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Dive the Pescador Island protected marine park and you’ll soon see why Moalboal is one of the Philippines most revered diving destinations. The impressive marine bio-diversity and sheer abundance of fish is breath taking. Look out for reef sharks, schooling barracudas, sardines, jacks, trevally and even an occasional passing thresher shark.

Diving in Moalboal

Quick facts

This small town on the south-west side of Cebu offers easy access to some of the Philippines best known dive sites. Tourism has developed alongside diving and you’ll find accommodation to suit every budget from small guest houses to luxury dive resorts. ‘Moalboal’, which literally means ‘bubbling water’ also offers stunning top side scenery and nearby natural springs. Inland you’ll find dense, tropical rainforests divided by rivers and canyons. If you like being active, the mountainous peaks offer stunning vistas. If you prefer to relax there is no shortage of waterfront bars and restaurants with stunning sunsets along Panagsama Beach.

When to go

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USD 737Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 1,024Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 511Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
Pescador Island – This protected marine park is one of the most famous dive spots in the area for good reasons. Underwater this small island is a divers playground with tunnels, caverns and swim throughs. Fish life is abundant here and you’ll find white tip reef sharks, schooling barracudas, sardines, jacks and occasional thresher sharks. The diversity and mass of reef fish is breathtaking. Panagsama Reef – Best known for its sardine balls, this is a steep slope and wall dive with soft corals, sea whips, fans and good macro life. Expect to see a wide range of marine life from crustaceous critters and charismatic anemonefish through to solitary tuna and lazing turtles. It’s a great, nearby dive site that is easily accessible whether on scuba or freediving. Umbrella – This slope, plateau and wall site is also known as “Airplane” or “Airport” due to the small airplane wreck on the plateau. The wreck is now a healthy artificial reef which attracts unusual macro life including ornate ghost pipefish, nudibranch, frogfish and numerous crustaceans. Dolphin House – This slope and wall offer canyons, vibrant corals and great macro. Look out for turtles swimming and, for those with a well-trained eye (or an excellent PADI Divemaster), pygmy seahorses are known to occupy the sea fans. Tongo Point – This beautiful wall dive is characterised by ledges, overhangs and crevices in which fish and critters shelter. Expect to see juvenile sweetlips, octopus, scorpionfish, moray eels and resting turtles. The wall starts from just 2 metres / 6 feet and bottoms out at 20 metres / 65 feet. Look out for electric clams in the deeper section.

What to see

Moalboal is at the heart of marine bio-diversity in the Philippines and its healthy reefs and steep walls support schools of snappers, jacks, barracudas, sardines, reef sharks, tuna, turtles, passing thresher sharks and even occasional whale sharks. Critters and macro-life are abundant here and highlights include pygmy seahorses, sardine balls, octopus, nudibranch, electric clams, cuttlefish, ghost pipefish, frogfish and a host of crustaceans.

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Location

MoalBoal is a small town in Cebu province of Philippines. It is known for its varied and exciting diving sites. The underwater landscape in this area has walls, slopes, caves and canyons. There are also several reef formations that have species from a small Nudibranch to a giant Whale Shark. The rocky Pescador Islet close to Moalboal is one of the best diving site in the area with beautiful rock formation that seem to descend deep into sea and are adorned by large schools of Sardines. The landscape and marine life together makes the diving experience very exciting. Several dive sites in Moalboal are known for hosting a very diverse sea life. Moalboal is also known for being regularly visited by Whale Sharks. The inland of Moalboal has a lush green mountain which hides deep valleys within. Most of the diving locations are within the fringe reef of a peninsula emanating from the Moalboal town. 4 kilometers to the west of the town is Panagsama beach, a rocky beach with diverse marine life around. It has a beautiful reef formation and is a popular diving spot. Other popular sites in Moalboal are Calles cathedral and sunken island, an underwater hill blessed with extremely diverse marine life. The densely forested inland and a beautiful coastal area makes Moalboal a very popular retreat for divers and outdoor enthusiasts. The town itself has restaurants, bars and sari-sari shops. It also has decent boarding lodging facilities and many dive centers sprawled across the beaches.

Getting there

There are daily flights from Manila to Cebu and from there it is a 90 kilometre / 56 mile bus or taxi ride. Many dive resorts offer transport from Cebu. If you are travelling from Dumaguete take a tricycle to Sibulan port for the ferry to Cebu and continue from there.
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