Moalboal Diving with Sardines, Sea Turtles, and more
According to the late world-renowned celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, Cebu’s famous mouthwatering “lechon” (roasted suckling pig) is “the best pig ever”. However, Cebu is not just about lechon, sweet mangoes, religious history, world class beach resorts, and pristine white sand beaches. There’s a lot more!
Beyond Cebu’s emerald green ocean lies a stunning underwater world with diverse marine life. No wonder Cebu is one of the favorite dive spots of international and even local scuba divers. Aside from swimming with the thresher sharks EVERYDAY in Malapascua Island, Cebu water offers divers and even snorkelers a chance to swim with Plethora of Sardines in Moalboal.
Moalboal, is a town in south-western tip of Cebu Island. It is about 89 kilometers away from the city center and roughly around 2.5 hours to 3 hours bus ride. Moalboal is a peninsula so this town is mostly surrounded by water. However, unlike other beaches in Cebu, Moalboal beach is a bit rocky. Not ideal for beach bummers but heavenly for divers!
Though this town is also famous for its white sandy beach called ”White Beach” or Basdako, the gem of Moalboal is the “Panagsama Beach” or Basdiot. Most of the restaurants, cafes, guest houses, resorts, and dive shops are located in this part of the peninsula.
Being a diver myself, I always choose to stay in the beachfront of Panagsama Beach. Easier access for me to dive shops, cafes, restaurants and bars to chill at night. For those beach bummers, there are spots in Panagsama for you as well. Not to mention the romantic spots for sunsets lovers.
What to do in Moalboal?
These does not need a diving license as the school of sardines regularly graces few meters away from the shore. Aside from the famous hundreds of thousands of sardines swimming near the abyss, sea turtles are often lurking around the same spot. You wouldn’t want to miss this.
In the southern part of Panagsama Beach just meters away from the school of sardines, you can find Moalboal’s turtle sanctuary. You need to go deep away from the shore to meet this friendly creatures. However, if you were in an island hopping boat tour or if you hire a boat to visit this turtle sanctuary, it is much easier to spot them. When you touch down the water, you will encounter 3 to 4 sea turtles most likely. There are also beautiful corals and fish around the area.
Pescador Island Hopping
Perfect for those underwater photographer enthusiasts, this is heaven. Rare and colorful species of corals, abundant variety of the fish family, such as frogfish, cuttlefish, blue shrimp and its kinds, tiny crabs and its family, seahorse, and other creatures hiding underneath the underwater cave of pescador island. There are always new critters saying hi every time I go down its water.
Due to Moalboal’s diverse marine life, Filipino scuba divers and divers’ from around the world mostly visit Moalboal for its diving point. Most of the scuba diving shops offers safe, easy and perfectly organized diving tour packages for a hassle free diving. Almost all diving shops offers the same services such as a shore dive and boat dives for other interisland diving point. Don’t miss out the airplane wreck dive point as it is one of the best diving spots in Moalboal. However, you can enjoy diving as well in Tongo Point, House Reef, Talisay Wall, Kasai Point, Tuble Reef, White Beach, Ronday Bay, Dolphin House, Sunken Island, and Pescador Island.
Beach bumming in White Beach
Moalboal is not only for scuba divers and free divers themselves, if you want to enjoy the beach and do nothing but lounge on a powdery white sand beach, then White Beach is the place for you. White Beach or locally known as Basdaku is the famous to-go-to-beach in Moalboal. A bit Crowded but still a beautiful destination. Basdaku offers you that white sand beaches and clear blue water and perfect for sunset chaser beach goers. They have cottages along the shore where you can rent for a day. In addition, some of the locals offer “tents for rent” for you to camp along the shore in White Beach. And lastly, for a hustle free island hopping, there are boats waiting for you docked on the shore. So just approach any locals and negotiate the prize.
Side Trip from Moalboal
There are lots of fun and interesting things to do in Moalboal. So it is hard to get bored. And if you had plenty of time to spare, Moalboal is a perfect starting point to explore more the southern tip of Cebu. Such as the famous Kawasan Falls, Badian’s Canyoneering, waterfalls hopping in Alegria, GInatilan, and Samboan, Whale watching in Oslob and a lot more.
How to get to Moalboal
The town of Moalboal is about 2.5 to 3 hours bus ride from Cebu City. There are ample of Ceres buses heading to Moalboal via Barili or Badian. Bus fares from Cebu City South Bus Terminal is around 90 for a non-aircon and 110 for aircon buses. There are vans that ply from Cebu to Moalboal which cost 100 peso with a much shorter travel time as well. Thus, you pick your choice.
Once in Moalboal bus stop, motorcycles or tricycles will be waiting to take you to either Panagsama Beach or White beach for 50~80 peso for your convenience. Haggle nicely.