philippine jobs A1-Philippine-Travel-Asia.Com

Coron Palawan
Diving Vacations

The World War II wrecks around Busuanga Island, particularly Coron Bay, have been one of the Philippines' best kept diving secrets.

Here is a condensed version of Truk Lagoon in the Caroline Islands, Micronesia, a legendary - and, unfortunately, expensive destination among divers for its large concentration of World War II Japanese wrecks.


In 1944 US Admiral Bull Halsey had the task of checking the Japanese firepower in preparation for the US landing on Leyte. To find safe passage for an aircraft carrier, he sent reconnaissance aircraft to photograph the Linapacan Strait and the Calamian group of Islands.

Upon studying the aerial photos, navigators noticed that several islands had moved overtime (- a camouflaged Japanese fleet had been found).

At 0900 hours on September 24, 1944, Task Force 45 carrier-based bombers attacked and sank 24 vessels around Busuanga and Coron Islands. The ensuing action left a legacy that endures to this day: a ghost fleet of Japanese hulks littering the sea bed of Coron Bay.


Admittedly, the Coron sites are not easy to get to and accommodation is limited, but the area is rewarding to visit and prices are reasonable.

The visibility is not brilliant, but the wrecks are not that deep and the current not that strong, though it is always best to choose neap tides and if possible, slack water.

A region of outstanding beauty and wildlife. Coron Bay is a tropical dream come true. Limestone cliffs and tiny isolated beach coves are spectacular.

Walls of coral explode with color and life while, above, monkeys, parakeets and other animals frolic and flit in the dense foliage.

Tropical magic is in the air, the sea and the islands of Coron, a tangible presence that hints of adventure and mystery....

All of the wreck diving is a full day trip for two to three dives. Departure is about 9:30 AM with one hour boat ride to the first dive site.

Dive on a wreck and then to a beach or shallow wreck for two hours of lunch, snorkeling and swimming. Second wreck dive and then an hour back to the dive shop.

The boat usually returns between 4:00 and 5:00 depending on the location of the second dive.

Limited interior access is allowed for advanced or experienced divers who stay in the light zone within the wreck. Wreck Diver Specialty classes are offered by some operators to those divers who have completed Advanced Open Water and who desire to learn to make their own penetration.

Dive Sites in Coron


Located South of Conception village on Busuanga Island, on the outer edge of the Lusteveco Company Pearl Farm.

Access - 2 1/2 hours by banca west until south of Conception village, on the edge of the buoys of the Pearl Farm.

Conditions - Normally calm but fierce currents are common. Novices should check the tide tables first and penetrate the wreck only with an experienced divemaster. Use the shotline for descent and a safety stop on ascent.

Visibility -30ft/10m to 65ft/20m.

Average Depth - 52ft/16m.

Maximum Depth - 85ft/26m.

An auxiliary oil tanker of the Imperial Japanese Navy Combined Fleet in the World War II, the Tae Maru, 550ft/168m long and have 10,045 gross tons, sits almost level, with a slight list to port, pointing 330 degrees, with a bow broken off in 75ft/26m of water.

The main deck is at 52ft/16m. The Tai Maru has everything. It is well covered with good corals, particularly large lettuce corals, sponges and shoals of fish including fusiliers, snappers and batfish, plus the ubiquitous lionfish and scorpion fish.


Located Between Lajo Island and Manglet Island, south of Conception village on Busuanga Island.Access - 2 1/2 hours west by banca.

Conditions - Normally calm but with some strong currents. Not a dive for novices.

Visibility 33ft/10m to 65ft/20m.

Average Depth - 92ft/28m.

Maximum Depth - 125ft/38m.

One of the few true warships among the Coron wrecks (the others were mostly auxiliary vessels), the Akitsushima, was a flying boat tender. The wreck,487fft/148m long, 4650 gross tons, lies on its port side pointing 290 degrees in 125ft/38m of water, with the starboard side hull at 65ft/20m.

The arms of the stern crane used to load and unload the flying boat lies broken to port in 112ft/34m. The main deck is split between this crane and the funnel. There is no sign of the flying boat.

This is an advanced dive due to the depth. The ship can be penetrated with care, but is also good for fish life. Large groupers lurk in the hull and shoals of barracuda, tuna and snapper are found along it.


Located Between the Northern end of Lusong Island and Tangat Island.

Access - 2 hours west by banca.

Conditions - Normally calm with some current, even in a heavy rainstorm, which you could hear while deep in the wreck.

Visibility is 33ft/10m to 65ft/20m

Average Depth - 62ft/19m.

Maximum Depth - 80ft/25m.

This Japanese Freighter - 450ft/137m long, and 5,617 gross tons, lies on its starboard side pointing 50 degrees in 80ft/25m of water. The portside hull is at a shallower portion, 40ft/12m.

The portside hull has many large lettuce corals, hydroids, black corals, brown finger sponges with Alabaster Sea Cucumbers wrapped around them, white sponges and sea anemones with clown fish. The fish life includes shoals of small fusiliers, batfish, large groupers, golden rabbitfish, damselfish and pairs of whitecheek monocle bream.


Located East of the Southeast corner of Lusong Island, south of the Olympia Maru.

Access - 2 hours west by banca.

Conditions - Normally calm with some current. Visibility - 33ft/10m to 65ft/20m.

Average Depth - 92ft/28m.

Maximum Depth - 110ft/34m.

A Japanese freighter, 520ft/158m and 6,352 gross tons-lies on its starboard side pointing 230 degrees ,110 ft/34m of water. The portside hull is at72 22 meters (72 feet).

In the large cargo room you can still see loaded construction materials, mixer and even bulldozer. On the deck anti-aircraft weapons can still be seen.

On the port side, there are many corals and abundant fish life. Many groupers live around the wreck.


This is located at the southern end of Lusong Island Access - 2 hours west by banca. The stern breaks the surface at low tide.

Conditions - Clear, calm, shallow water.

Visibility can reach 30 meters (100 feet)

Average Depth - 6 meters (20 feet).

Maximum Depth - 10 meters (33 feet).

A shallow wreck, lying from the surface to 10 meters (33 feet), this is equally good for snorkeling and wreck photography, and is often used for relaxation between main dives.

The wreck has been salvaged, and the entire top is gone. It is nicely covered with sponges and soft corals, and has many copperband butterflyfish, six-banded angelfish, and pufferfish of all sizes, batfish and various sea cucumbers.


Located Southeast of Lusong Island, south of the Kogyo Maru.

Access - 2 hours west by banca.

Conditions - Normally calm with some strong currents.

Visibility - 10 meters (33 feet) to 20 meters (65 feet).

Average Depth - 35 meters (115 feet).

Maximum Depth - 42 meters (138 feet).

The Irako is a Japanese refrigerated provision ship , 147 meters (482 feet) long, 9,570 gross tons. The wreck is almost upright, listing about 10 degrees to port in 42 meters (138 feet) of water pointing 260 degrees. The main deck is at 34 meters (112 feet).

Penetration represents an advanced dive due to the depth, but the superstructure is interesting, with soft corals and sponges.

Large groupers hover inside the wreck, while lionfish, scorpionfish, shoals of barracuda, batfish and snappers are outside.


Located West of the northwest side of Tangat Island.

Access - 2 hours west by banca.

Conditions - Normally calm with currents that can become very strong.

Visibility - 10 meters (33 feet) to 20 meters (65 feet).

Average Depth - 25 meters (80 feet).

Maximum Depth - 34 meters (112 feet).

This 160 meters (525 feet) Japanese freighter lies on its starboard side in 34 meters (112 feet) of water. The portside hull is at 24 meters (78 feet).

The large holds are easy to penetrate and contain construction materials. The port side has good stony and soft corals and a variety of fish life, sponges and anemones with clownish.

Large grouper, lionfish and surgeonfish abound in the wreck with shoals of barracuda, snappers, batfish, sweepers and fusiliers around it.


Located West of the southwest end of Tangat Island

Access - 1 3/4 hours west by banca.

conditions - Normally calm, with light currents that can become very strong at spring tides.

Visibility - 8 meters (25 feet) to 15 meters (50 feet).

Average Depth - 24 meters (80 feet).

Maximum Depth - 30 meters (100 feet).

A Japanese freighter 122 meters (400 ft) long, 5,000 gross tons, it sits almost upright with perhaps a 15 degree list to port, pointing 170 degrees in 30 meters (100 feet) of water; the main deck is at 18-24 meters (60-80 feet).

The site provides a good introduction to wreck diving for novices, with easy penetration of the cargo holds and a good variety of fish lives.

There are several large pufferfish, lots of large lionfish and scorpion fish, a lone bumphead parrotfish, shoals of batfish, snappers and sweepers, six-banded angelfish and innumerable sponges.

In good visibility, this is an excellent wreck for photographers.


Located close to southwest side of Tangat Island.

Access - 1 1/2 hour west by banca.

Conditions - Shallow calm water.

Visibility - 8 meters (25 feet) to 15 meters (50 feet).

Average Depth - 10 meters (33 feet).

Maximum Depth - 22 meters (72 feet).

Believed to be a tugboat or an anti-submarine craft, 40 meters (130 feet) long, 500 gross tons, it lies to its starboard down a sandy slope, with the stern at 22 meters (72 feet) and the top of the bow at 3 meters (10 feet), pointing 320 degrees.

This small wreck looks as though it has seen some recent salvage work. The water is mostly shallow enough for snorkellers.

There are no corals on the wreck, but there is some large lettuce coral beside it. There are small angelfish, buterflyfish - particularly copperband butterflyfish - and white sponges.


Located Close to Club Paradise Resort which is located on Dimakya Island.

Access - by banca from Club Paradise or overnight from Coron town around the East Coast of Busuanga Island to its north coast, southwest of Coconogon Point.

Conditions - Normally calm with medium currents and generally better visibility than the wrecks to the south of Busuanga Island.

Visibility is often around 20 meters (65 feet).

Average Depth - 30 meters (100 feet).

Maximum Depth - 43 meters (131 feet).

A Japanese freighter, 152 meters (500 feet) long, 6,492 gross tons, sits almost upright with a 15 degrees list to starboard, pointing 160 degrees in 43 meters (131 feet) of water.

The main deck slopes from 22 meters (72 feet) to 28 meters (92 feet). The wreck is almost intact and can easily be penetrated, with cars and trucks in the hold.


LocatedThe East Side of Malajon Island, called Black Island because of its black rocks. The wreck is just off the beach infront of a stranded vessel on the shore.

Access - by banca - 3-5 hours west to the West Side of Busuanga Island.

Conditions - Normally calm with little current, but this area, out in the South China Sea, does not have protection like Coron bay, so conditions can get rough with fierce currents.

Visibility can reach 20 meters (65 feet).

Average Depth - 20 meters (56 feet).

Maximum Depth - 32 meters (104 feet).

This is a 45-meter (150 feet) coastal vessel. It sits upright but down the sandy slope from the shore, with the bow bottoming at 32 meters (104 feet) and the stern bottoming at 20 meters (65 feet).

There are many large scorpionfish and lionfish on the superstructure, small shoals of batfish, large shoals of sweepers, snappers, fusiliers and groupers, trumpetfish, six-banded angelfish and emperor angelfish.

The hull has lots of sponges and hydroids.


A Japanese freighter sitting upright with a length of approximately 140 meters near Coron Bay.

A very good dive spot with a variety of marine lives. Large shoals of banana fish, giant bat fish and giant pufferfish, especially around the mast, bow and stern. Easy penetration at the cargo rooms.

Maximum depth is around 28-30 meters, deck-level is around 18-24 meters.


Apart from the area’s many islands, beautiful sandy coves and Striking limestone rock formations.

Coron Islands has lakes, forests and hot springs.

Makinit Hot Spring is one of the best in the Philippines; you can soak in two hot sulphurous pools, then cross 5 meters (16 feet) of beach to cool off in the sea.

Lake Abuyok, 110 meters (360 feet) deep, is worth a visit.


Some airlines list their destination as Coron and some list as Busuanga.

Regardless, you are going to fly to the Yulo King Ranch Airport in the middle of Busuanga Island, about 45 minutes from the town of Coron.

Seair and Asian Spirit have daily flights.

All scheduled flights are met by jeepneys for a dusty 45-minute ride, mostly on dirt tracks. Coron is very small.

If there are several of you in a batch, you will be dropped at your destination; otherwise you will be dropped outside the PAL office, from where you can pick up motorized tricycles.



Philippine Travel

A1 Permalink : Philippine Travel | top of page

scuba diving vacations

The best scuba diving vacation destinations in the Philippines are located in:

Anilao diving

Apo Island diving

Bohol diving

Boracay diving

Busuanga diving

Coron diving

Donsol diving

Dumaguete diving

Mactan diving

Malapascua diving

Moalboal diving

Puerto Galera diving

Tubbataha diving

Verde Island diving

Subic bay diving