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Dive Philippines » Coron (Calamian Islands)

Diving Coron PhilippinesDiving Coron PhilippinesDiving Coron Philippines

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The Calamian Islands (often refered to as Coron) consists of over 80 islands and islets in the north of Palawan province and includes the islands of Busuanga, Coron, Calauit, Culion and Sangat. 

From the main settlement of Coron Town on Busuanga you can explore the spectacular islands and reefs of Coron Bay. Hidden amongst the jagged limestone cliffs of Coron Island are secluded lagoons and coves. Coron Island is also known for having the cleanest inland body of water in the Philippines, called Kayangan Lake.

Most divers come to the Coron area to dive the WWII Japanese shipwrecks that were sunk in the area during the air raid by 120 US aircraft on 24 September, 1944. There are 14 wrecks which lie in the dive-able depths between 5 - 40 metres deep.

Daily flights depart from Manila to Busuanga. Flight time is 1 hour. Ferries also depart daily from El Nido, Palawan to Coron Town.

  • Coron Geographical Information

    The mostly wild and undeveloped island of Busuanga is the largest island in the group. It hosts the main town of Coron on the south coast, a lively fishing community geared heavily towards dive tourism. The regional airport for the Calamian Group is also on Busuanga. Busuanga is located halfway between the islands of Mindoro and Palawan with the South China Sea to its west and the Sulu Sea to the southeast.

    South of Busuanga are the two other major islands of the Calamian Group: Culion Island and Coron Island.

    Coron Island is the geographical gem of the Calamianes. Approximately 70% of Coron Island is made up of steep, black limestone cliffs, some reaching several hundred metres above sea level. 25% of the island is hills and the remainder of the area is relatively flat. Along the coastline are white sand beaches, coves and lagoons. Behind the steep limestone cliffs hides 8 brackish lakes with crystal clear water and 3 smaller lakes with underground connections to the ocean. Coron Island is the third largest among the Calamianes Islands behind Busuanga and Culion.

  • Things to do in Coron

    Non divers can enjoy the many opportunities for island hopping, kayaking, snorkeling and trekking. Climb up to and snorkel in the volcanic Kayangan Lake on Coron Island. Swim through a low lying water tunnel between the Twin Lagoons. Culion Island to the south is the former home of a leper colony whilst Calauit to the north is home to an African wildlife sanctuary. The area is also a feeding ground for the endangered dugong.

  • When to Travel to Coron

    Diving is conducted year round, although July to October is the quiet season with heavier rains and possible typhoons. Water temperature is 27ºC - 30ºC all year.

    The visibility on many of the wrecks are affected by the tides. Visibility can be anywhere between 7 - 20 metres depending on the strength of the tidal flow. When the tidal flow is strong at full moon and new moon, visibility is reduced. The tidal flow is less and the visibility is best between the 1/4 -3/4 moons and / or at high tide.

  • Hotels and Resorts in Coron

    Dive Coron Philippines Puerto Del Sol
    At the entrance of D'Pearl Bay on Busuanga
    Budget: $$
    Pool: Yes
    Beach/Beachfront: Yes
    Bar: 1
    Restaurant: 1
    Wifi: in public areas
    Onsite Shop: No
    Gym: No
    Spa: Massage Service
    Onsite Dive Centre: Yes
     Dive Travel Majikas Island Resort, Coron Philippines Majika’s Island Resort 
    Apo Island, Coron
    Budget: $$
    Pool: Yes
    Beach/Beachfront: Yes
    Bar: 1
    Restaurant: 1
    Wifi: No
    Onsite Shop: Yes
    Gym: No
    Spa: No. Massages available.
    Onsite Dive Centre: Yes
  • Scuba Diving in Coron

    Dive Coron PhilippinesMost of the sunken wrecks in Coron Bay are between 100 to 200 metres in length. Most wrecks can be dived from beginner up to technical advanced wreck diver level.

    There are beautiful dives along the walls of Coron Island, in Gutob Bay on the reefs between Busuanga and Culion with a variety of hard and soft coral, big fans, different nudibranchs, lionfish, crocodile fish and anemone fish. You can also dive in the warm, geothermal lakes on Coron Island.

    History of the Coron Wrecks

    At 6:00 am on 24 September 1944, 180 Grumman H6F Hellcat and Grumman SB2C Helldiver planes took off from carriers of vice admiral William F. Halsey's task force 38 and headed for Coron. At the time this was the longest range air attack ever launched from aircraft carriers, 340 miles from target and airborne for more than 6 hours. Several planes were lost after running out of fuel on the return trip; some were shot down by the Japanese fleet in Coron Bay. At 9:00 am the planes reached Coron and located at least 18 large Japanese vessels and started their attacks. After a 40 minute attack the planes left, leaving a scene of devastation. Eight out of twelve of the Japanese supply ships sunk in the attack lie in Coron Bay.

    Coron Dive Sites

    Barracuda Lake

    Dive Coron PhilippinesStart with a 15 minute challenging mountain climb in full scuba gear over sharp limestone cliffs. Likened to “diving in the moon”, the water temperature varies between 28ºC - 38ºC in the lake with distinct thermal layers. The resident 1.5 metre long barracuda likes to guide you around his home. Max depth: 30 metres

     

    Akitsushima:

    Dive Coron PhilippinesThis Japanese seaplane tender 118m long lies  on her starboard side, hit midship. The impressive crane that  was lifting the seaplane in the water lies on a sandy bottom and attracts shoals of giant batfish and barracuda. Giant grouper, tuna and yellow fins also hang around. Max depth: 38 metres.

    Irako

    A Japanese refrigeration ship about 200 metres in length that is quite intact with a big wreck body. Grouper, tuna, yellow fin, lionfish and scorpion fish live around this wreck. Max depth: 40 metres.

    Kogyo Maru

    Dive Coron PhilippinesA Japanese freighter about 140 metres long lying on her starboard side. Explore the large cargo holds where you  will find construction materials, a cement mixer and a bulldozer. On the deck, anti-aircraft weapons can still be seen. On the port side there are many corals and a variety of fish life. Max depth: 34 metres.

     

    Kyokuzan Maru

    A Japanese freighter about 170 metres long, mostly intact and usually offers good visibility around 20 metres. In the cargo holds Japanese staff cars and trucks can be found. This is a beautiful wreck dive experience with ideal conditions. Max depth: 40 metres.

    Moruzan Maru

    120 metre long Japanese freighter on her starboard side. Big groupers, sweetlips and scorpionfish congregate her and sometimes turtles and sea snakes will visit. Hard corals cover the port side. The big cargo rooms and engine room are easy to penetrate.

    Okikawa Maru

    A 200 metre long Japanese tanker, the largest and most popular wreck dive in Busuanga. The tanker is totally covered in corals and the variety of marine life is astounding. There are many penetration possibilities on this wreck a highlight being the propeller shaft and tank systems. Strong currents can often affect this site. Max depth: 26 metres.

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