Coron is a municipality in the province of Palawan, Philippines. It comprises half of the Busuanga Island, Coron Island, and dozens of islets that are part of the Calamian Archipelago. Thanks to its stunning beaches, dive sites, and other natural attractions, the economy of Coron is largely based on tourism. Over the years, Coron has established itself as an excellent scuba diving destination, particularly among wreck divers.
Coron has often been described as the best wreck diving in Southeast Asia. For long somewhat of a secret destination, now more and more scuba divers flock to the area for its fantastic underwater world. The shipwrecks are well preserved, and since most are located in shallow water, they are suitable for the majority of recreational divers.
Diving in Coron is possible year-round, but it’s recommended to avoid the wet season (July through October) because of the heavy rain. November through June offers the best diving conditions.
The water temperature in Coron is consistently warm, ranging from 27° C/81° F to 30° C/86° F depending on the season.
The intensity of the currents in Coron varies from mild to strong depending on the location.
The underwater visibility in Coron is typically from 7 meters to 20 meters (23-66 feet) but can reach up to 24 meters (80 feet) depending on the location and time of the year.
Also known locally as the Luluyuan Lake, this unique dive site is located inside a volcanic crater and features a mix of freshwater and saltwater. Barracuda Lake also has a reverse thermocline, so as you descend, the water gets warmer and warmer. Other interesting features of the lake include the silky bottom and the limestone formations found on all sides. Plus, even getting into the water is an adventure, as you need to gear up and go on a short hike to reach the crater. As for the barracudas, there aren’t that many, but that’s not why divers come here, anyway.
Akitsushima is a seaplane tender that was first hit in an attack on Chuuk Lagoon but managed to remain afloat only to be later sunk in an attack near Coron. The wreck is still in pretty good shape, lying on its port side in 22 to 36 meters (72-118 feet) of water. The seaplane it carried disappeared in the explosion following the attack, but the huge crane that lifted the seaplane is still visible, and so is the antiaircraft gun near the seabed.
The Skeleton Wreck is one of the most popular dives in Coron due to its shallow depth that allows anyone, including snorkelers, to get a glimpse of this tiny ship. As the name implies, all that’s left of it now are the ribs, keel, and stringers. Nonetheless, the coral growth on the wreck and abundant marine life make it an excellent spot for underwater photographers.
The largest of the wrecks in Coron, Okikawa Maru is a leviathan tanker found in shallow water which also makes it accessible to snorkelers. The shipwreck is covered in corals and sponges, and there’s plenty to see in terms of marine life around it too. There are a number of entries that allow for penetration and the front, bent part of the wreck offers an impressive swim-through.