HOME > Palau


3 days , Feb'15




Kind of travel:
Alone in an independent travel

18th- 21st Feb'15

Do I need a visa:
Need just your passport to be stamped with a medium size jellyfish/bai shaped stamp; at the custom you'll be asked to show your return ticket and you'll be granted a max number of days according to your return date

How I moved:
By a rented car (average prices 65€/day insurance included or 45€/day without insurance) to visit the main island (Melekoak). By boat (organized tour) to visit the jelly fish lake, snorkeling and kayaking in the 70 island archipelago. By plane (3 seat CESNA: 180$ pp/ 40min) to have an eye-bird view of Palau

Freezing or baking:
In February weather is great: sunny with temperature ranging 24-28C, so you'll never really sweat, but on the other hand don't even think to pack a jacket

Where I slept:
In Koror there are quite a lot of options but unless you sleep in a dorm (25€ pp at Pinetrees hostel), you won't find that much below 65€/night per double room (DW hotel). If you have big pockets and really want to enjoy life I recommend Pacific Palau Resort. You can sleep in the beautiful and remote Island of Peleliu with the same options of Koror

What I liked:
The bird-view of Palau chartering a small plane (180$ pp 40 min flight), the comfortable temperature of February, kayaking around the small islands, swimming in the jellyfish lake and the last but not the least the safety of the whole country.

What I disliked:
It's plenty of stray dogs even if unaggressive few times I didn't made me at ease. Then the full booking for Chinese new year (mid Feb) that obliged me to sleep one night at the airport to avoid paying 150€/night. The last but not the least the costs of the tours+ permits (boat tour for jellyfish lake/snorkeling + permits=200$ pp! 5h visit of the main island: 50€!) and the exit fee at the airport (50$)

How much daily:
Accommodation 70€ per double per night but the real impact will be the tour costs (50€- 90€ pp per day) that can't be avoided if you want to enjoy the beauties of the country (snorkeling, jellyfish lake, flight, zipline…). Food is quite cheap given the wide choices in Koror. So without counting the tours (accommodation + food) it'll be 80€/day pp plus other 65€ day average per tours + one off as jelly fish permit (90$) or airport exit fee (50$)

To book a tour the best way is to ask at the hotels, they have plenty of leaflet and recommendation. Then the tour will pick you up at your place.
The most popular tour operator is Impac tour, http://www.palau-impac.com: they are very reliable and extremely helpful during the tour but definitely not cheap.
Don't' take a tour to visit the main island of Melekoak but do by your own renting a car (45$/ day without insurance), the whole circle road is well asphalted.


For of all it's worth saying that I'm might not be the best person to advertise Palau since his highlights don't really fit to me: for instance I'm not a diver (Palau is the mecca for divers), I like to move around the countries (Palau is so small that you can not really travelling around but just jumping from an island to another), I like taking pubblic means of transport (in Palau it does not exist a single bus),.... However since I was already in the Philippines to visit a friend it didn't take that much effort to do 3h flight and I enjoyed like hell my staying in the arcipelago, despite the costs and the abovementioned stuffs. I guess that any diver would simply get mad here.





Day Transport Night Price Duration
0 night Manila-Koror Flight

250€/pp 3h

Panoramic flight

Cesna by Smirne air 180$ 40min
1 night hotel DW 60€/night
2 Tour: snorkelling, jellyfish lake, kayaking, mikway private boat 200$ 8h
2 night Pinetree guesthouse dorm: 20€/night
3 Big island tour: Melekoak, waterfalls rented car 65$/day 7h


Most of the inbound flights to Palau (from Hong Kong, Guam, Manila,…) land in the heart of the night (2-4am). I spent the night in the airport (there's a bar/restaurant open till 4am) and then I got a lift to the Koror petrol station (10$, official taxi fare: 20$) waiting for the dawn.
First of all I booked the tours (flight + boat tour) for the following days (you can do at any hotel since it's plenty of leaflets while asking for reccomendation to the other foreigners).
In the morning I visited the nice town of Koror apart of the few highlights (the Etpison museum and the acquarium) it's pleasant to wander around looking at the Palauan life: people shopping, scholars going to school with their uniforms, guys playing basketballs… It's also plenty of restaurant (Chinese/ Koreans/ Janpanese/ Americans) and for sure you won't starve.
In the afternoon I flew till Anguir islan, having a bird view of almost all the Palau archipelago by a 3 plane seat for 40min (180$ pp by Smirne air): it has been definitely the highlight of the trip, you shouldn't miss it!
The second day I took a long boat tour (8h by Impac tour http://www.palau-impac.com). It's neither cheap (200$ pp with permits!) nor something just for yourself (I was with 30 koreans/Chinese), but it seems there's no other way to do it. In fact I got acquainted with a Swede guy who staying in Palau 4 weeks tried to rent a boat to be able to sail around by himself but with no success. In one day we did snorkeling (they provide you all the gears), swimming in the jellyfish lake (a lake full of innocuous jellyfishes), the milkway (a place where you are covered by white smelly mud), kayaking around the tiny islands and in meantime eating in a tiny paradisiacal island.
The last day I rented a car (65$/day with insurance) travelling all the way around the big island of Melekoak, making around 150km of well paved road.
Counterclockwise the first stop has been to the old Japanese HQ; a bombed building surrounded by rusty tanks and gun machines, witnessing the role Palau played in the WWII. 30km driving and you will be in the capital 'Melekoak': it's quite surprising such small and anonymous village could be considered a capital in particular if compared to the lively town of Koror. For sure this weren't the plans of the government when in 2006 moved the capital here from Koror. Since no people followed by, the only symbol left now, it's the impressive capitol building of Palau, a kind of white house in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where the Palauan government sits,
Proceeding northward for 20min, you'll bump in the sign indicating the Ngardmau waterfalls. Definitely this waterfalls are the highlight of the whole island so don't miss them! There a 10$ entry fee, then you can choose to walk (20-30min), take a monorail (quite expensive, I don't see the point unless you are not 60yo!) or a zip line (still expensive (roughly 50$), but at least it's fun!). You might not resist to the temptation to get refreshed under the wide water curtain, and for sure you won't be the only one.
Finally I drove till the northernmost tip of island where a branch of the ring road ends in a small harbor facing the open Ocean Pacific
ere's no other way to do it.