Moalboal is a coastal town two hours drive from Cebu City, a gateway to some of the best diving spots not only in Cebu but in the entire Philippines. At first glance, it seems to be a sleepy town but its rich water is where all the action is.
Moalboal is a well known tourist and diving paradise due to its unspoiled fine white sand beaches and diverse marine life. Divers and snorkelers will enjoy the rich and colorful underwater life of its numerous dive sites that serve as home to hammerhead sharks and the famous sardine run. Dive shops are located in Panagsama Beach in Basdiot. Beach bummers on the other hand can stroll in the white beach of Basdako.
Whether you are an adventure lover or a laid back type, Moalboal promises a relaxing and fun getaway that will surely make your stay in this lovely town worthwhile.
How to Get to Moalboal
From Cebu City
From the capital of the province, Moalboal is three hours drive by public bus. Ceres and Librando buses going to Moalboal are located in the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Fare for non-aircon bus starts is P116 while for aircon bus is P127 (October 2019 rate).
Meanwhile, vans that ply Cebu City to Moalboal are stationed in Cebu South V-hire Terminal in Junquera Street near University of San Carlos. Travel time is considerably shorter at two hours, fare is P100.
To go to Panagsama Beach or White Beach, hire a trike or habal-habal to get you there, fare cost around P80 per trip.
You can book your bus ticket or private transfer from Cebu City to Moalboal and vice versa below.
It is also possible to reach Moalboal via Dumaguete within three hours. From the downtown Dumaguete, catch a minibus or multicab to Sibulan Port for P7. From Sibulan Port, take a pumpboat to Bato (Santander) for P50, terminal fee included. Upon reaching the Port of Bato, transfer to a bus to Cebu via Barili and get off at Moalboal, travel time from Bato to Moalboal is around 2 hours and fare is approximately P60.
Moalboal Downtown to Panagsama
Buses and vans alight passengers at the downtown. To get to Panagsama Beach, catch a tricycle for a 10-minute ride, fare is P20-30 per person or P200 per trike for special trip.
Where to Stay in Moalboal
The Panagsama Beach in Basdiot is where tourists usually stay in Moalboal. Panagsama Beach is home to variety of hotels and dive shops. For backpackers and budget travelers, Moalboal Backpackers Lodge have dormitory rooms for as low as P350 per night per person and private rooms for as low as P400 per night. The whole area has free wifi.
Top-Rated / Highly Recommended Accommodations in Moalboal
The Blue Abyss Resort
Pescadores Seaview Suites Moalboal
Panagsama Beach House
Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Moalboal
Things to Do in Moalboal
- Diving/snorkeling: The dive sites of Moalboal include Pescador Island, Sunken Island, Kasai, Plane Wreck, Tongo and Sampaguita among others, plus the marine sanctuaries in Basdiot and Saavedra.
- Beach bumming in Basdaku
- See the church ruins of Old Moalboal Church
- Beach sports: volleyball, frisbee
- Spelunking in Busay Cave
- Side trip to Kawasan Falls in Badian
- Explore the other waterfalls in South Cebu
- Visit the old churches of Boljoon, Oslob, Dalaguete, Carcar, Sibonga and Argao, all in Southern Cebu.
Sample Itinerary: Three-Day South Cebu Adventure
Day 1: Cebu City – Badian – Moalboal
Day 2: Moalboal – Samboan – Oslob
Day 3: Oslob – Boljoon – Dalaguete – Cebu City
- There are a lot of restaurants and kitchenettes in the area, but prepare to shell out at least P150 per meal, but the servings are quite big. Check out Little Corner Restaurant, they offer some great seafood dishes.
- For divers, the most popular dive shop is the Savedra Dive Center in Panagsama. There are three scheduled dives per day, 7AM, 10AM and 2PM. They offer discounts for locals. Savedra Dive Center is a premier dive shop that puts safety above all.
- Another great choice is Cebu Dive Center, they offer cheaper diving rate without sacrificing safety, and they are really fun to be with.
- For non-divers, Cebu Dive Center and other resorts organize island hopping and snorkeling open tours
- First trip of vans from Cebu to Moalboal and Moalboal to Cebu are both at 6AM, the last depends on the passenger volume
*First published: 7-Oct-2009 | Updates: 11-Aug-2012; 30-Jun-2015; 10-Jan-2018; 22-Feb-2018; 19-Jul-2019; 01-Oct-2019; 24-Oct-2019; 28-Apr-2020