Moalboal Island Hopping: Pescador Island + Sardine Run + Turtle Watching (Travel Guide)


Frankly, I’ve been to Moalboal several times. My first visit was in the summer of 2013 when my friends invited me to go to the beach. At that time, we visited the Basdaku white beach – located in Brgy. Saavedra, Moalboal, Cebu. Candidly, that was the first white sandy beach I’ve visited in the whole province of Cebu, since I got in Cebu in 2009. And from that day forward, I perpetually had a chance to visit the white beaches in Moalboal almost twice a year. That being said, I can tell that I really love Moalboal a lot.

And so, just last weekend, I was given a chance to visit Moalboal again. Merely, this time – I decided to enjoy Moalboal or best known as the snorkeling and diving paradise in the Southwest part of Cebu in a whole different way. That said, I was excited because at long last, I would experience the most sought after adventure in Moalboal – the Moalboal Island Hopping.

Also Read: 10 Must Visit Islands In Cebu

Hence, with this Moalboal Island hopping experience; you’ll get to find out the famous tourist spots in Moalboal, such as Pescador Island, Moalboal Coral garden, Sardine run, and turtle watching, or this place best called as Turtle Point. Also, after this post, I will likewise make a separate blog post about Moalboal, which includes Travel guide with Itinerary and Budget, and Moalboal Tourist Attractions. But for now, you’ll come to enjoy reading my Moalboal Island Hopping Experience.

Pescador Island

Pescador Island is a tiny rocky Island, situated in the Tañon Strait, and just a few kilometers from the western coast of the island of Cebu, which is part of the municipality of Moalboal. This island boasts about its marine habitats; home for various marine species and some of them are extremely endangered. And with its cobalt blue water, you’ll get to experience a once in a lifetime diving adventure by seeing all the marine species, which includes the stunning corals with different colors and types.

It was already my second time on the Island during my visit, and was so glad that finally, I was given a chance to go back. And so, only a few kilometers from this Island is where the best site for dolphin watching. But since the best time to catch the adorable dolphins is early in the morning, I wasn’t able to experience it during my visit.

Sardine Run

If you have been to Moalboal and you haven’t experienced Sardine Run, I guess you really have to go back and see it yourself. Sardine Run in Moalboal is very famous, which captured the attention of many International divers across the globe. It has more than a million sardines where you set out to experience the huge crowd of sardines, which will stun you whenever they create different shapes. In addition, sardine run in Moalboal is available all year round, which earns it a top spot in Moalboal.

Moreover, it is actually located just a few meters away from the shore of Panagsama beach. Merely, one has to be very careful because if you swim 30-40 meters from the shore, the reef drops off suddenly for about 70 meters. That being said, it is more beneficial to go to this place during your Island hopping cause you’ll get to enjoy it even more, especially if you’re not a good swimmer just like me.

Sea Turtle Watching

One of the best things that Moalboal has to offer is having a chance to discover the sea turtles. And, having to see these sea turtles will make you fall in love in Moalboal even more. Why in the world would I say that? It is because these sea turtles are very rare to find, and one has to be really patient in finding them. This maybe because of the sea turtle’s behaviors; the flock of tourists, the weather, and considering the low and high tide situation, which regards the sea turtle location as well.

During my sojourn, I wasn’t able to experience a close encounter with the sea turtles because they were swimming deeply that I couldn’t chase them. Perhaps if I was a proficient diver, I could’ve chased them effortlessly without having to worry about swimming deeply. Only sometimes, these sea turtles are often in a mood of swimming at the photic zone of an ocean, or sometimes, just a few meters below the uppermost layer of the ocean. That being said, you come to really pray hard to experience such gem before doing a sea turtle hunting. Additionally, to show that the presence of sea turtles in Moalboal is true, there are Resorts here, which named after the famous Sea Turtles in Moalboal namely; Turtle bay and Sea Turtle House Moalboal.

Moalboal Coral Garden

This spot in Moalboal can be found almost in any part of the ocean of Moalboal. Perhaps because Moalboal is a diver’s paradise in the southwestern part of Cebu. That being said, you won’t be surprised if during your Island hopping, you’ll start to see the different shapes and types of corals with an abundant marine species when you do snorkeling or diving. During my sojourn, I was blessed to experience a beautiful coral garden during the time when had our Sea turtle hunting and during our visit in Pescador Island.

My recommendation for an Island Hopping Tour In Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines.

Tropical Beauty Island Hopping Tour – this island hopping tour operator is proud of their top of the line boats that are designed for rough water situation including the heavy waves during the Island hopping tour. Aside from their top of the line boats, the owner itself is an experienced Maritime expert who has been working for more than 30 years in his field. In fact, the name of their boat – “Tropical Beauty” was the first ship he had a chance to work with. Additionally, their boat crews and the boat drivers are skilled and very kind.

Tropical Beauty Island Hopping Tour Contact Details

TROPICAL BEAUTY ISLAND HOPPING TOUR PACKAGE DETAILS

PACKAGE DETAILS ACTIVITIES
TOUR APrivate Tour (3 hours Duration) with Boat Crews as a guide. Free use of Snorkeling gear, and Lifevest. Exclusion: Environmental Fee (P100) Optional Add-ons: Private Air-Conditioned Transportation – Pick up and drop off in any hotel in Cebu City Snorkeling in Pescador Island and Sardine Run, and Turtle Watching in Talisay Point.
TOUR BPrivate Tour (3 hours Duration) with Boat Crews as a guide. Free use of Snorkeling gear, and Lifevest. Exclusion: Environmental Fee (P100) Optional Add-ons: Private Air-Conditioned Transportation – Pick up and drop off in any hotel in Cebu City Dolphin Watching (weather dependent) (5am-6am). Snorkeling in Pescador Island and Sardine Run, and Turtle Watching in Talisay Point.
TOUR CPrivate Tour (8 hours Duration) with Boat Crews as a guide. Free use of Snorkeling gear, and Lifevest. Exclusion: Environmental Fee (P100) Optional Add-ons: Private Air-Conditioned Transportation – Pick up and drop off in any hotel in Cebu City Snorkeling in Pescador Island and Sardine Run, and Turtle Watching in Talisay Point.

HOW TO GET TO MOALBOAL FROM CEBU CITY

There are daily flights to Cebu from Manila, Davao and other part of the Philippines with Major Airlines (Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia). From the Mactan Cebu International Airport, ride a taxi going to South Bus Terminal.

Tips:

There’s a MyBus outside the airport near the exit gate on the right side. From the Airport, the drop off point is in SM Cebu. The fare is PHP 50.00. Trip schedules are from 7:00AM to 9:00PM with a 30 minute interval. From SM City Cebu, ride a taxi or Public Jeepney that has a 01K sign board going to Cebu South Bus Terminal.

You can check this article for your commuting guide around Cebu City and nearby Cities

Getting Around Cebu City and Nearby Cities: 9 Modes of Transportation That You Can use.

At the South Bus Terminal:

Ride Ceres Bus (Yellow Bus), bound for Bato via Barili. Make sure it’s via Barili because the Buses bound for Bato via Oslob won’t pass by Moalboal since its route is on the other side. If you’re traveling during weekends and holidays, the line in the South Bus Terminal can be really long. So, be at the terminal as early as you can. The Bus fare to Moalboal from Cebu City is around PHP 156.00-160.00. The travel time is about 3-4 hours depending on the traffic flow in the town of Talisay, Minglanilla, Naga and Carcar. Don’t forget to inform the Bus Conductor or the Bus Driver to drop you off in Moalboal at the BUS stop.

The moment you get off, you’ll be seeing a lot of tricycle and Motorcycle drivers around, especially near the Moalboal Market that offers you a ride to Basdaku Beach just in case you would only go to the beach. But, If you do Island hopping, you will just have to contact your island hopping tour operator. Also, you can go directly to the Municipal Tourism Office of Moalboal near the BUS stop, or just ask any locals around.

HOW TO GET TO MOALBOAL FROM OSLOB, CEBU

Since Oslob is known for the whale shark adventure activity, some might want to visit Moalboal after Oslob. So, here’s the commuting guide for you.

From Oslob, Cebu, ride a Bus bound for Bato. The moment you get off at Bato, ride another Bus bound for Moalboal. Make sure to inform the Bus Conductor to drop you off in Moalboal at the BUS stop.

HOW TO GET TO MOALBOAL FROM BADIAN OR KAWASAN FALLS

The town of Badian is famous because of Canyoneering and Kawasan Falls. And since it’s quite close to Moalboal with around 18 kilometers away, commuting is really easy. Just ride a Bus from Badian bound for Moalboal and the travel time is approximately 30-40 minutes. The Bus fare is around PHP 40.00. You can also hire a Motorcycle (Habal-Habal), that can bring you directly to Moalboal, Cebu. Make sure to inform the Bus Conductor to drop you off in Moalboal at the BUS stop.

Also Read: Kawasan Falls In Badian Cebu: Your Ultimate Travel Guide To One Of The Famous Waterfalls In The Philippines

MOALBOAL ISLAND HOPPING TRAVEL TIPS

  • If possible, do your Moalboal Island Hopping Tour during weekday since Moalboal has the tendency to be very crowded every weekend and during holidays.
  • Remember to bring your ocean and coral reef safe sunblock so you can enjoy your Island Hopping Tour without worrying about sunburn. A towel and extra clothes are obviously very significant, too. Hence, don’t forget to bring them with you.
  • Bring some food, or snack items and water, because you’ll be hungry during your Island Hopping Tour.
  • Wear your comfortable wetsuits so you can swim comfortably.
  • Don’t forget to bring your own underwater camera like GoPro so that, you’ll get to document your Island hopping adventure. But, just in case you don’t have one, there are available underwater Cameras for rent just before you proceed with your Island Hopping tour. The rental cost is from Php 500.00 – Php 600.00.
  • Hypothermia can be a real risk. If you’re the person who’s not used of staying long in a cold water for too long, then you better wear wetsuits and pay attention to your body’s response.
  • Put on your life jacket, as this is required if you want to really get off the boat and swim.
  • Please remember to practice Leave No Trace (LNT) behind. Take good care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough.
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