Palau

9 Incredible Things to Do in Palau

things to do in palau

Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, Palau is renown for its unique islands, jellyfish lake, and superb scuba diving (especially wreck diving), and is starting to become a tourist hot spot over the past few years. Though the island nation is relatively small, there is plenty to do. Get in before things really start heating up.

Read on for incredible things to do in Palau!

things to do in palau

Swim with non-stinging jellyfish

Palau’s most famous attraction, the Jellyfish Lake is seriously like no other place on earth. Over the course of millennia, the jellyfish in the saltwater lake were cut off from the ocean. With no predators around, they evolved to lose their stings and are completely safe to swim with!

Visitors can snorkel in the lake, though scuba diving is not permitted. This is truly one of the most fascinating experiences, and completely reminded me of the scene with the jellies (albeit non-stinging) in Finding Nemo!

palau things to do

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Scuba diving (wreck diving, drift diving, caves, etc.)

Palau has some fantastic scuba diving, with numerous wrecks left over from WWII and gorgeous caves/swim throughs. There’s also the chance to spot manta rays (the German Channel is one of the best sites), turtles, and extremely friendly Napoleon wrasse. A super curious Napoleon even started following me around for at least half an hour, coming up and studying me with its big, curious eyes. This is a scuba aficionado’s paradise!

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Go island hopping

It is extremely easy to charter your own boat and visit the number of uninhabited islands in Palau, with stretches of beautiful sand banks to see. You can drop by uninhabited beaches and visit “Milky Way,” a shallow area near islands that contain mud supposedly good for your skin. The possibilities are endless!

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Kayaking

Another option is to explore the islands on your own. Rent a kayak and paddle around, exploring little nooks and crannies with no one else in sight.

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Picnic on a private island

No matter if you’re island hopping via boat or kayak, I cannot stress enough the wonders of picnicking on an island you have all to yourself! Many tour operators will pack a bento box or set lunch for you, or you can ask your hotel to do so as well.

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Discover remnants of World War II

If you’re not a scuba diver but still want to see relics of WWII, Palau is the place to go. Spot leftover cannons poking out from caves as you cruise past islands and discarded remnants of the past. So. Cool.

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For history buffs who have the time, a short trip over to Guam or Yap is a wonderful way to visit battle sites with tanks, artillery and ammunition left over from the war.

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Try to spot wild dugongs

Though you can’t get too close as they are incredibly shy, Palau does have a population of dugongs that feed on seagrass in the area, and if you’re lucky, you can even see them in the wild.

With the water incredibly calm and reflecting the setting sun, we turned off the engine to our boat and just drifted, listening and searching. Soon enough, we saw a nostril pop up here, a tail flip there. We were even fortunate enough to witness a baby calf swimming with its mother. Recommended for a serene finish to a busy day.

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Swim with dolphins

There’s a dolphin sanctuary off of Koror. This is a large educational and research facility with the great chance to swim with dolphins.

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Try some local cuisine

Palau is known for its seafood, but also some unique local delicacies…aka fruit bat! These fruit bats are plentiful in Palau, and became a traditional dish. I’m experimental in what I eat, so I stomached down a small bite – it was gamey, strangely fragrant, and not something I’d eat again, but hey, you traveled all the way to a remote island in the Pacific, right? Why not?

Sam’s Tour

For those who are asking, I used Sam’s Tour to help plan the activities. They are absolutely wonderful to work with, and incredibly accommodating with a great staff!

Ever been to Palau? Let me know what else you enjoyed!

things to do in palau

46 Comments

  • Reply cody August 20, 2016 at 1:59 am

    Sounds like a amazing place to visit. Love the ocean.

  • Reply Sara-Jayne August 25, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Oh my goodness – all I could look at were the jellyfish! How amazing to have evolved like that. My boys keep asking to look again!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:35 am

      That’s amazing, thank you for sharing them with your boys! 🙂

  • Reply Jenn August 25, 2016 at 5:00 am

    I can not get over how beautiful the beaches and water are there. It looks like a dream. I bet it is even more beautiful in person. I sure would love to see it for myself one day.

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:35 am

      It truly is a dream! Let me know when you visit one day – would love to hear your experience! x

  • Reply dana vento (@danavento) August 25, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Palau looks like a great adventure from picnic on the lake to dolphins. I don’t even know how you did all that and Love your photos

  • Reply Felicita Moncada August 25, 2016 at 6:02 am

    Incredible! Swimming with jelly fish? How amazing must that be. My husband loves kayak fishing so he would love, love this little exploration. He’s working on getting SCUBA certified so he can do all these different dives. Definitely a place to visit!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:39 am

      That’s so exciting! Would love to hear his scuba experiences 🙂

  • Reply Jacqui S August 25, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Your pictures just jump right out at your reader. Palau seems like such an amazing place!

  • Reply bellaboos41 August 25, 2016 at 7:44 am

    That is a amazing trip, and looks like you had so much fun. My dream is to swim with the dolphins they are so beautiful

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Let me know if you get to do so! Would love to hear the experience 🙂

  • Reply Sage August 25, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Thank you for not including a photo of the fruit bat 🙂

    I live in Europe, but a trip (or several) to the islands of the Pacific is on my wishlist. When I lived in the States, I used to go to the Caribbean, but something tells me that just doesn’t compare to the Pacific islands.

    And I MUST go to that jellyfish lake. This is the first time I’ve heard of it and I think jellyfish are beautiful, so I’d love to swim with them, especially if they can’t sting me!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:58 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed it – I’ve never actually been to the Caribbean, but it’s definitely on my bucket list! 🙂

  • Reply Paula Schuck August 25, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Oh my goodness! These are all wonderful tips, but even just lounging on the beach would be incredible in Palau. <3

  • Reply Pam Wattenbarger August 25, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I have seen pictures of jelly lake before and it sounds so cool. I would love to snorkel there some day.

  • Reply Dee August 25, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I have never heard of Palau, but OMG it is such a beautiful place. I am in love with your pictures, they have a very peacefulness to them. The Jellyfish lake is really cool, I would love to see it myself and take my own pictures.

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Dee! I’m really glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  • Reply lisa August 25, 2016 at 10:18 am

    This looks absolutely amazing. I would love to visit Palau for vacation some day. What a beautiful place!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you, Lisa! Let me know if you do – would love to hear your experience there!

  • Reply Kristy August 25, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Wow! Look at that water! I’m just amazed at how breathtakingly beautiful it is! Jellyfish Lake looks like such a fun place to explore. Jellyfish have always captivated me, but I’ve stayed away from them for obvious reasons. 🙂

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you so much, Kristy! Hope you get to visit the lake one day – it’s truly an incredible place!

  • Reply Jeanine August 25, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    That water is crystal clear and oh so beautiful! I would love to take a trip to Palau what a gorgeous place to visit!

  • Reply Jenn @ EngineerMommy August 25, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful place this is! I’d love to take the family on a vacation here. The views of the underwater sea life are beautiful!

  • Reply Brandy August 25, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    What a great list of incredible things to do in Peru, I would love to visit there someday! Looks super beautiful!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Thanks so much for reading and for the lovely comments, Brandy! 🙂

  • Reply Censie August 25, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    All of these pictures make me want to call in sick tomorrow and find a flight! ha! The bright colors and beautiful scenery is simply amazing. I would love to experience Palau. The views of the sea life are so cool too!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:14 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you for reading <3

  • Reply tiarasandtantrums August 25, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    STUNNING — STUNNING — STUNNING!!! I have wanted to travel tot he south pacific in like forever! It is so far from the midwest and I have so many places to see I need an entire summer there!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  • Reply Melissa Dixon August 26, 2016 at 6:07 am

    wow this looks like such a beautiful place. I love all of your photos of the water, I wish I could see it in person. This is gorgeous!

  • Reply jennifer August 26, 2016 at 7:18 am

    what gorgeous pics! and i can’t believe you were able to swim with jellyfish and that they do not sting. thanks for the intro to palau. let’s add this location to my bucket list!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Thank you, and it was my pleasure to do so! Let me know if you make it there 🙂

  • Reply kristi@ishouldbemoppingthefloor August 26, 2016 at 7:21 am

    What an incredibly beautiful place!! And jellyfish lake just went on my bucket list…how amazing is that? I’ve always thought jellyfish were beautiful, but it would be great to swim with them in this capacity where they aren’t stinging. Thank you for sharing all of the beauty.

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 26, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words :’) It’s honestly such an incredible place!

  • Reply rika August 26, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    What a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing awesome pictures! Can’t wait to visit!

  • Reply Nicole Haas Etolen August 26, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Wow! I want to go there. What a wonderful place, I will put this on my travel list!

  • Reply Francisca Ramos August 26, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    The ocean water is so clear and beautiful. I never went in the ocean underwater. This is a great experience. I need to go on vacation and have an experience like yours. It looks so relaxing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply LaShawn (@lashawnwiltz) August 27, 2016 at 4:35 am

    GORGEOUS photos!! I love it! This looks so beautiful and I never would have thought to go swimming with jellyfish of all things!

  • Reply Aileen August 27, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Wow Pier! Your photos look so surreal — and I wish I can swim as good as you… haha! Anyhow, Palau seems like an absolutely amazing destination, that somehow reminds me of the Philippines 😛 Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 29, 2016 at 10:07 am

      It’s truly amazing! I only did a brief stop at the Philippines, but would LOVE to go to Boracay, and go island hopping in other parts – it looks absolutely gorgeous! 🙂

  • Reply OhNikka (@OhNikka) August 28, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Sounds like a fun place to visit!! On my list now.

  • Reply Marielle Altenor August 30, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    How wonderful it would be to go scuba diving in Palau! The water is so beautiful!

  • Reply aly mashrah August 31, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    What an incredible experience! I would love to experience something like this at least once in my life. It looks so beautiful. Your photos are amazing.

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