Moalboal: Diving Paradise

Beautiful Moalboal, a town located at South-West side of Cebu which is known as basecamp for diving and snorkeling. First day of our South Cebu series, we wanted to see primarily its coastline multiple reefs, Pescador Island and some other natural wonders. Here is a quick overview of our exploration:

Getting There

The cheapest method is riding a bus for approximately 2 – 3 hours from Cebu. From South Bus Terminal, you can ride a bus (Ceres Liner) with signage Bato Via Barili. The non airconditioned bus will cost 107 php while airconditioned bus will cost P116 php. Tell the driver to drop you off at Moalboal town where tricycles are heading to Panagsama beach.

Easy to follow road signs

From the bus stop, ride a tricycle or habal going to Panagsama beach location which is 4km away. This will cost 50 php per tricycle or motorcycle(habal).

Tricycles can accomodate up to 4 pax

The travel time is approximately 30 minutes from town to Tourist Information Center of Panagsama Beach. You can ask the locals as well to drive you directly to your preferred resort/accomodation.


It is wise to book your accomodation via Agoda and Travelbook, specially for peak seasons like summer months. But if you havent placed your bookings yet, no need to worry as locals there are very accomodating and will let you choose from budget to luxury resorts.

For our stay, we booked a 700 PHP fan room at Moalboal Backpackers Lodge. You can contact them via this number:+63 917 751-8902 / +63 908 607-6240.

Front Desk | Operating Hours: 8AM – 5PM
Dorm Type Barracks at 2nd floor

Since we arrived early at 8:00 AM, we had the early check in and left our bags in their lockers. Make sure to bring your own padlock.

Chillin at Rooftop’s Hammocks

Island Hopping

To start our day with the famous island hopping, we walked around the area to find a local boatman that will offer us a budget tour since we were only 2.

There were lots of diving schools and scuba centers which offers different packages but most of them costly high.

The one that we got was in Nelson Scuba Diving School. Since there were no diving groups at that time, we were offerred a local small boat worth 1500 php for snorkeling.

Kuya Mimi and Bes

Contact Number: +63 921-179-2615 – Kuya Mimi

Boat ride

The tour inclusions were lifevest, snorkeling gears, Pescador Island, Turtle Bay and Sardine Run. Make sure to discuss your preferred destinations and agree with your boatman before leaving shore. You can also add Dolphin Watching if you take an early schedule at 6AM.

Approaching Pescador Island

Off we go to our first stop, Pescador Island. Be amazed of the colorful reefs even just by snorkeling.

Feeding frenzy

The second stop was the Turtle Bay where squirtles were just hiding under the corals. Kuya Mimi our boatman takes the lead on chasing the turtles for us.

Look for squirtle!
Underwater selfie

The last stop was the famous Sardine Run which was few meters away from Panagsama Beach shore. The sardines were like millions, they will consume you literally. This area was definitely best for freediving practice!

Sardine Fun Run

The tour lasted for 4 hours from 8AM to 12NN and it was indeed fun!

White Beach / Basdaku

After lunch and some rest at lodge, going to White Beach which is 7km away from Panagsama can be included to your itinerary.

Waters sooo blue

You can rent local habals for 500 pesos from Panagsama to White Beach and vice versa. Environmental fee of 30 pesos is collected upon entry in White Beach.

Contact Number: +63 942 365-0377 – Kuya Arnel

Slay at Basdaku/White Beach

Although not as white as Boracay sand, white beach offers a lay back atmosphere which is best for strolling and late afternoon picnic.

Coastline colorful reefs

There are numerous resorts in this area as well that you can pick if you plan to stay overnight.

Bar Hopping and Night Life

After the laid back afternoon at White Beach, you can return to Panagsama and enjoy chilling at their array of bars and restaurants.

Cocktails & beers in road side bars

Catch sunsets, pick your margaritas and pool at Chili Bar, One Eye Jack or Seven Sins Bar.

Photo by: Hazel Minoza

Have some card game fun in Andi’s Talisay place at Pacita’s resort.

Photo by: Cebu Bluewaters

Food Picks

Call out your lure for foodies at Panagsama Beach restaurants as they offer both local and international cuisines. Find your own comfort food and see our recommendations:

Little Corner Restaurant

American Breakfast Meals

Lantaw’s Restaurant

Filipino and Thai Native Meals

Maya’s Garden

Mexican Cuisine

Chema’s BBQ Haus Corner

BBQs, Liempo, Hotdogs, Isaws

Souvenir Items and Pasalubong

No worries for take home souvenirs, there are few stalls near Little Corner and Pacita’s resort. They offer Moalboal signature tshirts, keychains, magnets and other Cebuano items.

Alley for Pasalubong Items

Sample Itinerary


04:00 AM to 06:00 AM – Travel from Cebu to Moalboal

06:00 AM to 08:00 AM – Early checkin at lodge, eat breakfast and find for local boatmen.

08:00 AM to 12:00 PM- Pescador Island Hopping, Turtle Bay, Sardine Run

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM – Lunch at Little Corner Restaurant

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM – Back to lodge, wash and rest

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM – Go to White Beach/Basdaku and Catch sunset

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM – Travel back to Panagsama and do food/bar trip

7:00 PM – Onwards – Rest

Moalboal Town 

To transfer to your next destination, you can ride tricycles or habal going back to Moalboal town/hiway for 50 php.

Take a sneak peek of their town’s municipal hall, market and plaza along the hiway.

Municipal Hall
Central Monument

From the hiway, you can ride buses going south to Bato or back to Cebu City.

Moalboal Bus Stop

Next Activity: Badian: Downstream Canyoneering to Kawasan

Read full story : Explore South Cebu – DIY Guide


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