Wall Diving In One Of The Best Tropical Vacation Spots, Palau
Every diver dreams of the South Pacific. The visuals are hypnotic: impossibly blue water of a thousand shades, empty beaches dotted by lazy palms, and seemingly endless fields of coral. en there’s the marine life: neon tropical fish, giant rays, and heaps upon heaps of sharks. It’s why the South Pacific has inspired writers and painters for centuries. And Palau, the isolated Micronesian archipelago of more than 200 stunning islands, has this brand of paradise on tap. It’s no wonder our readers have historically chosen the destination as tops in the Top 100 Readers Choice Awards for the best walls, wrecks, marine life and overall diving.
Like wall dives? Check. Fan of giant wrecks? Check. Got a thing for caverns and tunnels? Check. Ripping drift dives pump your adrenaline? Check. Just want to float above a coral garden? Check. One of Palau’s outstanding qualities is its diversity. With around 250 islands, there’s something for every breed of diver. Except for ice diving, that is.
Like giant button mushrooms capped in foliage, the limestone formations in the Rock Islands number in the hundreds, creating a landscape that juxtaposes brilliant green against stunning blue. Some feature arches. Some hide beaches. And others harbor dark
caverns, World War II relics, mangrove forests and other wonders. there’s no telling what’s around each new corner. Racing through a maze of them in a dive skiff is a thrill to remember.
There are plenty of arguments over who was the first diver to develop the reef-hook system. But there’s no better place to employ the hook-andline system than in the swift currents of sites like Blue Corner, Saies Corner and New Drop Off . Safely tethered to a nonliving spot on the reef, divers can dangle in the fl ow like a kite on a string, as sharks, barracuda, jacks, wrasse and other current-loving species hunt in the blue.
A bizarre, geological anomaly is responsible for one of the most amazing dive (er … snorkel) sites on the planet. Nestled in the middle of Eil Malk Island is Jellyfish Lake, a small body of brackish
water protected from the surrounding lagoon by tall hills of dense jungle. Inside, the main attraction is the community
of millions of golden jellies that over the eons have devolved the biological need to sting. Today, humans can frolic with the jellies, which migrate across the lake each day following the
sun, in (virtually) painless bliss.
How many shark sightings make an amazing dive? If you answered one, then prepare to have your mind blown. At such landmark sites as Blue Corner, Ulong Channel, Saies Corner, Peleliu Express and Shark City, it’s not uncommon for divers to witness 20, 30 even 50
gray reef, blacktip, whitetip and other sharks on a single dive, cruising in the current along a plunging wall of the swift-moving channel. e action isn’t a Pavlovian response to a bait box full of chum: is is real wild behavior.
You don’t need to be cave certified to enjoy one of the world’s most unique cavern dives. Formed by a combination of eroding rainwater, irresistible tides and grazing invertebrates, Chandelier Cave is a fi ve-room system that boasts dramatic formations and easy access.
Stalactites hang from the tall ceiling, where air pockets allow divers to surface to examine veins of minerals in the limestone walls. Marine life is scarce, but keen explorers can fi nd shrimp and cardinal fish hiding in cracks and crevices. The best view, however, can be seen as you exit the cavern into a bright-blue
opening behind silhouetted divers.
During Operation Desecrate One in March 1944, the U.S. Navy sank dozens of Japanese war and supply ships anchored around Palau. Sixty years later, divers can explore the coral crusted remains of these historic shipwrecks, examining artifacts ranging
from unused shells and bullets to gas masks, sake bottles, and much more.
Some of the most interesting include the Iro, Chuyo Maru, Helmet Wreck, Bichu Maru and Jake Seaplane.The torture of bombing has transformed many of these proud ships into strange underwater
sculptures, but they all are major attractors for a wide variety of marine life, off ering a compelling experience for history fans and critter lovers alike.
Palau’s German Channel is a hot spot for feeding mantas, one of the island nation’s signature underwater shows. East of Ngemelis Island, the channel funnels water from an inner lagoon into deep water, creating currents that flush plankton-rich water into the open mouths of foraging manta rays. Divers park at about 60 feet, where a busy cleaning station lures large numbers of the graceful creatures, along with pelagic fish and plenty of sharks.
NEED TO KNOW
When to Go Palau’s diving is great year-round. Water temperature varies only a few degrees from the low 80s to the mid-70s F.
Travel Tip Airlift onto this isolated island from the West is limited. United’s (formerly Continental’s) Honolulu-Guam-Koror route is one of the longest running and most consistent routes in the region.
Dive Conditions Visibility can consistently reach beyond 100 feet, but it can also be diminished by weather and tides at certain spots.
English and Palauan are the main languages spoken and $USD is the currency.
Airline Services to Palau.
(Listed in Alphabetical Order
Asiana Airlines began its schedule chartered flights to Palau in 2004. Since 2006, the airline has increased the number of visitors from Korea to Palau. It has two flights each week originating from Incheon, South Korea. Bookings are made through Hana Tour.
ASIANA AIRLINES — Palau Agent
Hana Tour – Palau
Miss Hyuna Lee (Emile)
Reservation Ticket Booking Information
P. O. Box 129 KOROR
Republic of Palau, PW 96940
Tel.: +680 488 4999
Fax: +680 488 4998
China Airlines began charter flights on June 01, 2008 via Taipei, Taiwan, ROC with four (4) scheduled charters each week. China Airlines took over Far Eastern Transport charter after its flights ceased its chartered service to Palau in May 2008.
CHINA AIRLINES — Palau Office
Dallan Bao , Station Manager-Palau
Tel.: +680 488 8866
DELTA AIR LINES began its Inaugural Flight in December 24, 2010, offering services four times a week between Narita, Japan and Palau.
The Palau flights, are operated with 182-seat Boeing 757 aircraft featuring 20 BusinessElite seats and 162 seats in Economy, with excellent customer services.
Effective April 1, 2011 DELTA will adjust its flight schedules to improve connections for U.S. customers flying to Palau. The flight will have a revised departure time of 6:30 p.m. to enable connections from all of DELTA’s U.S. gateways via Tokyo, Japan. The re-timed flight will arrive into Palau at 11:45 p.m. For more information on schedule and bookings please visit, www.delta.com.
Palau Contact Info:
DELTA AIR LINES Check-In Counter
Palau International Airport
Business Hours are from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
The new Sales Support number is (680) 488 – 2255. All calls will be routed to either Edgar Pilante on GUAM or Esther Sound or Chris Concepcion on SAIPAN for your immediate assistance.
Starting in 1995 with only three charter flights per year, today it has over 70 charter flights per year providing direct charter flights from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, Japan to Palau.
Korean Air flies two times a week, Monday and Friday, direct flight from Incheon, South Korea to Palau.
Korean Air- Palau Agent Contact Info:
Provides charter flight services direct from Taipei, Taiwan, ROC to Palau. For more information regarding this airline, please visit their website:
On May 16, 1968 formerly Air Micronesia, Continental Airlines flew its inaugural flight across the Pacific providing swift and efficient air transportation to and from the Micronesian region.
At home in the islands for 39 years, Continental Airline understands the benefit and rewards of hard work and look forward to serving its clients with outstanding customer service and a clean, safe and reliable product. On October 1st, 2010, Continental Airlines merged with UNITED Airlines. With its spirited group of professionals, UNITED Airlines continues to carry forward Continental Airlines legacy in finding innovative ways to make sure their clients travel in comfort and peace of mind, a commitment taken seriously by Micronesia’s hometown carrier.
With access to 400 additional points in the world, UNITED Airlines will assist you wherever you are to reach the Rainbow’s End!
UNITED AIRLINES MICRONESIA-Palau Office
P. O. Box 367 KOROR
Republic Of Palau , PW 96940
Reservations: +680 488 1029 or 2448
Office Fax: +680 488 2164
Airport Ticket Counter:
Phone: +680 587 1110
Fax: +680 587 2288