Moalboal Travel Guide: Southern Cebu’s Underwater Paradise


Moalboal, a coastal town about three hours drive from Cebu City, is a gateway to some of the best diving spots not only in the province but in the entire Philippines. At first glance, it seems to be a sleepy town but  once you get into Panagsama Beach, the town comes to life.

It is a well known tourist and diving paradise due to its white sand beaches and truly vivid marine ecosystem. Divers and snorkelers will surely enjoy the rich and colorful underwater life of its numerous dive sites that serve as home to 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.

Sunset at Basdaku Beach

How to Get to Moalboal

From Cebu City

From the capital of the province, Moalboal is about three hours drive by public bus. Ceres and Librando buses going to Moalboal are located in the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Fare ranges from P180 to P209 (June 2024 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 P180.

To go to Panagsama Beach or White Beach, hire a trike or habal-habal to get you there. An entire trike can be costs around P2oo one-way, habal-habal or motorbike is at P100 per passenger.

You can book your bus ticket or private transfer from Cebu City to Moalboal and vice versa below.


From Dumaguete

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 P13. From Sibulan Port, take a pumpboat to Bato (Santander) for P80, 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 P100.

Basdaku Beach

Moalboal Downtown to Panagsama

Buses and vans alight passengers at the downtown. To get to Panagsama Beach, catch a tricycle or single motorbike for a 10-minute ride, fare is P50 per person or P200 per trike for special trip while motorbike is at P100 per passenger one-way.

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.

Top-Rated / Highly Recommended Accommodations in Moalboal

The Blue Abyss Resort

The Blue Abyss Resort
Basdiot, Moalboal
Starts at 1,500 PHP


Pescadores Seaview Suites Moalboal

Pescadores Seaview Suites Moalboal
Basdiot, Moalboal
Starts at 2,300 PHP


Mangoes Place

Mangoes Place
Basdiot, Moalboal
Starts at 1,400 PHP


Panagsama Beach House

Panagsama Beach House
Basdiot, Moalboal
Starts at 3,500 PHP


Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Moalboal

JJ's Place

JJ’s Place
Basdiot, Moalboal
Starts at 600 PHP


Bamboo Huts

Bamboo Huts
Basdiot, Moalboal
Starts at 600 PHP


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

Catch a bus from Cebu to Badian in the morning, go canyoneering in Matutinao River and end your adventure with a waterfalls massage in Kawasan Falls. At noon, proceed to Moalboal and find a place along Panagsama Beach. Swim with the Sardine Run in the in the afternoon and laze in the White Beach for sunset afterwards.

Day 2: Moalboal – Samboan – Oslob

Go waterfall hopping! See Alegria’s Cambais Falls and Samboan’s Dao Falls, Binalayan Falls and Aguinid Falls. Drive towards Oslob in the afternoon and get a room at Cancua-ay Beach. Spend the rest of the afternoon and the sunset in Sumilon Island.

Day 3: Oslob – Boljoon – Dalaguete – Cebu City

Get up early for the sunrise then drive to the heritage town of Boljoon after breakfast. Proceed towards Barangay Mantalongon of Dalaguete and see the ragged roof of Cebu at Osmeña Peak. Don’t forget to take home a pack of Carcar’s famous chicharon on your way back to Cebu City.
Kawasan Falls
Kawasan Falls in nearby Badian.
Sardines in the shallow reef of Moalboal.


  • 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.
  • First trip of vans from Cebu to Moalboal and Moalboal to Cebu are both at 6AM, the last depends on the passenger volume
Finding nemo in Moalboal.

*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; 28-Jun-2024


  1. Carmen

    What is the best thing to to go to moalboal province ride the bus or go to travel guide what you think

  2. Noemi

    Ask ko po what kind of camera and brand ginamit mo or magandang gamitin sa underwater. Ang Ganda Kasi ng pix. Salamat

  3. […] Day 5 ETA 7AM Sumilon Island Day Tour via Sumilon Bluewater Resort ETD 530PM Travel from Oslob to Moalboal (via Boy Wander) Estimated travel time: 2.5-3 hrs Overnight in Moalboal (via Lakwatsero) […]

  4. kat


    Ask ko lang po kung sino pwede macontact for boat rental? First time lang namin to go here for snorkeling sana kaso di namin sure sino pwede macontact and saan ba specific na ok pumunta. Sa mandaue rin kame naka check in so not sure kung sa moalboal kame mag stay for the night. or kelangan ba mag check-in din sa mga malapit na lodge dun? Thanks!

  5. Hello,

    ask ko lang po.. naka booked na po kami dun sa panagsama beach (basdiot).. going to white beach (basdaku) ilang kilometer po bah? malakad lang po bah? o dapat sasakay pa?

    hope to hear from you.


    1. cba

      hi mart,

      lot of tricycles going there. if you want to take a long walk, would be a good choice too. enjoy!

      1. kengo

        Are there any bike shop in Moalboal?

        1. Lakwatsero

          Sorry but none.

        2. Ellie

          Check in at Pescadores Sea View Suites.They have bikes free for usage.

          1. Lakwatsero

            Yay! Thanks for the feedback. Enjoy Moalboal.

  6. alyana

    when is the best time to go there, what month yung mababa lang ang tubig tapos makikita mo na agad yung corals ? 🙂

    1. Summer is the best time to enjoy snorkeling or diving in Moalboal. Ok rin around October – December, yun nga lang unpredictable naman kasi ang weather.

  7. JC


    Pupunta kasi kami sa cebu this coming april 12-15. tapos naghahanap ako ng mga tour packages specially sa beach or any adventurous na tlagang mageenjoy kami ng GF ko. Nkita ko itong then nakit ko na magaganda at mura yung packages nila. meron ka ba na masasaggest sa amin na nga places na mura na hindi kami mapapagaastos ng mahal pagdating sa mga trasportation? kasi yung moalboal malayo at mahal yung transpo.


  8. iana

    How white is the sand in Moalboal’s White Beach? I’m not really interested in diving, I just want the white sand. Is the beach as beautiful as Santiago White Beach in Camotes? We just plan to do a day trip and Camotes Island is a bit far.

  9. Mel

    Hi! we are going to visit Cebu for 2012 Sinulog Festival..we want to add kawasan falls in our itinerary. Is it advisable to book hotel near in falls to stay overnight or better in moalboal? How many minutes from Moalboal to Kawasan? Any resort / hotel that you can recommend?

    We also want to try snorkling but no decision yet where to do this. which is better, moalboal or camotes island? .

    we will be in Cebu for a week so we want to maximize our stay to vist beautiful places there..hope you can help us to make our itinerary..


  10. hazel

    hi ask ko lang ung mga churches ba is malalapit lang? tnx

    1. johnny

      Moalboal is on the southwestern coast of Cebu while the towns w/ old churches stated above are located on southeastern side. It would take you at least an hour b4 reaching Oslob town (the nearest). The road from Moalboal going south to Santander then going north passing the eastern part of Cebu is one of the most scenic roads ive been to here in the phils. Worth to have a road trip on this part of Cebu.

      1. Thanks for the tips Johnny 🙂

      2. Sara

        How can one go from Moalboal to Oslob? Could I hire a driver?

  11. please include this site also. for more infos regarding cebu specialy the hotels.

  12. beesting

    do you have any information on how to return to mactan airport? Via bus or Van? thank you!

  13. toni protacio

    actually, i’m avoiding mainland Cebu kasi we’ll go there on February eh..(1 month after Dumaguete lang.. hehe) so, i wanted sana to explore Dumaguete & nearby attractions without going to Cebu.. pasensiya na sa kulit.. salamat ulit..

    1. Ah kaya pala 🙂
      Wait ilang araw kayo sa Dumaguete and ano na so far itinerary nyo?

  14. toni protacio

    maraming salamat sa info.wag kang magsasawang sumagot sa mga questions ng mga fans… hehe godspeed..

    1. hehe, thanks din toni 🙂

  15. toni protacio

    hi angel! we’ll be going to Dumaguete in January.i’d like to visit Moalboal, too, since u said its only 3hrs away. however, none of us are divers.. but we enjoy snorkling a u still recommend Moalboal for us or can u recommend other sites to visit in Dumaguete since it’s a 4day vacation..

    1. wow toni, panay gala. well sa apo island pa lang sobrang panalo na ang snorkeling and maganda din naman ang beach, medyo malayo layo na ang moalboal but if you are into long travel, okey din. may ibang mga sites sa province, like waterfalls and etc that you can visit too, and if kulang pa, mas malapit ang sumilon island of cebu, then kung may time pa, hop on to southern cebu mainland for the old churches insantander, oslob, etc :))

  16. […] The South Bus Terminal are of course for those traveling to the southern towns of Oslob, Dalaguete, Moalboal, Badian, Carcar, Boljoon, Sumilon, Liloan (yes, there are two towns named Liloan in the province)  […]

  17. […] than an hour away from the diving paradise of Moalboal in Cebu is the town of Badian, home of Kawasan […]

  18. Thanks for the feature about this place. Hope to check it out when I visit Cebu next time.

  19. cba

    …hoping to be back in moalboal to explore more of pescador island and discover the airport. 🙂

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