About - Palau, Micronesia
Palau - more than 200 beautiful Islands to choose from
The first European contact with Palau took place in 1783 when the vessel Antelope, commanded by Englishman Captain Henry Wilson, was shipwrecked on a reef near Ulong, a Rock Island between Koror and Peleliu. Wilson and his crew spent 3 months in Palau to rebuild his ship, with the assistance of Koror's High Chief Ibedul. Palau has come a long way since Captain Wilson landed, but it's still a natural, unspoiled paradise, where visitors can be assured of a unique vacation experience.
As the westernmost cluster of the six major island groups that make up the Caroline Islands, Palau lies 1000km (600 miles) east of the Philippines. The archipelago stretches over 650km (400 miles) from the atoll of Kayangel to the islet of Tobi. The Palau islands include more than 200 islands, of which only eight are inhabited. With three exceptions, all of the islands are located within a single barrier reef and represent two geological formations. The largest are volcanic and rugged with interior jungle and large areas of grassed terraces. The Rock Islands, now known as the Floating Garden Islands, are of limestone formation.
About 70% of Palau's population of 19,000 live in Koror. The town provides all the modern conveniences you could need, including a large department store/supermarket and a well-equipped hospital (complete with a double-lock recompression chamber), and is the location of most of Palau's Hotels - about 20 hotels and resorts. Local stores carry an excellent selection of products for the tourist - diving and snorkeling equipment, sundries and beach towels, and locally crafted souvenirs. Koror is small and friendly, with many services available in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.
The restaurants in Palau offer a variety of dining experiences - from a donut shop and a diner to sophisticated french cuisine. Chinese, Korean and Japanese are local favorites, as well as locally caught fish and seafood. After dinner, take in some of the local nightclubs and bars, sing karaoke, listen to live music, or watch a beautiful sunset.
Visa RequirementsVisas are not required for visits of thirty days or less. Your stay can be extended for up to sixty days upon expiration of your thirty day entry authorization. Vitisors must hold a valid passport or documentation of citizenship (valid for the next 6 months), an onward or return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds.
There is a $20 exit tax, so don't spend all your money of diving!
Around KororIn the capital city of Koror you will also find a bank and a post office, a number of good restaurants, and have ample opportunity to stock up on imported and locally made souvenirs and produce. Taxis are available for hotel transfers and local travel. Rental car hire can also be arranged.
Why dive Palau?Situated east of Philippines, the islands of Palau are a luxurious oasis in the Pacific Ocean. Palau's waters life is one of the richest and the weather is beneficial so it is a great destination when it comes to scuba diving. The only major problem is that you may go scuba diving in Palau and get to meet more divers than marine life. The Japanese have few locations where they are allowed to practice scuba diving so they are usually crowded; Palau is one of them. This is why you should go for scuba diving in Palau in a period when it is less visited if you want to enjoy the beauty that lies in those waters.
In what concerns how to get to Palau, a direct flight can be taken from Taipei but it is recommended for you to make reservations ahead. You only need your passport or your birth certificate in order to be allowed to visit Palau for scuba diving. If you have already decided on where you are going to stay in Palau and you made the reservations then you will have no problem once you get to the airport as someone from the hotel will get you from there.
Palau WeatherThe temperature is great in Palau so you need lightweight clothes thought you might as well be there in some rainy days so a sweater and a waterproof jacket can be also great.
The weather of Palau is very pleasant with a mean temperature of 27° C. However it has some rainy days, the humidity is quite increased.
With no more than 18,000 inhabitants, Palau's tourism is not very well developed, yet it is one of the most interesting archipelagos in the world. Palau consists in 340 islands that are surrounded by a huge reef. By scuba diving in the clear waters that Palau offers you will get to meet with more than 1500 species of fish, with lots of types of coral and with dangerous predators if you swim in deeper waters.
Palau islands are indeed some of the natural wonders of the world if we consider the beauty of their marine life. Tourists continue to visit Palau for scuba diving as they certainly feel like they are in paradise when they swim around all those extraordinary creatures. If you haven't decided yet on where you are going next for a scuba diving vacation you should definitely consider visiting Palau. There is no doubt that if you plan the trip in time you will enjoy a unique and fascinating experience. Not only you will spend some time on this beautiful island but you will also get to swim between diverse species that will totally fascinate you.