Scuba Diving Palau
Palau is considered by many to offer some of the best dives in the world and as one of the Top 10 Diving Destinations.
Palau features coral reefs, blue holes, wartime wrecks, hidden caves and tunnels, more than 60 vertical drop-offs to play with, and an astonishing spectrum of coral, fish, and rare sea creatures.
Palau sometime spelled Belau or Pelew, consists of about 200 islands located in the western Pacific Ocean, 528 mi (650 km) southeast of the Philippines. It is geographically part of the larger island group Micronesia. Only eight of the islands are permanently inhabited.
Palau is the home to one of the world’s unique phenomena, the Rock Islands. The Rock Islands are Palau’s crowning glory. More than 200 of these jungle-topped knobs of limestone dot the waters for a 20 mile (35km) stretch south of Koror. Their bases, having been worn away by tidal action and grazing sea creatures, are narrower than their tops, causing them to look like emerald-hued mushrooms rising from the turquoise sea.
SCUBA DIVING PALAU
Palau features coral reefs, blue holes, wartime wrecks, hidden caves and tunnels, more than 60 vertical drop-offs to play with, and an astonishing spectrum of coral, fish, and rare sea creatures. Divers travelling to Palau can expect to see a variety of reef sharks, huge schools of jacks and barracuda, manta and eagle rays, Napoleon wrasse and batfish coupled with many critters and impressive corals. There are also some outright miracles of evolution: giant clams that weigh a quarter of a ton, for example, and the famous Jellyfish Lake teeming with 21 million softly pulsating, stingless jellyfish.
More Information on PALAU DIVE SITES
Though Palau is considered an advanced dive destination, due to currents and depth there are plenty easy dive sites for beginner divers. Drift dives are the norm. For those who wish to become a diver, Palau has a number of quality dive schools.
Reef Hooks. Some of the scuba dive sites in Palau are known for their strong currents. Dive sites like Blue Corner, Peleliu Corner, Ulong Channel and New Drop Off don’t disappoint when it comes to underwater action. And the underwater action thrives when the currents are strong.
Hooking in with the reef hook allows divers to remain stationary and expend energy on being wowed and not on trying to stay in place.
There are those who believe that the reef hook should not be used. Using a reef hook helps protect the coral reef ! As compared to trying to hold onto the corals or potentially kicking the reef by trying to stay close to the reef and out of the current, proper utilization of a reef hook can minimize the impact on the corals
It is home to so many legendary dive sites — Blue Corner, Jellyfish Lake, Chandelier Cave, Peleliu Express, for example — that it sits atop many diver’s life lists. Add these sites to a legion of WWII wrecks and it’s hard to imagine a better-rounded dive destination.
CLIMATE: Palau enjoys a pleasantly warm climate all year round with an annual mean temperature of 82° degrees F. (27° C.). Rainfall can occur throughout the year, and the annual average is 150 inches. The average relative humidity is 82%, and although rain falls more frequently between July and October, there is still much sunshine. Typhoons are rare as Palau is located outside the typhoon zone.
LANGUAGE: The two official languages of Palau are Palauan and English, which is spoken by almost everyone on the island. Japanese is also widely spoken.
ELECTRICITY: 110 Volts 50/60Hz with U.S. type flat 2-pin plug or 3-pin (two flat pins and rounded ground pin).
CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS: The U.S. Dollar is the official currency. Travelers checks & major Credit Cards are widely accepted at stores and visitor facilities. There are FDIC insured banks and major hotels with limited foreign currency exchange. Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s) can be found around town.
GRATUITIES: Tipping is optional, but appreciated.
PHONE & INTERNET SERVICE: International phone calls and faxes can be made to anywhere in the world through Palau National Communications Corporation. Check with your cell provider. Internet and E-mail access is widely available but as it is satellite connection, it is slow compared to most countries.
VISA & PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS: All visitors must have a valid passport not less than 6 months from date of expiration and proof of return arrangements. Citizens of United States of America, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Guam, and the Common Wealth of Northern Marianas Islands with valid passports are issued 1 year Visa upon arrival. A 30-days Tourist Visa will be issued upon arrival and may be extended within 7 days in advance with approval of the Chief of Immigration for a fee of US$50.00 before expiration date of the visa.
DEPARTURE TAX: All visitors departing from Koror pay a $20 Departure Tax and $30 Green Fee, payable in US dollars only.
CUSTOMS: One bottle of liquor and up to 1 pack of cigarette containing up to twenty (20) cigarettes can be brought into Palau duty-free. Importation of controlled substances and weapons are strictly prohibited and any traveler in possession of any controlled substances will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law of the Republic of Palau.
GETTING THERE: The following airlines offer regular service to Palau and have a local reservations office in Palau.
- United Airlines offer flight to Palau from Guam and Manila, Philippines
- Asiana Airlines offers two flights each week originating from Incheon, South Korea
- China Airlines offers four scheduled flights a week via Taipei, Taiwan
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