Destination Fact File
Some of the most amazing scenery above and below the water. A top 10 destination.
Palau is world renowned for marine bio-diversity and an abundance of large pelagic animals that includes schools of sharks and lots of manta rays. Our warm clear tropical waters are legendary amongst divers for dramatic coral encrusted walls rising from the depths to within inches of the surface. Home to over 1,300 species of fish and more than 700 species of coral, Palau also offers exciting wreck diving with one of the Pacific's largest collection of intact WWII shipwrecks and plane wrecks.
Palau's richly abundant waters also provide wonderful leisurely snorkeling and free-diving too! See turtles, sharks, barracuda and multitudes of colourful reef fish as you glide over dazzling coral reefs. The majority of diving in Palau consists of drift diving along the beautiful walls, plateaus and coral gardens of the outer barrier reef, a forty minute boat ride from Koror through the picturesque rock islands.
Palau offers an endless variety of sites to dive - from caves to walls and major drop-offs, to tunnels, channels and shallow reefs, where you can enjoy great visibility and an almost limitless variety of marine life. There is even a lake chock-full of pulsating (non-dangerous) jellyfish where you can snorkel, and an underwater cave to explore.
The coral reefs provide home to more than 1,500 species of fish and 700 species of corals and sea anemones. Below the surface, divers and snorkelers are treated to a paradise of fabulous walls, blue holes, breathtaking reefs, crystal caves and WWII wrecks. Vast numbers of pelagic predators, sharks, turtles, dolphins and many species of migratory fish gather here at this unique crossroads where three of the World's major currents come together.
Top Dive Sites:
“Blue Corner” - Palau's most popular dive site is recognised as one of the best in the world due to its concentration of marine life. The formation of the reef, sheer walls and the large number of schooling fish make it a truly unique experience. There are three mooring buoys located along the reef. Blue Corner is home to some of the largest schools of fish in the world; here you can see just about every kind of fish found in the tropical ocean - sharks, tuna, hawksbill and green turtles, eagle rays, giantstrong groupers, and barracuda, to name but a few species. Permanent residents at Blue corner are large schools of Jacks, Snappers, Chevron barracudas, red tooth triggerfish, pyramid butterfly fish, profuse numbers of small tropical fish and Palau’s famous napoleon wrasse. Occasionally divers spot great hammerheads, whale sharks, mantas, marlin, sailfish and whales.
“Ngemelis Wall” commonly known as Big Drop-off, is a sheer vertical wall, which runs along the whole length of Ngemelis Island and is to be one of the best dive walls in the world. At extreme low tide, the entire top of the reef will be exposed. The edge of the reef drops straight down to 275 meters. Pyramid butterfly fish, moorish idols, sergeant major's, yellowtail fusiliers are among the myriad of fish found all along the edge and top of the reef. Blue face, regal and emperor angelfish are easily spotted. Dwarf angelfish dart in and around the coral heads at the top of the reef. Clarki and blue striped clownfish with their host anemones are also scattered along the reef. Hawksbill turtles like to feed and rest at the top of the reef. Turtles can be approach if you move slowly. White-tip and nurse sharks sleep on the sandy bottom.
“German Channel” is known for manta rays, schooling sharks and an abundance of tropical fish. Almost every form of marine life can be seen here. Thousands of jacks will school here along with barracudas, trevally and snappers of numerous species. The sandy bottom is home to garden eels, blind Gobies and Mantis shrimps, to name but a few.
The seas around the Rock Islands are dotted with sunken remains of more than 75 World War II military ships, Japanese seaplanes and Zeros. Located primarily in the lagoons around the Rock Islands, these relics have developed their own thriving ecosystem featuring fish, corals and other invertebrates not commonly seen along the outer reef systems.