Diving Reefs and Wrecks in Coron, Palawan

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Diving Reefs and Shipwrecks

Coron has been considered as one of the best spots in the World for Wreck diving! On the 24th of September 1944, 24 Japanese Ships were sunk by an Americain Air raid. There were 12 shipwrecks that have been discovered up to now. The shipwrecks are very well preserved and are all located in quite shallow water, perfect for recreational diving. However it is best to be at least Open Water Advanced to fully enjoy the shipwrecks as some dives can be quite challenging.

Most of the wrecks are really big (up to 160m!) and require more than one dive if you want to explore the entire ship. There are also boundless possibilities of penetration and even very deep penetration (especially on the Taiei Maru and the Akitsushima ) for the most experienced divers!

The shipwrecks lay either upright or on the side. Their depth is ranging from 12m to 30m. Only the Irako wreck is deeper, at 43m.

However, the visibility is often low (from 5m to 15m) and the marine life around the shipwrecks is poor with mostly Scorpionfishes, Crocodilefishes, Nudibranchs are the usual reef fishes like the Triggerfish or Clownfish. Groupers and Barracudas can also sometimes be spotted. So if you come to Coron it is definitely because you are passionate about Wreck Diving, not just to see the fish! This place is really beautiful and divers coming there are usually delighted!

Best time to dive in Coron, Palawan

Diving Season

It is possible to dive around Coron all year round. However they can experience some bad weather during the wet season (June to September / October) that can sometimes prevent any diving from happening. The best weather is usually from December to March and it is also at that time that the visibility is at its best.

Scuba Diving conditions

Water Temperature: ranging from 25°C to 31°C depending on the season.

Currents: From gentle to strong depending on the tide and location.

Visibility: You can expect a visibility of 5m to 15m. The best visibility is usually during the dry season (November to May).

Lusong Gunboat

The Lusong Gunboat Wreck is a popular snorkeling and Scuba Diving site in Coron Bay. It is a shallow spot with the shipwreck being between 5m and 15m deep. The boat is about 25m long. This shallow shipwreck dive is ideal for amateurs. In addition, the reef life is fantastic with plenty of small fishes all around the Lusong Gunboat. It is usually done as the second relaxing dive of the day.


This spot is perfect for macro underwater photography as there is plenty of things to see and you will a long bottom time. The hard and soft coral is great on the nearby reef perfect to finish your dive in shallow water.

It takes only 5 minutes to reach the place from the Coron Resorts.

This location is a Reef. You can dive Lusong Gunboat all year long.

Access: from the Shore.

Level: Advanced divers

Irako Wreck Dive Site

The Irako Wreck is one of the best Wreck Dives of Coron Bay in Palawan and in the Philippines. It is a 147m long and 19m wide former Japanese Refrigeration Ship. It was sunk during World War II in 1944 by an American air attack.
The Irako Wreck I lies now 40m deep still pretty much intact. The visibility is usually good and there is a great marine life surrounding the shipwreck making it one of the best dive sites around Busuanga Island. Here you can spot hunting Tunas and Groupers as well as Green Sea Turtles and Lionfishes. Barracudas and Trevallies can also be seen patrolling the ship. The hard and soft Coral all over the Irako is great especially on the superstructures.

The main deck is 34m deep and has penetration opportunities in the Wheelhouse and the Cargo bays. The Engine Room is also penetrable but at this depth it should only be attempted by very experienced divers with the necessary equipment.
Due to this great depth and sometimes strong currents it is best to be an Advanced diver to fully enjoy this amazing wreck! Moreover, it is better to dive with Nitrox gas if you want to increase your bottom time.
The Irako Wreck is located just 10 min by speed boat from Coron Dive Resorts just south of another beautiful shipwreck, the Kogyo Maru!

Most people are here for Wreck Diving. You can dive Irako Wreck all year long.

Access: from the Shore.

Level: Advanced divers

Akitsushima Dive Site

The Akitsushima Wreck is a former Seaplane Tender sunk in Coron Bay in Palawan. This former war ship is 118m long and is now one of the best dive site around Coron. It is located not far from another great spot, the Okikawa Maru Wreck.

The Akitsushima has been sunk on September 24 1944 during World War 2 by an American Air attack. It now lies in good shape on her port side 36m deep. The shallowest point of the shipwreck is 22m deep.

There are several penetration possibilities especially in the engine room where you can observe the machinery and the 4 engines. Due to the depth this should only be done by divers with a wreck diving certification.

The Seaplane that the Akitsushima was carrying disappeared in the explosion after she was hit at the stern and then sunk in a few minutes. You can still see the huge crane that was used to lift the seaplane. There is also an antiaircraft gun that you can find near the seabed.

You can spot also some interesting sea life with Barracudas, Tunas and Batfishes patrolling around the Shipwreck but there is not so many fishes.

Due to the depth and sometimes strong current this dive site is reserved to Advanced Divers.

Most people are here for Wreck Diving.You can dive Akitsushima all year long.

Access: from the Shore.

Skeleton Wreck Dive Site

Skeleton Wreck is a popular Snorkelling spot in Coron Bay. It is also possible to scuba dive this small 25m long Shipwreck. The top of the Skeleton is 5m deep and going down to 22m at the stern. This is an easy dive ideal for beginners.

The reef is also really nice with a teeming reef life giving good underwater pictures opportunities. It is possible to rent a fisherman boat in Coron to go on a Snorkelling day tour to explore the best spots around Busuanga Island.

This location is a Reef. You can dive Skeleton Wreck all year long.

Access: from the Shore.

GOOD NEWS! We now offer fun dives in Coron for as low as 5,000pesos for 3 dives including rent for scuba diving equipment. This is one of the activities you can do while island hopping in Coron. Send us a message for more information at info@islandhoppinthephilippines.com.

Click following if you’d like to book a private boat tour between El Nido and Coron or just around Coron only.

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Home » Palawan » Boat Tours » Diving Reefs and Wrecks in Coron, Palawan

C RC R
05:51 03 Apr 24
I give 5 stars because they actually helped me to arrange the tour to Balabac in last minute. However, because the money wired through the local bank in my country took time to be processed, so i missed the boat due to peak season as many people paid before my money was received by the tour guide.As most of people usually feel, once your money has been transferred out to someone you do not know, you probably frustrated that your money would not be able to be refunded.But not in my experience. I dont need to be worry, the owner refunded me the money he has received (minus the bank fees). He promised to refund me and he did it. It was around 18.700 Pesos.So, eventhough i didn't manage to go with the tour, but i am really satisfied with their legitimate and great business practice. Hopefully, people will try their services and not worry about their legit business!Thanks a lot!
Chloe BlanchardChloe Blanchard
13:38 27 Mar 24
The most wonderful experience from booking to beach! Karel and Mel were so fast and responsive to my very last minute trip over the holidays. We booked a private boat for two and could not have been happier with our four day trip! We didn’t think about anything other than snorkeling the entire time. Linda, our captain, cooked wonderful meals and took us to totally empty beautiful beaches. We loved staying the night in Pical especially! Wonderful to experience the Philippines this way! Will come back again and would recommend to anyone!
hotel luci del farohotel luci del faro
08:13 31 Jan 24
We booked the 3 day 2 night expedition, from Coron to Sibaltan.First of all the booking part was really simple. I organized this trip to the Philippines last minute for my family (my parents and my uncles) but Karel answered all my questions very quickly and really made everything easier for me. It was an incredible experience. Albert, our tour leader, is a wonderful guy, always smiling and ready to help us. They assisted us in everything and really took care of making everything go smoothly. The accommodation on the islands is as spartan as you expect but the location of each hut alone is worth the trip. The wonder of nature was then added to the goodness of cuisine. It's really difficult to argue how you can cook all that goodness on a boat.If you are looking for an authentic experience, in contact with nature, off the beaten track, this company's private expedition is certainly for you.
Kate BrownKate Brown
00:22 27 Oct 23
What an unforgettable experience! We did a two night (3 day) island hopping tour from Sibaltan to Coron. Everything was so well organized and the boat crew were amazing and really made sure we had a great time. The accommodation was rustic, but added to the authentic experience of the Philippines. Karel always responded to any queries we had promptly. Our boatman, Albert, was the most amazing chef and we enjoyed every meal. The crew taught the kids how to fish with a line which was their highlight of the trip. They took us to the most unbelievable snorkelling spots along the way. Would highly recommend this trip.
Ian PascualIan Pascual
02:43 10 Aug 23
One of the most amazing, unforgettable things you can do in your life
Lou PrataliLou Pratali
11:04 25 Jul 23
This is a must to do!!Super ultimate tour is the best with Kayangan and barracuda lake, twin lagoons (my favorite), coral garden (blue fabulous coral) were the best. It’s really worth it to pay for private tour (3500 to 4000 PHP). You will also have to pay for entrance fees (150 to 200PHP by location) and eventually shopping at the market - must do (count 300 for 2 for fish, pork, fruits and vegetables, water).
Gérard BENOITGérard BENOIT
16:11 07 Feb 23
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the stunning Bacuit Gulf.Based on the comments, I contacted Mel.Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization.The on-board staff were very friendly and very helpful.And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel.In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I cannot recommend Mel and his team highly enough.A big thank-you.
Alyse TarbottonAlyse Tarbotton
23:48 30 Aug 22
This tour went well above all our expectations! I couldn't recommend this enough! The boat crew, captain and tour guide were nothing but amazing, everyone was so kind, helpful and friendly. The crew knew the best spots to visit that weren't overcrowded with tourists, 3 times we were lucky enough to have whole islands to ourselves! It was my partner's birthday while away and everything went above and beyond, bonfire, cake, birthday card, singing and celebrating with us.If you love camping this is definitely a tout you should do, it has been the highlight of our trip!!
Danish KayaniDanish Kayani
10:24 31 Oct 19
Coron is the best place i have ever seen.. picturesque. Beautiful. Peaceful
We booked a 4 days/3 nights private boat trip from Coron to Sibaltan. The organization went very well from the beginning, the owner answered to all my questions, and we were able to choose which islands to visit and where to sleep. The first night we slept in a bungalow in Banana Island, the second we camped in Araw beach and the last we slept in a seafront bungalow builded on a tree in Pical on Iloc Island.The islands in that area are the most beautiful islands I have ever seen, with clear water, lots of coral reef and fishes to see, white sand and almost deserted. The crew was very friendly and polite and they organize every single meal and for camping they give you a tent which was just perfect! This was our highlight in our 2 weeks in the Philippines and I wish I had booked a longer trip. A private trip gives you the freedom to decide where and when to go.
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Gérard Benoit
Gérard Benoit
2023-02-08
recommends
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the beautiful bay of Bacuit. Seeing the comments, I contacted Mel. Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization. The crew were very friendly and very helpful. And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel. In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I can recommend Mel and his team highly enough. A big thank-you.
André Mardoñal
André Mardoñal
2019-10-22
recommends
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The island world of Linapacan between Coron and El Nido with the clearest waters in the world is truly a dream for itself! Without a boat you won't be able to see it! But what this boat trips makes so amazing is the crew! Once you come on board they might be shy in the beginning but will make you feel welcome and home from the first moment. Not only that they are looking that you sit comfortable all the time, they will prepare fresh and delicious food what the buy from local markets. They know the best spots and most beautiful islands and will bring you to places where you get this "Robinson Cruisoe feeling". Every day you visit 3 to 5 spots for snorkeling, enjoying a beach or exploring a little island. The accommodation we had was good and simple. We slept in bungalows and tents right at the beach. Sheets and towels were always provided and sometimes towels. After a while you feel like a family on board. We loved living the boat life didn't wanna leave! If you doubt take a longer than shorter trip! For any questions please message me.
Sarah Uhan
Sarah Uhan
2019-01-31
recommends
All in all it was a really great experience. It's a once in a lifetime thing to do and you won't get more authentic and basic Philippino experiences anywhere else. We were not so lucky with the wind and waves so we couldn't do all the stops we wanted to unfortunately. So be aware that especially the months from January to May can be very rough on water. But we still saw some great places Benji took us. Benji and his family was very nice and they did everything they could. The food was amazing - always freshly made in authentic Philippino style and way too much for the 2 of us. Make sure to bring enough cash - many of the islands cost extra (entrance fee) and be aware that any kind of accommodation and food (200php per meal) is not included in the boat fee. Also the deposit and commission fee for the agency are a little over the top, especially since the crew does not get any of it. The costs all in all are rather high for phillipino circumstances especially given the basicness of it all. However if you think about that all 5 boat people (in our case) live off of the boat fee alone, you spent the money willingly. Be aware though that accommodation and sanataries are very basic if even existant. So you gotta have the right mindset. Bring tissue, sanatiszer and earplugs to get some better sleep. Another feedback I have concerning the size of the boat. I don't think it is sufficient for more than 4 people. If the weather is like it was these days, you always have to sit on top and it was already a little squeezy with us 2 and 5 boat people. So I guess 4 guests can be fine but more than that won't have the space. There is different boat sizes but make sure to talk about that with Karel in advance. Other than that it was really worth it and we got to see so many great beaches and reefs which we could have never been able to visit without the tour.
Eric Liu
Eric Liu
2018-03-15
recommends
It was scary to book a 5 day trip with no places to stay confirmed or a strong itinerary. And in the Philippines, communication is difficult. But that is part of changing mindsets to a rural island mindset. In the end, everything worked out. We had some tough moments with bugs. But we also had some amazingly beautiful secluded beaches, the best snorkeling in the world, relaxing on the beach, and freshly made food on the boat while docked at beautiful places (better than being on land). Note, we went with Benji. Recommendations: - you must get a local SIM when you arrive to make sure pickup and everything works out - some islands have bugs - use bug spray! Pros: - a fraction of the cost - away from the crowds - can customize what you want - just ask! - a truly local experience - saw a REAL rural town Cons: - locals aren't really polished tour guides - if you don't ask for it, you won't get it, need to be pretty proactive - pretty simple "activities" - no frills like bathrooms or kayaks etc.
Ángela Deand
Ángela Deand
2017-04-26
recommends
We can't be more grateful to have had the opportunity of experience the peace in Patoyo Kitesurfing Camping! Spending two weeks in Dimancal Island, gave us the chance to experiment the rural and traditional way of life, in touch with the nature and people. We have learnt how to cook with fire, how to open a coconut and how to survive in an environment where for a time we forget about unnecessary needs, just to focus on enjoy the small details and pleasures of life. Mentioning too the amazing snorkeling and beautiful islands around this place, which make it unique​ and special. It is a lovely option if you are running away from tourists and overcrowded places in the Philippines. You will find yourself in the middle of virgin beaches and nature, surrounding​ by charming people. We will definitely come back!
Caroline Danielle
Caroline Danielle
2017-02-13
recommends
We haven't done a Tao tour, but I would suspect that this is a cheaper version of the same thing. Our boat operator (Benji) and the entire crew were were fun, friendly and made an effort to ensure we had a good time. If you get a large group of people together it can be a really inexpensive alternative to other Coron-El Nino and vice versa island hopping tours. The food was good, but more expensive than as advertised by Karl. The price quote we got was 100 php a meal, but the boat charged us 200. Since the food was good we didn't mind the extra expense, but it is important to keep in mind if you're on a budget. Definitely plan for some incidental spending. Our boat did have some mechanical issues and as a result we ended up being stuck in the same place for longer than we wanted to be. That being said, little could have been done about it and the trip was fun nonetheless.
Hauk Are Fjeld
Hauk Are Fjeld
2017-01-01
recommends
If you believe that doing the touristic tours in El Nido and going to "The hidden beach" takes you off the beaten path, you are wrong. There are lots of beautiful places in Palawan, but few of these places are without any other tourists. If you want to spend some extra effort on getting away from the tourist places, and don't mind a little "primitive" living, Island Hopping in the Philippines is definitely something you should check out
Arnold Cabiguen
Arnold Cabiguen
2015-05-08
recommends
The snorkeling in this area is phenomenal. Clearest waters in the world. I guess it's because there is relatively such lower tourist traffic through here, and the locals really protect the reefs!
Karel Kosman
Karel Kosman
2015-05-08
recommends
Love it so much, just had to say it twice!
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We are a family operation managing private custom boat tours in the beautiful Palawan area, and are happy to help travelers with their plans through the country, having traveled a lot of it ourselves and planning to visit it all.

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