Scuba Destination Spotlight #7: Moalboal, Philippines

Philippines in general continually made out list for the best diving in the world, and for good reason. In fact, Moalboal its self is on there. Moalboal is famous for its sardine run, but after multiple times scuba diving there, I can say that actually, the sardine run is NOT the main attraction.

The incredible diversity, and rarity of the creatures in the many dive sites Moalboal has to offer, and the fabulously rich reefs are the highlights.

The giant sardine ball is awesome, and I try to get one or two dives there each visit, but then I prefer to explore the other great dive sites for the rest of my visit.

Scuba Diving Moalboal, Philippines

scuba diving Moalboal

The sardine run is a huge school of tiny sardines, that could fill a warehouse. It is actually right off the main beach in Moalboal, so even snorkelers can check them out. But for divers, being able to hover under the giant school and watch it dodge and weave in synch with each other as barracuda hunt amongst them is incredible to see. Normally divers enter the water a little down the coast and follow the wall to the school, and they know they have arrived when all the sudden the sun has been blotted out, and they look up to see a dancing cloud.

Despite this awesome and unique dive in Moalboal, my favorite dive sites are actually around Pescador Island. Similar to Dauin, which is just over the straight, Pescador boasts a large amount of rare species such as frogfish, scorpion leaf fish, nudibranchs, octopus and much more. The reef is incredible all around the island, and is host to countless colorful species. Pescador Island is one of the furthest dive sites from Moalboal (about 45 minutes by boat), so your dive operator will probably make it a 3 dive day trip. Don’t miss this highlight of Moalboal.

Did you see our comprehensive guide to scuba diving all of Philippines?

scuba diving Moalboal

To get to Moalboal, you’ll probably be starting in Manila, and need to fly to Cebu City (Mactan International), which is a 45ish minute flight. From Cebu City you’ll need to get down to southern Cebu, by either rental car or taxi (3-4 hour drive) or a bus from the south bus terminal (4+ hour drive). I recommend a rental car or taxi, as you can stop anytime and take photos along the way or take a break.

For many reasons Moalboal is one of the best places for scuba diving in Philippines, and will be for a long time. The sardine run is an incredible and unique experience, Pescador offers amazing views, and the various other great dive sites, including a little submerged airplane and much more. At one dive site I remember counting 27 turtles before losing count!

Hope this scuba destination interests you, and stay tuned for another great one next week!

scuba diving Moalboal

scuba diving Moalboal


Did you see last week’s scuba destination spotlight?

Also read: Scuba Diving in Utila, Honduras