After an incredible four nights in Moalboal, we decided to have a fleeting visit to Oslob which has been made famous for swimming with whale sharks.
While you can easily take a day trip from Moalboal to Oslob (leaving from Moalboal at around 3am – ouch!).
We decide to spend 48 hours here to experience the history of this incredible city and its beautiful waterfalls – we’d actually been told to skip swimming with whale sharks here and save it for Bohol where it’s done much more ethically.
The habal-habal should cost around 150 pesos.
Pro Tip: There’s very few white taxi’s in this area, so habal-habal is often your only option.
If you tell the driver you’re heading to Oslob he will drop you at the correct bus stop which is located on the Santander – Barili – Toledo Road.
You’ll want to take the bus heading to Bato.
The buses are run by Ceres Liner and leave hourly (roughly, everything in the Philippines is very flexible – especially when it comes to travelling anywhere)
Pro Tip: There are two Bato’s on Cebu Island (just to make things a little more confusing).
The only bus that goes on this route is going to the correct Bato which is located at the south of Cebu Island down near Santander where the boats leave to the popular Dumaguete.
The assistant to the driver will get off and load any bags – if you’re unsure whether the bus is the right one for you, this is a great time to ask.
Then you’ll board the bus.
You don’t need a ticket to do so.
Instead, the assistant will then come around when the bus leaves and hole punch a ticket that’s supposed to highlight the fare – we couldn’t understand it.
Luckily, he came back to us on his second round to take payment and told us the amount so we didn’t have to attempt to calculate it ourselves.
The cost from Moalboal to Bato on an airconditioned bus is 102 pesos per person.
The journey from Moalboal to Bato is around one and a half hours. This can vary depending on traffic and the number of times the bus stops to pick up and drop off passengers during the journey.
The buses are surprisingly comfortable, the seats recline, the temperature was good and they had plenty of music playing.
Upon arriving in Bato the assistant shouted ‘Bato’ to alert us that we had arrived. Bato is a very popular stop, you’ll notice a number of buses here at major travel times. As we arrived our second bus to Oslob was just leaving.
Luckily, as we asked the assistant where to wait for the bus. He flagged the bus down to Oslob and prevented it from leaving so we could board. Buses from Bato to Oslob leave every hour – again, roughly.
Again you’ll buy the ticket from the assistant on the bus. The cost is 45 pesos per person. When the assistant asked us where we were going, we specified Oslob. However, he asked specifically where so they could drop us in the correct location.
At this time we’d not booked accommodation so we said a place where we were looking to book. Sadly, he called us to get off the bus at the wrong location.
It was around one mile from the place we’d mentioned to the assistant and was looking to book.
We, therefore, recommend getting a sim card (they are super cheap!) and simply tracking your journey on Google Maps to ensure you’re getting off in the right part of Oslob depending on where you’re staying.
Oslob certainly isn’t as popular in parts as Moalboal so you may struggle to find a habal-habal driver.
In our case, we bumped into a kind local who was willing to drop us at our accommodation at no cost (we still got dropped off at the wrong location though…)
Instead, I recommend paying 150 pesos for a habal-habal to take you to the bus station or 7/11 in Moalboal town. Taxi drivers hang out here. However honestly, someone (or multiple people in our case) will probably have already asked you where you going.
They’ll speak to a friend of a friend of a friend, to arrange a car to take you for a price – be sure to haggle for this and pay a reasonable price if that’s the case.
A taxi one-way from Moalboal to Oslob should cost no more than 2,000 pesos. We arranged a similar thing when we visited to Dau Falls in Samboan.
Finally, you could pre-book a private hire car to pick you up from your accommodation and take you directly to your accommodation in Oslob.
This is the most expensive way of travelling from Moalboal to Oslob however, it’s also the most convenient.
The price can significantly be minimised if travelling as a family or large group between the two destinations. Right now we’re able to find any way to book this transfer between Moalboal and Oslob online.
However, if you speak to the receptionist at your accommodation in Moalboal they’ll either have someone who does transfers for the hotel or be able to recommend a tour provider nearby that you can speak to and book with.