Moalboal is a small former fishing village roughly 100 kilometers from Cebu city, the journey here is along a beautifully scenic coastal road, the crowds dropping away as you get closer. Nowadays Moalboal is very much a tourist town, you do not have to lose any creature comforts to access the incredible diving available here, there are plenty of places to eat, sleep, drink and relax throughout your vacation. The diving here, with the exception of a few days, is year-round. We are sheltered on all sides by other islands, and our reefs can be accessed by a short swim from shore. The peninsular has a near-vertical wall running almost the entire length of Moalboal, meaning nearly all of our dive sites, with coral from 3 meters to 60 meters, are accessible to complete beginner scuba divers, through to seasoned tec divers. Moalboal became known internationally for dive sites such as Pescador Island, Sunken Island and in more recent times the Sardine run. Moalboal is home to an incredible variety of marine life, from tiny nudibranchs to through to colossal Whale Sharks, dive in a huge school of sardines, that literally stretches out of sight, and watch as tunas, jacks, thresher sharks, and other predators come in to hunt. Every day here gives you the opportunity for the best dive of your life.
How to get to us
Travelers arriving in Cebu international airport will have a journey of around 110 kilometers to reach us. Depending on how you choose to travel, and the time of day, that will normally take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours.
Getting to Moalboal by car
The easiest way to get here is by private car, which we can arrange for you, on a clear road this can be done in two hours, an average is probably closer to three hours, you can check our rates here. We only work with drivers we trust, who use well-maintained vehicles and drive with care.
If you prefer to arrange a taxi on arrival you will find many outside the airport, the white city taxis are cheaper than the yellow airport taxis, you can normally negotiate a fare off the meter, how much will vary a lot. Also, be cautious, vehicle regulations are poorly enforced here, the condition of the car may not always meet expectations of what is safe, and it is normal for drivers to work very long shifts with insufficient sleep.
Getting to Moalboal bus
Cebu has a good network of buses, that can get you pretty much anywhere on the island. You can choose between the cheaper non-airconditioned type, or pay a little more for air-con. The non AC buses tend to get a little more crowded and can be a little smaller and cramped. AC buses are only slightly more expensive but tend to travel with fewer passengers and are larger. The AC is generally set to very cold, so for long journeys, we suggest an extra layer to stay comfortable.
To reach Moalboal by bus, you will first need to get to Cebu South Bus Terminal, you can do so via local jeepneys, but with luggage, we do not recommend this. A better option would be to take a white city taxi from outside the airport, you might also consider using an app such as grab which makes this far easier, the journey from airport to the bus terminal is short, but traffic can cause delays. Once there you can pay a little extra (around 10 peso) to have the taxi take you inside the bus terminal and drop you directly next to the bus. This is a noisy crowded environment, keep your possessions safe, ask for the Moalboal AC or non AC bus as you prefer. The journey will take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours on average, traffic dependent.
Ask the conductor to tell you when you are getting close, the bus will drop you in Moalboal town. We can collect you from there if you arrange it in advance, or you can negotiate a fare with a local tricycle driver to bring you the last few kilometers to us, expect to pay around 150 peso.
Getting to Moalboal by ferry
There is no ferry service arriving in Moalboal, the nearest port is Tangil in Dumanjug, which is around 20 kilometers away, this has regular passenger and car ferry trips to the port of Guihulngan in Negros throughout the day, this is a useful connection if coming from Bacolod. Going south the next useful ferry port is Liloan which is around 70 kilometers from Moalboal, this has regular trips to Sibulan Port Terminal in Negros, useful for connections to and from Dumaguete and Dauin. Inbetween Moalboal and Liloan is the port of Bato, approximately 60 kilometers from Moalboal, which serves Tampi port in Negros, however, this mostly handles commercial traffic and is best avoided for tourists, but may be useful if ferries between Liloan and Sibulan are not running. Buses from Moalboal town can take you to either ports, they will drop you at the tricycle area on the main road, a tricycle will take you the last half a kilometer or so to the ferry, likewise when arriving in Cebu by ferry, ask a tricycle to take you to the bus station. Allow around 2.5 hours between the ferry terminal and Moalboal.
In and around Moalboal
Eating and drinking
There are a few small restaurants in Moalboal town that double up as bars, here you tend to find a few expats that have long forgotten their way home, look out for the dull red glow of their noses. Most of the action is in Panagsama, the longest-serving bar still there is Chilli bar, which opens early, and stays open until very early, emanating outwards from there you will find a number of small bars and restaurants, something to suit all tastes. In recent years the bars, restaurants and budget accommodation has started to extend from Panagsama, back up the road towards Moalboal town, you will start to see them as you make your way from Moalboal to us. There are a few restaurants that do better than others, a few to check out here are The last filling station, The Pleasure Principle, Altrove, and Blue Abyss.
Currently, Moalboal is served by two shopping malls, basically, each has a supermarket and a department store above it, commonly referred to as old Gaisano mall, and new Gaisano mall. Old Gaisano stocks are more budget-conscious, but has almost everything most would need for a grocery trip. Upstairs the department store carries a stock of clothing, household goods, and children’s toys. Outside the mall, you will find a Mcdonald’s restaurant, a PNB bank with an ATM, a hairdresser, and a computer store, you will pass Old Gaisano when traveling to us from Cebu. Approximately 2 kilometers away you will find new Gaisano, inside you will find a slightly less crowded supermarket, and an area that has a limited supply of imported goods. Upstairs is a department store that also has a supply of sports and beach goods. Outside you will find an ATM and a Pizza restaurant, you will pass new Gaisano if traveling to us from Liloan.
For small grocery goods, you might find what you need from the many local shops (sari sari stores), for fish and meat you can go to either of the supermarkets, or to the daily wet market in Moalboal town. For fruit and vegetables there is a daily market behind 360 pharmacy, if you have a sensitive nose the odour of dried fish on sale here may be a bother.
Aside from the two malls ATM machines can also be found outside 7-11, and another inside 360 pharmacy, in the main town. Another at Eve kiosk in Panagsama, and on the backside of Pescadores suites also in Panagsama. It is best to keep some money with you, as occasionally the ATMs can be emptied, when this happens it is normally on weekends or public holidays.
The nearest recompression facility is in Manduay Cebu, very close to where you cross the bridge from Mactan to Cebu city when leaving Cebu Airport. They accept DAN insurance, which we highly recommend, there is no such thing as free medical treatment in the Philippines, and private care can become very costly. In the event of someone needing treatment, we will accompany you there (for mild cases), or arrange an ambulance if the situation is more serious.
In Cebu there are a number of hospitals for you to choose from, Chung Hua is arguably the best known and long-established, they have a newer facility in Manduay which we would recommend for most. Again medical bills can quickly add up here, it would be sensible to pay a small amount for a suitable insurance policy.
In Moalboal we have several doctors that can attend to basic needs from colds to stitches and dressing small wounds, anything more serious than that normally merits a trip to the city. Expect long queues when attending the local doctor, with or without an appointment, bills for their services tend to be small, medicines can be costly though.
Partners and Affiliates
We work with a number of dive centers and organizations in the Philippines. Any dive centers we list here are there because we know they provide excellent services and are happy to recommend them to you. See here for more information.
Any other questions
Please feel free to ask us anything that can help with your trip, there are a number of ways to get in touch, try the live chat option, drop us a line via the contact page, or find some more contact options below. Please note we are on standard pacific time, we are available between 8AM and 6PM, outside of those hours there may be a short wait for us to get back to you.