Diving is the number one tourist draw in Palau. And it’s little wonder why. Dubbed ‘the underwater Serengeti’, this tiny pocket of Micronesia has a profusion of world-class dive sites every bit as wondrous as you imagine. As diverse as it is beautiful, the seascape encompasses everything from sheer reef walls and swim-throughs, to canyons, caves and WWII shipwrecks. The waters are teeming with more than 1400 species of reef fish and 700 types of corals, as well as sharks, turtles and manta rays. We’ll be getting our tanks and fins wet with PADI-accredited Splash Dive Center, a few paces from the resort. Go steady on the air because there’s a lot to see.
Swimming with thousands of jellies in Jellyfish Lake (Ongeim’l Tketau) is a quintessential Palau experience. And you’ll have the opportunity to get in on the action during a day of free time. Feeling swarms of the harmless golden cnidarians graze your skin as you glide through the water is surreal. The jellyfish, Mastigias papua etpisoni, are endemic to the landlocked lake on the island of Eil Malk. Numbering up to 20 million during their peak, the jellyfish population today hovers at around 600,000 and is growing rapidly.
The tallest waterfall in Micronesia, Ngardmau cascades 30 metres over the curved lip of a rock overhang, its curtain of water reminiscent of a giant spaceship taking flight. The waterfall flows from Palau’s tallest peak, Mt Ngerchelchuus, on the island of Babeldaob. It’s a 40-minute hike through the jungle to get here, but glimpsing the waterfall and cooling off beneath its refreshing cascades, is worth the exertion.