Moalboal Cebu Travel Guide: Sardine Run and More Sea Activities

Moalboal Cebu free diving in marine sanctuary

Moalboal is a small coastal town located in the province of Cebu, in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. It's known for its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant aquatic life. It is an excellent destination for those seeking to escape the city life's hustle and bustle. With its laid-back atmosphere, Moalboal offers a perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of a coastal town in the Philippines.

I was in Moalboal Cebu for a week, and there were a lot of changes in the process of guests visiting the place. Dropping by first in the tourism office to be documented is a new thing. It is mainly due to the pandemic and the typhoon that hit the Visayas area recently and damaged the tourist destinations in Cebu, which includes the Moalboal area. Fortunately, the town's local government works for hand in hand to repair the damages and recover from the losses that these events affected the town's tourist destinations.

Below are helpful informations to help you plan your Moalboal Cebu travel preparations. So sit down, relax, and read on!



    Moalboal Cebu Travel Requirements

    As of the latest, Cebu dropped the COVID test requirement for fully vaccinated inbound travelers. The requirement is only applied to unvaccinated travelers that are asked to take a COVID-19 test at least 24 hours before the scheduled trip to Cebu.

    Below travel requirements may be implemented by towns in Cebu based on a previous executive order of the Province of Cebu.

    Visitors from the Philippines or non-Cebu residents are welcome to visit the Province of Cebu, including Moalboal, so long as they adhere to the following travel requirements and COVID-19 safety protocols:

    According to Executive Order No. 12 of the Province of Cebu, tourists entering the province must have the following documents:

    • A reservation confirmation from a recognized hotel or resort in the province of Cebu
    • Pass the initial screening or examination for symptoms
    • A credible doctor must give a valid medical certificate within seven days of the travel date

    All of these will be checked by the tourism office, which you will drop by the first thing you reach the town to visit.


    Best Time to Go to Moalboal Cebu

    Best time to visit for Diving, Snorkeling, and most of sea activities

    The dry season, known as summer locally that runs from December to May is the ideal time to visit Moalboal if you want to dive or snorkel. The waters are quiet and transparent at this time of year, making it simpler to see the diverse marine species for which Moalboal is known. Sunken Island, Basdaku Beach, and Pescador Island are some of the most well-liked diving locations. This is the ideal season for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts to explore the island's diverse underwater ecosystem because the visibility is frequently more significant than 30 meters.

    View of the beauty of White Beach in Moalboal


    What to Do in Moalboal Cebu

    1. Sardine Run

    One of the main attractions in Moalboal is to see thousands of sardines swarming in the waters, freely coming closer to the shore in search of food. It's a fantastic sight and one of the main reasons many people visit the place. 

    2. Scuba Diving

    Undoubtedly one of the few locations in Cebu with the best coral reefs. Its sea is part of the TaƱon Strait, a protected area, and the underwater scenery is undoubtedly magnificent. Pescador Island is the best spot for scuba diving enthusiasts to explore the underwater world of Moalboal.

    Scuba diving just in front of Panagsama beach

    3. Free Diving

    Free diving is another underwater activity that's been popular recently and is an excellent alternative to scuba diving. Free from the necessary apparatus in deep diving, it's a great activity to showcase your sound body and mind while enjoying the underwater scenery.

    Free diving at a marine sanctuary in Moalboal

    4. Snorkeling

    Don't know how to scuba dive and free dive? Don't worry; there are a lot of shops to rent a life vest, goggles, and a pair of fins still to enjoy the underwater scenery but, of course, on the surface of the sea. If you're lucky, you might see a sea turtle in shallow waters searching for food.

    Clown fish on its habitat seen during snorkeling

    5. Relax on the Beach

    If you're not into sea adventures, you can find an excellent spot to sit or lie down and read a book to spend your morning or afternoon. The sound of the crashing waves and the sea breeze may even take you to sleep.

    Relaxing on the beach with a great view of the sunset

    6. Enjoy the Night Life

    With the increased influx of tourists in the town comes the opening of different establishments, including restaurants, cafes, and bars. Some known ones have a scheduled activity within the week to attract tourist who loves to party at night. Most of these establishments are in Brgy. Panagsama area is where most of the activities are, so don't miss it when in Moalboal!

    A food house just along the White Beach where you can chill and drink

    7. Visit Nearby Town Tourist Spots

    Another way to maximize your stay in Moalboal is to visit nearby town tourist spots. Adventure activities like chasing waterfalls in Dumanjug and Ronda or canyoneering in towns' Badian or Alegria are highly recommended for adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers. 


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    Where to Stay in Moalboal Cebu

    Moalboal offers a variety of accommodations for travelers to choose from. There are a lot of hotels and resorts, budget-friendly hostels, and even Airbnb. Depending on your budget, you can have the comfort and convenience of your chosen place to stay.

    I'm always looking for budget-friendly places to stay as much as possible when traveling and considering the place's proximity to whatever activity I'm going to do. Below are the top 3 accommodations as rated on the TripAdvisor website by travelers.

    1. The Blue Orchid Resort

    This resort is an excellent choice for those looking for a luxurious stay in Moalboal Cebu. It has great amenities, stunning ocean views, and a friendly staff that goes out of their way to ensure you have a great stay—highly recommended!

    BOOK: The Blue Orchid Resort on Booking.com

    2. Dolphin House Resort

    This resort is perfect for anyone looking for a peaceful and relaxing stay in Moalboal Cebu. The rooms are spacious and clean, the staff is friendly and helpful, and the ocean views are breathtaking. They are highly recommended!

    BOOK: Dolphin House Resort on Booking.com

    3. Quo Vadis Dive Resort

    This resort is an excellent choice for those looking for a great diving experience in Moalboal Cebu. The staffs are knowledgeable and experienced, and the equipment is top-of-the-line. It is highly recommended for all divers!

    BOOK: Quo Vadis Dive Resort on Booking.com



    A turtle foraging during the scuba diving session


    What to Bring to Moalboal Cebu

    Prepare your trip with our must-have travel essentials for travel ease ad convenience.

    • Snorkel, mask & fins
    • Waterproof backpack & phone case
    • Quick-dry microfiber travel towel
    • Insulated water bottle

    Love to take photos and videos while on this trip? Consider taking with you the below gears.

    • Action camera & accessories
    • Professional camera
    • Tripod

    Coral reefs and sea creatures as seen during our free diving session


    How to Get to Moalboal Cebu

    By public transport

    Take a bus going south of Cebu via Barili in the Cebu South Bus Terminal from Cebu City. Get off the bus in Moalboal proper plaza and take a habal-habal or trike to go to the Beach. The bus ride may take 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic.

    By private transport

    Just search "Moalboal, Cebu" in Waze or Google Maps. Check first your car or vehicle if it's up for a long ride to avoid accidents on the road. Most of the resorts have their own parking area but do make sure to ask during reservation if parking space is available on the day of your arrival, looking for parking spaces could be a big hassle, especially on holidays. 


    Biyahero Travel Tips

    1. Book a place to stay ahead of time. It's such a hassle to look for a place to stay on the day of arrival in the town, especially on holidays and weekends when most businesses are fully booked.
    2. Make sure to bring cash. Though some ATMs are in the town, it often becomes offline or empty, so better safe than sorry.
    3. Renting a motorcycle is recommended if you want to go around town and check free diving locations or beaches.
    4. If you have your diving gear, bringing it might be a good idea, especially if you stay for several days and plan to do the activity daily. Renting equipment daily adds up and can be a hassle on the budget.
    5. For budget travelers, choosing a place to stay where you can cook would be a good idea to save some expenses from going outside for food.


    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    1. Is Moalboal worth visiting?

    • Definitely a YES, if you're into sea activities and adventures. The place can cater to different types of travelers and offers a variety of enjoyable activities suitable for all ages.

    2. How to get to Moalboal from Cebu City?

    • By bus, you will have to go to Cebu South  Bus Terminal and take a bus that has a route Bato via the town of Barili. Just tell the ticketing personnel that you're getting off Moalboal town plaza and you should be on your way. Travel time takes around 3-4 hours depending on the traffic and weather condition.
    • By taxi from Cebu City, this option is for maximum comfort but with an extra price. They run on meter but most of the drivers offer a package rate that can be split by a total of 4 people.
    • By privately owned vehicle, the easiest way to use navigational apps like Waze or simply Google Maps. Search in Moalboal Cebu as your destination location and you're good to go.

    3. What would be best for a day trip in Moalboal?

    • For a day trip of relaxation, I suggest you find a place not too crowded somewhere in White Beach
    • For a day trip of sea activity, snorkeling and trying out the Sardine Run activity would be best, and if you're not on a budget then might as well try the discovery dive along Panagsama beach area. 

    4. What is Moalboal famous for?

    • Moalboal is famous for its Sardine Run and other sea activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, and turtle watching.

    5. What towns are near Moalboal Cebu?

    • Before Moalboal are towns Dumanjug, Ronda, and Alcantara.
    • After Moalboal are towns Badian, Alegria, and Ginatilan.


    IMPORTANT NOTE:
    The rates, contact details, and other information indicated in this post are accurate from the time of writing but may change without TheBiyahero.ph's notice. Should you know any updated information regarding this post, please message us on Facebook.

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