My friend Joemar (Lakwatserong Irigenyo) and I had a whole free day before heading to Bantayan Island and Malapascua Island, so we looked for possible day trips from Cebu City. I’d always wanted to go to Moalboal, so I suggested that we take a private tour in Moalboal and Kawasan Falls in Badian via KKDay.
These two places are both located in the south, 40 minutes apart.
Moalboal is a municipality in the south of the province popular among snorkeling enthusiasts and scuba divers. The best thing you can do in Moalboal is see the sardine run. Meanwhile, Kawasan Falls is located in Badian several minutes away from Moalboal. It’s undeniably one of the most recognizable waterfalls in the Philippines. It’s an Insta-famous spot.
Island hopping tour in Moalboal
From Cebu City, our KKDay guide dropped us off at the port in White Beach, which is the main jump-off point for island hopping tours in Moalboal.
First, we attended a quick orientation in the tourism office. It lasted 2-3 minutes wherein the officer told us what we’d be doing and a reminder not to touch the corals or the wildlife. Joemar and I agree that we could’ve done without it.
Soon, we were boarded on the tour boat. The island hopping tour includes 3 stops: Pescador Island, Sardine Run (Pinagsama Beach) and Turtle Point.
It took about 20 minutes to reach Pescador Island. It’s a small island with jagged rocks. The surrounding area is a marine shelf, which makes it a good snorkeling area. There were already several boats when we arrived, including a group of divers.
Around the boat, there were colorful corals and schools of small fish, but further ahead I noticed that while there’s a lot of corals, they are mostly brown. I’m not an expert so I don’t know if this is their natural color or a result of ocean warming. I love snorkeling so I’m almost always happy just floating above coral gardens, though admittedly the one here didn’t really impress compared to other places I’d been to in the past (e.g., Apo Island, Apo Reef in Mindoro and even certain areas in Batangas), so I was quick to get back to the boat.
At this point, the sky had turned overcast and the waves got rough. We spent a long time getting to Panagsama Beach. Our boat turned out to be slow too, as other boats got past us one by one.
We finally stopped a few meters from the shore in Panagsama Beach, where the sardines can be seen. The sardines form a group (often called a ball) to protect themselves from predators, and here it’s possible to see them all year round. In fact, those staying in Pinagsama Beach do not have to rent a boat to see the sardine run — they can just snorkel right from the shore.
I was able to glimpse a school of sardines, but soon after I could not keep up with the ocean’s condition. The waves weren’t the problem, it was the strong current underneath. I felt like if I had stayed longer, I would’ve been pulled away and even with fins it was difficult to get back to the safety of the ladder hanging from our boat.
At this point, the Taiwanese tourists we were sharing the boat with asked our guides if we could go back to the port as one of them was seasick. Joemar and I were disappointed because we wanted to try our luck in the Turtle Spot, but alas, perhaps it was for the good. However, I asked friends for photos in the Turtle Spot so you will get an idea what to see here.
The island hopping tour in Moalboal was only 3 hours. It was too short, but for casual tourists it is good enough. I would love to go back here in the future to stay longer.
From Moalboal, we drove for another 45 minutes to get to Badian. We had lunch on a seaside resort. Afterwards, we walked for 15 minutes and passed by pristine streams of water on the roadside before reaching Kawasan Falls.
As said above, Kawasan Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the country and a must-see when chasing waterfalls in Cebu. Kawasan Falls is a multi-layered waterfall with the bottom stream forming a huge pool, wide enough for a lot of people to bath in. There is a raft you can use to get to the waterfall itself. The pool is deep, so everyone is required to use a lifevest as precaution.
(If you’re wondering why, majority of Filipinos are non-swimmers and when accidents happen — regardless of who’s at fault — the local government must take responsibility and it often results to local regulations such as this.)
Aside from taking a swim here, you can also sign up for a canyoneering which involves trekking and then cliff jumping from a series of waterfalls. The path will eventually take you to the main stream of Kawasan.
Kawasan Falls is beautiful, although it’s perhaps one of the most commercialized waterfalls I’d seen. There’s a lot of stores beside the falls and even a commercial lodging where guests can stay overnight. I wish they had kept this area untouched and moved the establishments a bit further, but perhaps all this was done before the onset of more sustainable approaches.
It also tends to be crowded. There were lots of local and foreign tourists in the area, and families carrying children. Joemar swam in the numbing-cold pool while I preferred to sit on one of the boulders with my legs in the water. This was good enough for me.
Afterwards, we enjoyed a cup of coffee on the side.
Book your tour with KKDay
We availed of a private tour from KKDay for a day trip in Moalboal and Kawasan Falls in Badian, Cebu.
Here are the details of the tour:
- Minimum of 2 people
- Optional add-on: Kawasan Falls or Kawasan Falls with canyoneering activity
- Pickup at 4:30AM anywhere in Cebu City or Mandaue City and drop-off at 7-8PM
- Includes private car service, shared boat for island hopping
- Includes breakfast and lunch
Book your tour via KKDay using our referral link.
Reminders and tips
Here are some reminders before your trip:
- Make sure to have a whole day available if you include this tour.
- It’s best to go on weekdays as Moalboal can get crowded.
- Bring cash for snacks or pasalubong.
If you have a few days to spare, you can stay for 2-3 days in the south and explore other locations such as Oslob.
Has this post on island hopping in Moalboal and Kawasan Falls been helpful to you? If you have questions or comments, let us know in the comment section below!
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