When we were planning our trip around the Philippines, Moalboal was a place that we had loosely considered spending a couple of days in so we could visit Kawasan Falls. We really didn’t expect much from it. After a couple of days in Moalboal, however, we soon realized we had grossly underestimated the place and booked ourselves in for the rest of the week. There are so many incredible things to do in Moalboal, and we already can’t wait to go back and discover more.
Read on to discover just why this area in Southern Cebu is so amazing!
Many of the things to do here involve a little bit of traveling around the south end of the island, but Moalboal is the perfect place to base yourself for all the cool stuff you will be doing. The easiest way to get around is to rent a scooter and drive yourself. If you are not comfortable riding a scooter here, however, you can jump on a habal habal or on a trike and they will take you wherever you want to go. Alternatively, the buses are fairly inexpensive and can get you to many of the locations.
Awesome Things to Do in Moalboal
Moalboal Beaches: Snorkel the Sardine Run
Moalboal has become famous for the thousands of sardines that swim along the shores of Panagsama Beach. Huge bait balls made up of thousands of fish can be seen just below the surface of the water. One of the great things about this activity is you can rent a snorkel at the beach and swim out to where the bait balls are, where the water drops from shallow to deep. It is a short and easy swim and the underwater view is unreal. Diving down and swimming amongst the giant balls of fish is an awesome experience. To find the bait balls, head further south down Panagsama Beach and swim straight out from the beach.
Swim with Turtles in Moalboal Cebu
In the same area of Panagsama Beach where the bait balls are located, you can also swim with turtles. Slightly closer to shore, in around six to eight feet of water, you will find a large portion of the seabed covered in seagrass. This is what the turtles eat so they are always around here feeding. We were fortunate enough to come across eight turtles, and that is a common occurrence here. Once you have had your fill of bait balls, swim closer to shore and snorkel with the chilliest dudes in the ocean.
Badian Canyoneering Adventures with Mad Monkey Cebu City
One of the main reasons to visit the south of Cebu is to go canyoneering at Kawasan Falls. These crazy Gatorade blue waterfalls have to be seen to be believed. The color of the water doesn’t even look like it should be real. The best way to enjoy the waterfalls is to go canyoneering. You can climb, slide, swing and jump your way down these magnificent falls. It is an adrenaline-filled activity that will make you appreciate the falls even more. Tours usually take several hours to reach the bottom of the falls so you get plenty of value for money.
At the end of the canyoneering adventure, you arrive at the main waterfall at Kawasan Falls. The large waterfall cascades down into the blue pool below. Take some time to swim in the electric blue water and you can even swim underneath and behind the waterfall.
As well as visiting Kawasan Falls, the tour also takes you to Osmeña Peak. This short hike is fairly easy and offers insane 360-degree views at the top. The landscape around Osmeña is so unusual and has been likened to the Chocolate Hills in Bohol. Take in the views of the surrounding mountains and the ocean far below. Standing at 1013 meters above the sea, it is the highest point on Cebu Island.
You can book the incredible Badian Canyoneering Adventures tour at Mad Monkey Cebu City. Sign up with reception or message them on Facebook and enjoy an epic day exploring Cebu!
Moalboal Beaches: White Beach
With all the adventuring you’ll be doing around Cebu, sometimes it’s just great to kick back and relax. White Beach is a 15-minute drive from Panagsama Beach in Moalboal, making it easily accessible either on a scooter, habal habal, or in a tricycle. The beach is a small section of white sand surrounded by brilliantly blue water.
It is a great place to spend the afternoon, hang out, and swim in some pretty pristine water. The snorkeling is pretty good here, as well! There are a few bars and restaurants lining the beach, so you can grab some food and cold drinks with your feet in the sand. If you are looking for the best beach close to Moalboal, then head to White Beach.
Moalboal Beaches: Lambug Beach
If you are willing to venture a bit further afield for a cool beach, then head to Lambug. It is a 30-minute drive away from Moalboal, but it tends to be much less crowded. There were only a handful of people there when we visited. Make your way a few hundred meters down the beach and the palm tree-lined sand starts to feel very secluded. The drive out to Lambug Beach is also quite pretty with the winding road offering up a view of the ocean from up high. Although it is a bit more of an effort to reach, it is certainly worth making your way out here.
Diving in Moalboal
Moalboal has become one of the premier spots in the Philippines for scuba diving. It has a vast array of marine life, some unique reefs (including a sunken plane) and some of the most beautiful and clear water you could ever hope to dive in. One of the other great things is how easy it is to access all the diving. Simply jump on one of the many dive boats that operate from Moalboal, and a short trip will take you to some of the best diving in the world. If you are really lucky you may even get to see manta rays, sharks, or even a whale shark.
Moalboal Island Hopping: Pescador Island
Hop on a boat tour and visit Pescador Island which is in the Tañon Strait. The journey out here is a short trip from Moalboal. The island is quite popular as it is surrounded by magnificent coral reef on all sides. Although this is also a popular dive spot, there are plenty of spots with shallow water and amazing coral that can be easily appreciated just from snorkeling. The reefs around Pescador Island are teeming with fish and full of vibrant coral. In addition to incredible fish and corals, these boat trips often result in turtle sightings just off Talisay Point. If you’re lucky, dolphins can sometimes be spotted en route home.
Moalboal Waterfalls: Aguinid Falls
While Kawasan Falls may be the most famous waterfall in the region, there are plenty more that deserve a visit. Our favorite waterfall near Moalboal was Aguinid Falls. It offers the same blue water as Kawasan, but it is a very different experience. You start at the bottom of the falls before climbing your way up across 8 levels of waterfalls. Like Kawasan, Aguinid involves rock climbing, swimming, jumping, and sliding to navigate your way through the falls.
It was such an adventure exploring Aguinid and unlike Kawasan, there were almost no other visitors at these waterfalls. The main waterfall here is found at the fifth level and is absolutely beautiful. The water flows down limestone boulders into a milky blue pool below. If you loved the Badian Canyoneering Adventures, then you’ll be sure to love Aguinid, as well.
Moalboal totally blew us away. Loads of other travelers told us great things about Moalboal, so we came in with some high expectations. Luckily for us, these expectations were easily exceeded and we had a blast exploring this part of the Philippines. Riding around on scooters and seeking out adventures is what this area of Cebu is all about. You’ll have a crazy few days here swimming, snorkeling, hiking, and chasing waterfalls.
It is an incredible place to visit and there is just a ridiculous amount of activities for you to do while you are here. Try to be here for at least three days, and if possible, make your schedule as flexible as you can. You might find you love it as much as we did, and you’ll end up wanting to stay a little bit longer!
Where to Stay in Cebu City: Mad Monkey Cebu City
Mad Monkey Hostel Cebu City is the place to stay on the island. This new hostel is centrally located, and all of the best hot spots are within walking distance of this awesome accommodation option. All of the rooms are air-conditioned with ensuite bathrooms. The hostel is also equipped with a lively bar, gaming area (you read that right), and an infinity pool with 360-degree views of the city. Meet tons of travelers, get your party on, and make the most out of your visit to Cebu City at Mad Monkey!
More Information About Things to do in the Philippines
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