With 250 islands, Palau offers the best in shark diving, soft coral reefs and wrecks. Liveaboards ply these waters, shuttling divers between the best sites.
Palau is an island nation of 250 islands. Many of its best dive sites, including the Blue Corner and the German Channel, are located far from the city center of Koror. While there are diving resorts scattered throughout the country, liveaboards are the best option for those that are serious about diving Palau’s best sites in one trip. Most of the liveaboard cruises in Palau last between 7 and 10 nights.
The Palau Siren is a luxurious, gaff-rigged Phinisi boat. On this liveaboard, you’ll sail in style through the South Pacific. The Aggressor Fleet also operates two boats in Palau, namely the Palau Rock Island Aggressor and the Palau Aggressor II. Both of these steel-hulled ships offer the stability and convenience the Aggressor Fleet is known for. If you’re most concerned about getting in the highest number of dives, check out the two Ocean Hunter vessels or the MV Solitude One. All three of these liveaboards pride themselves on allowing scuba divers the longest bottom times.
Palau is often described in superlative, and it’s most likely that you’ll see what you’re looking for. Heavy currents sweep pelagic species in from the open Pacific Ocean, giving you the chance to swim amongst manta rays, grey and whitetip reef sharks, leopard sharks and a variety of sea turtles. Coral beds provide habitat to an abundance of macro species and huge schools of fish.
As with most island nations, Palau features a diversity of underwater environments. Most dive sites are unique to the country with memorable underwater features like blue holes, drop-offs, caverns, caves and channels. You’ll also encounter plenty of colorful reefs lining boulders and steep walls. If you love wreck diving, Palau is a great option for you as well. Several World War II wrecks are found surrounding these islands.
With the strong currents sweeping through Palau, most liveaboard routes are recommended only for divers with experience. Furthermore, reef hook is critical to have for several dive sites at the outer walls of the barrier reef.
BEST TIME TO GO
October to April
The best time to dive in Palau is from October to April although Palau can be dived year-round.
Within these months, you can expect dry conditions. From June to the beginning of October, it tends to rain frequently. However, during these months, the diving is still good and you’ll be able to find the best deals on liveaboards. Marine life varies little from month to month.
Water temperatures usually range from 81 to 86°F (27 to 30°C). These warm waters mean you’ll only need to pack a 3mm wetsuit.
Visibility in Palau is often fantastic. On a good day, you might see seemingly endless visibility, which in reality reaches 200 feet (60 meters). However, the wrecks near Koror tend to have slightly diminished visibility at 20 feet (8 meters) due to the nearby city.
Finally, surface conditions in Palau can become rough during the shoulder season. April, July, August, October and November often see high winds which toss the water about, making the liveaboard journey slightly less pleasant. However, these conditions rarely negatively affect the scuba diving experience in Palau.
The departure port for Palau liveaboards is Malakal Harbour in Koror. Most operators include roundtrip airport transfers in the cost of the liveaboard.
The main airport in Palau is Roman Tmetuchl International Airport, which is located on Babeldaob and connected to Koror by a bridge.