Palau's most popular dive site, Blue Corner, is recognized as one of the best in the world due to its concentration of marine life, whilst Jacques Cousteau considered Ngemelis Wall, commonly known as Big Drop-off, to be one of the best dive walls in the world. Just a few minutes away, German Channel is known for its regular sightings of manta rays, which come in and hover over rock outcroppings inhabited by tiny cleaner wrasses.
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.
Palau is also blessed with a number of liveaboard vessels of various sizes and styles. Most of the vessels operate scheduled 7 night cruises that include unlimited diving over 5.5 to 7 days according to the particular vessel. Special excursions 10 & 14 night excursions also operate at certain times of the year. As usual, all meals are included, so once you are on board there is very little left to pay for and plenty of great diving to enjoy!
Palau's outer reefs cannot be reached quickly by day boats, and some of the best dive sites are a 60-90 minute boat ride away from Koror. Popular reefs like Blue Corner get very busy between 11:00am and 2:00pm. Therefore, the convenience of anchoring right above any dive spot from early in the morning until dusk is well worth the extra expense for a liveaboard in Palau.
Palau's outer reefs can be reached by day boats, some of the best dive sites are a 60-90 minute boat ride away from Koror. Most dive day trips depart Koror around 9:00 am and return around 4:00 pm with a break for lunch in the Rock Islands, which is an attraction in itself. It is possible to take 1 to 3 dives per day and there are special rates for snorkellers, for whom these trips are also perfect.
The vessels themselves are fast and mobile cabin boats equipped with toilets and showers, and usually accommodate a maximum of 8 to 12 divers. Palau has a very good variety of accommodation mainly based around Koror ranging from top of the range resorts to budget motels. To make matters easier and more economical we have a selection of attractive accommodation & diving packages to suit all budgets.
Reef Hook Diving
As strong currents pass through some of the dive sites, such as Blue Corner, New Drop Off, Peleliu Corner, etc. reef hooks are very often used to make the dive more enjoyable. A reef hook is a metal hook approximately 10 cm (4") long attached to a 2 m (6 foot) rope and a snap ring. You secure the snap ring to one of the D rings in your BCD, then once the desired location is reached, the hook is secured to a rock or some dead coral. The reef hook enables you to secure yourself to the reef without any effort and without damaging the pristine reef. The current will keep the line stretched and both hands are free so that you can comfortably enjoy the passing marine life attracted by the current.
With unparalleled biodiversity and beauty, Palau's dive sites also provide excellent snorkeling opportunities. From the surface, creatures such as turtles, sharks, barracudas and multitudes of colorful reef fish can be observed gliding amongst dense coral formations sprinkled with giant clams and varieties of anemone.
Exciting snorkeling can also be experienced at the inner lagoon, as well as in the sheltered marine lakes, hidden inlets and narrow passes of the Rock Islands.