Scuba diving guide Coron Bay: Best diving centers, liveaboards, dive sites and recommendations

A view of the coast and waters at Coron Bay in Palawan

There's more to discover in Palawan than just the underground river in Puerto Princesa and the beautiful beaches of El Nido. Coron Bay is a tropical island in Palawan that has a natural topside beauty! Steep black-limestone cliffs and white sandy beaches give way to turquoise water above healthy reefs, quietly lapping their shores.

With some of the best shipwrecks in the Philippines, diving here will be a unique and exciting experience. The main attractions here are the various Japanese shipwrecks from the Second World War that are located within the recreational diving depth limits.

Recommendations - diving in Coron Bay

December to March is the best time to dive in Coron Bay Palawan because the weather conditions are perfect and the visibility is at its best during these months.

Liveaboards in Coron Bay Palawan

Coron Bay Palawan is a very popular tourist and dive destination compared to many other Philippine dive destinations. If you want to avoid the crowds, diving Coron via a liveaboard is highly recommended. The most recommended liveaboards include Atlantic Azores, Seedoors, and Discovery Palawan. These liveaboards offer various Coron bay itineraries.

The Atlantis Azores liveaboard in the Philippines
The Atlantis Azores liveaboard in the Philippines

A trip with the Atlantis Azores liveaboard to Coron Bay starts at USD 350 per day. The latest prices and availability can be checked here.

Diving center Coron Bay Palawan

Below, we have provided an overview of our selection of the four best diving centers for diving at Coron Bay, Palawan.

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operators

Price for a dive
Price for a day trip
Price for a multiple day trip
Maximum number of guests
Scuba diving gear included
Nitrox available
Diving organization
Scuba diving beginners course
Price for the scuba diving beginners course
Advanced scuba diving courses available
Professional scuba diving courses available
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Busuanga Bay Divers

PHP 2,400
Starting from PHP 5,500
N.A.
8
PADI
PHP 26,725
N.A.
Accommodation

Dive UNDA

N.A.
N.A.
Starting from PHP 16,000
PADI
PHP 17,000
N.A.
Accommodation, rental of scuba gear

Reggae Dive Center

N.A.
PHP 3,700 (2 dives), PHP 3,900 (3 dives)
N.A.
PADI
PHP 18,500
N.A.
Rental of scuba gear

Corto Divers

N.A.
PHP 3,700 (2 dives), PHP 3,900 (3 dives)
N.A.
PADI
PHP 20,000
Including lunch (PHP 800)
Accommodation and rental of scuba gear

Best diving centers in Coron Bay Palawan

In order to save you some time in finding the best diving center in Coron Bay, Palawan, we have listed our selection of the four best diving centers below.

Diving center 1: Busuanga Bay Divers

One of the most popular Dive Centers in Coron, Busuanga Bay Divers offers the best wrecks and reefs diving in Coron Bay. Located on Busuanga Island, this is a full-service PADI dive center only a few minutes away from Coron Bay and will let you dive with the Dugongs, at the World War 2 wrecks and in the famous underwater caves. Each dive just costs PHP 2,400 and if you dive six times, the seventh one is free.

Want to learn PADI diving? Busuanga Bay Divers offer different courses with the basic PADI Open Water course only costing PHP 26,725.

Diving center 2: Dive UNDA

Dive UNDA (‘’Ultimate Nature Diving Adventures’’) offers an array of exceptional diving opportunities. Their 3 days 2 nights Shipwrecks & Dugongs Diving Adventure that costs around PHP 20,000, in particular, is a must if you want to discover the best diving spots of Coron Bay. It includes the diving spots Kyokuzan Maru, Okikawa Maru, and Akitshushima Maru. The package also includes 8 dives and complete gear rental.

If you are a non-diver and want to learn PADI diving, Dive UNDA offers the lowest price for scuba diver courses and certifications in all of Coron.

Diving center 3: Reggae Dive Center

Reggae Dive Center offers daily reef dives and dive tours to the unique Barracuda Lake and trips to the Japanese WWII Wrecks of Coron Bay. As a full-service dive center, it offers diving tours starting at $76 that includes 2 dives, full diving equipment, entrance fees, as well as free lunch and refreshments.

Reggae Dive Center also offers different PADI Course Packages like the PADI Open Water & Advanced Open Water for $639 and PADI Open Water & Nitrox for $495.

Diving center 4: Corto Divers

Conveniently located in Coron Town, Corto Divers is the dive center that offers top-of-the-line equipment for scuba diving, so you can discover the best Coron Bay shipwrecks and other dive spots with ease. Day trips at Corto Divers include 2 dives (PHP 3,200) or 3 dives (PHP 3,900) with equipment and lunch on board. This dive center also offers PADI Open Water Course for beginners (PHP 20,000) and advanced level (PHP 15,500). If you want to specialize in wreck diving (PHP 14,000) or Nitrox (PHP 11,500), Corto Divers can get you certified in 2 days.

Liveaboards to Coron Bay Palawan

Liveaboards to Coron Bay Palawan will essentially focus on diving the wrecks. In order extend your no-decompression limit (NDL) and thus spend at much time as possible at the wrecks, we recommend to dive with Nitrox

Liveaboard 1: Atlantis Azores Liveaboard

Carrying only 16 passengers, the highly attentive crew of Atlantis Azores are on hand to ensure your comfort and satisfaction. It has seven staterooms and a luxury suite; all have their own climate control to give guests the best experience onboard. Dive amenities include a three-tier camera setup table, a spacious dive deck, two tenders, and hot water showers, Nitrox and a personal storage area.

Price: A trip with Atlantis Azores to Coron Bay starts at $350 per day.

Liveaboard 2: Seadoors

Built for exploring the beautiful underwater world of the Philippines, The Seadoors Liveaboard offers comfort to your Coron Bay diving trips. It has eight cabins and can house up to a maximum of 16 guests. Cabins are air-conditioned with queen-size beds and en-suite bathrooms. There is also an option of upgrading your cabin to a more spacious luxury room.

Price: A liveaboard with Seadoors starts at $298.

Liveaboard 3: Oceanic 3

A liveaboard offers plenty of space to relax. The Oceanic 3 Explorer can house up to 20 guests in 10 air-conditioned cabins with ionizers. The deluxe staterooms, two standard cabins, and five economy rooms provide something to suit all budgets. Social areas include the dining room, modern indoor salon, a large partially-shaded sundeck with loungers and jacuzzi, and an open-air terrace.

Price: A liveaboard with the Oceanic 3 starts at $271 per day.

Liveaboard 4: Solitude One

The Solitude One Liveaboard offers cabins with individual conditioning. For relaxing moments, you can choose between the lounge with plush comfy chairs or the beautiful sun deck where you can work on your tan. Experience Coron Bay diving while staying at a first-class accommodation at the sea with Solitude One.

Price: A liveaboard with Solitude One starts at $295 per day.

Liveaboard 5: Discovery Palawan

An excellent liveaboard choice for spectacular diving in Coron Bay Palawan. Diving aboard the Discovery Palawan will give you a memorable experience with a spacious dive platform and experienced guides. They also offer a modern look, fresh, spacious relaxation areas, and tastefully decorated cabins.

Price: A liveaboard with the Discovery Palawan starts at $279 per day.

Best dive sites in Coron Bay Palawan

Below, we have outlined the best dive sites to explore in Coron Bay, Palawan.

Dive site 1: Siete Picados/Seven-Islands Reef

This diving spot in Coron is also named Seven-Islands Reef. The location is just near the town ‘’Coron Town Proper’’. The diversity of colorful species that can be seen here makes it perfect for underwater photography. Siete Picados boasts an abundance of marine life, including the colorful mandarin fish, nudibranchs, seahorses, anemones, barracuda, cuttlefish, giant clams, moray eels, turtles, lobsters, angelfish, groupers, and much more.

Dive site 2: Okikawa Maru

Also known as the Taiei Maru, Okikawa Maru can be found in Coron Bay's relatively shallow waters. This Japanese shipwreck is fully coral-encrusted, and it has been home to a plethora of nudibranchs and critters. Its main deck is at 16 meters, while its deepest point is at 26 meters. The currents can often be strong so be careful if you are going to dive on this wreck. Divers can enjoy schools of barracudas, snappers, sweetlips, and batfish, as well as lionfishes, wrasse, tang, and soldierfish around the wreck

Dive site 3: Morazan Maru

This famous shipwreck lies at 25 meters with gentle currents making it suitable for less experienced divers. While the holds are empty, the boilers are still intact in the engine room and this can be easily explored. You can watch pufferfish, young barracuda, sea snakes, and turtles swimming around the wreck. Try to find crocodile fishes that are camouflaging with the old metalwork.

When you decide to go wreck diving, please make sure that you follow all the diving safety standards and that you will dive within your diving (certificate) limits.

Dive site 4: Calumbuyan Reef

Located off the coast of Barangay Concepcion in Western Busuanga, this diving spot is home to some of the largest coral congregations in Coron Bay Palawan. You can go from the north side to the south of the island with an easy-drift dive and you’ll find beautiful marine life and unsuspecting friends like Napoleon wrasse in small schools. Calumbuyan Reef has a maximum depth of 34 meters and can be found between the Okikawa and Akitsushima wrecks.

Dive site 5: Barracuda Lake

Popular for its extreme thermoclines, Barracuda Lake is a mixture of salt and freshwater layers ranging from 27.8 to 37.8 degrees Celcius located in the north of Coron Island. Although there is little marine life in the lake, this surreal dive features incredible limestone pinnacles, and a deep cave which houses the lake's only barracuda. Barracuda Lake is around 40 meters deep and beautiful underwater scenery to discover.

Note: a thermocline can be recognized once the water gets blurry and the temperature increases/decreases immediately. If you are getting cold, you can go through the thermocline once again.

Dive site 6: Lusong Gunboat

One of the most colorful ships in the Coron Bay Palawan, the Lusong Gunboat was a converted fishing trawler used as an auxiliary submarine chase, taking onboard depth charges, sonar equipment, and more. This wreck is a shallow dive spot with a depth of just 15 meters, but it’s very popular among divers, especially for beginners. The reef life is also abundant around Lusong Gunboat and there are plenty of small fishes to see.

Best time to visit Coron Bay Palawan

Diving Coron Bay Palawan can be done all year round. However, you may experience some bad weather during the wet season (June to October) that can sometimes prevent any diving activities from happening. The best time to dive in Coron Bay Palawan is during the dry season (December to March). The weather is fine, and the visibility will be at its best.

How to get to Coron Bay

Option 1: By airplane to Francisco B. Reyes Airport

Fly internationally into Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport or Mactan-Cebu International Airport, then take a 1-hour flight on to Francisco B. Reyes Airport in Busuanga, Palawan.

When you arrive at the airport, you can take a jeep or taxi going to the town proper, Most local taxi drivers know the flight schedules, and they will be waiting to carry passengers. Travel time from the airport to the town proper is 45 minutes to one hour.

Option 2: By ferry

If you are coming from Manila, you can take an overnight ferry to Coron. The ferry from Manila to Coron takes about 15 hours and runs twice a week. Some liveaboards explore the area depart from Puerto Galera, only a 2-hour transfer from Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

If you are coming from El Nido Palawan, some ferries depart daily from El Nido to Coron Town.

Accommodations in Coron Bay Palawan

If you're looking for the best hotel and resorts where you can enjoy your stay in Coron Bay Palawan, here are the top accommodations you can choose:

Accommodation 1: Busuanga Bay Lodge ($$$)

Busuanga Bay Lodge is a luxurious boutique hotel located on the resort island of Palawan. It is a destination perfect for a tropical escape! They offer 41 units in total, including 38 rooms and 3 private, two-bedroom villas. While varying in design, the accommodations capture the natural splendor of the majestic island of Palawan.

Price: An overnight stay costs starts from $122.5

Accommodation 2: Cocovana Beach Resort

Cocovana is a hostel resort that offers accommodation right in front of the beautiful beach of Busuanga Island. It has an in-house restaurant, mini bar, guest lounge, and free Wi-Fi. All rooms are guaranteed on the day of your arrival. In the case of a no-show, your room will be released, and you will be subject to the terms and conditions of the Cancellation or No-Show Policy.

Price: Double Bedroom with sea view starts from $23 per night.

Accommodation 3: West Atlantic Hotel Coron

Offering high-quality accommodations in Palawan, West Atlantic Hotel is a popular choice for business and leisure travelers. The property features five beautiful guestrooms that include a closet, towels, an additional toilet, flat-screen television, mirror. With its convenient location, West Atlantic Hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations. They also have a convenience store, car park, airport transfer, family room, and restaurant for your comfort and convenience.

Price: A room starts from $32 per night.

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