Palau is an underwater paradise that few have heard of. A tiny island in the central Pacific, halfway between Guam and the Philippines — you will probably have to change several flights to get there from most parts of the world, but the trouble is well worth it.
Palau’s biggest attractions are the Rock Islands, which are a mixture of volcanic rock and old coral-bed limestone — sheer rock faces covered with dense vegetation- dozens of islets scattered through crystal clear water. Imagine the most beautiful shades of aquamarine — from the deepest blue to the palest green. Imagine water with unbelievable visibility, so that you can see right through to the vast coral beds, in the most fantastic shapes and colors, and fish everywhere flitting through them. We kayaked and snorkeled to our hearts’ content in this otherworldly wonderland.
A special highlight is an inland tidal lake on one islet, filled with pink, pulsating jellyfish. They have lost their stinging ability since they have no predators, so you can get in and swim with them as they cluster around you. A magical experience.
The only criticism I have is that Palau is an expensive destination. It is a popular destination for avid scuba divers across the world, as well as for Japanese tourists. The latter create a definite price inflation, so save up before you go!
What is your favorite underwater paradise? Let me know in a comment below.