camera and Laptop Backpack
- Monopod: Ifootage Cobra 2 a180
- Mic: Rode VideoMicro
- Gimbal: Zhiyun Weebill-S
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- Osmena Peak Sunrise Hike: 2019 Travel Guide
- Bantayan Island 2019 Travel Guide: All You Need To Know