Last updated on January 21st, 2019 at 08:55 pm
Our first visit to Moalboal was a great surprise. Moalboal a small town with very beautiful, quiet beaches with clear and blue water and many things to do in Molboal for spending a week or a weekend if you dont have enough time. It’s a perfect plan to escape from Cebu City- to go to Moalboal and spend a few days in the town which is just a 3-hour bus ride from the main city in Cebu. We will show you our favorite things to do in Moalboal, where to eat in Moalboal, transportation around Moalboal and where to stay in Moalboal in this Moalboal travel guide.
Read here our 10 favorite instagrammable places in Cebu and 27 favorite Instagrammable places in the Philippines!
Read here where to sleep in Moalboal!
How to get to Moalboal
If you wish to travel to Cebu directly, the Mactan–Cebu International Airport accepts flights from all over the world. Flights from New York last 20 hours or more, with one or two stops along the way and with tickets as low as 700 USD. On the other hand, those coming from the UK can expect to pay around 450 GBP. You can always check Skyscanner for the best prices for your airfare. The most reliable airlines with flights to the Philippines and Cebu include Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia.
How to get to Moalboal from Cebu City, you ask? From the South Bus Terminal, there are buses going to Moalboal. The price for a ride is around 2.25 USD. These are local buses with no air conditioning but work just fine. They stop by various terminals in around every 20 minutes so going to Moalboal from Cebu will take 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic.
Once you reach Moalboal, it will take you 3-4 kilometers to reach White Beach and Panagsama Beach. Tricycle fare is around 2 USD. If you are a foreigner, some tricycle drivers may try to charge you double. There is no exact price. It really depends on how honest your driver is, ha! My main tip for these situations is you should start walking until you find an honest guy who will give you a fair price.
Other breathtaking destinations that are accessible from Cebu City are Malapascua, Oslob and Bantayan. To reach the world-class diving spots in Malapascua, you can take a bus from Cebu North Terminal to Maya Port. The ride usually takes 4 hours and costs around 3 to 4 USD. There are also vans that are much faster and are only 3.40 USD a ride. From the port, you will take a public boat to Malapascua for around 30 minutes. This boat trip only costs less than 2 USD and can be availed from around 6 AM to 4 PM. Private boats are also available for less than 30 USD while shared boats go for less than 6 USD.
Those who want to swim with whale sharks in Oslob can take the bus from the South Bus Terminal. From Cebu City, it only takes 3 to 4 hours to reach Oslob. A trip may cost 3 USD, more or less. Bantayan Island can be reached from Cebu through a ferry going to the port of Santa Fe. Take a bus from Cebu’s North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya port. This bus trip takes around 3 USD while the ferry ride also costs the same. Ferries depart as early as 6 AM until 5 PM.
Read our full blog post how to get to Moalboal for more information!
Book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
Moalboal Travel Guide
Transportation around Moalboal
The best way to go around Moalboal is to take rides on a tricycle. The typical fare for a tricycle ride from Moalboal to Panagsama Beach costs less than 3 USD, but you can even ask the drivers to take it down to less than 2 USD; just make sure you don’t pay any more than 3 USD. Shared tricycles to Panagsama cost only 0.50 USD. Cool, right? On the other hand, a trip to White Beach may go for around 3 to 6 USD depending on the time of day. Another option aside from the tricycle is to take a habal-habal, a kind of improvised motorcycle taxi in the Philippines. The fare costs less than a dollar!
You can also rent a motorbike or scooter in Moalboal for around 8 USD and 9.50 USD a day, respectively. Weekly rentals cost even less.
Currency and ATMs
You can make the most out of your dollars, euros or pounds in Cebu and all over the Philippines. With an exchange rate of 1 USD = 53 PHP, you can enjoy many things to do in Moalboal. There are several ATMs in the area: there’s one in Gaisano Mall, one in 360 Pharmacy (4 km from the beach), and one in Panagsama Beach at Eve’s Kiosk (located near the car park).
Here’s a travel tip: It’s always best to just bring cash, especially smaller bills, as some ATMs might not always work and tricycle/bus/van drivers might refuse (even if they shouldn’t!) to give you change for a 500 or 1000 PHP bill. You should also remember that ATMs charge certain fees for foreign cards. For example, in the Philippines, each transaction has a tax of almost 4 USD. This doesn’t include the charges that may come from banks in your own country.
Weather: Best time to Visit Moalboal
Moalboal is the perfect destination to visit when you want to bask in the sun and enjoy crystal clear waters. Needless to say, rainy days are just no good in this tropical paradise. Luckily, Cebu only has 2 seasons – sunny and rainy – and sunshine tramps rain most days of the year. May to October are the sunniest months but even during the rainy season, you can only expect occasional rains. Rain usually lands on Moalboal from June to December, but Cebu isn’t often visited by thunderstorms so there’s really no need to worry. The wet season gets as cold as 18 °C, which is not bad for a tropical island that reaches 36 °C on its hottest days.
Just make sure to plan your trip around the country’s current weather for a smooth, hassle-free vacation. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen no matter what time of year you visit. Click here to know more about the weather!
Daily Budget in Moalboal
There are plenty of rooms and B&Bs, Airbnb available all over Moalboal that cost around 1000 PHP per night. That’s just $19 USD! This price is pretty cheap compared to other hotels and is perfect for those backpacking Moalboal. On the other hand, meals in local joints only cost $2-3 USD so eating here won’t burn a hole in your wallet, for sure. If you are interested in taking tours around Moalboal, you can get $20 USD per person. You might actually $25 USD per day if you’re traveling as a couple, like we were splitting costs in tours and the room. Finally, you can rent a motorbike for around $8-10 USD. A cheaper option to get around is riding the local bus with rates depending on the distance.
If you want to sign up for Airbnb, we give you $30 USD credit with your first booking!
Things To Do in Moalboal
There are many things to do in Moalboal and all of them are very interesting activities that both groups and solo travelers will enjoy. Cebu, aside from being home to lots of really nice beaches, offer many things to see in Moalboal like the Kawasan Falls, the sardine run at Pescador Island and Panagsama Beach, and the Sumilon sandbar. There are also plenty of interesting places to try local cuisine, from restaurants to local joints. Aside from being a coastal destination, Moalboal is also a party town with bars featuring live bands, DJ sets and disco nights. In your Moalboal itinerary, don’t forget to put down island hopping, canyoneering, snorkeling, scuba diving and free diving in the agenda to get to know Moalboal’s waters up close and personal. When it comes to adventure and nature, what more can you ask for?
1. Pescador Island Tour
You can do snorkeling in this beautiful island. The private tours start early morning so you should wake up really early if you want to catch up. We were supposed to see dolphins at that time but unluckily, we didn’t see them. We were feeling so sorry as our little one, Han, was super excited about this. We woke up at 5 AM but we weren´t lucky that time. Hopefully on our next trip!
The tour was great and you can do snorkeling 3 times! During the first one, you will see a lot of fishes and coral. With the second one, you will swim with the sardines and it was so impressive! On the last one, we saw giant turtles.
They will provide snorkeling gear which is included in the price, plus they will also guide you to the turtles. As always, quality and prices really go hand in hand with tours in the Philippines.
2. Visit the Local Market
If you like visiting local markets like us, then you should visit the local market here. Moalboal is busy and you will find carenderias and local bakeries here where you can eat very affordable food. Around the beach, restaurants are more expensive than in the local market but food are still affordable.
3. Lambug Beach
This beach is such a cool surprise! One of our followers recommended us this beach with a picture. We just went for it. It was easy to reach from Panagsama Beach. You can rent a motorcycle, or ride a bus. Just get a tricycle or just walk from the bus stop is South direction and it will take you half an hour to go there.
The beach was lovely! Around it were cottages. It was a white sand beach with clear water and was full of starfishes. We enjoyed swimming, flying the drone, and playing with the sand. Our little one, Han, went crazy with the colorful starfishes. He loved it so much!
4. Kawasan Falls
We already wrote a full blog post about how to get to Kawasan Falls. Just rent a motorcycle or go there by bus. You can´t miss Kawasan Falls when visiting Moalboal. If you like adventure, you can also do canyoneering which you will absolutely love!
5. Rent a Kayak
We rented a Kayak but not the usual one. It was a transparent kayak which we enjoyed a lot because the water is so clear and you can see where is the right place to snorkel.
6. White Beach
White Beach is a popular beach destiantion in Moalboal. For us it was little bit crowded, still beautiful. Easy to get there from Panagsama Beach where we were staying in Moalboal. It takes 15 minutes by bus North direction, motorbike or tricycle you can reach White Beach from Panagsama Beach. It´s good to visit if you have time to do it.
7. Panagsama Beach
Panagsama Beach is full of bars, restaurants and resorts. The water sin´t very clear but you can go for a swim. There is no white sand and it´s not so beautiful as White Beach and Lambug Beach that we mentioned above. But for sure we can recommend as things to do in Moalboal.
8. Enjoy Nightlife in Moalboal
Around Panagsama Beach there are bars and restaurants. After the sunset is perfect time for dinner and also having beer. You will find great nightlife in Moalboal. And we were surprised how many people went around at night even is a fisherman village tourists are coming more often, Moalboal is becoming very popular in Cebu.
Where To Stay in Moalboal
We stayed at Pescadores Sea View Resort, and we recommend our stay 100%. The staff is super friendly and here you can enjoy a delicious local breakfast. There are board games and a pool table available in the reception area.
If you want to do activities like snorkeling and kayaking, they will provide the gear for FREE. The beach is really nice for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. You can even see turtles not so far from the seashore. Not to mention that taking pictures here or flying a drone were really awesome because of the stunning views. And the sunset, who doesn´t like to enjoy a magical sunset after an amazing day swimming and kayaking?
Book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
What to eat in Moalboal
A trip to Cebu will never be complete without trying lechon. This pig dish is a Philippine culinary treasure and is loved by both locals and tourists. What makes lechon so special? This young pig is cooked with a mix of herbs and spices (some of which are lemongrass and star anise) and is skewered on a bamboo pole as it roasts over hot coals. This method of cooking makes the skin of the pig unbelievably crunchy and its meat just oozes with flavor. Lechon is a dish often served for the most special occasions like Christmas, birthdays and graduations. It can also be bought per kilo or with rice in certain restaurants. The best places that offer Lechon Cebu are Zubuchon, Rico’s Lechon, and CNT Lechon.
The perfect appetizer and beer match in Cebu is kinilaw, a dish made from raw fish and vinegar. How does that work, you ask? In the same way that ceviche uses lemon or lime, the acidity from coconut vinegar is used to turn the raw, pink fish into soft, squishy and delicious opaque cubes. Kinilaw is served on a plate with onions, ginger, garlic and chili.
One of the many varieties of rice cake in the Philippines is biko, a sticky delicacy made with glutinous rice, coconut milk and sugar. Biko also comes with latik, a sweet sauce made with caramelized coconut milk and sugar. It’s sweetness all around for this dish! Biko is available in almost every Filipino and Cebuano restaurant there is, so make sure you don’t miss out on it.
Wanna know how they do breakfast in Cebu? Danggit is one of Cebu’s most famous products and is eaten with fried rice, egg and vinegar (preferrably with chili). It is rabbitfish that has been salted and dried to a perfect crisp. You might also want to try some atsara, a side dish made from pickled unripe papaya, that goes perfectly well with danggit. You can practically eat these delicious combinations every morning!
I know you think you’ve already tasted (even liked or disliked) mangoes, but you’ve never really tasted this fruit unless you’ve had it in the Philippines. It is one of the country’s biggest exports and are available year round. The flavors that the mangoes in Cebu have leave foreigners speechless. The mangoes turn golden yellow when ripe and produce a succulent flavor. Mangoes abound all over Moalboal, in fruit stalls and markets, even in malls. This fruit can be paired with rice cakes, turned into a juice or shake, or made into a no-bake dessert called mango float.
Festivals in Moalboal
As a thriving municipality in Cebu, Moalboal came up with another exciting idea that makes visitors from all over flock to their lovely town. Kagasangan Festival was initiated in 2009 and is relatively new compared to other festivals in the country. Despite its novelty, Kagasangan already has the captivating charm and reverence from both locals and tourist that is expected of any other tradition. The festival is celebrated every 15th and 16th of May, coinciding with the town’s original fiesta, and honors San Juan Nepomuceno (St. John of Nepomuk). Kagasangan, a term which means “corals,” is a reminder for its people of how marine life brings the municipality wealth and happiness.
Celebrated in the heart of Cebu, Sinulog Festival is a time-honored festivity in the Philippines and is Cebu’s biggest one. Every third Sunday of January, the streets of Cebu City come alive with processions, parades, street dance and lots and lots of fun. Here, you will see Cebu flaunt its beauty as it honors Santo Niño. In fact, Sinulog is the grandest festival of the said patron saint. Aside from its religious aspect, Sinulog also hosts the craziest street parties the night before and the night of the festival itself. Moalboal is only a few hours away from Cebu City. Join the crowd as they all chant, “Viva Pit Señor!”
That’s it for our Moalboal, Cebu itinerary. Hope you enjoyed it! If you have your own tips to share, feel free to drop some advice on the comments section for your fellow readers. Those who want to travel longer in the province of Cebu can read our full travel guide here. Also, click here if you are planning to visit Cebu City.