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During our trip to Moalboal, we decided to stay at a hostel with favorable reviews, called Nicco’s Place. The bus ride from Cebu City bus terminal is about three hours with one pitstop for CR break.
The bus will drop you on the main street in Moalboal where you can get a tricycle ride to Nicco’s Place that will take about ten minutes. Be aware that most tricycle drivers will probably attempt to overcharge you the normal local rate and ask you to pay ₱100 for the ride.
Make sure you barter a good price for your ride. We were told if you go to the nearby Three Sixty Pharmacy you can get a tricycle ride that will only cost you ₱20.
Upon arrival at Nicco’s Place, we were immediately greeted by the staff and welcomed to our stay. We were shown to our room where we unloaded our luggage and took a short break from our long travel.
Our room was very clean, cozy, and comfortable, much like all of the houses that we observed. You will feel very at home here.
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Stay in Nicco’s Place when you visit Moalboal
The exterior of the stay is just as inviting and comfortable with a well decorated and maintained yard with plenty of locations to sit and chill. More than likely at some point during your stay, like ourselves, you will find yourself at the rear of the house at what is known as the Wi-Fi area.
Nicco has decided to make this the only location where you can connect your devices to utilize the Wi-Fi so that in the remaining areas you will hopefully choose to socialize with your friends, family, and other guests.
Speaking of socializing, probably the most unique aspect of staying at Nicco’s Place is the personal touch provided by Nicco himself.
He takes the time to get to know each and every one of his guests as he sits with them and gets to know them on a personal level. Making your stay here feel more like home.
A walk to Panagsama Beach in Moalboal
The walk to the waterfront and beach is a mere 2km from Nicco’s Place. If you are up for a little walk take the time to walk it, just keep in mind that it is a very highly traveled road that leads to most businesses and restaurants so you will need to pay attention to all motor traffic.
Once at the beach you can either choose to enjoy the views, take a swim in the water or sit down outside at a local bar and enjoy a refreshing beverage along with the views. Just make it a point to enjoy yourself, because this is what you came for, right?
There are numerous local eateries to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We found one restaurant to be the most convenient for us because it is located directly across the street from Nicco’s Place. But take your time to explore your options and try all you can while you are there.
First Night in Moalboal
When it came to sleeping at night it was peaceful and climately comfortable without the need for A/C, we just opened the windows for a fresh island breeze. Keep in mind we there in early January so it wasn’t the hot season yet.
There is karaoke performed nightly at a business across the street from Nicco’s Place, but it ends at 10 PM so that and the street noise tends to die down and allow for a quiet night to allow you to rest up for your next day’s adventure.Pescador Island Hopping is closed when waves are strong. Pescador Island, Sardines Run and Turtle Point tour is at ₱1500. Some offer it at a lower price but we prefer to do it with Nicco as we are confident that we will get quality service. We were unable to go to Pescador due to strong waves. We only paid ₱950 for the rest of the tour.
On our first morning in Moalboal Nicco took us to a nearby location just 2km from our stay to do our first free dive of the day. After a short walk after parking, we accessed the beach and put on our gear.
We entered the water at Panagsama Beach, which we found to be a very easy location to enter and exit the water. Our objective was to free dive with the sardines that are known to be at this location.
Sardines Run in Moalboal
We only had to swim out about 30 meters before encountering the sardines. For me it was a first-time experience, so obviously I found it to be extremely breathtaking to observe.
I can easily say that the school sardines were the most fish I have seen in one location at one time. Far too many to even count! We did a half a dozen or more free dives allowing Nicco to capture some underwater videos and pictures of us with our GoPro.
If you plan to visit and free dive at this location, you should keep a couple of things in mind. The location is very popular and can become very crowded with divers and boats.
When freediving always be aware of your surroundings and the things around you, especially when surfacing. It is very easy to come up out of the water and be surprised by a boat or another diver being there. Keep your eyes open, be alert and always be courteous.
The Coral Garden and the Turtles
The next stop for us for free diving was Tongo Point. It was just a short five-minute drive from our parking location to the point.
This location offered some beautiful views to observe before entering the water. Since we were free diving in the early morning it was still low tide, which meant the waters were quite shallow before we got to a point where we could fully submerge ourselves in the water to swim to the dive wall.
Once we reached a location to comfortably free dive, the underwater sites were spectacular. So much sea life to see and with the clarity of the water, the colors were so vivid.
We were fortunate to see some magnificent sea turtles and to be able to free dive alongside them. Nicco once again captured our moments on video and in pictures.
After diving we returned to our stay, cleaned our gear, freshened up and decided to relax for a while before heading out. It was a beautiful start to our day!
Rent a scooter
If you plan on venturing out to see other attractions and sights during your stay in Moalboal and you are experienced in driving a scooter, I would suggest renting one. We were able to rent ours at Kojie House for ₱350 per day.
They are very inexpensive and give you the flexibility to come and go as you please at all hours of the day and night. You really get to see some beautiful countryside while you are driving, and you get to enjoy the fresh island air on your face.
Cebu Canyoneering and Kawasan Falls
Besides dive tours, Nicco’s Place also offers a guided adventure that takes you Canyoneering at the beautiful Kawasan Falls. Kawasan Falls is one of the most popular locations on the island of Cebu to visit.
It was about a 40-minute ride from Moalboal to the meet point in Badian where we met our guide. We were transported on a motorcycle up the hill to the drop off point where we began our hike to the falls.
At the entrance, there is also a thrilling dual zipline ride to the canyoneering descent. It is advertised as the 2nd longest dual zipline in Asia, at one kilometer.
After a short hike, we reached our first jump point where we jumped into the Canlaob River that runs through the lush, green Badian jungle. Our guide provided us with lifejackets, helmets, and instructions on how to best traverse the rocks to where we would jump and how to jump safely.Start early to avoid the tourist flock.
Take the leap
The first jump was a simple leap into the water, but be aware that as you continue on this journey you will encounter some jumps that will question your conscience and test your will. Two of the highest jumps were at 12 and 14 meters.
Just follow your guide’s instructions and you will be just fine. Take the leap and enjoy the experience. Your guide is always there to assist you and is most generous in taking videos and pictures for you upon your courteous request.
Our adventure lasted about three hours and included climbing, swimming, sliding down water slides that have been naturally formed into the large river rocks and exhilarating jumps.Kawasan Canyoneering Tour with Lunch is at ₱1500. Request for Jake for good service and photos.
Once you are there you will come to realize immediately why this is a top destination to visit and experience. The water is not only physically refreshing, but it is also visually appealing. I guarantee that you will want to lounge all day in the crystal clear, blue waters.
Our adventure ended with a delicious lunch at a restaurant near the falls. We then hiked a short distance to the exit and jumped on the back of our guide’s motorcycle for our ride back to Moalboal.
Before returning to Moalboal, we asked our guide to make a quick stop at Lambug Public Beach in Badian. You would almost think it was unknown to tourists, as there were not many people there the day we went.
This allowed us to take a most enjoyable, unobstructed stroll on the white sandy beach and a brief dip in the warm, crystal clear water. We could have stayed all day, but we knew our day tour was at its end.
Our canyoneering adventure may have ended for the day, but we still had sights and sounds that we wanted to experience before the day came to an end. After showering and changing into some clean clothes, we relaxed in our room for a short time and then decided to venture back out.
Basdaku White Beach
This time we got on our scooter and headed to Basdaku Beach (aka White Beach). It was less than a 30-minute ride from Nicco’s place and easy to find with GPS.
Once there, we could tell it was a popular destination, as there were many private vehicles, tour vehicles, and tricycles parked in the beach access parking area.
The beach itself was alive with activity in all directions, with locals and foreigners alike enjoying the beach and water. The weather was overcast on this day, but it still made for a pleasurable time on the beach.
We plopped down on the warm, clean sand and decided to people watch and take some pictures. There were many other people doing the same.
After that, we laid on our backs, closed our eyes, and breathed in the fresh tropical air. It was time to relax and enjoy the moment.
The skies looked as if there might be a chance of rain, so we left within the hour as not to get rained on during our scooter ride back to Nicco’s Place.
There are many activities to participate in and so many beautiful places to see in and around Moalboal during your stay there. Do yourself a favor and plan accordingly in advance of your travels so that you can maximize your time here. You don’t want to rush, because you’ll risk miss seeing something that you wish you would have. As always safe travels and have fun!
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BONUS TIP: A Must Try Sushi Place in Moalboal
Kugita Seafood and Charcoal Grill was recommended to us and they did not fail our taste buds. It might not be a lucky night for us as most of what we ordered were not available even though we arrived early.
Nonetheless, the food that we were able to try were good. A serving of sushi ranges from ₱180 to ₱330. A plate of pasta ranges from ₱280 to ₱390. Serving time should be improved.
We recommend to arrive early as it is popular. We arrived at 5 pm and there’s a lot of available table but when it started to get dark, there’s already a long queue for people waiting to be seated.
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