Dive Travel / Palau
At the western edge of the Pacific, just a scant 500 miles from the Philippines and Indonesia, lies arguably the most diverse island chain in all of Micronesia. Palau is made up of more than 350 islands, including the mind-blowing, mushroom-like Rock Islands, situated at the rich, biodiverse intersection of the Pacific Ocean and Philippine Sea. Its waters boast more than 1,300 species of fish and more than 800 species of corals and sponges. You'll find myriad dive experiences, including big pelagic encounters, tranquil coral gardens, current-swept drop-offs, and a collection of World War II wrecks that are a major draw in and of themselves.
For land-based divers wanting the best of both worlds, speedy boats zip to most of the major dive sites in under an hour. Most sites are located off some of the most photogenic islands in the world. Live-aboards also ply these waters, focusing on the southwestern section of the barrier reef to keep divers near the most popular sites.
Tropical and humid with daytime temperatures in the mid- to high 80s. Nighttime temps can drop to the mid- to low 70s.
Consistently in the high 70s to mid-80s all year.
More than 100 feet of vis is not uncommon.
The U.S. dollar.
Palau is 14 hours ahead of New York.
110 volts, 60 cycles, same as the United States.
A passport is recommended for U.S. citizens, but a birth certificate and photo ID are accepted. Each island airport in Micronesia has its own customs and immigration officers. If you plan on visiting several islands on one trip, you will be passing through customs and immigration lines at each stop.
$20. A dive permit may be required.