Moalboal is located on the south-west tip of Cebu Island and it is a popular destination for tourists, especially for scuba divers and beach enthusiasts. In fact, Moalboal is one of the top scuba diving destinations in the Philippines thanks to the marine reserves and great dive sites.
However, even if you are not a diver, Moalboal is a great destination for natural beauty and a bit of adventure travel. If you are looking for a scenic place to enjoy a couple of days in Cebu, then it’s a great pick. Moalboal is by no means a large area, but it has some great natural attractions that make it worth a visit. From beaches to dive sites to waterfalls, here are the best things to do in Moalboal.
1. Scuba diving and Snorkelling
Moalboal is a scuba diver and snorkeler’s dream. There are a number of great dive and snorkel sites in the area with pretty corals, plenty of reef fish, and dozens of sea turtles. Depending on the time of year, you may even get lucky and see a whale shark. Read our Guide to Scuba Diving Moalboal.
2. The Sardine Run
The Sardine Run is the most famous dive or snorkel opportunity in Moalboal, and one of the reasons why this area of Cebu is such a popular destination. The sardine run occurs year-round and consists of hundreds of thousands of shimmering sardines swimming in a ball or ribbon around you. It’s an incredible sight that can be experienced by diving of snorkeling. A definite must while in Moalboal.
3. Pescador Island
Pescador Island is a fisherman’s island that also serves as another popular dive and snorkel site just off the coast of Moalboal. There are lots of reefs around the island and the main attraction for divers is the Cathedral; a cathedral-type cave that is considered to be one of the best dive sites in Cebu. This is one of the best dive sites in the world.
4. Basdaku Beach
If you need a break from snorkeling and diving, then spend the day on one of the beaches in Moalboal. Basdaku Beach is probably the most popular choice; a large stretch of soft sand, boat and kayak rentals, and beachfront restaurants. It’s a great way to spend a day or just a few hours.
5. Panagsama Beach
During the day, Panagsama Beach is full of divers gearing up. However, once the sun goes down Panagsama Beach is where you will find everyone wanting to enjoy Moalboal’s night life. Beach bars, restaurants, and music promise a lively night.
6. Kawasan Falls
Kawasan Falls are some of Cebu’s most impressive falls. Kawasan Falls is actually three cascading waterfalls with a big pool that you can swim in at the bottom of each one. There are bamboo rafts you can grab a ride on to go under the falls, and a restaurant where you can buy lunch and drinks. Kawasan Falls is popular but beautiful and worth a visit when in Moalboal.
Canyoneering is a popular adventure activity in Moalboal. With a guide (and proper equipment) you will get to climb up and around Kawasan Falls and, at the end, even do a bit of waterfall cliff jumping. Special equipment is required, but provided in the cost of the tour. If you are short on time it’s a great way to combine seeing Kawasan falls with some adventure.
8. Osmena Peak
Osmena Peak is the highest point on Cebu Island, and it’s close enough to Moalboal that you can make a day trip out of it. Get up early and plan to arrive for sunrise. It’s only about a fifteen-minute hike (so no guide is required) to the top and offers some pretty spectacular views. Osmena Peak is very scenic and therefore popular with both tourists and locals alike. For your best bet at avoiding the crowds, go on a weekday morning when the locals are at work.
9. Candongao Peak
Another great hiking destination not too far from Moalboal is Candongao Peak. Located in Cebu’s highlands of Badian, Condongao Peak is a large monolith surrounded by hills and lush vegetation. The whole area is great for a bit of inland exploring and hiking though it might be wise to go with a guide who knows the area.
10. Take a Day Trip
As mentioned previously, Moalboal is a smaller, quiet area compared to Cebu City and even Oslob. So if that’s the vibe you are going for, why not use Moalboal as your base to explore a couple different areas of the island. Oslob is only 1.5 hours away and, as per the points above, there is lots of nearby nature to explore as well. Check out 12 Things to do in Oslob.
How to get to Moalboal
Moalboal is located on Cebu island, so most people will arrive at Mactan Airport then travel to Moalboal from there. You can take a private car (taxi or even grab car or Uber if you find someone willing) or you can use the local bus system. Buses to Moalboal can be found at the Cebu City South Bus Terminal and take about 2.5-3 hours. From Moalboal town, you will likely want to hire a tricycle to take you to the beach area which is where you can find the resorts.
It is also possible to reach Moalboal from Dumaguete which will take about 3 hours. From Dumaguete you can take a tricycle to Sibulan Port where a ferry will take you across to Santander (Bato Port). From Bato Port you can take a bus to Moalboal.
Moalboal is a great destination in the Philippines, especially if you are interested in some awesome diving. However, even if you aren’t a diver this area has lots to offer for adventurous travellers making it worthy of a visit for a couple of days.