Wreck Diving Philippines

The Philippines is known for its incredibly varied diving opportunities, boasting a prime position in the Coral Triangle, world-class muck diving, rare marine encounters (such as the thresher sharks in Malapascua), and, last but certainly not least, the World War II wrecks of Coron Bay.

Located to the north of Palawan, Coron is an island characterised by dramatic limestone karsts, lush green rainforest and white sandy beaches. But the main attraction lies beneath the waves...

The Philippines' History During WWII

Wreck diving in the Philippines gives an eerie insight into World War Two, with a number of perfectly preserved wrecks in close proximity in Coron Bay. The Japanese supply fleet met its demise on 24 September 1944, when a squadron of 24 Helldiver bombers launched a deadly attack sinking Japanese gunboats, supply ships, aircraft carriers and planes. Today, Coron Bay has some of the best-preserved WWII wrecks in the world at recreational dive depths, making them suitable for every level of diver (some are even suitable for snorkellers).

Diving Coron Bay's WWII Wrecks

What makes wreck diving in Coron Bay so special is that the wrecks are all in a relatively compact area, meaning divers are spoilt for choice when wreck diving. Some of these war vessels extend over 170 metres and most are easily penetrable, making it a dream for divers with their wreck speciality (and if you don't, this is the perfect place to learn!), as divers can enter engine rooms, kitchens and workshops still equipped with tools, while ammunition, anti-aircraft guns and tanks provide an eerie insight into the past.

Top Five Wrecks in the Philippines

While the close proximity of the wrecks means divers can explore the whole underwater museum if they choose, here are our picks for the five best wrecks in Coron Bay…

1. The Olympia Maru

Lying very close to Sangat Island, the Olympia Maru measures a whopping 122 metres in length and rests upright at 30 metres. Penetrate the wreck to explore the engine room while outside pufferfish, scorpionfish and turtles call this wreck home.

2. Irako

This refrigeration wreck is one of the best-preserved wrecks in the Philippines, Irako rests at a maximum depth of 43 metres (her deck rests at 28 metres), making her suited to advanced divers.

3. Kogyo

This freighter lies at 34 metres and extends a staggering 140 metres. While the deck still holds anti-aircraft weapons, inside spot construction materials and even a bulldozer

4. Okikwa

One of the most famous wrecks to rest in Coron Bay, the coral encrusted Okikawa extends 170 metres, with her deck at 12 metres, making her suited to open water divers as well as advanced.

5. The Morazan

The 95-metre freighter lies at a maximum depth of 25 metres with four cargo bays to explore, while outside the wreck is carpeted in beautiful hard corals and clouds of marine life.

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Jacqui is our 'Wreck Diving Philippines' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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