There are quite a few dive shops in Moalboal, all catering to different styles of visitors. The simplest way is to list them. If the operation has a web site, I've included a link to it (some of these links will take you out of our site).
Starting at the north end of Panagsama Beach and working south, these are the dive shops you'll discover:
- Seaquest Dive Centre - co-located with Sumisid Lodge in the basketball court opposite Nelson's. Good beach-side location with real sand! PADI courses to instructor level and a PADI Course Director on permanent staff
- Ocean Safari - Locally owned and operated, one of the longest established operations on the Beach. Daily dive trips, PADI courses. Situated in the basketball court at the central-north end of the Beach. One boat
- Savedra Dive Centre - German operated PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre. Offers daily dive trips and PADI courses to Instructor level, Nitrox diving/instruction, tek courses. Three boats
- Neptune Diving Unlimited - Swedish/Filipino operators offering daily dive trips to the local sites and safaris in the Visayan region during the season (March-June). Offers courses to PADI Instructor level, Nitrox diving/instruction. Situated centrally. Second operation in Liloan, southern Cebu. One large boat
- Ocean Globe - (used to be Ocean Safari II). Sorry I have no info about this dive shop at all other than the Japanese-only web site. I know that it used to be part of Ocean Safari and is now independent but if anyone would like to send me more background info I would be grateful
- Blue Abyss Dive Shop - based between Visaya Divers and Pacitas on the right-hand (sea) side of the track. Very well organised, keen and enthusiastic divers and photographers. One boat, Swiss/German run. PADI courses, Nitrox diving and courses
- Visaya Divers - at the south end of the Beach, together with Quo Vadis Resort. German operated with two boats and PADI instruction, Nitrox (IANTD) diving/instruction
Dive Operations in Moalboal area
- Asian-Belgian Resort close to White Beach
- Dolphin House right next to White Beach (the only really good beach in the area) with access to all the Moalboal dive sites
- Freediving Philippines courses available in White Beach & Cebu, contact Wolfgang for information
- Magic Island at Tongo Point - away from the bustle of Panagsama with lovely views towards Badian and Pescador
- Ravanela Resort right on White Beach with accommodation and diving. Dutch owner
- Sampaguita Resort Italian-owned resort on Tongo Point, a little south of Panagsama Beach
- Sea Explorers, Moalboal - two shops, one based at Kasai Beach and the other at Turtle Bay Resort; an operation with other shops in the best diving areas in the Visayas - Negros, Siquijor, Bohol, Cabiliao and Malapascua (northern Cebu).
Points for divers and wanna-be divers!
Operators charge broadly similar prices and offer much the same thing, however there are a number of instructors in Moalboal speaking different languages including English, German, Swiss-German, Japanese, French, Swedish, Dutch and Filipino. Not all shops can offer all these languages, despite what their signs may say, so check around!! If you're looking for a particular instructor, ask several different people; one shop was notorious for claiming that "no, this instructor/dive shop/person is no longer in Moalboal" when in fact they are but have moved to work for a different dive shop. Talk to your instructor and make sure that you feel you can get on with them. I am a firm believer in taking dive instruction in your native language if possible, especially for Medic First Aid, Rescue and higher level courses. Ask a certain Australian DM candidate about doing the theory for a Divemaster course with a Japanese instructor!
There are also variations in the standard of equipment offered for to students and for rent. Whilst this standard is generally better than the rule in Asia, and should always be at or better than the standards required by the instructional agencies, look before you commit yourself. Please don't make price your only consideration for choosing a dive shop. By choosing your dive shop with some care, you can help to keep the standards here high.
Check the safety equipment available; does the shop have a first aid kit, oxygen supply on the boat, communication system with the boat or transport? Do the staff you speak to know where the nearest recompression chamber is and the best way of getting there - not that you should need it, but they should still know!
A little something to whet your appetite!
Here are a few photos of some of the things that you can see in Moalboal (all shots were taken in Moalboal and surrounding area except as noted) and are scanned slides taken back in the days when this was the only *possible* way!.
If you are a photographer and have any photos that you have taken in Moalboal, please send me an e-mail
and we'll be able to put them up for others to enjoy.
The following photos were taken by the photographer indicated and they reserve the right to use them
. Please contact the copyright owner should you wish to use the photos in any way, even if it's only to put them on your desktop (they will appreciate the mail!). Sorry that these are low-resolution images, are not worth printing out and do not do the originals justice. But they do give a taste of what it's like! A set of more recent photos from September 2011 are here
Six Barred Angel fish © Joss Warnock
Encrusting sponge © Joss Warnock
Staghorn coral © Joss Warnock
Anemone fish © Joss Warnock
Striped Triggerfish © Joss Warnock
Angel fish © Jonas Arvidsson
Moray eel out of its cave © Simon Wright
School of jacks, Apo Island © Simon Wright