Touring Palau

Dive Sites: The most popular dive sites are located about 55 minutes by speedboat from Malakal Harbor. For large yachts that prefer to locate closer to the dive sites, it is possible to anchor in a sheltered area with nice beach access but choices are limited. Most large and super yachts anchor inside Denges Pass, though it doesn’t look accessible at all by chart, at approximately 7° 07' N 134° 23' E, US DMA 81141.  (Tatoosh, Battered Bull, Double Haven and other large yachts have anchored here.) Cruising sailboats and other small craft will find many suitable anchorages close to great diving and snorkeling sites.

Koror State has installed moorings at most dive sites for the exclusive use of commercial dive operators. Yachts and tenders are prohibited from using dive moorings.

Koror State Rock Islands: Complete rules regarding access and use of the Rock Islands are available at the Koror State Rangers office. 

A few guidelines include:

·      Pack out all trash – there is no trash pickup
·      Animals are prohibited in the Rock Islands
·      Vessels are prohibited from tying to any Rock Island
·      Cooking fires may be lit only in fire pits provided
·      Camping is permitted only after obtaining a free camping permit from the Ranger’s office
·      Look, but do not touch, coral or other marine life
·      Do not anchor on or disturb coral reefs
·      70 Islands and other conservation areas are off limits
·      Rangers assess fines of $100 for infractions.

Please remember that visiting yachts and crews are guests in Palau; permission to cruise the Rock Islands and other areas is granted as a privilege, not a right. Each yacht crew can be considered as an ambassador for the cruising community at large and should act accordingly. Good or poor impressions affect all yachts and yachtsmen/women in Palau.

When diving or snorkeling in Palau, do not feed the fish, do not touch coral or any artifacts you might discover. Removing any artifacts is strictly illegal and can result in significant fines and/or jail time. Take only photographs and leave only bubbles.

Operating any commercial travel, tour, fishing, dive guide, boat charter or other form of water transportation is strictly reserved for Palauan-owned businesses. Foreign yachts may not operate any charter operations in Palauan waters.

The penalty for violating the Foreign Investment Act (FIA) is considerable.  If you carry on a business without an FIA Certificate you are subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or a fine not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars (US$25,000.00) or both. 28 PNC 113.

Charts:  The Palau Guide is available from Sam’s Tours Dive Shop for $40 containing annotated satellite photo charts of the rock islands along with information on local history and culture.

Land Tours: Palau offers shore side attractions in addition to water activities such as: two museums, the Coral Reef Center Aquarium, Monoliths, Waterfalls, traditional Bais (men’s meeting house) and Stone Walkways. Stop by the Palau Visitor’s Center (PVA) in Koror for more information about land activities.

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