Comprising more than seven thousand islands surrounded by vast bodies of water, the Philippines offers plenty of dive sites to explore for all diver levels. Where to start? How about the small Pescador Island in Moalboal, Cebu. It’s one of the most popular Philippine dive sites where you can experience a marine sanctuary with magnificent coral reefs and a wide variety of sea animals.
To help you discover this amazing Philippine dive spot, here is your complete guide to dive on Pescador Island.
If you are looking for a day trip to dive on Pescador Island, Cebu, the Philippines, the best way to reach Pescador island is via Moalboal. By only a 20 minute boat ride from Moalboal, you will reach Pescador Island.
There are many diving centers located in Moalboal, but we recommend to book with Cebu Dive Centre. They offer the best rates for diving and have great reviews from other divers. Below, you can compare the diving centers which provide diving trips around Moalboal.
A liveaboard is the best way to explore the best diving sites! These trips will go to dive sites which are out of reach of day trips which means less crowded dive sites and healthier marine life.
Depending on your needs, the following items are important when looking for a liveaboard:
Make sure not to miss any of these Pescador Island dive spots. To help make the most of your scuba diving adventures on the island, we listed the 4 best diving centers that can guide you, all of which are located at Panagsama Beach in Moalboal.
Cebu Dive Centre is one of the most popular and top-rated Sardine Run Moalboal diving operators. Most reviewers call it “the best dive team they ever met”. Besides prices for single dives, Cebu Dive Centre also offers dive packages: 5 dive and 10 dive packages. Both include standard diving equipment plus refreshments on the boat. This dive center also offers transfer service to and from the airport and if you don’t have accommodation yet, you can check out their available rooms.
If you would like to experience the Sardine Run in Moalboal while diving, you can book a shore dive.
You can avail of the 5 dive package from Cebu Dive Centre for P4,500 ($92.5) or the 10 dive package for $8,500 ($174.7). Single boat dive for P950 ($19.5), shore dive for P800 ($16.4), and a night dive for P1,100 ($22.6) are also good options.
You can learn the basics of recreational scuba diving (the PADI Discover Scuba Diving course) in a swimming pool with Cebu Dive Centre for just P3,000 ($61.7). If you would like to get your diving licence, the Padi Open Water Course with Cebu Diving Centre costs P16,500 ($339.2). If you would like to Go Pro, Cebu Diving Centre offers the PADI Divemaster course from P45,000.
Savedra Dive Center is one of the largest dive centers in the Philippines and offers a 6-day Dive Safari at the best dive spots in the Visayan archipelago. In Moalboal, this dive center also owns beach resorts and a wide selection of accommodation that fits all budgets.
The Savedra Dive Center itself is located at the beachfront of Panagsama Island and offers single sessions and varying boat dive and nitrox dive packages (5,10, and 15). The dive center also conducts diving courses for beginner, advanced, and technical levels with affordable prices, not to mention the PADI Divemaster course for future rescue divers. Gears for all types of diving are also available for rent and purchase in the center.
Savedra offers complete dive package deals that include dive sessions, accommodation, transfers, breakfast, and marine park fees to make your Pescador Island diving trip convenient. A 4 days/3 nights with 5 dives package costs P13,100 ($269.3) only, while a 7 days/6 nights package with 10 boat dives costs P21,500 ($442). There’s also a package of 20 boat dives with 14 days/13 nights beach resort accommodation for P40,327 ($829).
You can also do a single boat dive for just P1,300 ($26.7), shore dive for P1,100 ($22.6), and night dive for P1,500 ($30.8).
For recreational diving, Savedra Dive Center offers a PADI introductory course for P3,500 ($72) and an open water course for P18,000 ($370). You can also take a rescue diver course for P19,600 ($402.9), and a nitrox diver course for P9,000 ($185).
There are also PADI technical courses starting at P22,000, PADI professional courses (including the IDC) from P22,500, and TDI Tech Diving course starting at P12,000.
Cebu Fun Divers is a 5-star PADI dive center and is situated in the Cebu Seaview Dive Resort, a great seafront location overlooking the waters of Tanon Strait.
Aside from the Sardine Run diving, Cebu Fun Divers also offers transfer service, PADI dive courses, snorkeling, and free pick-up service from hotels and beach resorts within the Moalboal area. The dive instructors are well-reviewed and top-rated by divers from around the world, and it’s no wonder. That’s because aside from English, the instructors can also teach in German and French.
For single dives, Cebu Fun Divers’ rates are P1,100 ($22.6) for shore dive, P1,300 ($26.7) for boat dive, and P1,500 ($30.8) for a night dive. Packages include 5, 10, and 20 dive packages that cost P6,175 (126.9), P11,700 ($240.5), and P22,100 ($454.3) respectively.
The dive center also offers Nitrox diving packages that cost P7,362.50 ($151.3) for 5 dives, P13,950 ($286.75) for 10 dives, and P26,350 (541.6) for 20 dives.
Teaching PADI diving is another specialty of Cebu Fun Divers. The introductory and review/reactivation courses are priced at P3,500 (71.9) each. If you want to get your PADI Open Water certificate, this course costs P18,000 ($370). The PADI advanced course costs P14,800 ($304.2).
SeaQuest Dive Center is one of the oldest dive centers not just in Moalboal but the entire Visayas archipelago. Open since 1991, this dive center offers great experience in Diving around Moalboal. The center can give a full-service diving experience in Moalboal Cebu that includes fun dives, island hopping, complete scuba gear rental and PADI courses.
Based on the reviews, customers experienced excellent services from divemasters of SeaQuest. The staff is very friendly and helpful. SeaQuest also offers the diving course in different languages.
Seaquest is one of the dive centers that offer affordable dive rates. It offers packages from 5 to 30 dives, with the 5-dive package costing P8,400 ($172.7) and the 30-dive package at P43,000 ($883.9). Single boat dive is also available for just P1,750 ($36), while a night dive costs P1,950 ($40).
Dive learners can polish their skills with SeaQuest’s different PADI dive courses, including Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver, and PADI Divemaster courses. The center also offers PADI Freediver courses for beginners (P12,000/$246.7), advanced (P15,000/$308.3) and for professionals (P18,000/$370).
Pescador Island will let you witness some of the most mesmerizing underwater spots anywhere. The diving spot Gorgonian Colors is located in the southwest of Pescador Island and starts from a 10m gradual slope of hard gorgonian coral reef walls with amazing lovely colors extending up to 20m deep. If you go deeper, up to 30 meters, you will get a glimpse of the beautiful overhangs - with full of lionfishes.
As its name suggests, the Cathedral is a large underwater cave opening that has a grotto-like resemblance found on the west side of the Pescador island. The cave starts at 15m and ends at 34m deep. Alongside the Cathedral are other large cracks and two window-like openings where squirrel fishes and sweetlips come and go.
Diving as shallow as 4 meters, reef walls are already visible in this area. Going deeper along the steep slope of about 15-30m will reveal plenty of overhangs as well as ledges where Black and White Snappers together with Red Snappers are amazingly seen in large schools.
On the eastern side of the island, you can spot plenty of potato groupers, scorpionfish, snappers, and barracudas. The dive will begin at a plateau and then turn into a gentle slope, before finally reaching the second drop off at 20 meter-depth. This dive spot also has a great number of Elephant Ear sponges, where many Giant Frogfish are hiding.
Although diving activities are available the whole year, it is best to book a tour during the dry months in Cebu Island, which starts in November and ends in May. In this season, the water temperature is around 27 to 30 degrees Celsius (80F-86F) and offers average visibility up to 20 meters (65 feet) which is very suitable for a wonderful diving experience.
To visit Pescador Island, you can fly directly to Mactan-Cebu International Airport from Manila or any country. The island is 105 kilometers away from the airport. You can hire a taxi to give you a ride going to South Cebu Bus Terminal, where you can board on a Ceres Bus heading to the municipality of Moalboal. The bus ride is 3 hours long and ticket costs around PHP 110 ($2.20).
Alternatively, you can ask the cab driver to take you to Cebu South V-hire Terminal at Junquera Street. There, you can hop on a van going to Moalboal for a 2.5-hour ride, which will cost you around PHP 130 ($2.60). This is a good option if you want to travel faster, but if you’re a tall person, better take the bus because it will give you more legroom and comfort when traveling.
Whether you’re taking the van or bus, make sure to tell the driver to drop you off at Moalboal Municipal Hall or Gaisano Grand Mall. From either location, you can ride a tricycle for PHP 80 ($1.65) to reach Panagsama Beach.
Pescador Island can only be reached by boat. The most convenient way is to take a boat from Moalboal to Pescador Island. As Pescador Island is a very small island, you can only reach Pescador Island by booking a Pescador Island (diving) trip.
In our Sardine Run Moalboal dive guide, we outlined our recommendations for accommodation in Moalboal, Cebu. Below, we have included a short list of these accommodations: