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South Cebu Adventure: Pescador Island and Sardines Run in Moalboal


Moalboal is a known tourist destination because of its amazing marine life and beautiful white sand beaches. Pescador Island in Moalboal is considered a paradise for divers because of its beautiful corals and different marine species.
Cliff in Pescador Island

How to get there

Moalboal is around 89 KM from Cebu, the town next to Alcantara and before Badian. It is about 2 to 3 hours travel from the city. There are two popular beaches in Moalboal which is Panagsama and Basdaku White Beach. Both beaches are around 3 to 5 kilometer from the main road.
Fruit stand in town proper
From Cebu
  • Ride a bus bound to Bato via Barili in South Bus Terminal
  • Alight in Moalboal town proper and ride a tricycle or motorcycle to your designated resort
  • Alternative to bus are UV Express/vans in One Citilink Terminal just near South Bus Terminal
  • UV Express/vans are faster than the bus. Its around 2 hours travel time.
  • Bus fare is around PhP 115.00, while UV Express is PhP 100.00
  • Tricycle fare range around PhP 60.00 - 100.00 per trip


  • From Oslob
  • In Oslob, take a bus bound to Bato and alight in Ceres bus terminal
  • From the bus terminal, ride a bus bound to Cebu and alight in Moalboal


  • Where to stay

    If you are looking for a place to relax and just go beach bumming, you should go to Basdaku White Beach. But if you wanted to go diving or snorkeling, then Panagsama beach it is. Most affordable rooms also are found in Panagsama beach.

  • Ester Homestay (Basdaku): +63 927 578-5983
  • Club Serena Resort (Basdaku): +63 920 902-8888 / +63 928 507-2026
  • Ravenala Beach Resort (Basdaku): +63 917 550-0102
  • Moalboal Backer Lodge (Panagsama): +63 917 751-8902 / +63 908 607-6240
  • Sunshine Pension House (Panagsama): +63 921 689-1865 / +63 927 305-1105
  • Maya’s Native Garden (Panagsama): +63 915 480-9610 / +63 32 4743084

  • A resort in Panagsama Beach
    View from the window of the resort

    Dive Center/Boatmen

    There are a lot of diving center and resorts around Panagsama. For first time divers, the price starts usually at PhP 2000.00 per diver and there's a discount for the second dive. If you are just going to go snorkeling, you can hire a boat for PhP 1800.00 including the snorkeling gears, which is good for 4 persons. You can try to haggle with the price of the boat.
    Shores of Panagsama Beach

    Pescador Island

    Around 10 to 15 minutes from the shores of Panagsama beach is the island of Pescador. It is a small island that no one resides. This island is where the main diving spot is. The best way to see the island's marine life is by scuba diving since there are fewer corals and small fishes only are seen by just snorkeling.
    Pescador Island
    A stairs to the island
    Rocks and trees on the island
    The deep part is after the corals
    Free-diving
    Small fishes and some corals
    Swimming with the small fishes
    More fishes
    Saw a diver provoking a sea snake
    The deeper it gets, the more marine life you'll see

    Sardines Run

    After the snorkeling in Pescador Island, we went to the spot where thousands, or probably millions of sardines are. At first I was wondering if we could see them even though we will just be snorkeling, but when we reached the area, I see in the water a big dark spot that I thought was just seaweed. When we jumped into the water, the dark big spot was actually the sardines. I was just amazed by it. The area is protected and net fishing is not allowed here.
    Sardines run
    It's just so many
    I am really amazed by it. 
    More sardines!
    They almost covered the corals

    Moalboal is really blessed with a rich marine life, I haven't explored much of the town, but I'm sure it has more to offer. Thanks for reading!
    Cheers from Moalboal!

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    Hey there, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my article and helped you out with some travel tips and ideas. Please do leave a comment if you have some comments or suggestions and I'll gladly answer it. Cheers!

    49comments:

    1. The sardine run is amazing! Didn't you get to go to the Pawikan Area?

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      1. Yup, really amazing! Unfortunately, the waves are a little strong so we didn't have the chance to go there.

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    2. Do you have to go diving to see the sardine run or snorkeling will do?

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    3. Astig ng free diving. Thank you for sharing your Moalboal adventure.

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      Replies
      1. You're welcome Chris, Thank you for reading!

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      2. Hi. May contact number ka ng bangkero? Dalawa lang kasi kami and yung mga prices ng tour packages online eh super mahal. Doable ba sya kung alis ng mga 4:00 am sa cebu City then back by night time sa City. Magsnorkeling sa Pescador lang talaga yung maintarget namin. :) thanks!

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      3. Hi. May contact number ka ng bangkero? Dalawa lang kasi kami and yung mga prices ng tour packages online eh super mahal. Doable ba sya kung alis ng mga 4:00 am sa cebu City then back by night time sa City. Magsnorkeling sa Pescador lang talaga yung maintarget namin. :) thanks!

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      4. Hi Queen, yup it's doable sa time frame niyo I think 2-3 hours lang naman ang Moalboal from Cebu, but of course depends on traffic. For the contact number, I don't have it kasi ni-refer lang kami ng tricycle driver na nag hatid sa amin. You can just ask the drivers around tapos makipag-tawaran na lang kayo hehe! :)

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      5. Hi! Nadouble post pala ako! Sorry. Hehe. Mobile phone kasi gamit ko kagabi. Thanks a lot for the tips! <3

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      6. Hi Queen. I just want to know if naging okay po yung experience nyo kahit hindi kayo naka tour package? And if may contact details po kayo and prices na rin, it will be very helpful. :)

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      7. Hello. Ang nanagyari sa min, nagbus kami to moalboal, then nagtrike to Panagsama. If you are expecting na parang El Nido or Palawan na may mga packages ng tour, hindi sya ganon. Pero nung day na andun kami, may isang group of 6 na magPepescador Island. Sumama lang kami sa kanila. 400/pax binayaran namin. Tapos may sumabay pa rin na 2 pa. Yung 2 pa na yun, inaya naman nila kami na magcanyoneering. Same na kuya sa Pescador Island at Canyoneering yung kinausap namin. Di ko na masyado matandaan how much. around 1400 yata. Wala akong contact number ni kuya eh. Sya na rin yung naghatid sa min sa sakayan pabalik ng Cebu City. Bale 4:30 Am kami umalis ng Cebu city, by 7:30 nasa Panagsama na kami. Then yung pauwi naman, 7pm kami nakasakay ng bus, 10pm kami dumating sa city.

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    4. do you have the contact details of the boatman you hire going to pescador island?

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    5. Sorry, nasagot na pala ang tanong ko sa ibang comments. Slamat

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    6. Is it safe to do this tour alone? Solo traveler here. :)

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      Replies
      1. Hi Cassandra, yup it's perfectly safe, the boatmen and tricycle drivers here are tourist friendly :)

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    7. Hi! Do you think going canyoneering in the morning then the Sardine run afterwards is doable if we have to be back in Cebu Airport by 6pm? Thank you!

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      1. I think you'll get stuck in the traffic going back to the Mactan Airport. They're fixing one of the Mactan-Cebu bridges and I've heard horror stories about the traffic.

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      2. True, it's very risky. Moalboal to Cebu is around 2-3 hours and that doesn't include the travel time from the city proper to the airport.

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    8. Hi, thanks so much for this post! Do you think snorkeling in the afternoon, (around 3/4pm) is doable? We have something in the morning and was wondering if we can fit the snorkeling on the same day. Otherwise we do it the next morning but we have a flight in Mactan at 4pm. Which do you think is more doable? :)

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      Replies
      1. Hi there, around 3 to 4 pm is I think a little late. Also I'm not sure how are the waves are doing that time. If you can start around 1 or 2 pm, it's much better. You can also go the next morning but you need to start very early, say around 6 am, since traffic going to Cebu is really bad and you need to allot 3-4 (or maybe more) hours from Moalboal to Cebu.

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    9. hi. ask ko lang if practical ba na after nmin mg canyoneering and whale shark watching is balik kme sa city then next day mag moalboal kame then after balik na din sa city. sa city kase kame kase naka kuha ng affordable hotel pero for 2days sa south cebu yung itinerary nmin.please i need some advice.thanks :)

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      1. Hi Khim, I thinks it's very time consuming at medyo nakaka-pagod din. Coming from Oslob back to the city might take your 3-4 hours na, so parang konting time nalang ang ipag-sstay niyo sa hotel sa city.

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    10. may i know what is the best time to go to pescador island and do all this things? and how long did you stay there?

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      1. Hi Carmela, Best time to go there is in the morning where waves are still small. We stayed there around half a day only.

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    11. may i know what is the best time to go to pescador island and do all this things? and how long did you stay there?

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    12. Hi mike, just wanna ask where u left your things dito sa Moalboal tour nyo. Did u rent for locker? is 75 entrance kasama na locker? thanks :)

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      Replies
      1. Hi there, we didn't rent a locker, we brought our stuff during our tour. We just left it in the boat :)

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    13. Hello po.. ask lang po ako if alin po mas maganda, snorkeling at pescador or island hopping sa sumilon? Thank u po

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      Replies
      1. Hi Mike, am waiting as well for your answer to Honey Gladys' inquiry. Thanks!

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    14. Hi, question lang!

      Yung 400/pax sa Pescador Island tour, kasama na ba dyan yung boat nyo or yung tour guide fee lang parang ganun? Thanks!

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    15. Hai! May i know what time usually it will finish as i am thinking of catching the bus to Cebu City after that.

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      Replies
      1. Hi Dyla, if you started around 8 or 9 am, it is usually finished before 12 noon.

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    16. Hi,may i know how about free diving. How much must pay included boat? If sknorkeling price only?

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      Replies
      1. Hi Farhan, we got the boat for P1800 with snorkeling gears and is good for 4 pax.

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    17. Hi.. I got a package deal.. canyoneering and pescador island for 2300 per head... cheap na po ba yun? Ty po

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      Replies
      1. Hi there, it depends on how many your are in the group. if you are only 2, then its okay na din. but for 4 or more, P1600 is the standard rate for canyoneering, then you can rent a boat for 1800 good for 4.

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    18. Hi Mike, awesome blog by the way. Say, you think we could squeeze in the kawasan canyoneering and pescador island snorkeling in a day, we are planning a DIY trip 5n4d in cebu. any tips for us?

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      Replies
      1. Hi there, sorry for the very late reply, It is possible, just do the island hopping first on the morning, but be sure to finish before 11 am, then you could travel to Badian at 11 am and be there around 1 PM so you could still do an afternoon canyoneering.

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    19. Hi mike, is it possible na mag moalboal island hopping kmi after ng canyoneering (option A) or mas okay kung island hopping muna bago magcanyoneering (option B)?

      if mas okay ung option B, gang wat time ung last trip papuntang oslob, don namin plan mag stay overnight para maaga sa whaleshark.. hehe..
      Thanks..

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      Replies
      1. Hello mike, i have the same question. please answer. thanks. :)

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      2. Hi there, sorry for the very late reply, I think option B is better. Since you will be going to Oslob the next day. Moalboal-Badian-Oslob instead of Badian-Moalboal-Oslob. since Badian is closer to Oslob. hope this still helps! :)

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    20. Hi mike. I would like if if the 2k rate for diving includes the boat and is it both for pescador and panagsama? Also how many mins is it per diving?

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      Replies
      1. Hi there, we boarded the boat on Panagsama beach. The boat price includes Pescador Island, Sardines run and supposed to be another snorkeling spot but the waves are strong at the moment. For the time limit on each destinations, it really depends on you so just tell them you want to go to the next destination.

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    21. Hi. Kindly check naman po kung ok IT ko.
      day 1. cebu city-osmeña peak
      day 2. tumalog falls-sumilon
      day ౩. pescador-back to cebu
      can u suggest where and when ko pwde masingit kawasan falls? and sa pescador do u have contacts?
      TIA! :)

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    22. Hello! Do you have any contact numbers for Pescador - canyoneering - kawasan??

      Salamat po

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    23. Hi. How much do you spend for this tour? Kaya po ba ng day tour lang. Salamat po.

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    24. Hi!!! who can refer me a boat to rent for moalboal tour we will be staying at moalboal beach resort. and also in oslob for sumillion tour. yung affordable lang 2 pax travelling.. this coming july
      and please comment the number lang thanks in advance

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    25. Hello ask ko lang po kung okay lamg magstart ang pescador island trip with sardine run ng 2pm po?

      ReplyDelete