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Nestled in the western Pacific Ocean, Palau is made up of over 300 spectacular islands. Also known as Belau, Palau is home to a diverse natural environment and an ancient island culture. Palau is a world renowned diving destination and leader in sustainable tourism.

Palau offers the Holy Grail of scuba diving: incredible biodiversity, pristine reefs, abundant marine life, caves, blue holes, WWII wrecks… and plenty of pelagic action. Diving Palau you’ll have encounters with mantas and sharks as well as large breeding aggregations of snapper, bumphead parrotfish, Moorish idols and more. There are numerous currents from far and near making the waters highly nutritious and supporting a food chain from plankton upwards.

Palau was created as a raised limestone plateau, which the forces of nature have carved into hundreds of islands, each with a tropical green coat of foliage. Its formation has also lead to novelties such as Jellyfish Lake – a lake literally teeming with harmless orange jellyfish.  The terrain below the water line is similarly varied with shallow reefs, deep drop-offs, vertical holes, horizontal caves and tunnels.

Palau is approximately 800 km due east of the Philippines. It’s fairly remote but as such obeys Richie’s Inverse Law of Diving which states: ‘The harder it is to get to – the better the diving will be!’ Its nearest neighbour is Yap, about 300 km to the north east, and in the same direction, Guam, which is another 600 km onwards.


Yap, Federated States of Micronesia


Getting There

Nauru Airlines – Palau Paradise Express

China Airlines

The route from Taipei to Koror will be served on Wednesdays and Saturdays; the return flight from Koror to Taipei is on Wednesdays and Saturdays.



Where to Stay

The Cove

Cove Resort Palau is an ideal place to stay for adventure, relaxation, and luxury accommodation. Comprising of 71 nautically themed rooms. Each room has a flat screen tv, minibar, and access to all the resort’s facilities. Choose from Poolside Rooms, Balcony Rooms, and Bay Rooms with views of the largest lagoon swimming pool in Palau, each with complimentary breakfast menu items included each morning.

Cove Lagoon Pool

7 cove resort palau micronesia pool view


8 cove resort palau micronesia restaurant

Double Room

9 cove resort palau micronesia double room

Twin Room

10 cove resort palau micronesia twin room

Palau Central Hotel

The Palau Central Hotel offers newly renovated Western style rooms in the center of Palau’s downtown only steps away from restaurants, shopping and activities. We pride ourselves on service and comfort while offering some of the best value in Palau. As a landmark property, the original hotel opened in the 80’s to serve Palau’s budding tourism market as well as Trust Territory representatives and regional investors. Now fully renovated, the new Palau Central Hotel offers 50+ state of the art rooms, in-house restaurant, gift shop, spa, gym and conference center. All backed by outstanding service.

Pool View

15 palau central palau micronesia pool view

Standard Room

17 palau central palau micronesia standard room

Canoe Bar

16 palau central palau micronesia canoe bar

Palau Royal Resort

Palau Royal Resort is a 4-star resort with spacious and well appointed rooms each with a balcony overlooking the peaceful ocean, gardens or surrounding harbour scene. The resort is located in Malakal and is a few minutes drive, or 30 minutes walk, to the Fish ‘n Fins Dive Shop. This resort features a pool, tennis courts, fitness centre, private beach, and a restaurant offering Western and Asian cuisine.

11 palau royal palau micronesia external view

Premium Deluxe Ocean View Room

7 fish n fins and palau royal resort palau micronesia double room

Deluxe Harbour View Room

13 palau royal palau micronesia deluxe harbour twin


In most respects, Palau is western. The currency is the US dollar, power sockets are US.  There are no dangerous snakes, spiders or box jellyfish.  Safety standards are at Western levels.  Still, ensure you have travel insurance. You’ll also discover it is one of the cleanest countries in the world – you’d be hard-pressed to spot any litter.

Weather in Palau/ Climate

Palau enjoys a pleasant and warm climate all year round, with an average temperature of 27 degrees. The average temperature in December is 31 degrees.

What to wear

Cool, loose – fitting clothing is acceptable in most places. Visitors are strongly advised to respect local customs by not wearing swimsuits, short – shorts or other inappropriate clothing in town, villages or public buildings. Hats, Sunglasses, and Sunscreen are highly recommended.

Travel Entry Requirements

Visa. A visitor visa for up to 30 days is available on arrival. You’ll need an onward or return ticket. Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. You can contact the nearest embassy or consulate for the latest details. 

Palau Entry Form. Palau now has a digital/online entry form for travelers. Palau Entry Form submissions must be within 72 hours or less prior to your arrival time in the Republic of Palau. Your responses must be in English. Once you fill in the form, you will receive a unique QR code to your email. Each traveler must present a copy of their completed Palau Entry Form or Unique QR Code upon arrival at the Palau International Airport. You can submit your Palau Entry Form online within 72 hours of arrival. 

HealthYou’re required to complete a health declaration form on arrival in Palau. You can complete the form prior to travel online or on arrival. Further information on Palau’s entry requirements and health directives is available at Palau’s Ministry of Health and Human Services or their Facebook page.

Currency and credit cards

The official currency is the US – Dollar. Visa, JCB and MasterCard are widely accepted at stores and visitor facilities. There are FDIC Insured banks and major hotels with limited foreign currency exchange and ATMs.

Rock Island Permits:

  • $50 per person – valid for 10 days EXCLUDING access to Jellyfish Lake. 
  • $100 per person – valid for 10 days INCLUDING access to Jellyfish Lake. 
  • Peleliu State has a permit fee that applies to divers only (not snorkelers) at $30 per person and valid for 10 days and $10 per person for land tours


Many hotels offer in room direct dialing for overseas calls. Prepaid international calling cards can be purchased in at many local stores. Internet access is widely available at restaurants, internet cafes, and hotels as well as through numerous Palau Telecoms WiFi hotspots. To access WiFi hotspots, prepaid internet cards can be purchased in stores throughout Palau or online at

Where to Eat

Palau has a surprisingly diverse range of restaurants for such a small destination – so don’t limit yourself to hotel food each night.  Here are a few establishments we can personally recommend.

  • Barracuda Restaurant & Bar at Fish’n Fins Dive Centre has a fantastic menu designed by owner Tova Harel – they also do a great pizzas!
  • Palau was governed by Japan for 30 years after WWI and many Palauans have Japanese heritage. As a result, you can find several restaurants serving unexpectedly good Japanese fare. Take a seat at the counter of Tori Tori and head chef Yoko Morisaki will whip up a feast of sushi and sashimi plus local delicacies including taro croquettes and steamed mangrove clams.
  • The Bottom Time Bar and Grill at Sam’s Tours.  Fully licensed bar, and exactly the kind of grub you need after a full days diving. Beautiful sunsets guaranteed.
  • The Drop Off Bar and Grill on the other side of Main St from Sam’s adjacent NECO’s, has an extensive selection of both food and drinks, and a relaxed ambiance about the place.  The previous president dropped in for quiet beer and a chat with friends whilst we were having a pleasant drink there.
  • Kramer’s Café at Pirate’s Cove – also nearby to the above – serves International and Pacific Island dishes in generous portions. Try the famous Hammerhead sauce!  This venue also has live music some evenings which certainly beats your typical hotel lobby light muzak!
  • The Canoe House is a very popular American style bar at Palau Central Hotel, serving burgers, wings, steaks and pizzas, served with curly fries, onion rings or truffle fries. There’s live entertainment most nights – including lively karaoke sessions!
  • Finally, the Indian Restaurant on Main St in Koror is a must.  The proprietor personally selects and imports his own ingredients, and the flavours and aromas in the dishes are testament to his culinary skills.  Perhaps save this one until last – before your non-diving day before you fly.

How to Get Around

There are three main islands – north to south and in rapidly decreasing size are Babeldaob, Koror and Malakai – all connected via a tar-sealed road: Main St.  The airport is on Babeldaob about 10 kms from Koror centre, where we stayed, and our dive operator was on Malakai.

However, getting around is no problem as the accommodation and dive operators have air-condition people movers and will typically ferry you to or from their establishment.  If you’re heading out to a restaurant – book a transport or a cab.  The ‘down-town’ area is about 1 km long and walkable.

Other Activities

Here are four activities for the non-divers or non-diving day.

  • Hire a Kayak for a day or half a day
  • Take a helicopter tour around the islands
  • Go snorkelling in Jellyfish Lake
  • Go on a walking tour of one of the islands.

Note that some marine park activities require permits, which will be available via the operator.  Just check whether then are included in the price quoted.

Much of Palau’s diving is on walls, down through holes, or caverns, and drifting along reefs. But there are also spots where you can simple hang (or hang on – take a reef hook), and watch the pelagic action around you. The reefs and walls around the islands fall away pretty quickly to considerable depths, and with the excellent visibility you can often see the sharks circling below. So watch your MOD if you’re on Nitrox and make sure your camera/torch etc is firmly secured.

AUD 3,150
Palau rock islands shutterstock 305510270 sp 500

Palau Royal Resort Offer: Dive/Stay packages from AUD 3,150

Take advantage of the new Palau Paradise Express – direct flights from Brisbane to Koror – spend a week diving Palau for as little as AUD 3,150 per person!

Travel between: 28 May 24 and 31 Dec 24

Dive destination: Palau

FREE Nitrox for Nitrox certified divers!

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