TURTLE BAY MOALBOAL: Best Snorkeling Spot in Cebu

Incredible coral at Turtle Bay Moalboal

Turtle Bay Moalboal is one of the most underrated snorkeling spots in Cebu, and perhaps one of our favourite spots in all of the Philippines. It’s home to some of the most incredible, healthy coral we’ve ever seen and it’s so easily accessible. A must visit dive site while you’re in Moalboal!

WHERE IS TURTLE BAY MOALBOAL

Turtle Bay is on the southern point of Moalboal, just a short 10 minute drive from the more popular Panagsama Beach. We found out about this little gem when we had dinner at Herbs Guest House and they recommended we check it out. We parked in the vacant lot next to Herbs and walked a couple minutes to the beach. It’s a straight shot to the beach but if you need directions just ask the locals.

WHAT TO BRING TO TURTLE BAY MOALBOAL

Prepare for your trip to Turtle Bay Moalboal with our must have travel essentials.

Waterproof backpack & phone case: Earth Pak 35L or 55L Heavy Duty Backpack, IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case Included (click for price)
Quick dry microfiber travel towel: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Towel (click for price)
Action camera: GoPro HERO9 Black (click for price)
GoPro dome: TELESIN Dome Port Lens for GoPro Hero 9 (click for price)
Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro (click for price)

BEST TIME TO VISIT TURTLE BAY MOALBOAL

You’ll want to visit Turtle Bay at high tide, which is exactly what we didn’t do. We went when it couldn’t possibly be any lower, which made it very difficult to get out to the deep water. Our stomachs were practically grazing the top of the coral as we swam out.

Low tide at Turtle Bay Moalboal

SNORKELING AT TURTLE BAY MOALBOAL

The reef at Turtle Bay Moalboal is dramatic, particularly at low tide when you’re inching along to avoid touching the coral and all of a sudden it drops to an infinite depth. If you’re not a fan of deep water, it can be a little daunting, but we had fun diving down the shelf to hang out with the fish.

Freediving at Turtle Bay Moalboal
Freediving at Turtle Bay Moalboal
Freediving at Turtle Bay Moalboal
Coral at Turtle Bay Moalboal

You might be wondering if there are any turtles at Turtle Bay Moalboal, and the answer is yes! There definitely are. The locals told us to swim out by the buoy and we would surely find some, which was spot on advice. We saw one little guy swimming at around 10 metres deep, but unfortunately we couldn’t snap a photo of him in time before he swam beyond our freediving capabilities. Definitely keep your eyes peeled for turtles at Turtle Bay!

Snorkelling at Turtle Bay Moalboal
Snorkelling at Turtle Bay Moalboal

GoPro quality just doesn’t do the reef at Turtle Bay Moalboal any justice, but believe us when we say it is some of the most magical coral we’ve ever seen. Vibrant, alive, home to all sorts of critters! It was a treasure hunt of sorts, swimming amongst the reef and pointing out all the weird and wonderful creatures to each other.

Up close with the coral
Up close with the coral
Up close with the coral

Turtle Bay Moalboal is the kind of place you can spend a couple of hours at in the morning and still have a full day of adventure ahead. If you want to keep kicking it in the water after your trip to Turtle Bay, why not head to Panagsama Beach and swim with the Moalboal sardine run or take a boat out to Pescador Island. For more ideas and travel guides, read to the very end!

PIN IT FOR LATER

Turtle Bay Moalboal Philippines Travel Guide

WHERE TO STAY IN MOALBOAL

Southern Cebu is where all the adventure is at, from waterfalls and whale sharks to island hopping and diving. When visiting anywhere in the south, the best place to stay is Moalboal. It has the most accommodation options, and is a fun little town with dozens of cafes, restaurants and bars. Check out our top four picks below for where to stay in Moalboal.

BUDGET/HOSTEL: CHIEF MAU

Right on the main strip of Panagsama Road you’ll find Chief Mau, a fun and social hostel that dubs itself the chillest place in town. Clean, modern and affordable, boasting a restaurant, bar and billiards, Chief Mau is a favourite amongst backpackers

View Best Rate
Chief Mau
Image by Chief Mau

MIDSCALE: ADAM’S VIEW HOTEL

Simple but with all the amenities and facilities you need – including a massive pool – Adam’s View Hotel is our top pick for those looking for a little more luxury than a backpackers. Located in the main town, Adam’s View Hotel is right next to Gaisano Mall, but still close enough to the action of Panagsama Beach to remain convenient.

View Best Rate
Adam's View Hotel
Image by Adam’s View Hotel

LUXURY: TURTLE BAY DIVE RESORT

If you have deep pockets and an appreciation for the finer things in life, Turtle Bay Dive Resort is the place for you. Tucked away on a private cove in the quieter part of town, this luxury resort is perfect for couples looking for a little exclusivity.

View Best Rate
Turtle Bay Dive Resort
Image by Turtle Bay Dive Resort

AIRBNB: LRS APARTMENT

We can personally attest to how great LRS Apartment is, having spent two weeks there. Aside from a beautiful private pool, the apartment itself is modern, well furnished and spacious enough for a couple. (And a cat!) It’s just a 5 minute drive from the hustle and bustle of the restaurants and bars along Panagsama Road, but far enough away to offer a little peace and quiet. We can’t recommend LRS Moalboal enough!

View Best Rate
LRS Moalboal

SEARCH ALL HOTELS & RESORTS IN MOALBOAL

MORE CEBU TRAVEL GUIDES

Pescador Island Moalboal
Sardine Run Moalboal
Montpellier Falls Alegria
Cancalanog Falls Alegria
Binalayan Falls Samboan
Balaygsawa Falls Samboan
Sumilon Island
Oslob Whale Shark Experience

Best travel insurance for nomads

Make sure you’re covered for your trip with SafetyWing insurance for nomads. Sign up any time, anywhere, pay monthly then cancel once you’re back on home soil. The best part is, it covers Covid-19!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Philippines | Asia

February 16, 2021

SafetyWing Nomad Insurance Banner Ad

Related Articles

23 EPIC WATERFALLS IN CEBU

23 EPIC WATERFALLS IN CEBU

Cebu is one of our favourite islands in the Philippines, seemingly made for adventure travellers. If you're a fan of waterfalls like we are, then you're in luck. There are literally hundreds of waterfalls in Cebu, and whilst we're yet to visit them all - we doubt we...

12 AWESOME TOURIST SPOTS IN BANTAYAN ISLAND

12 AWESOME TOURIST SPOTS IN BANTAYAN ISLAND

Bantayan Island is one of the most popular destinations in Cebu, and for good reason. This tiny tropical paradise is made up of stunning beaches, uninhabited islands and epic experiences that will leave a lasting impression long after your vacation has ended. We've...

6 BEST BANTAYAN ISLAND BEACHES

6 BEST BANTAYAN ISLAND BEACHES

Bantayan Island is home to some of the best beaches in Cebu - its coastline dotted with pockets of white sandy coves, azure blue water and rows of swaying palms. We've wrapped up the 6 best Bantayan Island beaches to add to your itinerary whilst you're in...