World-renowned for its marine biodiversity and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Palau beckons with a promise of the extraordinary - a place where relaxation and adventure harmonize like nowhere else on Earth. It's a destination that invites you to delve into a diverse tapestry of experiences, from underwater safari adventures to serene moments of rejuvenation on its pristine shores.
In Palau, nature's handiwork is evident at every turn, from the vibrant underwater coral gardens to the iconic Rock Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage marine park consisting of 300+ forested limestone islands of volcanic origins. This idyllic paradise seamlessly weaves together the best of nature's wonders, inviting travellers to immerse themselves in the pure beauty of Palau, a destination truly deserving of the title 'Nature's Paradise.
Three large ocean currents converge in Palau, resulting in a nutrient-rich ocean that attracts many different types of marine life including barracudas, marlins, turtles, sharks and manta rays. There is about four times the number of coral species found in Palau as compared to the Caribbean.
Located in the western Pacific, Palau is an archipelago made up of about 340 islands, islets, and atolls. Eight of the islands are inhabited. The island country is divided into sixteen states, and eight of its islands are inhabited. Home to about 18,000 people, Palau stands at the forefront of sustainable tourism and has an unwavering commitment to marine conservation.
The island state of Palau is the first in the world to implement immigration laws that ensure visitors entering the country commit to protecting the natural environment via signed pledge on their passport. There is also a US $100 Pristine Paradise Environmental Fee that international travellers have to pay upon entry. Palau’s is also the only nation in the world to safeguard 80% of its offshore marine environment and in 2009, Palau created the first national shark sanctuary, banning shark fishing and providing a shelter for more than 135 Western Pacific species of sharks and rays considered endangered or vulnerable.
The People of Palau are a people of the land, the moon, and the sea. Palauan villages, then and now, practice a matriarchal and matrilineal society. Within this societal fabric, women emerge as the nurturing forces, tending to their households, families, and the very earth that sustains them. They also carry the responsibility of educating their children about Palauan traditions and culture, ensuring the continuity of the village or clan.
Past the shores and beyond the reef, Palauan men brave the endless sea to seek out the necessary food to sustain the village. In a time where inter-village warfare was rife, Palauan men often spent their time in traditional men's meeting houses called Bai to hone their canoe-building and weaponry skills.
In a world that rushes to the future, Palau preserves its heritage with steadfast pride, ensuring that the legacy of their ancestors lives on.
Few places on earth can match the astonishing natural beauty of Palau. The destination offers a myriad of activities, from diving, snorkeling and kayaking, to land exploration through its lush jungles and hidden caves.
Rock Islands: This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to some of the most abundant and varied marine life on the planet, a haven for divers and snorkelers.
Long Beach: This elusive stretch of beach joins two of the rock islands at low tide but only appears for up to an hour each day. When the tide is low, a magical sandbar appears, transforming the area into a picture-perfect paradise.
German Channel is a man-made passageway through the barrier reef between Ngemelis and and the shallow reef that stretches north of Ngercheu Island (Carp Island). A manta ray hotspot, the channel was created when Palau was a German Colony (1899 to 1914) and connects the inner lagoon with the open ocean.
Nikko Bay: Discover the captivating beauty of Nikko Bay, a haven of vibrant waters teeming with a diverse coral species, perfect for kayakers and snorkelers alike.
Milky Way: Palau’s Natural Spa is a dreamy, turquoise lagoon filled with soft limestone mud. Legend has it, the mud has therapeutic anti-ageing properties.
Ngardmau Waterfall : Hike to the tallest waterfall in Micronesia - Flowing from Palau's tallest peak, 217m-high Mt Ngerchelchuus, Ngardmau Water can be accessed on foot along a jungle path.
German Lighthouse: This century old lighthouse built by the Germans sits on top of the tallest peak in the rock islands offering a stunning view over Palau’s famous rock islands. The trail up to the lighthouse was once an access road that delivered cannons and ammunition to the Japanese defensive effort.
Badrulchau Stone Monoliths: Found on the hill slopes of the northernmost point of Babeldaob Island, this anicent archaelogical site is home to 52 basalt megaliths lined up in two rows. Archaeologists estimate its construction dates back to around the year 161.
Airai: Known as the stepping stone to Palau, visitors can enjoy a culturally rich guided tour of Airai which is at the the southernmost part of Babeldaob. Visit the oldest bai in Palau (built over 180 years ago and renovated in 1984) and several sites of cultural and historic importance. There is also a large reservoir which supplies Koror with water and the Ngerikiil River, which winds through mangrove and forest.
Jellyfish Lake: Swim along thousands of harmless jellyfish to enjoy a one-of-a-kind underwater oasis that makes for a truly surreal experience
There are over fifty existing dive sites, each possessing distinct characteristics and suited for different levels: beginners, intermediate or expert divers.
Ngemelis Wall: This qaalso known as the Big Drop-Off was described by celebrated oceanographer and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau to be the best wall dive in the world. It is sheer vertical wall running along the whole length of Ngemelis Island. The edge of the reef drops straight down to 900 feet (274 meters) and at extreme low tide, the entire top of the reef is exposed. Revealing a rainbow of multi-colored sea fans, sponges, coral whips and soft corals.
Siaes Tunnel: an underwater cavern with three entrances leading to a central chamber, teeming with marine life and stunning coral formations.. On its spotless, white sand bottom can often be seen white tip reef sharks and black spotted stingrays slumbering.
Ngerchong Coral Gardens, located on the east side of the Palau Lagoon is famous for its fabulous variety of intricate coral formations and high concentrations of small, schooling reef fish. The photographic opportunities here are inexhaustible.
WWII Wreck Sites: Divers will love the chance to visit underwater museums which were former shipwrecks and plane wrecks from the Second World War. The Amatsu Maru wreck at 522 feet long, a former naval vessel, is the largest shipwreck in Micronesia, the Iro Maru, at 469 feet long, was a Japanese Naval freighter before succumbing to its fate and sinking are two underwater upright wrecks that make it easy to visit.
Blue Corner: A bucket list for experienced divers, the Blue Corner is located at the northwest end of Ngemelis Island and is considered one of the best dive spots in the world. It's a realm where adventure seekers get a front-row seat to an incredible underwater spectacle. Starting at just 8 meters in depth and descending to about 30 meters, Blue Corner offers fantastic visibility and the exceptional dive site thrives on the dramatic tidal currents that sweep across the reef wall, and there is a high chance of encountering reef sharks, tuna, barracuda, snappers, and even turtles.
Chandelier Cave: Located in Malakal Harbor, this is a sub-surface 5-chamber cave system connected by a series of tunnels. The reason for the name is that they are filled with icicle-shape stalactites formations hanging from the ceilings resembling glittering chandeliers.
Food in Palau
Palau’s food scene is just as vibrant and diverse as its underwater treasures. Palau has an eclectic variety of cuisines with Asian, American, European, Indian, and Middle Eastern influences. As you travel around the island, explore the wide array of tastes of Palau from the fresh seafood to the rich goods of the land.
Delebdeb – After a hot day exploring the beauty of Palau, cool off with a refreshing sip of Delebdeb. Known as a traditional welcoming drink, Delebdeb is made from fresh coconut juice.
Fresh seafood – Surrounded by vast waters, seafood is a staple protein in Palau. Caught by local fishermen, grilled fish, lobster, octopus and more can be found at local markets and in restaurants.
Ukaeb – A Palauan delicacy and absolute favourite among locals, Ukaeb is made of minced crab meat coated with creamy coconut milk, served in individual crab shells.
Billum – Tapioca is a favoured starch in Palau for its versality. Billum is a tropical tapioca dish shaped to fit into your hands, wrapped in leaves, and steamed until golden.
Ilaot – Procured by boiling coconut tree sap with water, Ilaot is a dark syrup rich with smoky delicious flavours of coconut. Enjoy it paired with freshly made French Toast, cooled and drizzled over ice cream, or even as a healthier alternative sweetener to your coffee.
Delul Diokang – Made of grated tapioca charred to sweet perfection and moulded into small bite sized pieces, Delul Diokang is a popular dessert not to be missed!
Demok – Dubbed as the national soup of Palau, Demok is a nourishing soup made out of green taro leaves, creamy coconut milk, and sometimes land crab.
Cheled - This refers to edible treasures of seafood caught from the waters of Palau but not yet cooked. Some examples include clam, sea cucumber, mud clam, mangrove clam, sea cucumber intestine, and trochus. This dish is definitely one for the foodies!