Moalboal is the perfect relaxing seaside escape from busy Cebu City as it is just a 3-hour bus ride away. While it may not have the most beautiful beaches of the Philippines, it more than makes up for this with its unbelievable underwater marine life. Whether you are looking for the perfect place to scuba dive, free dive or just snorkel - Moalboal will keep you entertained!
While there are several ATMs in Moalboal, be sure to have some smaller notes and change with you as most tricycle/bus/van drivers might not be able to give you change for a PHP500 or PHP1000 note. ATM locations are at the Gaisano Mall, in the 360 Pharmacy and at Eve’s Kiosk, located near the car park at Panagsama Beach.
HOW TO GET TO MOALBOAL
HOW TO GET TO MOALBOAL FROM CEBU CITY
From the Cebu City South Bus Terminal, there are numerous buses going to Moalboal. The cheaper option is the local buses with open windows which are fine, however, we chose the added comfort of the air-conditioned bus and it cost us PHP156 per person. Both types of busses will stop many times along the way and getting to Moalboal from Cebu will take 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic.
You could also opt for a private transfer in a sedan or van depending on the size of your group.
HOW TO GET TO MOALBOAL FROM BOHOL
The simplest way is to take a fast ferry from Tagbilaran to Cebu City Pier 1, then make your way to Cebu City South Bus Terminal and take a bus heading for Batu via Moalboal. Although this will take at least 6 hours you have the advantage of choosing from frequent ferries to Cebu City and can set off any time of the day. An air-conditioned bus from the South Bus Terminal should cost around PHP160 per person to Moalboal Proper from where you need to get a tricycle to Panagsama Beach.
If you want to attempt a more direct route from Bohol to Moalboal:
From the Tagbilaran Ferry terminal, there is a Lite Shipping Ferry (RORO) twice a day to Argao on Cebu. Ferries depart Tagbilaran at 8:00 and 16:00 takes 3 hours and costs around PHP200 per person. Once in Argao you will have to put your negotiation skills to work and get a tricycle driver to take you all the way to Moalboal - however, we've heard of some aggressive behaviour, mafia-like price-fixing and a going rate of around PHP1500. You're probably better off avoiding any of the pushy behaviour and make your way towards the bus station. If you have time and want to save quite a bit you can from there:
Take a bus to Batu in the south of Cebu and from there take another bus to Moalboal This should cost less than PHP200 per person to Moalboal proper but will take around 4 hours excluding waiting time for the bus.
Potentially slightly faster is to take a bus heading north to Cebu City and get off at the Carcar rotunda. From the rotunda, follow the signs pointing to Barili and catch a bus on that road heading for Badian, Bato or Liloan. All the these will pass by Moalboal. This should take around 3 hours.
If you're travelling very light, the alternative option from Argoa is to make your way over the north-south highway to Ylaya Road which traverses Cebu to Moalboal on the west coast. There are habal-habal drivers (motorcycle) waiting for passengers and you should get a good deal if you are skill-full at negotiation. This will be the quickest and shortest way to Moalboal from Bohol.
Once you get to Moalboal Proper tricycles will charge around PHP120-150 for exclusive use to Panagsama Beach area. If you hop on a shared ride it will be around PHP20 per person but this might be a problem if you have bulky luggage.
HOW TO GET TO MOALBOAL FROM SIQUIJOR
As of the time of writing, there is no direct connection from Siquijor to Moalboal.
You can take a fast boat from Siquijor port to Dumaguete (1 hour, PHP225), then make your way by tricycle (PHP150) or easy-share van (PHP 20) to the Sibulan ferry terminal from where an hourly fast boat departs for Liloan (25 minutes, PHP85). At Liloan you have to negotiate a ride with a tricycle to Bato bus terminal (10 minutes, PHP130) and then hop on a Ceres Liner bus headed to Cebu City via Moalboal (2 hours, PHP85 non-air conditioned). From Moalboal Proper you need to take a tricycle to Panagsama Beach (10 minutes, PHP120-150. Just remember that all tricycle prices will depend on your negotiation skills, the number of people and amount of luggage!
HOW TO GET AROUND MOALBOAL
The best way to get around Moalboal is to rent a scooter. If you are not comfortable riding a scooter, then make use of the many tricycles. The typical fare for a tricycle ride from Moalboal Bus Terminal to Panagsama Beach should be about PHP120 (although they will start by asking you more). Shared tricycle rides to Panagsama should cost no more than PHP10-20 per person. A trip from Panagsama Beach to White Beach is PHP150-300 depending on the time of day. Scooter rental in Moalboal costs around PHP300 per day for semi-automatic and up to PHP500 for automatic, If you plan on moving around a bit, getting a scooter is by far the cheaper alternative. Just take note that it is almost impossible to find rental scooters with insurance included - take care and understand your risks.
MOALBOAL - WHAT TO SEE AND DO
SCUBA DIVE IN MOALBOAL
Moalboal has got to be one of the best places to dive in the Philippines. This is for two reasons: firstly the reef that surrounds Moalboal allows for nice, easy and cheaper shore diving options with the opportunity to see massive sardine schools, turtles, electric clams and loads of really cool smaller sea life; secondly is the incredible little island of Pescador, which is just a few minutes away from Panagsama Beach by boat and which has a wall reef surrounding the entire island. We couldn’t get enough of the scuba diving at Pescador Island and even after 12 years of diving, we saw many new creatures during these dives. If you want to experience the Sardine Run from another perspective other than snorkelling, then do the Sardine Run shore dive (although we preferred the snorkelling experience). The shore diving conditions also often allow for night dives, just check with the dive shops.