Cayangan Lake in Palawan - Philippines
Cayangan or Barracuda Lake is one of the most popular destinations for scuba divers in Palawan. It is a lake on top of a volcano crater. It is named after a barracuda that resides in the waters of the lake. It is located at about one hundred feet inland from the northwest of Coron Island in Palawan. The lake can be reached through a banca ride averaging in time of about forty five minutes. It is found between Limaa Point and Balolo Point northwest of Coron Island.
This dive site requires a little bit of trekking before the actual dive itself. Cayangan or Barracuda Lake is surrounded by limestone cliffs on all sides. Going inside is a unique adventure to the divers as they have to climb up and down the limestone formations hauling equipment such as cylinder and weight belt. The hauling of equipment is usually done in two trips. One needs booties and sandals to thread the uneven terrain around the Cayangan or Barracuda Lake.
However burdensome this activity is, there is a handsome reward awaiting the divers. After going up and before going down the limestone walls, spectacular views of the scenery of the surrounding blue ocean waters as well turquoise lake water.
The waters of Cayangan or Barracuda are calm and the currents manageable.
The visibility under the lake varies from five to thirty meters. A hot spring under the center of the lake as well as the interaction between salt seawater and fresh water affects the visibility. The maximum depth of the dive is around one hundred thirty feet.
The highlight of this dive is the interaction of the hot spring under the center of Cayangan or Barracuda Lake. Moving out of the walls and into the center of Cayangan or Barracuda Lake, the water temperature gets higher. It even gets hotter as one descends. A lone barracuda nearly forty inches long is sometimes seen during the dive and can be handfed.
Aside from the barracuda, other aquatic life forms can be seen under the water. Catfish, Golden rabbitfish, shrimps, shellfish and snappers can be seen.
A dive to Cayangan or Barracuda Lake gives an opportunity for divers to interact with aquatic life, hike tall limestone walls and experience a unique water. It is seldom found in dive sites where are combinations of seawater, fresh water, cold water and warm water.
As of January 2009, the cost of the dive is around seven hundred fifty pesos.