Located nearer to Papua New Guinea and the Philippines than the
rest of Micronesia and separated from it by the 26,000ft Yap Trench,
Palau has some of the most diverse reef systems in the world, and
an estimated 1000 different dive sites in its 110 mile long lagoon.
The sheer variety of fish, coral and marine habitats is quite mind-boggling:
you can swim through the remains of a Japanese warship (there are
in fact more wrecks in Palau than Truk Lagoon); drift along a 2500ft
drop-off covered in soft corals and sea fans while a billion fish
swirl around you; swim through a land-locked salt-water lake that
is full of harmless jellyfish; explore the eerie and sinister interior
of a blue hole or simply have a chance encounter with a manta ray
or shark! Whatever your preference, Palau will oblige!
With over 1300 species of fish and 600 of coral the photography
enthusiast will return home satisfied. A great number of Palau's
dive sites offer world-class action. Ngemelis Drop-Off, on the outer
edge of the southern section of the Lagoon, is one of the most famous
wall dives in the world, dropping sheer from 18 inches to 2000ft,
at places actually forming overhangs. This drift dive is a sure
place to find large schools of fish and pelagic species. Jacks,
tang and other fish school along the drop-off, while large predators
such as sharks and barracuda dart amongst this feast. Blue Corner
is a magnet for many species of shark and other oceanic predators.
Chandelier Cave, a system of five chambers under one of Palau's
unique Rock Islands, filled with stalagmites and stalactites, has
an entrance at sea and an exit deep in the interior of the island.
The inner most sanctuary of this extraordinary cave system is aptly
named The Temple of Doom.
The warm and sunlit Lagoon is a fantasy world of soft corals and
giant clams, brilliantly coloured fish and invertebrates. The German
Channel, a man-made canal running through the barrier reef to the
calm lagoon behind is a perfect highway for fish to cruise between
the open sea and lagoon. Plankton, swept in by ocean currents, attracts
manta rays, and sharks patrol the outer entrance, waiting for some
tasty treat to drift by! Perhaps the most remarkable location in
Palau is Jellyfish Lake, a salt-water lake within one of the Rock
Islands that is home to a colony of an estimated 2 million jellyfish
that have lost their ability to sting, and are therefore of no threat
to man. Presumably trapped as larvae many millenia ago, they are
now masters of their own domain, and unique to Palau.
Palau boasts one of the finest live-aboard dive vessels in the
world, the Palau Aggressor. We recommend that you combine
a cruise aboard the Palau Aggressor with a stay at the
luxurious Palau Pacific Resort. Alternatively, take a side trip
to Yap to dive with manta rays!