We recently spent four days in Moalboal, Cebu. For me, it was one of my favourite places that we visited during our month in the Philippines.
While it is somewhat touristy, there’s a lovely vibe in the town and certainly plenty of things to do in and around Moalboal. I’d definitely recommend allocating around 3 or 4 days in Moalboal if you can.
This ultimate guide to Moalboal, Cebu, covers some of the top must-see places in Moalboal, as well as where to eat, where to stay and how to get to and from this seaside town in Cebu, the Philippines.
It should help you plan your 3 or 4 day Moalboal itinerary, to ensure you get the most out of your time there.
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How To Get To Moalboal
In order to get to Moalboal, you first have to make your way to Cebu. Cebu is both the name of the island on which Moalboal is located, as well as the main city on the island.
There are multiple flights in and out of Cebu city daily.
Check out Skyscanner for the best deals on flights to Cebu!
From Cebu, you’ll need to take the bus to Moalboal. The bus system on Cebu is pretty simple – there are buses going in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions around the oval island of Cebu.
Moalboal is around 3 hours away from Cebu by public bus. Head to the south bus terminal in Cebu for buses to Moalboal.
We primarily used the Ceres bus company although there are others too. I’d suggest simply jumping on whichever bus is leaving first!
There are both air conditioned and non-air conditioned buses available.
Depending on how busy it is, the air conditioned buses are likely more comfortable, if only because of their 2×2 seat configuration, rather than the 3×2 configuration of the non-air conditioned buses. The air-con bus is slightly more expensive but either way, you’ll get to Moalboal for 200 pesos or less.
Public buses will drop you off on the main road outside of Moalboal town itself.
The long straight road leading into the Pangsama Beach area of Moalboal, Pangsama Road, is around 3.5 km long. I’d suggest getting a tricycle to your accommodation. Make sure you haggle on price! Drivers will quote you more because you’re foreign.
The tricycle ride should set you back around 100 pesos.
Where To Stay In Moalboal
On the whole, we found accommodation in the Philippines to be rather basic compared to other countries around South East Asia, but with a rather high price tag for what you get…
The New Modern Summer House was a relatively good deal at 1200 peso a night for a (brightly coloured!) double room with a private bathroom. This does not include breakfast but they serve decent food at a good price.
The staff were very friendly and helpful, and were able to help us organise our canyoneering tour to Kawasan Falls with a great company (more on this later!).
New Modern Summer House is an easy 10 minute walk down to Pangsama beach proper, where there are lots of bars and restaurants. If you’re not in the mood to go too far, there are plenty of options closer by too.
Where To Eat In Moalboal
This place is pretty popular so you might have to wait a little bit for a seat. But, service is efficient (a rarity in the Philippines!) so you shouldn’t have to wait too long, especially if you’re happy to sit at the shared bar.
Food at Ven’z is cheap, tasty and local!
We ate here several times and spent less than 500 pesos between us each time.
A good option if you’re in the mood for a burger, and/or if you’re vegetarian. Even if you’re not, their veggie burger is great!
Three Bears is part of Crazy Bears Hostel, and I particularly enjoyed the signs decorating the open air restaurant!
Veranda Kitchen & Bar
If you’re lucky enough to get a table by the water, Veranda is the perfect spot to watch the sunset with a cold beverage in hand! You may need to book one of these coveted tables though.
Top Things To Do In Moalboal
Canyoneering At Kawasan Falls
After our amazing day trip to the Green Valley and Green Canyon in Pangandaran, Indonesia, I guess it should’ve been no surprise that spending the day canyoneering at Kawasan Falls just outside Moalboal was my favourite activity during our month in the Philippines!
I highly encourage you to do this even if you’re not exactly an adventure junky. Trust me, I’m not, but it was a lot of fun and the area is just stunning.
You do need to be somewhat fit as there’s a bit of walking involved, but nothing too crazy.
The great thing is that it is entirely up to you how much jumping you want to do. If you’re not comfortable with the really high jumps (like me!), there is always an alternative way to get down into the river.
For 1500 pesos per person including transport to and from your accommodation as well as lunch and some water, I thought it was amazing value for money!
We simply booked our tour through our accommodation (The New Modern Summer House). There are tours on offer everywhere in Moalboal though, so don’t worry if your accommodation isn’t able to help you.
Note: I recommend having water shoes for your Kawasan canyoneering adventure, as well as for most of the things to do in Moalboal listed here. It will make your canyoneering experience so much more comfortable. If you don’t have your own, you may be able to rent a pair from your canyoneering company. We have these from Decatholon and are really loving having them!
Snorkelling The Sardine Run & Swimming With Turtles!
The great thing about snorkelling in Moalboal is that you don’t need to join a tour. You’re able to swim out right from shore to see the famous sardine run in Moalboal!
If you don’t have your own snorkelling gear, there are plenty of stalls along Pangsama road and the beach renting them out.
I’d suggest heading down the road past Veranda Bar and onto the small beach there.
Snorkelling out around the pier towards Chili Bar will give you a good view of the sardines as well as a decent chance of spotting some turtles! They tend to hang out in the shallows near Chili Bar, nibbling on the seaweed.
Make sure to give them (and your fellow snorkelers) some breathing space though.
The alternative is to go diving, which I’m sure gives an even better experience of the sardine run as you’ll be able to swim into their formations for longer stretches.
Climb Osmena Peak
Ok, maybe “climb” is stretching it a bit… The walk itself isn’t long at all – maybe 10 minutes depending on your fitness level! But, it’s a nice view of the surrounding Chocolate Hills-like mounds.
You’ll need to rent a scooter for this excursion. We found the cheapest rental was 250 pesos for the day, and we spent 150 pesos on petrol on top of that.
Alternatively, there are some tours that will take you to Osmena Peak as well. Obviously a tour will give you less flexibility, but it is a long stint on a scooter, so it’s whichever you prefer really 🙂
Entrance costs 60 pesos per person, and there is a discretionary parking fee for your scooter. We stuck with the 20 pesos which seems common for parking around here.
Note: If you have limited time in Moalboal, you could also opt to do a daytrip that combines Kawasan Falls and Osmena Peak. This means you won’t get to do the canyoneering experience but will still have the opportunity to swim at the main falls and enjoy the views from the highest peak in Cebu.
Swim At Cambais Falls
On the way back from Osmena Peak, make sure you spend a few hours at Cambais waterfalls. The water is as breathtaking as Kawasan Falls, but much, much quieter!
We had sections of the falls all to ourselves for portions of time. Either way, there were maybe 10 people there at its busiest.
The water is refreshing and the area extremely beautiful!
Entrance costs 100 pesos per person, and there is a 20 peso fee for parking
Bonus: Watch The Sunset
On at least one of your evenings in Moalboal, soak in the spectacular colours of the sunsets there. The sky just lights up in yellow, pink and orange hues, and will take your breath away.
Moalboal really has a lot to offer and is a great place to spend 3 or 4 days during your time in Cebu.
Have you been to Moalboal in Cebu? What did you enjoy doing while you were there?
Let me know in the comments below!
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