Philippines // Palawan //

Diving in the Calamian group

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It’s the World War II Japanese shipwrecks in the Coron area that most divers come for. There are 24 wrecks in all, boats sunk in one massive attack by US aircraft on September 24, 1944.

Irako

The best of the wrecks and still almost intact; it’s home to turtles and enormous groupers, who hang in mid-water and eyeball you as you float past. A swim through the engine room reveals a network of pipes and valves inhabited by moray eels and lionfish, which look like liquid flame and have spines that deliver a hefty dose of poison.

Akitsushima

A big ship lying on her side with a crane once used for hoisting a seaplane. Between Culion and Busuanga islands, near Manglet Island, the wreck attracts huge schools of giant batfish and barracuda.

Kogyo Maru

Japanese freighter lying on her starboard side in 34m of water. In the large cargo holds you can see loaded construction materials, a cement mixer and a small bulldozer, while there are anti-aircraft weapons on deck.

Morazan Maru

Japanese freighter sitting upright at 28m. Large shoals of banana fish, giant batfish and pufferfish the size of footballs can be seen, especially around the mast, bow and stern. It’s easy to get into the cargo holds, making this a good wreck dive for beginners.

Taiei Maru

Japanese tanker covered with beautiful corals and a large variety of marine life. The deck is relatively shallow at between 10m and 16m deep, and is well suited to wreck-dive beginners.

Dive operators

There are a dozen or so dive operators in Coron Town: Dive Right (w http://www.diveright-coron.com) is near L&M Pe Lodge; Discovery Divers (w http://www.ddivers.com) is a short walk out of town towards the airport; and Sea Dive Resort has a well-equipped dive operation and is popular with beginners and advanced divers.

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