REPUBLIC OF PALAU

INTRODUCTION

Palau is the western most island group of a region called the West Caroline Islands, which is part of a larger region called Micronesia. Over 470 miles east of the Philippines and locked in by the stretching Pacific Ocean, Palau is a rare oasis, a self-contained, isolated archipelago thriving with biodiversity and abundance.

Palau’s scenery ranges from soft, white sand beaches, tropical rainforest, jungle trails, to spectacular waterfalls and hidden lakes. There are a multitude of activities to get involved in, from kayaking, snorkelling, bird-watching and hiking.

In 2009, Palau created the world’s first “shark sanctuary”, banning all commercial shark fishing in its surrounding waters.

Palau presents to divers with magical blue holes, captivating wartime wrecks, pristine coral reefs, mysterious caves and tunnels, more than 60 vertical drop-offs to explore, and an astounding assortment of coral, fish and rare sea creatures.

Although Palau is considered an advanced dive destination due to frequent currents and depths, our experienced local dive guides will ensure guest’s safety and readiness so they will enjoy every underwater moment.

Palau Island enjoys a pleasantly warm climate throughout the year. The average relative humidity is approx. 82%. Although rain falls are more frequent between July and October, there is still plenty of sunshine.

View our Palau Itinerary sample

BEST DIVE SITES AROUND PALAU

BLUE CORNER

This is perhaps the most famous dive site in Palau with steep sheer walls and an abundance of fish life. Expect to see some fascinating underwater landscape, full throttle currents, and plenty of pelagic action. Snappers, jacks, and triggerfish school by the hundreds on this V-shaped plateau jutting out into the Philippine Sea. Current here are mostly strong and it is very common to spot oceanic predators like sailfish, hammerheads, dolphins, whales, and reef sharks.

BLUE HOLES

This is a nice and easy dive site, several holes less than 5 meters from the surface mark the entry point into the cavern which drops to 120 feet/35 meters. The walls of the cavern are filled with sponges, crustaceans, black coral and reef fish. Inside the blue hole, divers exiting by the “window” can do a drift dive and find their way to Blue Corner. It is always important to watch your depth and bottom time inside the cavern. Sometimes divers may have to swim against the current for about 150 feet.

GERMAN CHANNEL

During the German occupation of Palau, German miners dredged a channel that connected the inner lagoon with the open ocean to transport their phosphate. The currents going through the channel helps nutrients get in and waste getting out, inviting manta rays and large pelagics in from the open ocean. The German channel has plenty to offer, mantas rays, reef sharks, whale sharks, and hammerheads are frequent guests here, and the shallows are home to a wide variety of macro life. The best time to visit here is between January and March when the rays visit this region to mate. Be extremely cautious while ascending to the surface as speed boats cross this channel daily.

PELELIU EXPRESS

Peleliu Express is one of the deepest and most beautiful dive sites in Palau. This area isn’t for beginners and is considered an advanced drift dive site. A large variety of marine life finds shelter in the deep canyons, crevices, and caves that cut into the wall of the Peleliu Island. The vertical walls are covered with tube corals and sponges attracting colorful butterfly and angel fish as well as green and hawksbill turtles. Using a reef hook to hover in place is one of the best ways to spot countless sharks dolphins, sperm whales and killer whales. It is advisable to always stay with your group and guide at all times when diving the Peleliu Express.

ULONG CHANNEL

This breath-taking drift dive is unique to the archipelago. The sandy bottom of the channel is decorated with numerous coral heads and coral formations. Currents here can be strong and unpredictable. You’re sure to find grey reef sharks, stingrays, snappers, barracuda and other pelagic action. This is one of the region’s best places to search for macro and a prime location for spawning between April and July. Titan and triggerfish dig out large grooves in the sandy bottom to lay their eggs due to their extremely territorial and protective nature when nesting on this site.

CHANDELIER CAVE

This site was once an open-air cave but now a chain of cave system made up of five separate, connecting chambers with air pockets. Its dramatic stalactites and stalagmites slowly grew into formations resembling glittering chandeliers. The halocline inside the cave is created by the meeting of salt and fresh water. If you’re hoping to spot soldier fish and cardinal fish inside the cave and small shrimp and crabs that cling to the sponges found along the walls, then you’ll need to visit the site right before sundown. This may not be a favorable site for divers who are claustrophobic and/or have concerns about diving in darkness.

SIAES TUNNEL

This deep underwater cavern offers divers an awesome experience as they dive through a large naturally lit tunnel. Bushes of black coral, cup corals, soft corals, reef fish and invertebrates in the walls and ceilings of the tunnel are wonderful to behold. There are also white tip reef sharks and stingrays resting on the sandy bottom in the cavern. Currents can get very strong here and the use of reef hook and safety marker buoy is mandatory.

TURTLE COVE

This is a vertical reef wall with plenty of small caves, arches, ledges and reef sharks cruising around is great for an introductory dive. On top reef is a mini blue hole that forms a large cavern. The reef extends out to a plateau from and around Ngercheu Island. Currents can be strong at the corner. Different species of Nudibranchs, schools of jacks, striped and black snappers, goatfish, pyramid butterfly fish, hawk fish, titan triggerfish, and a variety of angelfish and yellowtail fusiliers patrol the reef. Divers should be cautious when surfacing due to heavy boat traffic on this site.