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The reefs along the west coast of the Copton Peninsula offer a great variety of marine life and Pescador Island lies only 3km off the coast. There is not much sand along Panagsama Beach as it was blown away in a typhoon in 1984 and the small resorts have now built right up to the water’s edge providing enticing views of the volcanic plateaus of Negros across the Tañon Strait. A 7km tricycle ride further north on the peninsula is White Beach with a sandy 2 kilometre beach and nice, clear blue water. Fringing coral reef lines the peninsula, good for snorkeling, diving and free diving.
Besides snorkeling, scuba diving and free diving, there are many activities around Moalboal to attract the most adventurous of travelers.
Hike along the Kawasan River through the jungle, passing villages until you reach the crystal clear waters of the magnificent Kawasan Falls comprising of five levels
Abseil the Tison waterfalls
Go canyoning, kayaking, rafting or mountain biking
Trek through jungles and valleys to Osmena Peak, the highest peak in Cebu
Rent a motor bike or dirt bike to tour around the area
Visit the orchid farm, the local morning fresh produce market or the Sunday Filipino market selling handicrafts, clothing and food.
Diving In Moalboal is conducted year round. The waters are calmest from April to June.
Cool & dry season (December to February) - Temperatures range from 24ºC to 32ºC with occasional rain showers. The water temperature is around 26ºC - 27ºC.
Hot & dry season (March to May) - Temperatures range from 30ºC to 32ºC often going for weeks without rain. The water temperature is between 27ºC - 29ºC.
Wet season (June to November) - The air temperature is about 32ºC. Cebu and the Visayas does not get as much rainfall in the rainy season. Usually there's bright sunshine in the morning followed by a short, strong but refreshing downpour in the afternoon followed by more sunshine. Water temperature is 27ºC - 29ºC.
Cebu is outside the main typhoon belt that can hit the Philippines between September and December and Moalboal is sheltered by surrounding islands. The area is generally affected by overcast weather and some rain for a few days during a typhoon.
|Magic Island Dive Resort
On the coast, south of Panagsama Beach
Onsite Shop: No
Onsite Dive Centre: Yes
|Kasai Village Dive Resort
On the coast, north of Panagsama Beach
|Wifi: in reception
Onsite Shop: Yes
Onsite Dive Centre: Yes
Moalboal has some of the best diving in Cebu, suitable for of all levels of divers. There is an immense diversity of marine life from the smallest of nudibranchs to the biggest of whale sharks and also a varied underwater terrain from slopes to walls, caves and canyons. Easy house reef dives line the peninsula making this an ideal spot for muck and night dives. Boat dives are conducted by traditional bangka boat mostly along the peninsula’s fringing reef and around Pescador Island (10-15 min boat ride). Giant turtles will greet you on almost every dive. Steep walls plummet into the sea covered in colourful soft corals, home to all manner of critters. At twilight, Mandarin Fish come out to do their courtship dance.
Pescador Island has recently become famous for the giant schools of sardine bait balls that come and go around the island. These bait balls attract larger predators such as tuna, barracuda, mackerel and occasionally, thresher sharks. Hammerheads have also been seen here.
There are around 30 dive sites in the area. Visibility can range anywhere from 10 metres on a very bad day to 40 metres. Some sites can be affected by strong currents.
The reef drops off right in front of most of the Dive Centres along Panagsama Beach. Schools of jacks and tuna hunt on the reef covered in hard, soft and fan corals. There are resident frogfish and turtles. Even whale sharks have been seen on the fringing reef. Night dives bring out the decorator crabs, cuttlefish, snake eels, sea snakes and more. Depth: 5 - 55 metres.
An unbelievable variety of corals and fish life can be found here - frogfish, schools of lionfish, barracuda, tuna, snapper, jacks, clown fish. There is a chimney starting at 37m, exiting at 22m and 16m. The cave is magnificent when filled with light in the afternoon. The wall is covered with soft corals. Depth: 5 - 65 metres.
There is a gigantic sea fan forest between 25 - 40 metres. Amongst the enormous fan corals are lionfish, leaf fish, harlequin ghost pipefish, and the long-nose hawkfish. Napoleon wrasse, bump-head parrotfish and white tip sharks also frequent the area. The current can sometimes be strong at the top of the reef. Depth 8 - 45 metres.
Experienced divers will love this dive. The top of the island starts in 22m and goes down to more than 250m. At the top are big shoals of fusiliers chased by jacks, big lionfish, moray eels, redtooth triggerfish, bannerfish, Spanish dancers. Several whale sharks have been encountered here. Currents can be fierce.
Cracks, ravines, small caves and some swim throughs line this steep wall. Inside the caves spot turtles, juvenile barracuda, shoals of razorfish, leaf fish, harlequin ghost pipefish. Bring a torch. Mandarin Fish hide in the shallows, deep in the coral. Depth: 5 - 55 metres.