About Palau

An untamed paradise for divers and snorkellers, Paula is an archipelago of more than 500 islands, which sprout like giant mushrooms from the crystalline waters of the Pacific Ocean.

The island of Koror is the beating heart of the country and the entry point for most visitors. Home to most of Palau’s inhabitants, it is far from the prettiest island in the archipelago and few choose to linger here. Those who do, however, can grab a slice of Micronesian life in the local bars and restaurants, where charismatic natives take pleasure convincing foreigners to try the local delicacy: fruit bat soup.

Palau is also home to some of the world’s healthiest and most impressive UNESCO-listed reefs. Iridescent corals swirl around the islands, their marine populations teeming with a bounty few other places can match. Indeed, not a list exists that doesn’t rank Palau’s Blue Corner amongst the planet’s top dive sites.

It isn’t just in the tropical seas where strange creatures thrive, for Palau is also home to one of the most ecologically sensitive and unique evolutionary phenomena: Jellyfish Lake. Cut off from the sea millions of years ago, the lake’s predator-free inhabitants have evolved to lose their poisonous sting. To snorkel slowly amongst these gentle creatures is to float through an alien world.

While it’s easy to see Palau’s beauty, a closer look will reveal scars from ferocious battles that took place on these shores during WWII. Ship and plane wrecks remain buried in dark lagoons, while long-forgotten bunkers and rusted machine guns are peppered across the islands. This is testament to Palau’s tumultuous modern history, which saw it swap hands from Germany to Japan and, finally, the Untied States, before achieving independence in 1994.

While Palau may be remote and untamed, it is precisely these attributes that make it one of the world’s last unspoiled natural beauties. The archipelago endures as a marvel of Mother Nature, stands proud as a centre for Micronesian culture and offers a haunting memorial to battles once fought in its turquoise waters.

Key facts


459 sq km (177 sq miles).


21,501 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

46.3 per sq km.




Republic in free association with the USA.

Head of state:

President Tommy Remengesau since 2013.

Head of government:

President Tommy Remengesau since 2013.


110-120 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style plugs with two flat pins (with or without grounding pin) are used.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 13 March 2017

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. ‘We’ refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit

Unexploded Ordnance

There is still a significant amount of unexploded ordnance in Palau left over from World War II, particularly in Peleliu and Angaur. Take care, particularly when diving or exploring caves.


Crime levels are low. However, you should take sensible precautions to protect your belongings.

Water sports

Wear appropriate safety equipment and take local advice on safety. There are over 60 vertical drop-offs in the diving areas and some are for experienced divers only.