Chandelier Cave (Palau — 35-60 fsw)

Chandelier Cave is an interesting dive that is located very close to the dive shops in Koror, Palau. The entrance is a small opening that is only about 10 feet from the surface of the water in an unassuming location along the shore near where boats are moored.

Entrance to Chandelier Cave

The cave consists of five different locations where there are air pockets at the top of the water. You can surface in those chambers and see the cave in air. We didn’t visit it, but the entrance to the “fifth” chamber is a small opening in the air pocket of the fourth chamber. If you want to visit that space, you need to take off your scuba gear and wiggle through the hole (in air) into the fifth chamber.

There are also haloclines in the cave where the fresh and saltwater mix and produce an eerie blurry effect. There are numerous stalactites throughout the cave which indicates that at one point it was an air cave (stalactites don’t form in water).

You need to be careful not to disturb the bottom of the cave since it is sandy and silty and can easily be disturbed which would ruin the visibility and make finding the exit tougher. Note that there is not a permanent line in the cave.

Divemaster Ogie getting ready to surface into the first air chamber
Looking up into the second air chamber
Diver breaking the surface into an air chamber to take a “split shot”
Limestone rock formation in the water
Looking up into the waterline leading to the fourth chamber
Closeup right before breaking the surface into the fourth chamber
More stalactites
The dark “triangle” in the middle lower half of the photo is the exit to get back to the main area of the cave
The exit from inside the cave
Diver exiting the cave

Outside the cave, if you look close enough, there is actually a lot of life. The divemaster pointed out a few of the very-hard-to-photograph mandarinfish hiding amongst the coral. I’m not really a small macro photographer and didn’t have the right lens, but managed to capture one of them:


If you are in Palau and are comfortable diving in this type of environment, I highly recommend going to dive Chandelier Cave.


Fish ‘n Fins Dive Summary

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