Sunday, April 29, 2012

Maya's Native Garden: Value for Money Accommodations in Moalboal

So much for writing for myself more often. The last trip I have been on has been over for more than a month now, and I still have not really written about it. I can always go and blame work, but I'll just take this one on the chin, and admit that I have not been able to manage my time well.

Early in March, I headed off to Cebu for the nth time. That trip was a quite different from the others that I had in 2011 for several reasons.

  1. It was my first solo trip in a while.
  2. I was actually to spend time outside of Cebu City.
  3. I opted for the bus/trike ride instead of having the resort pick me up from the airport.
It was a beautiful adventure.
Moalboal is a town 2-3 hours south of Cebu City. It has garnered the reputation of being one of the best diving spots in the country. If you want to know how to get there, check out the options I discovered when planning for the trip: How to Get to Moalboal.

As for accommodations, there really is no shortage of resorts and cottages in the area. From what I gather, there are two main beach areas: Panagsama Beach and White Beach. The former is a haven for divers, while the latter suits beach loungers better.

Knowing myself, I should have gone for White Beach. However, I wanted to try out something new, and while I can't swim if I can't reach the bottom with my feet and still hold my head up to breath, I really did want to try a fun dive course. Hence I found myself at Panagsama Beach.

After searching for days online, I narrowed my choices for accommodations to three establishments, with only one replying promptly: Maya's Native Garden.  
I'll cut to the chase and just say it: I love the place!

Sleeping Quarters and Food

Sure, it is not right on the beach. It only has three huts. It does have everything that one needs, though.
  • Wi-Fi
  • Balcony
  • Decent bathroom with hot water
  • A bed that will not make you feel like a giant (then again, I am barely over 5 feet so that is not really an issue for me)
  • A safe (too small for a laptop, though)
  • Aircon (the smallest and cheapest hut does not have this)
  • Awesome staff
I had the mid-sized cottage for about a week, and it more than did it for me. Take a look at the pics.


Double bed

Small alcove with shelves for clothes. The safe is in there as well.

The balcony. The other hut is the small one.
The small hut goes for PHP800 a night and is good for two people. The medium-sized hut is PHP1500, which I think is good for four. I think they'll put an extra bed in there if you are more than two. The "mansion" is huge and can easily fit 8-10 people. I think that goes for PHP3500.

Another thing going for Maya's is their kitchen. They are well known for their Mexican fare, and trust me, you will not even really want to look around for other places to eat. They have a little bar and restaurant where you can sit all afternoon without a care.



There is a lot to choose from in the menu, but I would have to recommend the Tortilla Soup and the Ribs. The first will give you all the energy you need to roam around the island. The second will fill you up to the brim and is perfect with ice cold Red Horse. And above everything else, you have to have their bread, which is made by the staff themselves.
Bread made right at the resort!

The Beach

If there is one thing that might disappoint, it is the beach. If you are looking for perfect, powdery, white sand all the time, then you are better off staying at White Beach. If that is not a requisite 24/7, then you are in for a treat at Panagsama. You can easily go to White Beach any time anyway.

To reach the beach from Maya's, you need to walk about 2-3 minutes. The good thing is that it is EMPTY!



The water is still beautiful and warm. It is best to have some aqua shoes, though, as the sand is not too smooth and there are seaweeds. That being said, there is place to sunbathe and the water is still good for swimming.


The Staff

I can go on and on about how wonderful the staff at Maya's is. Let me just keep it short, though. Suffice it to say that they make you feel as if you are part of a family, and that is not an exaggeration. I went on this trip alone, and while they gave me my personal space, I never felt lonely. They even took me out several nights to enjoy the local scene. How often can you find people like that?

Learn more about Maya's Native Garden via their Facebook page.


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