This article has been translated from Russian language using an artificial intelligence-based translation algorithm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the quality of the translation. You can read the original of this article in Russian here, and ask questions on the topic of our travel forum in English here.
Moalboal (Moalboal, Moalbol) is a resort and village on the southwest coast of Cebu island, Philippines, 100 kilometers from Cebu City (Moalboal on the map). This is the only full-fledged beach resort directly on Cebu island, except for resorts on other islets that also belong to Cebu. Yes, surprisingly, there are simply no other beach resorts in huge Cebu.
Although objectively speaking, Moalboal can be called a beach resort with a stretch. This place is more for lovers of diving and snorkeling, and for a classic beach holiday it is not very suitable.
There are two beaches: Panagsama Beach (Panagsama Beach) and White Beach (White Beach), as well as another away from the city:
Panagsama Beach / Panagsama Beach
Panagsama Beach (Panagsama Beach), aka basdet district (Basdiot) is a developed tourist area with hotels and inexpensive hostels, shops, travel agencies, rental of transport, etc.in fact, this is the resort of Moalboal, where tourists most often stay, and the only place where there is inexpensive accommodation and hostels.
But for a classic beach holiday, Panagsama Beach is not at all suitable, since the coast here is rocky, and in some places simply concreted. Its main purpose is a place for diving and snorkeling, freediving, trips from here on excursions to attractions in other parts of the island. Scuba diving from a boat or near the shore is offered in travel agencies and hotels, at distributors on the beach. And snorkeling, if desired, you can do it yourself, renting a mask and a tube for 100 pesos. It is here that the famous shoal of sardines is located, and with a high probability you can see sea turtles. Interesting snorkeling begins already 20-30 meters from the shore, where the bottom abruptly breaks off and goes down the coral wall.
Panagsama is 4 kilometers from the center (Panagsama Beach on the map). You can get from the center and the bus stop on a tricycle from 80 pesos ( USD, see the currency of the Philippines and its exchange rate), or on a motorcycle taxi from 30 pesos ( USD), or a local tricycle for 10 pesos.
A long sandy beach, and the complete opposite of Panagsama Beach. the infrastructure here is worse developed, there are few hotels, and they are mostly expensive compared to Panagsama Beach. Outside the hotels there is almost nothing here, and they are located far from each other, so staying at White Beach to "civilization" you will have to get out by rented transport or tricycle. The exception is the central part of white beach, but there hotels are very expensive, and the beach on weekends is crowded with local vacationers and tourists. Rent a motorbike here, by the way, is not a problem at all from 250 pesos per day. For the entrance or entry by motorbike to the parking lot next to the beach, 10 pesos per person are asked, for a car or tricycle - 30.
The beach itself is very good, Sandy, with fine pleasant sand, but under the water there are sharp corals and stones, sea urchins, so for swimming it is better to wear special shoes. Along the beach there is a chain of cafes in the center in the parking area, but if you go further, the hotel zones begin, there are no people and infrastructure at all. Tides are not strong, you can swim at any time. There is also excellent snorkeling, according to some tourists even better than in Pangasama. There is no coral wall and a shoal of sardines, but you can see a large number of corals, colored fish, and if you are lucky – then sea turtles. For good snorkeling, you will need to sail from the shore for 50-100 meters.
In the Russian travel blogger space, there is a misconception that the tides depend on the time of day. In fact, this is not so, and it is never possible to say unequivocally, for example, that at a particular resort there are tides in the morning and ebbs in the evenings. To determine the level of tides in Moalboal, special calculated graphs-forecasts are used.
Uyat Beach is 8 kilometers from the center (White Beach on the map) . A trip on a tricycle from the center will cost from 150 pesos ( USD), mototaxi 60, with Panagsama Beach - from 80 pesos.
Lambug Beach / Lambug Beach
Lambug Beach (Lambug Beach), aka Magic Beach, is located 17 kilometers from Moalboal, you will have to get there by taxi or rented transport (Lambug Beach on the map). This is not an independent and full-fledged tourist area, it is even far from villages and any infrastructure. But there are a couple of Hotels-Resorts, Homestays and camping, where for a fee without any amenities you can stay in a tent right on the beach. From the infrastructure there are a few cafes, and nothing else. Therefore, you should not consider Lambug as a place to stay, but rather as a remote beach for relaxing during the day.
The beach itself is very good. There is snow-white sand and palm trees, the coast is moderately clean, and clear water in calm weather. But at low tide it is not very pleasant to swim here: it opens an ugly bottom and stones, it is dirty. The length of the Lambug is about 500 meters. Entrance is paid, they ask 50 pesos per person, but you can bargain if you come in a group or two on a motorbike. There is no entertainment, except for a volleyball net and a chain of cafes. Snorkeling here, judging by the stories of tourists, is not very, But you can see simple fish and corals along the coast.
If you have decided on a beach, you can find and book a hotel in Moalbol on these sites, or through the search form:
- 🛌 Search for hotels in Moalboal on Yandex.travel
- 🛌 Search for hotels in Moalboal on Hotellook.com
- 🛌 Search for hotels in Moalboal on Trip.com (💥 our choice)
- 🛌 Search for hotels on Ostrovok.ru
Hotel Eskapo Verde Eco Tourism Tourist rating 9.7/10, exceptionalPrice from 52 USDHotel Banamboo Tourist rating 9.6/10, exceptionalPrice from 25 USDHotel Villa Alessandra Homestay Tourist rating 9.6/10, exceptionalPrice from 27 USDHotel Sambag Hideaway Bungalows Tourist rating 9.6/10, exceptionalPrice from 33 USDHotel Crazy Bears Hostel Tourist rating 9.5/10, exceptionalPrice from 20 USDHotel Pig Dive Hostel Moalboal Tourist rating 9.5/10, exceptionalPrice from 22 USDHotel HARMAN SUITES Moalboal formerly Ocean Safari Suites⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tourist rating 9.4/10, exceptionalPrice from 47 USDHotel Roos Guesthouse Tourist rating 9.3/10, exceptionalPrice from 36 USDHotel Ananas Guesthouse⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tourist rating 9.3/10, exceptionalPrice from 20 USDHotel Eskapo Verde Tourist rating 9.3/10, exceptionalPrice from 21 USDHotel Teobas Homestay Tourist rating 9.3/10, exceptionalPrice from 24 USDHotel Anekha's Guest Room⭐⭐ Tourist rating 9.3/10, exceptionalPrice from 63 USD
Despite the fact that Moalbaol is a village, there is a very well-developed infrastructure, however, it is located mainly in the center of the village along the main highway, and not on the beaches. There are banks, ATMs, currency exchange, travel agencies, a large market and a fruit market. There is even a large shopping center Gaisano Grand Mall and a second Shopping Center Gaisano smaller, a small network 7-Eleven.
The exchange rate at local currency exchanges is slightly lower than in Cebu City, but higher than at Mactan Cebu Airport. The best exchange rate at Palawan pawn shop on Panagsama rd., at the Gaisano Grand shopping center exchange is slightly lower.
There are many inexpensive non-tourist cafes, there is even a McDonalds restaurant near the Gaisano shopping center. You can eat inexpensively in one of the cafes for locals, a little more expensive in the food courts, which are located in both shopping centers Gaisano. Also in the Shopping Center Gaisano Town Center Moalboal, in the smaller one, to the right of the entrance there is an excellent fast food restaurant like the famous Jolibee.
Panagsama Beach also has an ATM at Eva's Kiosk Restaurant & Surprisingly, we could not find any exchange offices. Cafes and restaurants here are also enough, but the prices are higher than in the center, and the quality is sometimes even worse, so choose carefully. Only here you can find bars with girls or boys (who likes what). But what is really quite enough on Panagsam is travel agencies with excursions, diving centers, rental of equipment for diving, snorkeling (100 pesos for a mask and tube), rental of surfboards, rental of motorbikes (from 250 pesos/day). Most of these tourist services are offered in hotels and hostels, and even if something is not, you will organize everything or tell you where to turn.
Weather in Moalbaol, tourist seasons
Moalboal is a year-round resort, it is always warm and sunny. However, it is customary to distinguish the rainy season (low) and the dry season (high).
- The dry season runs from January to May. This is the best time to visit, there is little rain, the sky is clear, and it is not very hot. During this period, the best months are also highlighted - March-May.
- The rainy season lasts from June to December. At this time, you can also go on vacation, just more often there are rains and clouds. However, in fact, the rainy season is not at all the same as many used to think after visiting other Southeast Asian countries. Precipitation is short-lived, usually in the evenings,and after an hour after them there is no trace. And even if the sky is overcast, this does not interfere with sunbathing.
Several times a year, typhoons or tropical storms hit the island, for example, in 2019 this happened 21 times. They occur mainly in the rainy season and affect the north of the island. In general, they do not greatly interfere with the rest in Cebu City, but during the period of the strongest typhoons, ferry traffic is completely stopped for 1-3 days, and sometimes even evacuation is announced. It is not yet possible to predict the appearance of storms and typhoons for a long period, so just follow the forecasts before the trip, and make a decision immediately before leaving.
Seasons in Moalboal by month, when is the best time to go
* best time to visit;
acceptable time to visit;
not recommended time to visit
Current weather in Cebu and forecast
How to get to Moalboal
Moalboal is located on the western shore of Cebu island in the southern part (Moalboal on the map). Cebu City and Mactan Cebu International Airport are 100 kilometers away. You can get here only by land on buses, taxis, or rented transport. The most convenient way to get here by plane is through Mactan-Cebu Airport.
All buses arrive in Moalboal or pass through it on the main street in the center of the town, which is away from the tourist areas and beaches. They make several stops, it is best to get off in the very center next to the main market Moalboal Public Market (stop on the map). From here to the beaches of Panagsama Beach (Panagsama Beach) and White Beach (White Beach) 4 and 8 kilometers respectively. You can get to them on a tricycle for 50/150 pesos, or on a habal-habal motorcycle taxi for 30/60. But refuse offers immediately when leaving the bus, the price will be inflated. It is better to move a little away from the stop, and catch a tricycle or motorcycle taxi there, do not pay more than 50/150 pesos for a tricycle.
See detailed instructions, how to get to Moalboal here...
Transport in Moalboal, what to move
There is no public transport here, between the beaches or to the center you can move on tricycles (from 60 pesos per trip), habal-habal motorcycle taxi (from 30 per trip), but it is best to rent a motorcycle. There is no traditional car taxi here, but for long trips to attractions, to Cebu airport or to other cities and resorts of the city, you can order a car with a driver in hotels or travel agencies on the street, the price for the trip will be fixed without meters, you can bargain.
The simplest and most traditional way is a local taxi-tricycles and motorcycle taxis. They constantly ply along the main street of Pangasama beach, and also are on duty at the end of the street on Pangasama, near the entrance to Uyat beach, and in the center of Moalboal near the Gasdiano Mall shopping center, opposite the 7/11 store and at the turn where the bus stop is located. Prices for tourists are called inflated at times. For example, to get from Pangasama beach to the bus stop and the main road to the center of Moalboal, locals pay 15 pesos for a trip on a tricycle, and tourists are asked for 150, but really bargain up to 50 pesos (USD) and even lower. When bidding, you can immediately tell the driver that you do not mind if he picks up other passengers along the way, then it will be easier to bring down the price. In any case, it is not worth paying more than 50 pesos for a trip from Pangasama to the stop or back, and for a trip between Pangasama and white beach no more than 150 ( USD).
Full freedom of movement is given by renting a low-power scooter (Motobike). There are a lot of rental places, it will not be difficult to find. The cost in 2024 starts from 350 pesos / day (USD) for an old Motobike, and 500 ( USD ) for a new one in very good condition. When renting for a week, the cost will be 1400 pesos/week ( offered motobikes with a semi-automatic transmission (they are cheaper), and full automatic (a little more expensive).
To manage a motorcycle in the Philippines, a new national license issued in Russia is sufficient, since the country has signed the Vienna Convention on road traffic and undertakes to recognize the national license. rights of other countries parties to the convention. But you must have an open category A, otherwise there may be problems when meeting with the police. Learn more about renting transport in the Philippines Here...
Also on Pangsama beach you can rent good mountain bikes for 500 pesos, or simple urban ones from 100. There are even special mountain bike tours offered in the surrounding hills and mountains at the local travel agency Planet Action.
Another way to get to Moalboa is to rent a boat. You can rent a motorboat with a boatman for diving, or a simple catamaran with paddles for independent swimming and snorkeling along the shores. Renting a boat will cost from 2000 pesos for half a day.
Attractions and entertainment in Moalboal
In Moalboal there are no attractions at all, but there is something to do here with a vengeance. Of course, the most important thing for which they come here is a colorful underwater world, which you can get acquainted with during diving or snorkeling. Another type of active entertainment is freediving. Gradually, the resort begins to develop surfing and kayaking.
In the evening on Panagsama beach you can sit in one of the bars, the most popular among young tourists is Chili Bar. It is in it that, for some reason, with the advent of darkness, all the tourist youth are pulled together, and girls and transvestites are immediately spinning. The bar serves draft beer, and serves local bottled beer from 50 pesos per small bottle. In addition to Chili, there are other, more peaceful places, as well as restaurants with sea views. Back in Panagsama there are several massage parlors, including Thai massage from 450 pesos per hour, and a spa.
From Moalbol it is convenient to visit several attractions on Cebu island:
- Oslob and whale sharks
- Kawasan Falls
- Osmen peak and Casino peak
- Tumalog Waterfall
- Inambakan Falls
- Kambais Falls
In addition to the attractions on this list, there are still many small little-known waterfalls and springs in the vicinity available for visiting. The Mainit hot spring hot springs are closed as of 2021 and are not expected to reopen.
These attractions can be visited independently on rented transport or buses, or buy Group or individual excursions at local travel agencies. Island Hopping tours are especially popular here. They cost from 2000 pesos, and include a visit to the island of Pescador (Pescador Island) for snorkeling, relaxing on the beach, sometimes lunch. You can buy such a tour in almost any hotel or travel agency.
You can also pick up and book one of the tours online on these trusted sites, or from the options offered:
Diving is exactly the most important thing for which most tourists go to Moalboal. A reef wall up to 40 meters deep, running along Panagsama beach, and excellent visibility make this one of the best places in Cebu and the whole Philippines for diving. There are 25 dive spots, there are diving schools with a certificate, rental and sale of equipment. In general, the infrastructure of Moalboal is completely "sharpened" for diving. One of the largest centers is Savedra Dive Center. There are Russian and Russian-speaking instructors.
🕐 Working hours: there are night and day dives.
💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: the cost of diving near the shore starts from 1000 pesos (Philippine currency and exchange rate), starting at 1300. A full training course will cost from 16000 ( USD). The rest of the prices for the reference point can be found on the website of one of the diving centers - https://www.savedra.com/diving-rates/.USD, see
🚶 How to get there: dive centers are everywhere on the main street of Panagsama Beach.
This is perhaps the second reason after diving, for which it is worth coming here. After all, if you can not afford diving or are not very interested in it, then everyone can swim with a mask here, and even for free. The local waters are very rich in marine life, and the water itself is transparent most of the year, which allows you to watch exotic colored fish already 20 meters from the shore, and if you are lucky, you can see sea turtles, it all depends on the season. Even local waters are known for flocks of sardines, which can be observed at the very edge of the coral reef, leaving a vertical wall 20-30 meters from the shore. Learn more about snorkeling in Moalboal here...
🕐 Working hours: snorkeling is best in the morning and in the morning, although you can see a lot after lunch.
💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: you can go diving on your own for FREE near the shore, go with a group tour to the island of Pescador from 2000 pesos, or hire a boat for a group. Renting a mask and tube will cost 100 pesos, a life jacket (if you can not swim) - another 50 pesos.
🚶 How to get there: the easiest way to snorkel in Moalboal is right along the shore Panagsama Beach. There is a coral reef, underwater life is very rich.
Another popular place is the island of Pescador (Pescador Island), which is just a couple of kilometers from the coast. Here, too, excellent conditions for snorkeling, and you can see sea turtles. Group excursions are offered to the island or you can rent a boat for 2000 pesos (. Cebu and Mactan.USD), the price includes a mask and a tube. There are even tours to Pescador from
On White Beach you can also go snorkeling, the Reef stretches here. Only equipment is better to rent in Panagsama: here you can not find it, or you will find it at inflated prices.
Freediving / Free-diving
Freediving is diving to a great depth with a hold of breath without scuba gear. This is an extreme sport, available only to people in good physical shape and after training. If you consider yourself to be such, you can try diving here to a depth of 40 meters. Just do not think that this is a simple entertainment, you will have to go through a whole course of training and training, which takes 2 days, and costs from 7000 pesos.
🕐 Working hours: initial training and training takes 2 days.
💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: course price from 7000 (USD).
🚶 How to get there: courses are offered at one of the three centres in Moalboal, easy to find locally or online. It is recommended to book the training in advance on the websites or by phone, as it is carried out on a calendar schedule, and not every day. Here are the sites for reference - https://www.freediving-philippines.com, http://www.freediving-planet.com/, https://www.facebook.com/MOceanFreediving