Travel Guide: Moalboal Cebu, Philippines

Moalboal is one of the most famous diving spots in Cebu and is known for its sardine run. It is one of my favorite places in Cebu, because for a small town it offers you a good variety of things to do. It has a laid back and more of a chilled out pub style atmosphere. It is a perfect weekend get-away just 3 hours from the busy capital of Cebu.

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How to go to Moalboal:

Moalboal is located about 90km southwest of Cebu City. From South Bus Terminal, ride a bus going to Moalboal or Bato via Barili or Badian.  The bus fare costs around P110.00-120.00.

Most tourist either stay at Panagsama Beach or White beach. The famous spot in Moalboal is the Panagsama beach, where the most beach resorts, dive shops, restaurants and bars are located. And we are going to focus on that.

The bus will drop you off to the bus stop (in front of the Moalboal Fruit Stand) 4km away from Panagsama Beach. Take a habal-habal or a tricycle going to Panagsama Beach. Habal-habal usually cost P50.00 and P100.00 for the tricycle.

For me, the best time to stay in Panagsama Beach is on a weekend during low season (Friday-Sunday around June-November) Why? For you to experience Panagsama Beach’s chill and party side, and since its low season its cheap and not that crowded.

Here is my suggested itinerary if you ever go to Moalboal:

Day

Morning

Afternoon/Night

Friday

Snorkel/Dive Chill in a bar

Saturday

Snorkel/Dive

Party at Pacita’s Disco Bar!

Sunday Wake up late from hangover

Swim and chill at the beach

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I also suggest you to bring your own snorkeling gear and just follow the map above. The snorkeling/diving site is just few meters offshore. But if you are renting a snorkel, it is around P100-150 and P100 for a pair of fins.

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The Sardine Run!

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The sardine runs away.. oh… swims away from my friend

The best time to see the sardine run is anytime of the day. For the turtles, if you are snorkeling, I don’t really know because some of the locals say the best time is early morning or afternoon, but I don’t encounter them during those times, and the time I encountered one was before sunset, that’s why I wrote in my suggested schedule to snorkel few times. Whenever I’m in Panagsama Beach I always try to find a turtle, and it never fails to excite me! 

But if you are diving, you are definitely going to encounter them; they always hang out in the deeper parts of the sea.

Low tide is around 5:00pm to 8:00am daily.

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Corals!

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More Corals!

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The first ever sea turtle I have laid my eyes on

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We were so lucky that we found another sea turtle while heading back to the shore

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Sunset

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Where to Eat:

There are a lot of nice restaurants and bars in Panagsama, but my favorite are Chili bar (great pizza and awesome chill place) and Lantaw Restaurant (good “kinilaw” or ceviche and nice view)

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Where to Stay:

There are also a lot of hotels in Panagsama, but my top pick and most of the travelers that are on a budget stay at Moalboal Backpacker’s Lodge. They have a really nice island feel kind of rooms and it’s very cheap.

(Price Range: P350-800)

And if you can afford to go up a little higher try Pacita’s Beach Resort, they have nice AC rooms and a great chill out place in front of the beach.

(Price Range: P1200-2500)

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You could also try going to:

  • White beach
  • Pescador Island
  • Canyoning in Badian

NOTE: All Prices are as of August 2015

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4 thoughts on “Travel Guide: Moalboal Cebu, Philippines

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