To tell the truth, I spent five days in Moalboal – yes, you read that right, five days! The people I met and the experiences I had made this trip unforgettable, which is why this town has a special meaning for me. You know, those moments when you really connect with people, well that’s what happened as soon as I set foot in Moalboal. So, of course, I had to introduce you to this place!

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Best Things to Do

Moalboal may be a small municipality, but this place has no shortage of things to do, and the atmosphere is also ideal for relaxing and unwinding.

1. Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls (Badian)

Cost: approx. $30

I’m always keen for new experiences and fun adventures, so when one of my roommates asked me if I’d be up for a bit of canyoneering, I didn’t hesitate for a second and said “Ok, let’s do it” and that’s how our group of 6 ended up in this crazy activity two days later!

So, what’s canyoneering? Basically, it’s a sport that combines hiking, cliff jumping, swimming… all while exploring canyons and enjoying the scenery. It’s a pretty strenuous sport, as you’ll spend more than 5 hours exerting yourself, and I’m not even talking about the pain you’ll feel the following days in muscles you didn’t even know existed until now.

But first of all, you can choose to walk to the trailhead, which will tire you out before you even start your adventure, or you can zip-line and save time and energy.

Panorama before the trek
Getting stuck in the middle of ziplining
Yes, the little thing in the middle is me being rescued!

I chose this option, but to be honest, more because I wanted to try something new than to avoid the 20-minute hike. It was also an opportunity to get the adrenaline pumping, even if I did get stuck towards the end (I wonder why these things tend to happen to me…). Anyway, ziplining over an incredibly beautiful panorama was a memorable and fun experience.

After being rescued, we finally started canyoneering, a thrilling adventure where you can jump from 3, 7 and 10 meters. Don’t worry, if you don’t feel like it, there are other paths, but I still recommend you give it a try, because although difficult, the joy and sensations are unique! You’ll finish your trip with a local barbecue lunch (at your own expense) before reaching the famous Kawasan Falls.

Picture in front of a fall
Canyoneering experience

The guides are friendly, funny, professional and great at taking photos! They’ll make you feel safe, but are also there to help you relax and overcome your fears.
Hiking, climbing and swimming through jungle, natural pools and waterfalls is a must if you’re staying in Moalboal and let me assure you, you won’t regret it!

2. Diving

Do you love the underwater world? I told you Moalboal was the place for you! A wall of coral reefs, schools of varied fish, the small town’s ocean boasts an abundance of grandiose marine life. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner, this could be the sign you’re about to start exploring a wetter world.

Oh, and diving in the Philippines is pretty cheap, so what are you waiting for?!?

3. Sardine Run

Schools of sardines in Moalboal

Moalboal is famous for its sardine run, as it’s quite easy to see them as they swim very close to shore (around 25 meters) and you don’t need to spend much either. Bring your snorkeling gear if you have one, and if you don’t, you can simply rent one in one of the stores near the beach for PhP 100-150 (about $2).

The best place to see them is on Panagsama beach, but you need to get there early in the morning, before the tour boats arrive, or in the early afternoon. Watching the migration of thousands of sardines as they perform a synchronized dance is truly an awe-inspiring experience!

And if you’re lucky, you might even get another pleasant surprise in the form of a turtle! Turtles are also regulars at Moalboal, so keep an eye out for one or two!

Turtle in Moalboal

As always, remember to respect marine life and not touch animals or coral!

4. Waterfalls

There are so many waterfalls in the area that it would be a shame not to visit a few. Be sure to ask the locals, though, as you may come across some “dry” waterfalls.

Here are those recommended to me, which are generally less touristy:

  • Mantayupan Falls: entrance fee PhP 50 (80 cents)
    With a height of 98 meters, you’ll need a life jacket if you want to swim in its turquoise waters! This waterfall is easily accessible from Moalboal (1 hour’s drive) and after crossing its bridge, you’ll be able to bathe in its beauty and superb surroundings!
  • Lusno Falls: entrance fee PhP 20 (35 cents)
    If you want to enjoy the place to yourself, this is a safe choice. As it can be quite difficult to find the falls, the children will be happy to show you the way and act as your guides.

5. White Beach

Boat in the sunset in Moalboal

To get there, you’ll need to take a tricycle for PhP 100, as it’s located 7 km from the center. On arrival, there’s a small entrance fee of PhP 25 to keep the beach clean, as this beach is popular with locals and tourists alike. The reason for this is that it’s an ideal spot for snorkeling, allowing you to see all sorts of colorful fish and marine species.

The beach is quite wide, so you can be sure of finding a nice place to bury your toes in the sand!

Where to Eat

Moalboal is known for its nature and fun activities, but the gastronomic scene also deserves praise. Here are my top addresses:

Ven’z Kitchen

Address: Panagsama Road basdiot, Moalboal

We probably ate there three nights in a row, ordering something different each time, and let me tell you, every dish was succulent. Traditional cuisine, friendly staff, heart-shaped rice, vegetarian options, affordable prices…, it’s definitely my kind of vibe!

Chief Mau

Address: Panagsama Beach, Moalboal

Hostel and restaurant, Chief Mau is the place to go if you’re looking for something less traditional. The cozy ambience of bean bags and hammocks will delight you as much as their menu. Hats off to their lasagnas, which is unbelievably good!

Mila’s Restaurant

Address: Tubli Rd, Moalboal

Halo-halo dessert

This is THE address par excellence for the Filipino dessert: Halo-halo. This dessert is made with crushed ice, fruit, jelly, milk and other ingredients, depending on who’s making it. It’s a gourmet’s delight, so don’t miss out!

Where to Stay

If you’re a budget traveler, this is a real gem for you! This is one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in, and I’m sure it’ll be hard to beat.

  • Pig Dive Hostel Moalboal
    Great staff, cozy and comfortable rooms, plenty of space to store your luggage and belongings, free shuttle to and from town/beach every hour, large outdoor kitchen… I don’t know what else to say except that they take really good care of you and the hostel is a great place to meet people and make friends! You’ll get your money’s worth (and then some)!

How to get to Moalboal

The easiest and most affordable way to get to Moalboal is by bus from the Cebu South bus station. Buy your ticket on the day and allow at least 3 hours for the journey. The fare should be around PhP 150-200 (about $2.50-3.50).

I strongly recommend that you ask for an air-conditioned bus, which will be more comfortable in the heat and humidity of the Philippines.

As the terminal is quite large, follow the employees’ directions and wait for them to call you when the bus arrives. You won’t miss it, as the buses are bright yellow with Ceres Tours written on the side.

Once in Moalboal, you can take a tricycle to your accommodation (around PhP 50-150, whether you find people to share the ride or not).

Best Time to Go

It’s best to visit Moalboal from December to May, as these are the driest months and you can enjoy sunny weather all day long. Don’t forget that this is a tropical climate, so it can be very hot and humid. So wear sunscreen at all times and drink plenty of water!

Final Thoughts

Moalboal is a great place to get your adrenaline pumping, but it’s also a place where you’re sure to have fun! And if you don’t like exciting experiences, you can simply relax on the beach and explore the underwater life. The town also has a great nightlife and plenty of good restaurants. Whether for a few days or longer, don’t miss this little gem!

Looking for another gem in the Philippines? Check out my article on the splendid island of Coron here!

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12 Comments

  1. What a stunning destination! haven’t made it to the Philippines yet but I have a list of places Id like to visit and this just got added now! I am shocked how cheap these experiences are! I would try all of them for sure!

    1. The Philippines are definitely stunning and a country well worth a visit. I really hope you’ll have the chance to go someday.
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

    1. The Philippines is for sure a destination for the on a budget traveler. Hope you’ll get to visit one of these days. Thanks for taking the time to comment Laurel 😊

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