The Republic of Palau (traditional name Belau) is Micronesia's westernmost island chain located 1400 lm (900 miles) southwest of Guam and 650 km (400 miles) south of Yap, north of New Guinea and 900 km (560 miles) east of the Philippines. Koror is Palau's capital and is the hub of the nation, inhabited by approximately 70% of the state's 17,000 population. Koror is the centre for most of Palau's tourist activities, with about 20 resorts and hotels of varying quality and size.
The tightly clustered Palau archipelago consists of over 200 islands that run roughly North to South covering a distance of around 200 km (125 miles). Amongst these are the high islands of Babeldoab, Koror, Peliliu and Anguar, the low coral atolls of Kayangel and Ngeruangel and the famous limestone Rock Islands. The spectacular Rock Islands rise like mushrooms from the sea.
The thickly vegetated Babeldoab is the largest island in Micronesia after Guam, and covers a land area of260 sq km (153 sq miles), whilst the rest of the Palau's islands together total just 63 sq km (37 sq miles).
Koror itself lies on several small islands along a long road. Koror is not really romantic, and has not much charm. There are only two man made beaches, one in front of the Palau Pacific Resort and the other next to the Palau Royal Resort.
Like many of its island neighbours, Palau has a history of colonisation that spreads over a period of 500 years and through this has emerged as a very interesting destination. Palau was also involved in 2nd World War and relics of the war are still found everywhere. Despite years of foreign political presence, Palauans have carefully nurtured and preserved their traditional culture & language. Palau's official languages are Palauan and English.
Other Activities & Visitor Information
Palau offers some of the most unique holiday opportunities to be found anywhere in the world. Its natural beauty, untouched wilderness, intact culture, remoteness and stability combine to offer something for divers, adventure seekers, history buffs & nature enthusiasts as well as those who just want to get away from the rapid pace of their lives and soak up the peace and tranquility.
Palau is the home to one of the world's unique phenomena, the Rock Islands. This collection of mushroom-shaped islets are largely uninhabited and are located in a large lagoon that harbours one of the world's greatest concentrations of corals, fish and other marine life. Not surprisingly, Palau has been named one of the "Underwater Wonders of the World" and is a treasured haven for both divers and snorkellers. However, the protected lagoon and astounding diversity of this area has also given rise to other activities in recent years such as sea kayaking, parasailing and sports fishing.
Kayaking or canoeing is the perfect way to explore Palau's hidden network of marine lakes, mangrove forests, marine tunnels, tropical beaches and marine caverns. A well-balanced tour encompasses light paddling combined with snorkeling, bird- watching, hiking and exploring. A speedboat shuttle service to and from the kayak sites eliminate a long distance paddle, so you can concentrate on the wonders of Palau. The expert biologist guides can lead you to juvenile reef fish remaining in nursery habitats or expose you to the mysteries of Palau's endemic fruit dove.
Visit the remains of ancient Palauan villages where stone paths and ceremonial stone podiums tell us the story of the past. Using the highest quality kayak equipment, you can explore the towering limestone Rock Islands accessible only by paddling through marine tunnels or climbing over densely-forested islands.
You can also explore caves, adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, within the rock islands or take in the history of Palau's WWII past, such as the Japanese forts, lighthouses and other installations. On Palau's island of Babeldaob, the remote waterfalls, hiking trails are perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers.