Destinations: Palau, Micronesia
The islands of Palau are an unspoilt paradise for divers and eco-tourists alike. This truly stunning destination is situated in the western corner of the Micronesian islands just 500 miles way from the eastern side of The Philippines. Palau consists of 400 islands set in an archipelago some 90 miles round and is famed for itís blue waters, beautiful uninhabited islands and world class diving.
Palau lies just north of the equator and has a year round tropical climate. The waters around the islands are justifiably famous but the lush interiors are attracting increasing numbers of hikers and explorers. The dense forests house waterfalls, caves and lakes are rarely visited and the country is a naturalists dream.
Just over 19,000 people inhabit the islands and the area remains one of incredible natural beauty. The people here are incredibly friendly, family focussed and it is a very safe and comfortable place to visit. Koror the capital is where most visitors base their stay and where our featured dive centre, Samís Tours, is located. There are a range of accommodation types and budgets to choose from and Samís Tours assist you with your movement from resort to dive centre.
Palau is home to Jellyfish Lake an incredible natural wonder where you can swim with millions of harmless pink jellyfish that turn the place into a visual feast. Inland there are over 150 bird species many of them endemic and rare. The islands are also home to over 1200 species of plants much of which are little seen trees, plants and orchids.
Getting around Koror and Palau is easy; you can hire cars or use taxis, use bikes and rent boats or simply walk.
Getting to Palau is simpler and more economical than ever before, in fact wherever your departure point the easiest and cheapest way to reach Palau is via The Philippines. Two airlines, Continental Airlines and Asian Spirit now fly daily from Manila and Cebu direct to Koror. We offer you the very best rates for flights and accommodation in both The Philippines and Palau.
The majority of Palau based accommodation is situated in and around Koror and we provide three different accommodation choices for you:
West Plaza Hotels are very popular and situated at four different locations around Koror. All rooms are basic but clean and well maintained. Rooms are of a standard type and include air-conditioning, mini-bar, fridges and coffee. The hotels have restaurants, bars and coffee shops and are a modern and economical place to stay whilst in Palau.
Rose Garden Resort has 24 bungalow style rooms set on a hillside overlooking the bay. Each room has individual balconies providing garden or scenic views. All rooms come with air-conditioning, fridge and cable TV. The hotel also has a restaurant and bar attached.
Palau Pacific Resort is a 160 room luxury resort set in beautiful tropical gardens with world class amenities. The resort fronts on to its own perfect white beach. The resort includes a choice of restaurants and bars, shops, fitness centre and spa, tennis courts etc. All rooms have private balconies or patios and the interior standards that you would expect from an international resort.
Wherever you chose to stay, Samís Tours will arrange either a free bus or boat shuttle from your resort to the dive centre on each of your diving days. The above resorts are just 10-15 minutes from the Dive centre.
The Dive Centre
Samís Tours is a PADI 5 Star IDC centre and one of the best known dive operators in the world. Samís Tours has won numerous international awards for their operation, quality of staff and conservation work.
Founded 15 years ago by Sam Scott the centre has a well deserved reputation for excellence and innovation. Facilities include the underwater photography and video shop with full service availability, tri-mix and technical diving, equipment sales and service and of course the full range of PADI courses. For your personal comfort you will also find private lockers, hot and cold showers and excellent rental equipment.
The professional diving team at Samís that will look after you during your stay include marine biologists, professionally trained naturalist guides and published photographers. They will all help to ensure that your stay is a memorable one.
There is a selection of daily dives based on discussions with customerís requirements, comfort levels and weather conditions, the staff will help you decide the best dive for your enjoyment. Group sizes are kept to a minimum to make sure you get the most out of every dive.
There are many add ons to your diving as well. Use of nitrox is entirely free and unlimited for all nitrox certified divers, there is unlimited macro diving for those who wish to dive in the waters in front of the centre and free purified drinking water fills all day long. Complimentary visits to the mysterious Jellyfish Lake are all part of the days diving experience. At the end of the day watch the sun go down and unwind with new friends at the Bottom Time Bar and Grill right on the water at Samís Tours.
A trip to Palau should definitely include time spent exploring above the water and Samís Tours also provide a full range of non-diving professionally guided tour experiences including kayaking, forest walks, visits to historical World War 2 sites, island tours, family trips, sailing and fishing.
Also available are liveaboard dive trips on S/Y Eclipse a sailing boat that will take you to the more remote locations of Palau and combines the twin thrills of diving and sailing in this unique part of the world.
In a word fantastic!! Palau was voted Top Dive destination overall by Scuba Diving magazine readers in 2007 and it really is as good as they say. This is a diving heaven where you can drift dive along the reefs on one day and go wreck diving the next. The warm tropical waters set where the Pacific and Philippines Sea converge have tremendous visibility and a huge range of marine life. In fact there are over 1300 species of fish, including giant clams, and 700 species of coral in the waters around Palau. This makes it one of the most incredibly bio-diverse regions of the world.
The majority of diving takes place along the breathtaking outer walls of the reef. The journey to the outer reef is a stunning 45 minute boat ride from the dive centre through the picturesque islands of the lagoon and on to the first dive site. The steep walls attract the really big pelagics including numerous sharks, barracuda and tuna fish. Huge Manta rays are common and you will see turtles everywhere. The tops of the walls are covered in beautiful hard corals with a vast array of macro-life. The currents along the plateaus and valleys of the wall mean that this is a dream for those wishing to see the big fish. In contrast the sheltered coral gardens are just perfect for beginners, snorkelers and free-divers. Bump head parrotfish, wrasse and other reef species swim past seemingly unphased by the proximity of divers and snorkelers.
Surface intervals are usually spent on one of the numerous sandy coves and islets allowing time for exploring, sunbathing and swimming.
If that were not enough there are dozens of Japanese World War 2 wrecks to dive on. Palau was the headquarters of Japanese command in Micronesia and over 50 warships and planes were sunk in an attack by allied forces in 1944. Most of these wrecks lie amazingly intact in Palauís western lagoon just a short distance from Samís Tours. These sites are visited regularly by Samís Tours.
Information and Bookings
For more detailed information on Palau and diving visit Samís Tours excellent website: www.samstours.com here you will find everything you need for the perfect Palau break.
As fellow partners in the Philippine-Micronesia Alliance we are proud to be a travel partner for Samís Tours.
For holiday packages for Sam’s Tours including Manila hotels and Philippines diving options please look at the packages section on this site or contact us directly for general enquiries or customised itineraries.
Packages last updated: 22nd July 2008, 1:00pm (Manila time)
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