Cebu has some of the most incredible dives sites around the Philippines. Oslob is home to whale sharks that one can see daily, even while snorkelling. Malapascua Island located at the northernmost tip of Cebu is renowned for its world class diving. You can see thresher sharks, large Manta Rays and many other creatures and critters in and around the island. For the more experienced divers you can have the dive of your life at Kansantik, an underwater mountain in the center of the Olango Channel. There is an abundance of great marine life, unspoiled reefs and diverse dives to enjoy on the beautiful island of Cebu.
Moalboal is also a very popular spot for divers, with a great array of marine life all year round. Pescador Island is located just 15 minutes from Panagsama Beach in Moalboal in fact, and you can be sure to get some great dives in around this area. There’s great activity along Panagsama Beach between dive shops and busy boats working with divers.
Where to go
I teamed up with Savedra Dive Center to explore some dive spots in the area, and was really impressed with their center. It was full of enthusiastic divers daily, plenty of energy and enthusiasm in the air, with professional divers at the ready to take you on your underwater trip.
They offer a diverse range of dives to suit everyones needs, as well as courses to further your diving path and help you become a more skillful and knowledgeable diver.
Lo-oc is a great dive not far from the dive shop (about a 10 min boat ride) which apparently translates to “making love.” There is a coral wall that goes 40 meters in depth, with a colourful reef full of vibrant life. I saw plenty of critters and an assortment of micro life. There were anemones, lionfish, and even a couple of turtles too!
One of the most requested dives in the area is Pescador Island. This is said to be every divers dream, as every dive here in an adventure. An uninhabited island that is only 50 meters in diameter at the surface, it reaches 50 meters in depth and has plenty of surprises waiting for you. Visibility is about 30-40 meters, and the surrounding waters of the Tañon Strait reaches up to 600 meters in depth. Depending on which side of the islet you dive from (the south side is largely different from the west facing side) you will explore caves, beautiful soft coral and maybe catch some whale sharks in their element.
Explore “the cathedral” which is an eerie cave that you may enter and look around at 18 meters. There are often thresher sharks, whale sharks and whitetip reef sharks spotted in the area. The beautiful bubbly coral is full of wonderful colours and critters. Turtles, frogfish murays and lionfish are all habitants of this unique island and can be seen all year round. Dolphins also like to make an appearance from time to time.
Literally feeling like I’m in another world while witnessing life under the sea. It’s so far from our reality, that it’s fun to get lost in it. 😊 . . . #diving #cebu #underwater #adventure #outdoorwomen #sea #philippines #traveldudes #afar #exploretocreate #adventureculture #openexposure #livealltravel #girlvsglobe #visualsoflife #ABMtravelbug #venture #wanderlust #explore #theadventuress #outdoorofficial #scuba #aqua #marinelife #active #traveldiaries #discover #island #tropical
The team at Savedra offer a daily trip to Pescador Island in the morning, and you’re sure to find eager divers everyday wanting to visit, sometimes even more than once!
Moalboal Sardine Run
The popular sardine tornado originally came from Pescador Island, however they have recently moved on closer to shore along Panagsama beach. This is a great opportunity for those that are interested in simply snorkelling because you can see this magnificent swarm of fish daily right by the beach! Turtles too like to hang out along the shore, and both are easily spotted whether it’s swimming, snorkelling or diving along the area.
It’s an incredible experience to have such a swarm of sardines surrounding you deep in the water, capturing your gaze and consuming your path so that all you see is this abundance of fish. I highly recommend checking it out!
Not only will you find a community of divers and snorkellers at Panagsama beach, but also free divers that are learning the sport for the first time, as well as mastering it. Whatever your intention, you will find Moalboal a great destination for freedivers because of little currents in the area, tremendous marine life waiting for you even along the shore, good visibility and water temperature all year round.
Finally ticked another one of the bucket list.. first free diving course in the bag 💪 Absolutely amazing, onto AIDA Level 2 ☺ #adventure #freediving #diving #itsmorefuninthephilippines #cebu #adventureculture #openexposure #livealltravel #girlvsglobe #traveldudes #GlobeDaily #outdoorwomen #outdoors #adventuretravel #afar #exploretocreate #underwater #diver #philippines #ABMtravelbug #venture #wanderlust #explore #lovetheworld #intravelist #explorecebu #vscogood #openmyworld #wandertheworld #theadventuress
I went to Moalboal Freediving Planet for my first free diving course, and I can say I’m now hooked. The AIDA level 1 took only the day, and is manageable for anyone that can confidently swim and is comfortable in the water. The morning is spent on theory, then into the water in the afternoon for some static and deep-water dives. What I loved about doing the free diving course here, was that you had the school of sardines swarming around you as you learned to dive at depth. What a great way to take your mind off of your breath and enjoy the scenery!
With level 1, you get certified with the basics. Hold your breath for a minimum of 2 minutes, and dive 10 meters. You learn different diving techniques, how to relax your mind and body to conserve oxygen and what to do in emergencies.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to start my free diving journey in Moalboal, and I’m happy to have learned the necessary techniques to ultimately have fun underwater for longer periods of time, with the freedom that scuba doesn’t give you. It’s a refreshing, liberating and relaxing activity that anyone can take up.
You can move up to AIDA level 2 immediately after, which takes 3 days.
I would definitely recommend visiting Moalboal for enjoying all sorts of dives. There is never a dull moment, and you’re guaranteed to enjoy yourself!
If you have any questions or comments, maybe alternative suggestions or things you would recommend let me know! I would love to add to the list. Below is also the information on where to go and how to get started with your dives in the area.
Have fun! 🙂
How to get there:
Fly to Mactan Cebu Airport. Take a taxi or hire a pick up service (highly recommended) to collect you from the airport and bring you the 80km journey south to Moalboal. Most dive shops, resorts and tourist companies offer airport pick up/drop off.
Panagsama beach is the popular spot for diving and you will find many bars, restaurants and accommodations along the beach area. There are plenty of dive shops that also offer accommodation, and here you will also find Savedra Dive Center as well as Moalboal Freediving Planet right on the shoreline.
Savedra also offer a variety of accommodations so that you may book an all inclusive package with your trip. Alternatively, if you fancy staying further away from the busy beach, and get more of a taste of Moalboal I would recommend staying at Moalboal Beach Resort. Only 15 minutes away by tricycle, (200 pesos) this resort is fairly isolated at the northern tip of Moalboal, also on the shore but with its own pool too.
For further inquiries, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to next?
Check out some of the crazy adventures in Cebu that are waiting for you here!
For visual inspiration, click this link to a quick youtube video of Cebu adventures.