Palau Liveaboard Diving

Palau Liveaboard Diving

Palau in Micronesia offers a diverse and busy underwater world waiting for divers to join one of the many Palau liveaboards on offer.

Palau Island is an exciting destination for divers as three ocean currents meet in the surrounding waters. This can bring a large variety and quantity of marine life to the area. Covering 459 km2, there are over 250 islands, with only eight main inhabited ones. This Micronesian archipelago in the Caroline Islands chain is home to World War II wrecks, blue holes, caves and walls. All have a healthy coral, sponge and anemone coverage.

Palau is the most diverse island chain in all of Micronesia, where divers can expect to see reef sharks, schooling jackfish, barracuda, napoleon wrasse and eagle rays. Scuba diving has impressive macro life includes frogfish and other critters. Drift diving is the norm in for the Palau dive sites, and there are many shipwrecks from World War II within recreational levels. The famous Jellyfish Lake is also here where large populations of the non-stinging medusas are found.

Take a look at the Liveaboard Cruise options below.

Palau Liveaboard Diving - 6 LIVEABOARDS

From $348 / day

Discovery Adventure

Discovery Adventure Liveaboard in Palau & Philippines is the sister ship of Discovery Palawan with both vessels operated by the professional diving team of the Discovery Fleet. She was built in Fiji in 1987 to American Bureau Standards. Up to 30 diving guests can be accommodated in the en-suite, air conditioned cabins. The cabins are on the lower and main deck. Guests can relax in the air conditioned salon which is also the camera room. There is a shaded dining deck and a sun deck.

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From $492 / day

Palau Siren

Palau Siren Liveaboard is a 40 metre luxury sailing yacht that was launched in 2012. The eight cabins can be set up as either double or twin bed and can accommodate up to 16 guests on board for each trip. The dining area is very spacious, offering an excellent setting for freshly prepared meals onboard. A separate indoor lounge has an entertainment system. The dive deck is large and comfortable and photographers have a dedicated workspace and charging stations.

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From $313 / day

Rock Islands Aggressor

Rock Islands Aggressor Liveaboard in Palau is a comfort and style aboard the luxurious 32m vessel, part of the world-renowned Aggressor Fleet. She accommodates a maximum of 18 guests in 9 en-suite staterooms with individual climate control. Amenities include a beautiful and spacious indoor lounge, large sun deck with shading, chaises longues, deck chairs, bar, grill, Nitrox, camera table, charging station and a complete digital photo/video editing centre. All dives are done from the custom-built, high-speed outboard skiff.

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Diving in Palau

Palau scuba diving has a huge diversity and abundant marine life with more than 1300 types of reef fish and 700 of corals. Shark diving, manta ray, napoleon wrasse and turtle sightings show the range of larger pelagic life, but also look for the colourful mandarin fish that can also be seen found at some sites.

Palau diving is mainly along walls, reefs with drift dives and drop-offs, for wreck enthusiasts, there are many World War II sites with artefacts.

Best Places to Dive in Palau

Palau liveaboards offer divers an easy way to reach the best dive sites of the archipelago in comfort. Palau diving has something for every diver with World War II shipwrecks that have interesting artefacts still present to drop-offs into the abyss with abundant pelagic life and shark diving.

During a cruise, there is usually an opportunity to take a Palau snorkelling tour to Jellyfish Lake.

This is one of the island lakes where the golden jellyfish have adapted and no longer have stinging cells, allowing guest to snorkel with them without any risk of painful stings.

Best Dive Sites in Palau

Blue Corner

One of the most famous sites not only in Palau but the whole of Micronesia.

Upwellings of nutrient-rich water bring in large numbers of grey reef sharks along with manta rays, hammerhead sharks, turtles, tuna and barracuda. All of this activity makes this one of the best dive sites in Palau.

Blue Holes

Next to the blue corner, and it consists of four massive tunnels or holes at the top of the reef that merge to form a sizeable underwater chamber.

Large pelagic life can be seen on this Palau dive site with a variety of sharks and rays.

Chandelier Caves

This is one of the Palau dive sites where the elusive mandarin fish can be seen. The five caves have stalactites and stalagmites inside and are pitch black. Care is needed to protect the visibility when diving here.

Iro Maru Wreck 

A navy oil tanker sunk in World War II that sits upright. This site does need specialised training for penetration dives, but the marine life on and around the wreckage is worth a visit without this.

With drop-offs, blue holes, walls and pinnacles Palau diving has some great pelagic action and divers have the opportunity to swim with sharks on many dive sites. For more information about Palau Dive Sites please click on the photo.

Palau scuba diving destination

Palau Scuba Diving Highlights

  • Common sightings - Turtles, grey reef sharks, anemone fish, barracuda
  • Special sightings - Manta rays, hammerhead sharks, mandarin fish
  • Topography - Walls, drop-offs, tunnels, caves and wrecks
  • Visibility - 20m+
  • General information - Some dive sites do require specific training like wreck or cave diver
  • Onboard options - Jellyfish Lake

Best Time to Go

For Palau diving, high season is from December to March when the seas have flatter and calmer conditions with less rain.

Low season is classed as May June, and September is when the weather is most unpredictable, and there are fewer visitors.

April, July, August, October and November are the ‘shoulder’ seasons where there could be more rainfall and winds.

Air temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year but the highest rainfall in July and October.

Water temperature is also consistent with 27C year around, so a 3mm shorty wetsuit is suitable for most divers.

Mating season for the grey reef sharks is from February to April, for groupers it is July, Manta Rays is December and coral spawning is in May.

How to Get There

Koror is the entry point to Palau, and the international airport is Roman Tmetuchl (ROR) located close by.

There are direct flights from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines or Guam. If flying via Guam, a USA transit visa is required.

Country Information

Currency

Visa

Local time vs GMT

Language

Airports

Religion

What to pack

Average temperature

Food and drink

USD

On entry for most nationalities

+9 hours

Palauan and English is spoken widely

Roman Tmetuchl (ROR)

Christian

Suncream, lightweight, beach apparel with a light fleece for evenings

31 C daytime,  24 C evenings

Root vegetables, chicken, pork and seafood