Ultimate Guide to Gap Year Travel: Tips,...
Capital:Republic of Palau, PW
Location:Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
Currency:United States Dollar (USD)
Area:459 sq km
Population:21,613 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Palauan (official on most islands) 65.2%, other Micronesian 1.9%, English (official) 19.1%, Filipino 9.9%, Chinese 1.2%, other 2.8% (2015 est.)
Religion:Roman Catholic 45.3%, Protestant 34.9% (includes Evangelical 26.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 6.9%, Assembly of God .9%, Baptist .7%), Modekngei 5.7% (indigenous to Palau), Muslim 3%, Church of Jesus Christ 1.5%, other 9.7% (2015 est.)
Things to Do
1. Snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake
Experience the unique opportunity to swim with millions of stingless jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake. This marine lake is home to several species of jellyfish, which have evolved over time to become completely harmless to humans. Snorkel through the crystal clear waters and witness the mesmerizing sight of jellyfish swimming all around you.
2. Rock Islands Kayaking
Embark on an unforgettable kayaking adventure through the stunning Rock Islands of Palau. Paddle through the turquoise waters, surrounded by limestone karsts and lush vegetation. Explore hidden lagoons, pristine beaches, and discover the diverse marine life that calls this UNESCO World Heritage Site its home.
3. Scuba Diving at Blue Corner
Dive into the depths of the famous Blue Corner dive site and discover a thriving marine ecosystem. Descend to the reef wall and be amazed by the abundance of colorful coral, schools of fish, and the possibility of encountering large pelagic species such as sharks and rays. Experience the adrenaline rush as you drift along the strong currents, taking in the vibrant underwater scenery.
4. Visit Ngardmau Waterfall
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Palau by visiting Ngardmau Waterfall. Located in Ngardmau State, this picturesque waterfall is surrounded by lush jungle and offers a refreshing oasis for relaxation and swimming. Take a dip in the cool waters and feel the mist from the cascading waterfall as you unwind in this tranquil setting.
5. Explore the Milky Way
Indulge in a unique skincare experience at the Milky Way. Located in Palau's Rock Islands, this natural phenomenon is a mud pool believed to have therapeutic properties for the skin. Coat yourself in the white volcanic mud, said to contain high mineral content, and let it dry before rinsing off in the crystal clear waters. Leave with a rejuvenated and radiant complexion.
6. Visit Peleliu Island
Step back in time and explore the historical significance of Peleliu Island. Visit the World War II battlegrounds and learn about the fierce Battle of Peleliu, which took place between the United States and Imperial Japanese forces. Discover remnants of the war, including tanks, bunkers, and memorial sites, while enjoying the island's natural beauty and pristine beaches.
7. Snorkeling at Ngerchong Island
Escape to the secluded Ngerchong Island for a tranquil snorkeling experience. Dive into the crystal clear waters and explore the vibrant coral reefs teeming with diverse marine life. Encounter colorful fish, sea turtles, and other fascinating underwater creatures in this untouched paradise.
8. Jellyfish Lake Trek
Embark on a trek through the lush jungle to reach Jellyfish Lake. Hike through the pristine landscape and learn about the unique ecosystem surrounding the lake. Take a refreshing swim alongside the harmless jellyfish and be mesmerized by their graceful movements. Capture stunning photographs and create unforgettable memories in this natural marvel.
9. Visit the Belau National Museum
Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Palau by visiting the Belau National Museum. Explore the fascinating exhibits that showcase the history, traditional practices, and artifacts of Palauan culture. Learn about the island nation's unique customs, legends, and ancient traditions that have shaped its identity over centuries.
10. Sunset Dinner Cruise
Indulge in a romantic and memorable sunset dinner cruise in Palau's pristine waters. Board a luxurious boat and set sail to witness a breathtaking sunset over the horizon. Enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by a skilled chef while being serenaded by soothing music. Revel in the beauty of the surrounding islands and create lasting memories with your loved one.
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Palau has a tropical climate with warm temperatures and high humidity all year round. The average temperature ranges from 80°F to 90°F, with the warmest months being June to September. Rainfall is frequent, with the wettest months being June to August.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Palau is from December to May, when the weather is dry and the visibility is at its best for snorkeling and diving. This is also the peak tourist season, so it is recommended to book your accommodations in advance. If you are looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy more affordable prices, consider visiting in the off-season from June to November.
Palau has several hotels ranging from budget-friendly to luxury, providing comfortable and convenient stays for travelers. These hotels are located in the main town of Koror and other popular tourist destinations.
For those looking for a more luxurious experience, Palau has several resorts offering high-end amenities such as private beaches, spas, and fine dining. These resorts are ideal for couples, families, and those looking for a more relaxed and serene vacation.
Guesthouses are a more budget-friendly option, offering simple and comfortable rooms with shared facilities. These are a popular choice for backpackers and budget-conscious travelers.
The main international airport in Palau is the Roman Tmetuchl International Airport, located in the town of Airai. Domestic flights are also available to other islands within Palau.
Ferries and boats are the main form of sea transportation in Palau, connecting the main islands and offering scenic tours and excursions. Some popular sites, such as the Rock Islands and Jellyfish Lake, can only be accessed by boat.
Car rental and taxi services are available in Palau, offering a convenient and flexible option for getting around the main island of Babeldaob and other destinations. Taxis and car rentals can be arranged through your hotel or a local tour operator.
The official currency of Palau is the United States dollar (USD).
Cash And Cards
- It is advisable to carry some cash in small denominations for small purchases and in case of emergencies.
- Credit cards are widely accepted in major hotels, restaurants, and shops.
- However, in smaller establishments and local markets, it is recommended to carry cash as they may not accept cards.
- ATMs are available in major towns and cities in Palau.
- It is advisable to withdraw enough cash for your needs as ATMs may not be available in remote areas or small islands.
- Some ATMs may have withdrawal limits and may charge a transaction fee, so check with your bank for any fees or restrictions.
- Tipping is not a common practice in Palau.
- However, if you receive exceptional service, it is appreciated to leave a small tip as a gesture of gratitude.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Palau is generally high, especially for imported goods and services.
- Accommodation, dining out, and activities can be expensive compared to other Southeast Asian countries.
- It is advisable to budget accordingly and be aware of the prices before making purchases.
- Be cautious of scams targeting tourists in Palau.
- Common scams include overcharging for goods and services, fake tour operators, and pickpocketing.
- It is advisable to use reputable tour operators, negotiate prices beforehand, and keep your belongings secure while exploring.