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Top 12 Tourist Spots in Moalboal Cebu Including the Sardine Run

Top 12 Tourist Spots in Moalboal Cebu Including the Sardine Run

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Clear waters of Moalboal Cebu

Explore Moalboal in Cebu, home to the Sardine Run diving site. Find out other activities to do and local delicacies to try during your trip. 

Moalboal is a tiny coastal resort town at the southwest section of Cebu in the Philippines. It is popular among divers because of its rich marine life, particularly the sardine run experience.



This small town a few hours away from Cebu City is the only place in the Philippines where you can see the magnificent sardine run throughout the year. 

Clear water of MoalboalDivers from the Philippines and around the world come to this little seaside town just to swim with the silverfish. But that’s not the only thing to see and do in Moalboal.

Aside from diving, there are also inland activities you can do, food that you can feast on, and beaches where you can relax.

Whether you're looking to take a break from the busy city life or keen on exploring the wonders of nature, here are the top things to do in Moalboal that you should include in your trip.

1. Do the Moalboal Sardine Run

sardine run moalboal

If you’ve ever dreamed of swimming with a giant school of fish, Moalboal will make your dream come true with its dense concentration of sardine swims en masse along a reef wall 30 meters off Panagsama Beach.

The Moalboal Sardine Run tour pretty much stays put in the Panagsama Beach area throughout the year, so you can go visit this unique natural phenomenon at any time.

And if you’re lucky, you might even get to see a thresher shark looking to have some sardine for dinner. Make sure to try this unique experience in Moalboal for a full experience.

2. Discover the Marine Life in Pescador Island

Moalboal, Philippines is one of the Visayas’ best reef diving sites, and one of its most beautiful dive sites is in Pescador Island. 

Woman diving in Pescador IslandThe tiny island’s reefs gently slope downwards; soft coral covers the first 5 to 10 meters offshore, then suddenly drops to 40 meters forming a hard reef wall.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of fish species, make their home on Pescador Island's reefs. It’s why adventure trips in Pescador Island are popular for both locals and internationals.

Experienced divers can go to the Cathedral, an open-top underwater cave located on the west side of Pescador Island. The Cathedral also has a wide variety of corals, fish, and even octopus and eel.

3. Go Canyoneering to Kawasan Falls in Badian

People canyoneering in Badian, Cebu

One of the top things to do in Cebu is joining Kawasan Falls tours in Badian, about 40 minutes away by tricycle from Panagsama Beach. Upon arriving at the drop-off point to the falls, you need to walk for 20 more minutes to reach the falls.

The hour-long journey, however, will be worth it once you see the Kawasan Falls. The pool underneath the waterfall is an inviting shade of bright turquoise. 

You can also go here by joining canyoneering tours from Alegria. The activity will involve trekking and exploring the dense forest and jumping off cliffs into the turquoise waters. Along the way, you can try to swing from the rope a la Tarzan and jump into the river below.

A day trip to Kawasan Falls will also let you ride a bamboo raft that you can pull in right under the falls for a refreshing shower. The waters are quite deep, so renting a life jacket is recommended. 

4. Meet Starfishes at Lambug Beach

Quiet beach of Lambug BeachAbout half an hour by tricycle from Panagsama Beach is the quieter and calmer Lambug Beach. This tiny strip of white beach has very clear waters filled with starfishes of all sizes.

It’s a great beach to hang out, swim, and spend the day with kids. There are also cottages dotting the beachfront that you can rent for the day.

5. Chill Out at Moalboal’s White Beach

White beach of Moalboal

White Beach in Moalboal is about 20 minutes away by tricycle from Panagsama Beach. It’s a bit more crowded than Lambug Beach, though you can still easily find your own spot to sit and sunbathe.

This beach is also a good place to lounge within the area and catch the sunset.

6. Have a Beer at Panagsama Beach

Panagsama Beach might just be a small strip of sand that is more of a jump-off point for those who are setting out for dives with sardines. 

Beer and drinks by the beaches of Moalboal, CebuIt is also full of restaurants and bars where you can chill and have a drink (or two) with friends. This is also where most of Moalboal’s nightlife is concentrated.

7.  Dive at Moalboal House Reef

In Moalboal, you do not need to travel far by boat just to reach a dive site. Moalboal’s House Reef is just a few meters offshore, so you can walk from the beach and plunge straight into the dive!

Marine life of Pescador, MoalboalIf you’re worried about the quality of marine life you can see from a reef so close to shore, don’t fret! Even at this distance, you will see abundant coral, colorful sea sponges, various fish, octopus, and more.

8. See Bigger Fish at the Ronda Marine Sanctuary

The Ronda Marine Sanctuary, a 15-20-minute boat ride from Panagsama Beach, is one of the best dive sites in Moalboal.

It’s the place you’ll want to visit if you want to see larger marine creatures such as the Ghost Pipefish, giant sea fans, barracuda, and more. You can also see smaller fishes frolicking in the soft and hard corals.

9. Go Snorkeling at the Tuble Marine Sanctuary​

Spotting a turtle at the marine sanctuary

After checking out the Ronda Marine Sanctuary, head over to White Beach and visit the Tuble Marine Sanctuary. Its relatively shallow waters make it a perfect snorkeling site.

Even at just 10 meters deep, you can already see a wide variety of marine life, including the Hawksbill Turtle and Green Turtle.

10. Explore the Dive Walls of Kasai Reef

Also located near Panagsama Beach is the Kasai Reef. At this dive site, several canyons and caves teeming with fish, coral, eels, sea snakes, and rays are waiting to be explored.

Watch out for the round batfish, oriental sweetlips, spotted hawkfish, bicolor parrotfish, and porcupine fish on your dive at Kasai Reef.

11. Dive at the Tongo Marine Sanctuary

The shallow waters of the Tongo Marine Sanctuary, 2 kilometers away from Panagsama Beach, is the perfect home for juvenile fish.

Rich marine life of Moalboal Island, CebuSpot the gold body trevally, ornate ghost pipefish, table coral, and electric fire clam shell on your dive at the Tongo Marine Sanctuary. You might be able to catch a sardine run here as well.

12. Visit Other Dive Sites Around Moalboal

There are many other dive sites around Moalboal that you can explore. Located just north of the White Beach is the Airplane Wreck site, where the remains of an old two-seater aircraft lie on the reef.

Diver exploring the rich marine life of Moalboal Island, CebuCorals have now started to grow on the aircraft. Talisay Wall has a slope and a wall, as well as several caves that can be explored. You can spot green sea turtles and Mandarin fish at Talisay Wall, among other marine animals.

Sunken Island in nearby Badian town, is mainly for experienced divers only. It is an underground mountain between Cebu and Negros Islands, where you can see giant barracuda, tuna, and Bigeye Trevally.

Plan Your Trip to the Diving Paradise of Moalboal

Sardine run at Moalboal, Cebu

With the rich and diverse marine life, a unique and enchanting natural phenomenon, constant sunny Moalboal weather, and beautiful sites, it really is a paradise for freediving and snorkeling enthusiasts.

At first, this seaside town might seem just like any other sleepy provincial town. However, Moalboal has, in recent years, become a lively, busy rural town that’s always ready to welcome travelers and certified thrill-seekers.

A vacation in the Moalboal peninsula will surely leave you sun-kissed, awed by underwater treasures, and definitely wanting to explore the Philippines more.

If you’re booking that trip to Moalboal, Cebu, don’t forget to bookmark this page to serve as your guide to Cebu tours and activities available so you can squeeze in as many attractions you can visit during your trip!

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