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Shipwrecks of Coron, Corto Divers and Corto del Mar.

Discussion in 'Wreck Diving' started by Jay, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. Jay

    Jay Need to dive more!

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Melbourne, OZ.
    I recently did a few days of diving on the shipwrecks and one dive at Barracuda Lake and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

    The dives are not Penetration dives as per the latest PADI definition by @boulderjohn, but in the regular definition of the word they are. I didn't find anything too scary, and their briefings (and q&a) were thorough. Diving the propellor shafts were a lot of fun. Shipwreck info links are below.

    Corto Divers has a max Diver:DM ratio of 3:1 (the best ratio in Coron) and each of their DM/DIs has several hundred dives on each ship and know each ship like the back of their hands. One diver lost a wrist computer at 8m on one dive, and the DM found it within 2mins at 35m!! Their Banca is comfortable and the meals at lunch are great. They have the best rental gear I've seen. They'll also give you a map of the best restaurants around town. For more info here's their website: Welcome to Corto Divers - Diving Center in Coron, Palawan

    Their sister hotel, Corto del Mar is great and they have a free pickup & drop-off from/to the airport. Everything can be booked via the dive shop.

    The lake dive is nothing like I could have imagined. It's a fresh and saltwater later with crazy thermoclines. You don't need a wetsuit as the minimum temperature near the surface is 30deg, and the max is 39 deg. The lake is named after a sole resident Barracuda. It has a soft silty bottom that you can literally head plant in to. You can also take off your fins, and moon-walk (jump) around the boulders and tree trunks between them. Get there early to avoid the mass of snorkelers. It's a 3min walk up/down some steps in your dive gear but the scenery's spectacular.

    Shipwreck Info links:
    Ship Wrecks - Corto Divers
    Specifications of Japanese ships sunk in World War Two attack on Coron Bay, Busuanga Island, Palawan Province, Republic of the Philippines.

    Hotel link: Corto del Mar Hotel - Resort in Coron, Palawan
  2. Tehre Brohanan

    Tehre Brohanan Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    Thanks for the helpful info Jay_Antipodean. I'll check them out after I finish whatever I end up doing in Manila this week.
    Jay likes this.
  3. DangerousDan64

    DangerousDan64 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Salt Lake City
    I visited the Coron wrecks and Barracuda lake this summer as well but I was staying at Sangat Island and diving with their shop. The wrecks were stupendous, even with the lousy visibility and have made my current trip to Roatan seem very pale in comparison (and cold and wet in the wrong way- all of yesterday’s dives were cancelled because of the storm and the visibility on the two we did today was poor- I wonder who tried to pass margarine off as butter with Mother Nature- she is TICKED down here!). I never saw the barracuda in the lake but I did see one solitary Sargent major. Sangat is the closest dive shop to the wrecks. They are between 7 and 20 minutes away.
    Tehre Brohanan likes this.
  4. ryanoceros

    ryanoceros Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Papua New Guinea
    Jay's link to scubatech philippine's article on the wrecks of Coron is one of the best sources I've seen.
    Jay likes this.
  5. NAUI Wowie

    NAUI Wowie Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Silicon Valley northern CA
    (actually Reggae Dive had a better diver to DM ratio when I went 4 months ago at 2 divers per DM)

    (I do disagree with one point you make when you say that these wrecks are NOT normal full penetration dives. some of the wrecks are 90 to 100 feet deep and you penetrate through up to six plus rooms so there are points that go full dark no light. in fact two years ago a diver did die on the deepest wreck but they had 5 divers per DM and it was the most dangerous wreck by far with silt that can be kicked up. That wreck is the Irako if anyone wants to avoid that wreck. Its the only one id say is possibly dangerous)

    I stopped in at Corto divers and they are normally booked weeks or longer in advance. The two best dive ops in Coron are Corto owned by a german and Reggae Dive Center owned by a different foreigner lady onsite.

    Reggae is a larger operation so can handle more divers with many more boats. No days or weeks in advance needed just call them a day or two in advance.

    MOST IMPORTANT both Corto and Reggae are the only dive ops in Coron with larger tanks i.e. AL100 scuba tanks. For wreck diving its nice to have larger than an AL80 tank. AL100 tanks have almost identical boyancy characteristics so are not more difficult than AL80s from the dive boats.

    Im not promoting Reggae over Corto just emphasizing the shops you want to use if you dive Coron.

    Also as O.P. stated Corto max is 3 divers to 1 DM and Reggae is 2 divers to each Dive Master. In addition you can pay extra at Reggae to have your own personal DM. maybe Corto does that also.

    Finally when I dove at Reggae they filled my 19cf pony no questions asked.

    I would gladly dive either operation again. Coron wreck diving is the most fun I have ever had in the ocean. No joke.

    fyi it is truly third world there so book as nice a hotel as you can find.

    the two best hotels on Coron are The Two Seasons where I stayed and the hotel right next to it where my friends stayed The Sunlight Hotel. They are side by side. Sunlight had a better restaurant fyi. and last minute add to get hotel rooms at the sunlight ...price converted to american dollar was about 70 bucks per night. That was with all hotels sold out. fyI both hotels are directly on the water. Most are not.

    the first pic shows the hotels side by side. two seasons in grey and sunlight in yellow. Any other high end hotel will be very far away.
    Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel | Coron Town, Palawan

    p.s. on your first day or last day also pay for an island hopping tour and you will be taken to the world famous picture spots when you google Coron.... If you like stunning instagram pics of you then do it, however it will be crowded unless you hired a private boat like i did. private boat will run you about 60 bucks american.


    final advice, have every person bring immodium along.... Coron isnt main philippines, its country, its rural.
    Skulmoski and TTPaws like this.
  6. Jay

    Jay Need to dive more!

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Melbourne, OZ.
    markmud likes this.

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