Palau is a small archipelago in Micronesia and it is located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is well-known for its beautiful islands and diving is one the top things to do in Palau. This small country is listed as among the least visited countries in the world due to its remote location and limited flights that goes to the country. But this is what makes the country special. It is still untouched by the massive tourism. So if you find yourself thinking of a Palau vacation, then this ultimate Palau travel guide can help you.
HOW TO GET TO PALAU
There are seven countries where you can fly to visit Palau. This infographic by Palau Dive Adventures sum up where and when you can fly to the island. To check latest rates for flights going to Palau, click here.
CURRENCY OF PALAU
Palau uses US dollars so if you are from the US, you don’t have to exchange money. Visa and Mastercard credit cards are also widely accepted but beware that American Express are not generally accepted.
VISA POLICY OF PALAU
The visa policy of Palau allows almost all nationalities to get visa on arrival or visa exemption. The only two countries that need to apply for visa in advance are Bangladesh and Myanmar.
OFFICIAL LANGUAGES OF PALAU
Palauan and English are the official languages of Palau. It’s also common to hear Japanese and Filipino being used by locals and workers in the country.
THINGS TO DO IN PALAU
Palau tourism involves diving sites mainly. And Palau diving sites are considered the best diving sites in the world and one of the untouched sites in the Pacific. But there are also other things that you can do in Palau aside from diving. Below are the top things to do in Palau which are recommended by both locals and travellers.
1. Jelly Fish Lake
Jellyfish Lake or Eil Malk Lake is probably the most popular tourist destination in Palau. It is known for millions of golden jellyfish that migrates the lake daily. These golden jellyfish are stingless and harmless which makes swimming with them a delightful experience. Snorkeling to this amazing lake is among those magical experiences you’ll have in your life. The Jellyfish lake is located in Rock Islands – where the majority of Palau’s tourist destinations are located.
2. Peleliu Island
This island is probably one of the forgotten places in the world history. This is the place where one of most terrible battles in World War II happened. Because of its strategic location in the Pacific, the Americans fought to capture this small island from the Japanese for their plan to use it as an airstrip. As a result, around 14,000 American and Japanese soldiers died in this small space in expanse of 6 weeks! This island is also a well-known diving site in Palau. However, this is one of the farthest dive sites from Koror but the impressive wall of Peleliu is known to have the deepest diving sites featuring crevices, caves and canyons.
3. Etpison Museum
Etpison Museum is a cultural museum in Koror, Palau. It showcases Palau’s rich traditions and history. It displays artifacts, heirlooms, ancient rock art and the storyboards made by local carvers in the country. It also has gift shops where you can buy locally made products. The museum is open from 9am to 5pm. Entrance is US$10 per person.
4. Kayangel Island
This beautiful atoll is located in the northernmost part of Palau. It is well-known for its beautiful white beaches and almost uninhabited island. As of today, there are probably less than 150 people that live in the island and the surrounding islets are totally inhabited. You can go to the island by private boat, the limited state boat from Koror to Kayangel that leaves every other week on Friday and goes back to Koror on Sunday for $20 each way and through a day trip provided by tour operators in Koror for a minimum of $170 per person. There are only few accommodations in the area but you can bring your tent and experience a totally secluded beach. If you want to experience a total off-the-beaten path destinations, this atoll is a must.
5. Milky Way Lagoon
The Milky Way in Palau is one of those fun activities that you can do in Rock Islands. A lot of diving tours make this place their first stop. Aside from the gorgeous turquoise water in the lagoon, it is also known for its creamy white mud that is said to make you look younger after applying it on your face and body. It is basically a natural mud spa treatment known to locals and tourist alike. And the best thing about it? It is free!
6. Ngardmau Falls
Ngardmau Falls is a beautiful waterfall in Babeldaob, 30-45 minutes drive from Koror. You can reach Ngardmau through a tough 30-minute hike. So make sure to bring water shoes with you, drinking water, water casing for your electronic gadgets and extra clothes. It is best to go here using a rental car than join expensive day trips. The entrance fee is only $10.
7. Rock Islands
The Rock Islands of Palau or Chelchebab is a UNESCO heritage site famed for its small and large limestone islands. The islands composed Palau’s Southern lagoon and it’s located between Koror and Peleliu. These around 300 islands also comprised majority of Palau’s tourist spots and for a good reason. Rock Islands are famous for its unique geological formation and spectacular marine life on the bodies of water surrounding it. It is a world-class destination for snorkeling, diving and swimming. Among them are German Channel, Blue Corner, Ulong Channel and Blue Holes.
WHERE TO EAT IN PALAU
- The Taj is a restaurant in Koror that serves authentic Indian cuisine. The restaurant is also known for seafood, vegan and gluten free friendly. They also have wide selection of vegetarian menu. And if you like relaxing music to accompany your food, then this place will surely deliver. For exact location, click here.
- Elilai is another restaurant in Koror known for its good location with impressive views and excellent food. They also serve seafood although it’s more on expensive side. To check for their exact location, click here.
- Kramer’s Cafe is probably one of the most popular restaurants in Palau. Known for wide selection of seafood, this resto bar will for sure satisfy your cravings for fresh food. To check their location, click here.
WHERE TO STAY IN PALAU
Palau offers a wide-range of accommodations. Although it is more expensive even compare to Western countries due to its remote location. However, you can still find some really good ones even with tight budget. Below is the list of the top rated hotels in Palau for every type of traveller.
Budget Accommodation in Palau
Miss Pinetress Hostel is probably the cheapest accommodation in Koror but also one of the highest rated accommodations in Palau. They offer dormitory beds for US$40+ and private rooms. They offer communal kitchen and shared lounge with TV. The hostel is also walking distance from malls and dining options. To check their latest rates, click here.
Danilos Inn offers a bang for your buck for its affordable rates. Starting at US$45 a night, you can get a private studio for a single person or 2 people from US$65 onwards. They also offer pool and mini kitchens in some units. The property is just 4-minute walk from the beach. To check their latest rates, click here.
Mid-range Accommodation in Palau
Garden Palace Downtown Koror is a lovely hotel in Koror. Rated as exceptional by hundreds of guests, this hotel boasts for massive rooms and great service. It is not a beach front property but they offer stunning views of their private garden. To check their latest rates, click here.
Palau Vacation Hotel is another mid-range hotel in Koror. Only 1-minute from the beach, this hotel boasts sitting areas that either face the stunning ocean or the mountains. They also offer wellness center, restaurants and bars. To check their latest rates, click here.
Luxury Accommodation in Palau
Palau Pacific Resort is a luxury resort in Koror. Nestled in 64-acre of lush tropical garden on their own private beach, the resort also offers 160 rooms and 5 water bungalow over the Pacific Ocean. To check their latest rates, click here.
Palau Royal Resort is another luxury resort in Koror that offers private beach, pool and wellness center. The resort sits in a stunning cove that you can enjoy on your balcony if you decide to book here.To check their latest rates, click here.
Do you have more recommendations to add to this Palau travel guide? Add them to the comment section below!