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Skeleton Wreck Dive Site In Coron, Palawan


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Kathryne Mathers



Welcome to the world-renowned Skeleton Wreck Dive Site in Coron, Palawan! Known for its breathtaking underwater scenery and historical significance, this dive site attracts divers from all around the globe. Offering a unique diving experience, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site combines natural beauty with a glimpse into the past.


As the name suggests, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site is home to the remains of a Japanese World War II supply ship, creating an eerie and captivating underwater landscape. The sunken vessel now serves as an artificial reef, teeming with diverse marine life and providing an exciting exploration opportunity for adventurous divers.


Located off the coast of Busuanga Island, Coron, this dive site offers an unforgettable underwater adventure for both seasoned divers and beginners. With its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and stunning marine biodiversity, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site is a must-visit destination for any diving enthusiast.


Whether you’re an avid photographer looking to capture stunning images of marine life or simply seeking an extraordinary diving experience, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site has it all. Prepare to be immersed in a world of beauty, history, and adventure.


In this article, we will uncover the fascinating history of the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site, explore its diverse marine life, provide safety tips for divers, and highlight other activities and attractions nearby. So, get ready to dive into the wonders of the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site and discover why it has become a bucket-list destination for divers worldwide.


History of the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site

The Skeleton Wreck Dive Site carries a rich history that dates back to World War II. The sunken vessel at the dive site is the remains of a Japanese supply ship, which was part of the fleet during the Battle of Coron Bay in 1944.


Diving into the depths of the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site allows you to witness a piece of history frozen in time. The shipwreck, believed to be an Irako Maru auxiliary vessel, now lies at a depth of 25-30 meters, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past for divers.


During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, the ship was targeted by a group of American aircraft carriers in an effort to diminish the Japanese supply lines. A direct hit caused the vessel to sink, making it a prime dive site for history enthusiasts and adventurers alike.


As you explore the wreckage, you’ll come across remnants of the ship’s structure, including its skeletal framework, which gives the site its name. The ship’s cargo, including ammunition boxes and personal belongings of the crew, can also be found scattered across the site.


The Skeleton Wreck Dive Site not only serves as a monument to the past, but it also acts as an artificial reef, providing a habitat for a diverse array of marine life. The ship’s structure and cargo have become a haven for corals, sponges, and various fish species, turning the site into a vibrant underwater ecosystem.


Over the years, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site has become a beloved destination for adventurous divers and history aficionados. It serves as a reminder of the war-torn past while offering a unique and captivating experience beneath the waves.


Today, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site stands as a living testament to the events that took place during World War II and serves as a symbol of resilience and the beauty that emerges even amidst destruction.


Location and Accessibility

The Skeleton Wreck Dive Site is located off the coast of Busuanga Island in the municipality of Coron, Palawan. Coron is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines, known for its pristine beaches, stunning limestone cliffs, and abundant marine life.


To reach Coron, you can fly into Francisco B. Reyes Airport (also known as Busuanga Airport) from major cities in the Philippines, such as Manila or Cebu. Several airlines offer regular flights to Busuanga, making it convenient and accessible for both domestic and international travelers.


Once you’ve arrived at Busuanga Airport, you can take a van or a tricycle to Coron town, which is approximately a 45-minute drive away. From Coron town, you can arrange transportation to the dive site through local dive operators. Many dive centers and tour agencies in Coron offer packages that include transportation to and from the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site.


The dive site itself is situated just a short distance from the shores of Busuanga Island. Reaching the site by boat takes approximately 15-20 minutes, providing an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery along the way.


During your journey to the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site, you’ll be surrounded by the stunning landscapes that Palawan is famous for. Prepare to be enthralled by the turquoise waters, lush green islands, and dramatic rock formations that characterize the region.


It’s important to note that while diving at the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site is open to all certified divers, some dive operators may have specific requirements or restrictions, particularly for beginner divers. It’s recommended to check with your chosen dive operator to ensure they can accommodate your diving experience level.


With its convenient accessibility and breathtaking surroundings, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site promises a memorable diving experience amidst the natural splendor of Coron, Palawan.


Dive Site Description

The Skeleton Wreck Dive Site offers divers an immersive and captivating underwater experience. As you descend into the depths of the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be greeted by the majestic sight of the sunken Japanese supply ship, which serves as the focal point of the dive site.


The shipwreck rests at a depth of 25-30 meters and spans an impressive length of approximately 160 meters, providing ample opportunities for exploration. The skeletal structure of the ship, with its corroded beams and rusted remnants, creates an eerie and fascinating ambiance that transports divers back in time.


As you navigate through the wreckage, you’ll come across various sections of the ship, including the hull and remnants of the cargo hold. The ship’s exterior is now adorned with vibrant soft corals, sponges, and sea fans, adding a burst of color to the otherwise monochromatic metal framework.


The dive site also offers plenty of swim-throughs and openings, allowing divers to penetrate the ship’s interior and explore its chambers. Inside, you may encounter schools of fish darting between the beams, fascinating macro life hiding in the nooks and crannies, and occasional encounters with larger marine creatures, such as groupers and barracuda.


Due to its depth and sometimes strong currents, diving at the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site is best suited for experienced and advanced divers. However, there are shallow areas around the wreck where less-experienced divers can still enjoy the beauty and marine life surrounding the site.


Visibility at the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site is generally excellent, ranging from 15 to 30 meters, allowing for clear and mesmerizing views of the underwater landscape. The calm and warm waters, coupled with the diverse marine life and historical significance, create an atmosphere of wonder and excitement for divers of all levels.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an avid underwater photographer, or simply someone seeking adventure beneath the waves, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site offers a unique and unforgettable diving experience that will leave you in awe of the wonders that lie beneath the surface.


Marine Life at the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site

The Skeleton Wreck Dive Site boasts a vibrant and diverse array of marine life, thanks to the ship’s transformation into an artificial reef over the years. The abundance of nutrients and protection provided by the wreck have attracted a thriving ecosystem of marine species.


As you explore the shipwreck, you’ll encounter a plethora of colorful tropical fish species that have made the wreck their home. Schools of snappers, fusiliers, and anthias can be found darting through the nooks and crannies of the skeletal structure, creating a shimmering spectacle of movement and color.


Keep an eye out for larger predatory fish that frequent the site, such as groupers, barracuda, and trevally. These majestic creatures add an element of excitement and awe to your diving experience as they gracefully navigate through the water around the shipwreck.


The Skeleton Wreck Dive Site is also known for its vibrant macro life. Scattered across the wreckage, you’ll find a variety of critters and invertebrates, such as nudibranchs, shrimps, and colorful flatworms. These fascinating creatures provide an opportunity for macro photographers to capture stunning close-up shots.


The artificial reef created by the shipwreck has also become a haven for a plethora of coral species. Soft corals, hard corals, and sea fans adorn the skeletal framework, bringing bursts of color to the otherwise metal structure. These corals provide shelter and feeding grounds for a wide range of marine organisms.


If you venture away from the wreck itself, you’ll encounter even more marine life surrounding the dive site. Snorkeling along the shallow areas near the shipwreck allows you to observe a variety of reef fish, including butterflyfish, angelfish, and surgeonfish.


The Skeleton Wreck Dive Site offers divers a unique opportunity to witness the fascinating symbiotic relationship between the marine life and the artificial reef. It showcases the resilience of nature and highlights the importance of conservation efforts in preserving and protecting these fragile ecosystems.


Whether you’re a marine life enthusiast or simply enjoy being surrounded by the beauty of underwater biodiversity, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site will leave you in awe of the incredible marine ecosystem thriving in this historic underwater playground.


Dive Safety and Precautions

When embarking on a dive at the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site, it’s essential to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some dive safety tips and precautions to keep in mind:

  • Dive Certification: Ensure that you are a certified diver and have the necessary experience and training for diving at deeper depths. The Skeleton Wreck Dive Site is best suited for advanced divers due to its depth and sometimes strong currents.
  • Dive Planning: Plan your dives carefully and follow the guidance of experienced dive professionals. Familiarize yourself with the layout of the shipwreck and discuss the dive plan, including depth limits, dive times, and safety stops, with your dive buddy or group.
  • Experience Level: If you’re a beginner or less experienced diver, consider taking a guided dive with an experienced dive instructor. They can provide assistance, ensure your safety, and maximize your enjoyment at the dive site.
  • Equipment Check: Before each dive, thoroughly inspect your dive gear to ensure it is in proper working order. Check your regulator, BCD, dive computer, and other equipment to ensure they are functioning correctly.
  • Buddy System: Always dive with a buddy and maintain regular communication throughout the dive. Keep each other in sight and be aware of each other’s air supply and comfort levels.
  • Underwater Navigation: Familiarize yourself with underwater navigation techniques, such as using a compass or following a dive guide, to prevent getting disoriented or separated from your group.
  • Respect the Environment: Take care to avoid damaging the marine life and underwater ecosystem. Do not touch or disturb corals, marine animals, or any artifacts you may come across at the dive site.
  • Monitor Your Air Supply: Keep a close eye on your air consumption and always adhere to the rule of thirds—diving with one-third of your air for the descent, one-third for the exploration, and one-third for the ascent.
  • Surface Interval: Allow for adequate surface intervals between dives to off-gas nitrogen and reduce the risk of decompression sickness. Follow the recommended surface interval time based on your dive profiles and dive tables.
  • Emergency Procedures: Familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures specific to the dive site and carry a signaling device, such as a whistle or surface marker buoy, in case of an emergency.

By following these dive safety precautions and guidelines, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable diving experience at the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site. Remember, your safety and the preservation of the marine environment should always be your top priorities.


Other Activities and Attractions Nearby

Coron, Palawan offers a wide range of activities and attractions beyond the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site. After exploring the underwater wonders, take the time to discover the natural beauty and cultural gems that the area has to offer. Here are some recommendations:

  • Kayangan Lake: Embark on a breathtaking hike and boat ride to Kayangan Lake, known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and stunning limestone cliffs. Take a refreshing swim or snorkel in the serene lake surrounded by towering rock formations.
  • Twin Lagoon: Visit Twin Lagoon, where you’ll encounter two spectacular lagoons separated by a limestone wall. Swim, kayak, or snorkel through the narrow passageway to experience the unique beauty of this natural wonder.
  • Malcapuya Island: Relax and unwind on the pristine white sandy beaches of Malcapuya Island. This secluded paradise offers opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, beachcombing, and picnicking amidst breathtaking tropical surroundings.
  • Culion Island: Take a day trip to Culion Island, once a leper colony and now a vibrant community. Explore its historical sites, such as the Culion Museum and Archives, which provide insights into the island’s intriguing past.
  • Maquinit Hot Springs: Soothe your muscles at Maquinit Hot Springs, a natural hot spring tucked amidst lush vegetation. Immerse yourself in the warm therapeutic waters and relish in the tranquil ambiance.
  • Calauit Safari Park: Embark on an unforgettable wildlife adventure at Calauit Safari Park, located on Calauit Island. Witness herds of African animals, including giraffes, zebras, and antelopes, roaming freely in their natural habitat.
  • Coron Town Tour: Explore the charm of Coron Town with a guided tour. Visit the iconic landmarks such as Mount Tapyas Viewpoint, the town plaza, and the San Agustin Church. Discover local markets, souvenir shops, and sample delicious Filipino cuisine.
  • Island Hopping: Take advantage of the numerous island hopping tours available in Coron. Visit stunning locations such as Siete Pecados Marine Park, Barracuda Lake, and Banana Island, where you can snorkel, swim, and relax amidst breathtaking natural beauty.
  • Scenic Diving Spot: Aside from the Skeleton Wreck, explore other captivating diving sites in Coron, such as Barracuda Lake, which offers a unique thermocline experience, or the stunning coral gardens of Dimalanta Island.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, cultural immersion, or relaxation, Coron, Palawan has something for everyone. From island hopping and diving to exploring historical sites and soaking in hot springs, you’re sure to find plenty of activities and attractions to complement your visit to the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site.



The Skeleton Wreck Dive Site in Coron, Palawan, offers an exhilarating underwater adventure filled with historical significance, awe-inspiring marine life, and natural beauty. This iconic dive destination attracts divers from all over the world who seek to explore the remnants of a Japanese World War II supply ship and immerse themselves in its captivating underwater ecosystem.


With its hauntingly captivating skeletal structure, the shipwreck serves as a testament to the events of the past. As you explore the wreckage, you’ll encounter vibrant corals, schools of tropical fish, and fascinating macro life that have made the site their home. The Skeleton Wreck Dive Site presents an opportunity to witness the remarkable transformation of a sunken vessel into a thriving artificial reef.


Located in the stunning surroundings of Coron, Palawan, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site is easily accessible and offers a range of other activities and attractions for visitors. Whether you’re exploring the enchanting lagoons, relaxing on pristine beaches, or visiting historical landmarks, this tropical paradise has something for everyone.


However, it’s important to prioritize safety when diving at the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site. Ensure you have the necessary certification and experience for deeper dives, plan your dives diligently, and adhere to safety guidelines and precautions provided by experienced dive professionals. By doing so, you can have a safe and memorable diving experience while respecting the marine environment.


In conclusion, the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site combines historical significance, mesmerizing marine life, and breathtaking underwater landscapes, offering divers an extraordinary adventure. Explore the remnants of the past, marvel at the vibrant coral reefs, and immerse yourself in the wonders of the underwater world. Experience the magic of the Skeleton Wreck Dive Site and create memories that will last a lifetime.