The Phillipines is made up of over 7000 tropical islands. Obviously it’s a diver’s dream…or really anyone who likes to spend their days semi submerged in water.
The people are amazing and there’s looooots to do. I just visited Cebu and Siargao islands.
This place is an adventure playground. Panagsama Beach is where everyone stays and there’s all sorts of activities you can do from there: Mountain biking, canyoning, stunning waterfalls, excellent diving (turtles, sardine balls, sea snakes, whale sharks to name a few) and viewing of SOMDAs – Sleazy Old Men Drinking All Day. The latter isn’t such a rare site, but stay out of their way and they’ll stay out of yours -unless you’re a young Filipino woman – unfortunately they prey on them.
Things to do in Moalboal:
Whale Sharks in Oslob with Jo Jo Southern Adventures:
Whale Sharks are massive docile creatures with big gummy mouths. The largest of the fish species, they can live up to 70 years old. Maybe that’s why they’ve kinda got no teeth.
Being surrounded by these friendly giants peacefully cruising around is obviously a magical experience of epic proportions. However, it is a bit of a circus in Oslob, but am pretty sure it’s the only place to do it in Cebu. Hordes of snorkellers are on the surface, so I recommend diving instead. Jo Jo Southern Adventure Tours in Panagsama beach, Moalboal will get you there for half the price of the other dive shops – do all your tours with him. Think it was around 2000 pesos per person whereas the other shops were around 4000 pesos each. It’s about 1 and a half hours drive each way, so you could just drive yourself and get in with a local dive shop on arrival.
Paradise. For a price. Look, these waterfalls are down right majestic and beautiful. Aqua-marine water collides with tons of water as it falls from the cliffs. Buuut, you’ll get charged for putting your bag on a table as you swim and the locker prices are pretty crazy too. Buuuut, is well worth the trip. Keep walking up to the next two waterfalls, much less people – can even swim by yourself….plus there’s an awesome cliff jump at the top waterfall.
Is only a 40 minute scooter/car ride from Panagsama, you’ll have to pay to park your bike if you want it to be safe, but not much.
People do canyoning tours there, which is all jumping off falls and crawling – there’s no abseiling but I heard it’s heaps of fun and around 1500 pesos.
Canyoning with Planet Adventure:
To be fair, you can snorkel with turtles almost anywhere in Moalboal but if you want to be guaranteed to see these 400 million year old wonders of evolution, go to Turtle Point. Simply follow the signs to Turtle Bay Resort off the main road and when you get there, security will let you in for free. Simply walk through the resort and down the stairs. Then just walk to the end of the concrete pier and swim out towards the buoy, to the reef wall drop off – you’ll see turtles aplenty. Going at low tide is your best bet.
Sardine Ball Snorkelling/Diving:
Sardines. Fishy deliciousness. To protect themselves from those pesky, evil dolphins, they swim around in huge defensive balls. Looks epic. And you can swim, snorkel and dive with them literally 2 minutes swim (30 metres) off Panagsama Beach (the main beach). Must do, and if you have your own snorkel gear, it’s FREE, yeeeew!
This is where everyone goes. Did a fun drift dive there. Quite a lot of sea life including sea snakes, turtles and the odd reef shark.
Where to Stay:
We stayed at D’Cozy which was about a 5 minute scooter ride out of town (15 min walk). Vey peaceful, with only 5 rooms, all with sea views, friendly staff, free breakfast and a nice pool out front. You can also snorkel out the front to a reef wall teaming with turtles. Highly recommend this place – is about $60 US a night. Of course, if you want to be in the heart of all the action there are plenty of options there too. If you want proper isolated luxury, check out Turtle Bay Resort.
Malapascua is a small island off the northern tip of Cebu.