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.
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.
Divers 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.
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.
Moalboal, Philippines is one of the Visayas’ best reef diving sites, and one of its most beautiful dive sites is in Pescador Island.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If 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.
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.
Even at just 10 meters deep, you can already see a wide variety of marine life, including the Hawksbill Turtle and Green Turtle.
Watch out for the round batfish, oriental sweetlips, spotted hawkfish, bicolor parrotfish, and porcupine fish on your dive at Kasai Reef.
Spot 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.
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.
Corals 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.
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!