If you’re into cerulean waters and waterfalls, then you’ve certainly come to the right place!

A tiny gem of a place perched on the very tip of Cebu, Moalboal is definitely an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. With sardine runs and beaches galore, this picturesque town offers an abundance of snorkeling and hiking opportunities.

As awesome as this destination is, it’s not as heavily visited as other places in the Philippines. As such, knowing where to stay in Moalboal can be something of a pain – especially if you’ve never been there before.

Fret not though: in this guide, I’ll take you through some of the absolute BEST places to stay in this sun-soaked town so you can make the best choice based on your budget and expectations.

Ready to rumble? Then grab that sunscreen and let’s get started!

School of sardines in Moalboal, Cebu Island, Philippines
It’s the Philippines, GET EXCITED :))

Where Is the Best Place to Stay in Moalboal

Planning a relaxing weekend in Moalboal? Or perhaps you’d like to embark on an epic adventure across the Philippines? Well, be sure to check out my top 3 recommendations for where to stay!

Best Hotel in Moalboal – Garden Village Resort

Garden Village Resort

Wake up to a scrumptious Asian or American-style breakfast every day with a stay at the Garden Village Resort!

Located near no less than four Moalboal beaches, this hotel offers Deluxe Garden Rooms and independent Two-Bedroom Houses. The hotel also features an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar, and airport shuttle services.

Best Hostel in Moalboal – Maayong Hostel

Maayong Hostel

The social culture and ability to meet other like-minded travelers are what make hostels in Cebu TRULY special. 

If you ask me, this is easily one of the best places to stay in Moalboal- and for good reason!

Infused with delicious beach vibes, this hostel offers heaps of onsite amenities, including free WiFi, a bar, a restaurant, and a tour desk where you can book numerous types of activities.

Guests can crash in their air-conditioned dorms or private bungalows. Oh, and did I mention that free airport shuttles are provided?

Best Airbnb in Moalboal – Off The Beaten Track Villa for 12

Off The Beaten Track Villa for 12

I sure hope you’re ready to be wowed ‘cos dazzling sunsets await at this absolutely oceanfront villa located right by one of the best beaches in Moalboal!

Guests can enjoy various home comforts, including a modern, well-equipped kitchen.

With private beach access, this space features four bedrooms for up to twelve guests. It’s absolutely perfect for larger families or groups of friends.

Moalboal Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Moalboal

FIRST TIME
Panagsama Beach
FIRST TIME

Panagsama Beach

First things first before we get into that one though: this definitely isn’t a serene and peaceful area. As one of the two main tourist hubs in Moalboal, Panagsama Beach can get pretty noisy and crowded, especially during peak season.

FOR FAMILIES
White Beach Moalboal Cebu
FOR FAMILIES

White Beach

Also known as Basdaku Beach, the White Beach area is Moalboal’s second busiest beach, drawing heaps of tourists and locals from all over the Philippines. Like Panagsama Beach, this area can be quite crowded during peak season, especially since the public beach only covers an expanse of 1km.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Kawasan Falls Badian Moalboal
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Badian

This little commune is the getaway to all the super cool things to do in Moalboal! Think waterfalls, scenic hiking trails, and snorkeling galore!

Moalboal is one of the best areas to stay in Cebu. It may be on the smaller side, but I promise, it definitely packs a punch!

If you’re a first-time visitor, though, I would suggest that you drop anchor in the Panagsama Beach area. As the unofficial tourist hub, this area is perfect for indulging in classic Moalboal activities like canyoneering, snorkeling, diving, or just munching your way through those scrumptious Filipino specialties.  

Traveling with kids? Then you may wish to head to the White Beach area. While it’s also a super touristy place, it’s smaller than Panagsama and offers a delightful glimpse into authentic Filipino culture. There are heaps of family-friendly activities around – both on land and in the sea!

Now, if your plan is to get away from the crowds while staying close to those awesome Moalboal beaches, you can always consider staying in Badian.

This cool place isn’t technically in Moalboal as such, but it’s just a stone’s throw away and well worth a visit, in my opinion! Nature lovers will be super stoked by the abundance of outdoor adventures that await, including incredible hiking trails and majestic waterfalls.

3 Best Areas to Stay in Moalboal

Now that you know what to expect, let’s take a closer look at those awesome neighborhoods!

1. Panagsama Beach- Where to Stay in Moalboal for the First Time

Wondering where to stay in Moalboal as a first-time visitor? Well, in my opinion, there’s no better destination than Panagsama Beach, located in South Cebu.

First things first before we get into that one, though: this definitely isn’t a serene and peaceful area. As one of the two main tourist hubs in Moalboal, Panagsama Beach can get pretty noisy and crowded, especially during peak season.

So, if you’re planning to stay in the Philippines, make sure you pinpoint the ideal time to visit to make the most of your experience.

Panagsama Beach Moalboal under the sunset
Panagsama Beach sunsets are THE best!

On the flip side, Panagsama Beach offers easy access to heaps of activities like canyoning, snorkeling, and diving. This area is also known for its many restaurants specializing in both local and international cuisine. Since it’s such a touristy area, Panagsama Beach also offers a wide range of accommodations for budget backpackers, so there’s something for everyone there!

Now, Panagsama Beach is a pretty safe place, but like most touristy destinations, it’s prone to petty crime like pickpocketing. Be sure to keep an eye on your belongings when you’re out and about.

Best Hotel in Panagsama Beach – Secret Paradise Moalboal

Queen at  the Secret Paradise Hotel Moalboal

Commanding a great location just 70 meters from Panagsama Beach, Secret Paradise Moalboal has everything you can ask for.

It offers spacious, air-conditioned rooms fitted with a safety deposit box, minibar, desk, and even a kettle to ensure that you can wake up to a fresh brew every morning!

Not only will you be close to one of the most beautiful beaches in Moalboal, but the hotel also lies close to Kawasan Falls. Onsite amenities include shuttle services, free private parking, a terrace, and an outdoor pool.

Best Hostel in Panagsama Beach – Maayong Hostel

Maayong Hostel

If you ask me, this is easily one of the best hostels in Moalboal– and for good reason!

Infused with delicious beach vibes, this hostel offers heaps of onsite amenities, including free WiFi, a bar, a restaurant, and a tour desk where you can book numerous types of activities. Guests can crash in their air-conditioned dorms or private bungalows.

Oh, and did I mention that free airport shuttles are provided?

Best Airbnb in Panagsama Beach – Beachfront Villa for 6

A secluded homestay on the South West Island of Cebu overlooking the ocean.

Located just a five-minute drive from Panagsama Beach, this villa boasts just about everything you need for one heck of a beach vacation!

I’m talking airy quarters, direct access to a gorgeous Moalboal beach, and three bedrooms for six guests.

You’ll find a barbecue area as well as a kitchen where you can whip up a quick meal when you don’t feel like going out.

If you’re looking for an intimate and personal space, make sure you check out our picks of the best Airbnbs in Cebu, Philippines. You’re guaranteed to find your favorite.

Things to do in Panagsama Beach

Woman swimming Panagsama Beach Moalboal
Unleashing adventure in paradise.
  1. Plan a diving expedition at Pescador Island.
  2. Watch turtles in their natural habitat at Talisay Point.
  3. Take a day trip to nearby Lapu-Lapu City.
  4. Go Island Hopping.
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We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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2. White Beach – Where to Stay in Moalboal for Families

Also known as “Basdaku Beach”, the White Beach area is one of the best places in Cebu. It’s also Moalboal’s second-busiest beach, drawing heaps of tourists and locals from all over the Philippines.

Like Panagsama Beach, this area can be quite crowded during peak season, especially since the public beach only covers an expanse of 1km.

Despite the throngs of tourists swarming around, though, this is still one of the best areas to stay in Moalboal, especially if you’d like to experience authentic Filipino culture!

People swimming and cottages nestled along the coastline at the White Beach, Moalboal
Lookin for somewhere exotic? Head to the White Beach!

With a stay at Moalboal, you’ll also be just a couple hours’ drive from Cebu. Be sure to check out our awesome Cebu itinerary filled with the top beaches, Island hopping, and places to visit in the whole of the Cebu province…

Families totally have it made, with an abundance of activities that’ll keep both adults and kids occupied. Basdaku Beach’s turquoise lagoon lends itself well to various watersports like snorkeling and standup paddle boarding.

While you’ll find plenty of vendors offering snorkeling gear, I strongly urge you to bring your own equipment to avoid overly inflated tourist prices.

Best Hotel in White Beach – Garden Village Resort

Pool view at the Garden Village Resort

Wake up to a scrumptious Asian or American-style breakfast every day with a stay at the Garden Village Resort!

Located near no less than four Moalboal beaches, this hotel offers deluxe garden rooms and independent two-bedroom houses to accommodate up to four guests.

The hotel also features an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar, and airport shuttle services. I do need to mention that the hotel’s free WiFi can be choppy, so this may not be the right fit for you if you need solid coverage.

Best Hostel in White Beach – Ananas Guesthouse

Ananas Guesthouse

Easily one of my favorite places to stay in Moalboal, Ananas Guesthouse offers budget-friendly accommodation just a short distance from the beach.

You can take advantage of onsite facilities like free WiFi and even an onsite bar where you can cool off with a cocktail after sightseeing.

As far as accommodation is concerned, guests can crash in air-conditioned dorms or private rooms fitted with lockers and bedside outlets.

Best Airbnb in White Beach – Off The Beaten Track Villa for 12

Entrance of UZURI Kubo Huts villa in White Beach

I sure hope you’re ready to be wowed ‘cos dazzling sunsets await at this absolutely gorgeous oceanfront villa located right by one of the best beaches in Moalboal!

Guests can enjoy various home comforts, including a modern, well-equipped kitchen.

With private beach access, this space features four bedrooms for up to twelve guests- perfect for larger families or groups of friends.

If you’re traveling with your pooch, you’ll be glad to learn that this is one of the best pet-friendly Airbnbs out there!

Things to do in White Beach

White Beach Moalboal
The White Beach is one of the most beautiful places to stay in Moalboal.
  1. Enjoy the sunset from White Beach’s shoreline.
  2. Snorkel in the bountiful lagoon around Basdaku Beach.
  3. Watch the famous Sardine Run.
  4. Head to the Cebu Highlands.

3. Badian – Coolest Place to Stay in Moalboal

I know, I know. Badian isn’t exactly in Moalboal as such. But hey, it’s just a half hour’s drive away and well worth a visit in my opinion!

This little commune is the getaway to all the super cool things to do in Moalboal! Think waterfalls, scenic hiking trails, and snorkeling galore!

Surrounded by the most beautiful beaches in Moalboal, Badian basically offers everything you need for a relaxing day trip, making it the ideal destination for slow travelers who’d like to get away from the crowds.

Kawasan Falls Badian Moalboal
The picturesque Kawasan Falls in Badian

If you’re a nature lover like me, you’ll no doubt be thrilled to learn that Badian is home to some pretty spectacular sites like the Kawasan Falls. Believe me when I say this 3-tiered waterfall is quite a sight to behold as it tumbles into a shockingly clear spring of bright turquoise! This site is also super popular for canyoneering.

Outdoor enthusiasts may also wish to check out popular trekking trails like Osmena Peak and the Badian mountain range.

Best Hotel in Badian – D´Gecko Hotel

Queen bed and a bunk bed in D´Gecko Hotel

Here’s a hotel that provides heaps of great onsite amenities without breaking the bank!

Guests can choose from Deluxe Queen or King rooms, both fitted with air-conditioning, safety deposit boxes, and free toiletries. Family Rooms add extra beds to sleep up to four.

Other onsite amenities include an ATM, a 24-hour front desk, and concierge services. Rest assured that there are heaps of attractions nearby, including Basdiot Beach.

Best Hostel in Badian – Crazy Bears Hostel

Crazy Bears Hostel

Another epic Filipino hostel located near those gorgeous Moalboal beaches, the Crazy Bears Hostel offers adults-only accommodation with a bar and a garden.

With a stay in this hostel, you’ll be just 600 meters from Panagsama Beach.

With two dorm rooms, the hostel also features private rooms for travelers who’d like to have their own personal space. Other onsite amenities include a restaurant, free WiFi, evening entertainment, and a bar.

Best Airbnb in Badian – 2-Bedroom Bamboo House

Pool at a Bamboo House in Badian

If you’re wondering where to stay in Moalboal, I can totally vouch for this 2-bedroom bamboo house surrounded by plenty of lush greenery!

With two bedrooms for up to four guests, this house features rustic, yet elegant spaces where you can kick back and relax after exploring nearby attractions like Kawasan Falls.

While the villa doesn’t come with a fully equipped kitchen, breakfast and dinner can be served upon request.

Things to do in Badian

Badian Moalboal Waterfall
  1. Go canyoneering in the picturesque Kawasan Falls.
  2. Summit Kandungaw Peak.
  3. Relax on Lambug Beach.
  4. Trek to the Balay sa Agta Caves.
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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Moalboal

Moalboal may be a safe destination, but you can never be too safe when traveling! There are plenty of travel insurance options for the Philippines, make sure you choose what best aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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FAQs about Where to Stay in Moalboal

What To Pack For Moalboal

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Moalboal

I sure hope this guide made it easy for you to figure out where to stay in Moalboal, but if you’re still on the fence, I would recommend Panagsama Beach and Badian.

And if you’re visiting with a group, this gorgeous oceanfront villa certainly has you covered!

Dream beach of Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines with palm trees along the beach and a colorful wooden signpost sharp in the foreground.
Thank YOUU Moalboal.

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!