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. I know everyone is always suggesting Kawasan Falls when in Moalboal but there are much nicer waterfalls in the area and less touristy. I would advise to stay at least 5 days in Moalboal, go for hikes, visit the Casino Peak, see other waterfalls as the Cambais falls. Go one-day diving/snorkeling in the most beautiful reefs. Chill and enjoy the beautiful White beach one day…. I understand that not everyone has the time, but it’s worth it!

  2. […] something about Moalboal that beckons my senses, the sardine run, I guess. I haven’t seen other dive site in the […]

  3. Zorinne

    Hi. I enjoyed reading your blog. ahm, can you suggest/recommend an itinerary for cebu trip for 5d4n.. We really wanted to maximize our trip in cebu this nov, i hope you can help us. Thank you. Godbless. 😊

  4. joji

    hi good day…from Sibonga, SImala…is there a short cut road going to Moalboal?…which is near via Ylaya road or Barili?….how is the road status?…rough or concrete?….

  5. hi.. from Moalboal you know how can i go to Busay Cave..hope to hear from you soon..or to anyone of your reader knows how to go there..thanks

  6. dib

    Good day! hope you could help or advice.. 🙂 if we’re from dalaguete after visiting osmena peak and we would like to go to moalboal after… would there be any public bus traveling from dalaguete to moalboal??

    1. Lee

      Hi same question I have. Have you gone there already?

  7. wanderer

    magkano po ung est budget for two? thank you po.

  8. Michael Palayan


    is the 2hour travel going to moalboal from airport a smooth or rough road?

    1. Hassle free ang pag travel from airport to Moalboal. Maganda po ang kalsada 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.