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Drifting in the South China Sea between Manila and Palawan, the tiny island of Busuanga is regularly listed as one of the top ten diving destinations in the world. From the tin-roofed village at Coron, outrigger boats run out to a series of anchored buoys which mark the location of some of the finest wreck dives on the planet. This marine graveyard dates from a single fateful day in 1944, when American fighters sent an entire flotilla of Japanese supply ships to the bottom of the bay. Today, the wrecks are an underwater wonderland, populated by an incredible array of corals, fish and crustaceans. Some wrecks are just below the surface — ...

Drifting in the South China Sea between Manila and Palawan, the tiny island of Busuanga is regularly listed as one of the top ten diving destinations in the world. From the tin-roofed village at Coron, outrigger boats run out to a series of anchored buoys which mark the location of some of the finest wreck dives on the planet. This marine graveyard dates from a single fateful day in 1944, when American fighters sent an entire flotilla of Japanese supply ships to the bottom of the bay. Today, the wrecks are an underwater wonderland, populated by an incredible array of corals, fish and crustaceans. Some wrecks are just below the surface — perfect for snorkelers — while others lie at depths of 130 feet or more, open only to experienced divers. Penetrating the wrecks is a journey into an eerie world of giant gropers and ruptured metal. Not all the dives at Coron are wrecks — to reach Barracuda Lake, with its famous thermoclines, divers must climb over a sheer rock wall. Although diving is the main attraction, adventurous types can trek to hidden lakes and hot springs. Most visitors arrive by plane via the tiny airstrip on Busuanga, but ferries also pull in en route from Manila to Puerto Princesa.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to March, for the best underwater visibility