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How to Dive Palau

Scuba diving in Palau was one of my bucket-listed dive dreams. Recently, though, in the diving scene, the name Palau seems to have given way to other scuba diving gems being found in far east Indonesia. Raja Ampat, Alor, Triton Bay and Halmahera, are part of a growing list. Meanwhile, Palau remains home to some of the best diving on the planet. Palau still has an admirably strong conservation ethic, and the sanctuary is blossoming.

Flight routes into Palau have increased, making it more accessible, and getting a visa has become easier. For me, the origin story of my first bucket-list dive destination is still just as relevant. Maybe consider making Palau your next dive holiday plan.

Where is That Dive Site?

After I completed my PADI Open Water certification aeons ago, I was living in Taiwan and diving every weekend at Long Dong Bay, far enough away from Taipei to feel removed from the city for the weekend. My close friend and instructor had a dive shop with a small tatami sleeping arrangement upstairs. So here I would stay, diving as much as possible on Saturday and Sunday before heading back to the big smoke in time for work.

One thing that remains in my mind from that time, aside from the unique scuba diving camaraderie, poring together through fish I.D books for nudibranchs we had photographed, was an extraordinary photograph blue tacked to the wall in the bathroom. It was of just a diver, no coral reef or sandy backdrop, but out in the blue with little reference to go on as to where it was, utterly peaceful. Then, an enormous manta ray was soaring out of the beyond over the diver’s head. It was an image of such amazing sublimity …………

Bucket list destination | Scuba Diving Palau

I had to put it on my diving bucket list. My mate Ken told me that the picture, taken in Micronesia, was of an incredible diving destination called Palau. It is situated not too far from Taiwan, a small island nation surrounded by an untouched marine environment full of sharks, coral, and fish, which sounded pretty good.

Years after, I left Taiwan and worked in the diving industry for long enough to have experienced many of the diving destinations I had on my must-dive list. I finally had the opportunity to scuba dive Palau, which was, without a doubt, stunning. The fish, sharks, rays, corals and remarkable topside topography of the rock islands made it one of the best places I had ever dived and one of the places I often recommend to divers who ask me where they should go diving next.

To help you out with your next dive vacation decision, here are a few pointers for how to dive Palau:

How to Get to Palau

bucket list dive destination | Infinite Blue Dive Travel

A small island nation in the western Pacific Ocean, there are a few different ways to get to Palau, depending on your starting point. However, here are some general suggestions to get you there:

Choose your point of departure: Many countries do not have direct flights to Palau, so you’ll need to choose a departure point that offers flights to Palau. Some common departure points include Tokyo, Seoul, Manila, and Taipei.

Search for flights: Use a travel search engine like Expedia, Kayak, or Skyscanner to find flights to Palau. Flight schedules may be limited, and flight times can vary greatly depending on your departure point. We can also help you book flights with our fully bonded travel agent here.

Book your flight: Book your tickets once you find a flight that suits your schedule and budget. Double-check the baggage allowance and any visa requirements for your trip. The airline may have a particular sports equipment allowance if you take your dive gear there.

Arrive in Palau: The main airport in Palau is the Roman Tmetuchl International Airport (ROR), located on the island of Koror. From there, you can take a taxi or shuttle to your hotel or dive operator.

Palau visa: A 30-day visa on arrival is available for most passport holders. You can check eligibility here:

Overall, scuba diving in Palau requires some planning and research. Still, it’s a small price to pay for the opportunity to experience one of the world’s most beautiful and unique destinations.

Where To Stay For Your Palau Dive Trip?

To experience the best that scuba diving Palau offers,  you should jump on a dive liveaboard. Several dive liveaboard operators are in Palau, and our favourites are listed below. Choosing a liveaboard for your dive holiday will mean you dive to the best Palau dive sites at the most scuba-friendly times of the day. Further sites, such as Peleliu, can easily be explored, and you can be right on point for the amazing spawning events. Operators like the Palau Siren also arrange blackwater diving if you want to try it.

The Best Dive Liveaboards In Palau

Palau Siren ~ Infinite Blue Dive Travel

Palau Siren  

A luxury liveaboard yacht that offers 8-11 day dive safaris in Palau. The boat has spacious cabins, a large dive deck, and a dedicated camera room for underwater photographers.

Rock Islands Aggressor | Dive Palau | Infinite Blue Dive Travel

Rock Islands Aggressor

The Rock Islands Aggressor is a popular liveaboard that offers 8-11-day dive trips in Palau. The boat has comfortable cabins, a spacious dive deck, and a jacuzzi for post-dive relaxation.

Ocean Hunter 3

Ocean Hunter III

A high-end liveaboard that offers 8-11 day dive safaris in Palau. The boat has luxurious cabins, a large dive deck, and a state-of-the-art camera room for photographers.

Dive Palau from the Solitude One | Infinite Blue Dive Travel

Solitude One

The Solitude One is a luxury liveaboard that offers 8-11-day dive trips in Palau. The boat has spacious cabins, a large dive deck, and a range of amenities, including a jacuzzi, massage services, and a dedicated camera room.

MY Black Pearl and dive boat | Dive Palau

The M/Y Black Pearl

A stunning steel-hulled vessel that caters to up to twenty-two guests in 11 twin-bed cabins and offers 8-day Palau dive trips. The ship provides a luxurious, modern platform for your Palau dive adventure.

These are most of the dive liveaboards in Palau; other options are available, but we stand behind these. When choosing a liveaboard, it’s essential to consider factors such as the level of comfort, the quality of the diving and dive site itinerary, and the experience of the dive crew. Do your research and choose a liveaboard that fits your budget and diving needs.

The Best Dive Sites in Palau

Plane wreck | Palau | Infinite Blue Dive Travel

Palau scuba diving is renowned for its pristine waters and rich marine life, which makes it a popular destination for divers. Here are a few of the best dive sites in Palau:

Blue Corner: This is one of Palau’s most popular dive sites and is famous worldwide! Known for its strong currents and abundance of marine life, including sharks, rays, and schools of fish, Blue Corner is where they say the reef hook was invented. Get prepared to ‘hook in’ and watch the reef sharks while other marine life cruises by.

German Channel: The channel is home to a diverse range of marine life, including manta rays, sharks, and schools of barracuda.

Ulong Channel: A drift dive that takes you past coral gardens, schools of fish, and even the remnants of a Japanese shipwreck.

Jellyfish Lake: A unique dive site is home to millions of harmless jellyfish that have evolved to lose their stinging ability.

Peleliu Wall: This dive site features a dramatic drop-off that descends to more than 1,000 feet, with plenty of marine life to see.

Chandelier Cave: This underwater cave system is filled with stalactites and stalagmites, as well as small pools of water and air pockets.

Blue Holes: A series of underwater caverns and tunnels known for their vibrant coral and unique rock formations.

Ngemelis Wall: This dive site features a sheer wall that descends to a depth of more than 1,000 feet, with various marine life to see along the way.

Above are just a few of the spectacular dive sites that Palau scuba diving has to offer. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, the clear waters and stunning reefs of this Micronesian beauty make it a must-visit.

Where Can You Eat in Palau

Palau is a small island country in the Pacific Ocean, and while it may not have as many vegan restaurants as you will find in a city, there are still options for plant-based dining. If you are on a dive liveaboard from the above list, your dietary preferences are well catered for, but how about before or after your dive cruise while you decompress before your flight out?

Here are some places in Palau where you can find plant-based food

PRR Cafe: This Cafe offers a variety of vegan options, including smoothie bowls, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. They also have vegan desserts.

Palaugreen Smoothie & Salad Bar: A restaurant that specializes in healthy food options and offers a variety of vegan smoothies, salads, and wraps.

The Taj: This Indian restaurant has several vegan options, including dal, chana masala, vegetable curry, and samosas.

Emaimelei Restaurant: Offers a few vegan options, including stir-fried vegetables, vegetable curry, and tofu dishes.

Kramer’s Cafe: This Palau institution has vegan options such as salads, sandwiches, and smoothie bowls.

Elilai Restaurant: Offers a few vegan options, including vegetable spring rolls, tofu stir-fry, and vegetable curry.

It’s always a good idea to call ahead or check the menu online to ensure vegan options are available. Additionally, if you are still looking for vegan options on the menu, just ask the restaurant what they can whip up in the kitchen, they will be happy to oblige.

Did I See My Manta?

Manta Ray | Infinite Blue Dive Travel

I did, and it was an extraordinary occasion, one of those I will never forget. So, thanks to my mate Ken in Taiwan for sticking that photo to the wall in the bathroom, and after you have been scuba diving Palau, thank yourself for sticking to your dreams.

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