MOALBOAL, CEBU. What do you want to know about Moalboal? Do you want me to sugarcoat and invite you to go there? Or should I spill the tea and have you decide from there? But you know, wise travelers are honest people. So, here ya go!
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Moalboal has been a recommendation by a lot of people—both of those who’ve been there and not. What’s the nonstop hype all about? And this got me thinking of an Asian proverb: “Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times.”
It was a usual Saturday morning for me, except for the fact that I was bringing a fully-loaded backpack during my night shift. That means I really wanted to have a weekend trip at that time while having no concrete plans in mind yet. Then, the next five minutes I’ve found myself booking a motorbike ride to get myself to Cebu South Bus Terminal.
Afterward, I’ve made up my mind: why don’t I give Moalboal a try?
Moalboal is a municipality located in the southwestern part of Cebu. It’s one of the favorite Cebu destinations of those who love diving and snorkeling due to its rich marine attractions. Some travelers also love swimming and chasing sunsets there.
What to Do in Moalboal, Cebu?
Most of those who recommend going to Moalboal talk about White Beach, the sardine run, and Pescador Island. But since I wasn’t ready for some adrenaline adventures and time-consuming tours, I opt to spend my weekend in Moalboal almost the same as my usual rest days at home. How to travel in style while on a budget in Moalboal? Expenses? Read on, baby!
Travel in Style While on a Budget in Moalboal, Cebu (Sample Weekend Itinerary)
I went doing these things which I also recommend trying if you want to go to Moalboal on a weekend:
- Brunch at a local food house, PHP100-200 (USD2-4)
- Get some booze or any drink you want at a beachfront bar (somewhere in Panagsama Beach area), PHP200-300 (USD4-5.50)
- Try some local BBQ during dinner, PHP100-200 (USD2-4)
- Quick party at Chili Bar (not sponsored for mentioning), PHP200-300 (USD4-5.50)
- Morning stroll at White Beach Moalboal (or Basdaku White Beach), entrance: PHP15 (USD0.30)
- Brunch at a fancy beachfront cafe (Panagsama Beach area), PHP200-300 (USD4-5.50)
- Day tour (lunch and use of amenities, including their pool) at a luxury resort (treat yourself, baby! — I got mine for PHP500 (USD10) only).
Activity Suggestions and Promo Codes in Moalboal, Cebu
I truly know that a lot of people love promos and discounts. So, I’ve gone down the Google rabbit hole searching for the epic and worth it adventures and activities you can enjoy in Moalboal. After going over thoroughly on reviews and the way each activity was presented and written (because I’m an online writing QA/moderator and details matter), here are the activities you should consider booking before going to Moalboal:
- Private Pescador Island Hopping (with Boat Charter in Moalboal), PHP6,300 (USD120) – Book a trip here >>
- Moalboal Island Hopping and Canyoneering Experience, PHP2,400 (USD46) – Book a tour here >>
- Moalboal Swimming with Sardines & Dolphin Watching (no applicable discounts but worth a try), PHP4,500 (USD86) – Book a trip here >>
Cebu Kawasan Waterfalls & Osmena Peak Day Tour, PHP1,500 (USD28) – Book an adventure here >>
Click on the hyperlinks above and use the codes of your preference below to enjoy chunks of discounts. (By the way, I’ve disabled the copy/paste feature here on my website because of a past bad experience with a plagiarist blogging group. Smells stinky, right? Anyhow, the codes are easy to remember. Keep them in mind when you need to enter them on the respective landing pages of the activities or services of your choice. YW!)
- Get P200 off – any Philippine activity with code EXPLOREHOME (No min purchase. New users only.)
- Get 10% off – any Philippine activity with code EXPLOREHOME10 (Max discount of P600)
- Get P300 off – any Philippine activity with code EXPLOREHOME300 (Min purchase of P4,000)
Pro tip: Be sure to bookmark this blog post in your browser so you can easily get back here for the guide, tips, and even the promo codes mentioned above!
Where to Stay in Moalboal, Cebu?
Moalboal is one of the go-to destinations both by local and foreign travelers for quite awhile. You can surely say it’s a continuously growing place in terms of accommodation selections. And here are my suggested places perfect to stay at depending on your budget and preferences:
- Hostel options
- Family/group stay options
- 3-star hotel options
- 4-star hotel options
If you don’t have a Booking.com account yet, create one HERE>> so you’ll get a 10% welcome discount.
How to Get There in Moalboal, Cebu?
- Starting point: Cebu South Bus Terminal
- Hire a taxi or a shared ride (like Grab) going to Cebu South Bus Terminal. Fare varies depending on your hotel location.
- It’s a 20 to 30-minute ride from Mactan-Cebu International Airport depends on traffic.
- Take a bus going to Moalboal
- 3 to 4-hour bus ride
- Fare range: PHP180-200 (USD3.50-3.80), air-conditioned or not
- Hop off at Gaisano Grand Mall Moalboal and take a tricycle ride to your hotel or hostel
- Fare range: PHP50-100 per person (USD1-2)
- Take note to bargain harder with the tricycle drivers! (but in a good way, okay?)
*No online booking available for buses.
But if you prefer to take a van ride, please check the details below to learn about your options, their corresponding prices, and how to book them.
- Private Transfers between Cebu City/Mactan and Moalboal, ON SALE as of writing: PHP2290 (USD44) – Book a ride here >>
- Shared Van Transfers between Cebu City/Mactan and Moalboal, PHP850 (USD16) – Book a ride here >>
Moalboal to the Beach Souls
White Beach Moalboal, or widely known by the locals as Basdaku White Beach, is an “Okay, that’s a nice beach” type during high-tide (at least IMO). But like other overrated beaches, I find it like a “WHAAAAT?!?! Is that it” beach when it’s low tide. Do you know what I mean? You can see a not-so-smooth beach floor terrain, quite muddy spots, some green seaweeds (which usually grow in unhealthy and filthy waters as far as I can observe) and a good amount of tiny dead corals and shells which can’t be technically called sand yet.
What to Change in Moalboal, Cebu?
I know it would be a huge project, but it’s something doable like what the government did in Boracay Island. Maybe we can minimize and move the establishments and stalls a few meters away from the shoreline, especially in Panagsama Beach and Basdaku White Beach. This way, Moalboal waters and beachfront will be preserved for the next generations of travelers and dwellers. And hopefully, the local government, residents and other stakeholders there can think of better ways on how to run their tourism in a more sustainable manner.
Moalboal, Cebu: Verdict by a Traveler, for Travelers
Moalboal is obviously a good destination in Cebu for water adventures, like scuba diving, swimming with the sardines and going island hopping. But in all honesty, it isn’t that perfect for those wanderlust souls who love meditating with nature and those who want to chill at the beach while sipping a cup of coffee or tea, or even a glass of margarita. Yeah, you can surely consider getting some booze and tropical vibes altogether at some local beach bars or at your resort bars, but IMHO, you got other options, like Bantayan Island and Siquijor (which I hope I can get some time to write my blog about my trip to those destinations so I can convince you more!).
Nevertheless, there are a few lovely and breathtaking resorts there where comfort and experience offer great value for the money you’ll spend.
For me, after all, wise travelers are always on top of the game—may it on a filthy luxury trip or on a baller budget adventure.
***As usual, all texts and opinions are all mine.***
Have you been to Moalboal or been wanting to go there? Let me hear your thoughts in the comment section about Moalboal. Thank you!