Palau, 2’15h flight from Manila, is home to over 700 coral species (400 hard corals) and more than 1,300 species of fish. This is testimony to the fact that warm tropical waters of Palau (usually about 29 ° C) have more diverse marine life than elsewhere in Micronesia. With over 60 dive sites and 60 wrecks there is a wide variety of dive sites. Whether the strong currents found in "the blue corner ", the beautiful hard coral gardens, stunning soft corals Big Drop-Off or even visually stunning Blue Hole, there are dive sites of any level for everyone. With creatures ranging from mantas, sharks, nautilus and all the way down to see the spawning of corals, huge schools of Moorish idols and fish unicorn, turtles, groupers and snappers spawning (Red Snappers), laying eggs giant cuttlefish, mandarin fish and nudibranchs in Palau there is always something new to see. You will find here not only some of the best and most famous dive sites in the world, also a variety of dive sites including wrecks, caves and caverns (including whales and dugongs).
It has been written about diving in Palau in numerous magazines and is usually assessed among the "TOP 3" in the world together with the Philippines.
Very often divers and visitors to Palau wonder about weather patterns and the best time to visit Palau.
Best of Palau is that we are at Latitude N07.30 so we have no monsoons and typhoons. We dive all year.
In the old days (and how many books can still show) we had a dry season (October-June) and wet (July to September). Due to overall changes in the last 25 years we now have a very unpredictable weather pattern. Most time the weather is beautiful and the sky is blue with occasional showers, which help maintain vegetation in Rock Island.
The visibility is usually excellent. The following statistical information was taken from the NOAA Web and illustrates the possibilities of rain throughout the year.
You can visit these links to weather forecasts:
The visibility depends on the tidal cycle. When the tide is outgoing, low visibility and when incoming improves visibility. This cycle occurs 4 times daily (24 hour period). Since this cycle depends on the moon cycle times change daily about 1 hour later than the day before. Half of this cycle occurs during the night so there is generally a high tide and low tide in a 12-hour cycle of light the day.
Visitors can expect to see all the creatures of the year.
Palau is consistently voted by scuba divers and diving magazines as one of the best diving destination for fish and healthy marine life encounters. Years of strict protection created a haven for many species of sharks, large schools of Jacks and Barracuda, abundance of tropical fish, turtles, rays and mantas.
The blue corner, drop off new, German Channel Peleliu cut and Big Drop Off are some of the famous dive that put the name of Palau in exotic diving map destinations. Mantas of Palau, living fossils endangered as the nautilus, saltwater crocodiles and mandarin fishes are some species that can be seen and photographed in our special diving programs.
Palau is home to a variety of hard and soft corals. After a partial bleaching in 1998, the reefs are now as healthy and vibrant as ever!
Palau was the main military base in Japan before and during World War II. The 30-31 March 1944), the Americans attacked from the air during operation Palace "Desecrate 1". Today you can visit and explore over 30 shipwrecks and airplanes. Sometimes unknown community of divers, Palau offers one of the best diving in world wrecks. Among the best wrecks in Palau are: IRO, Helmet, Chuyo Maru, Amatsu Maru, Jake hydroplane, Zero, USS Perry and buoy # 6.
Underwater caves and caverns:
Rock the beautiful islands and reefs of Palau are made of limestone. Thousands of years of erosion have created magnificent blue holes, caves and caverns beneath the water. Quadruple blue holes, Siaes tunnel Temple Doom, Turtle Creek, Virgin Blue and Spider Cave.
Wedged between the rock islands, the lakes of Palau (salt water!) are home to some unique and rare animals in the world. Jellyfish Lake is undoubtedly the most famous all of them. The lake is packed with over 10 million who do not produce jellyfish stings. A visit is a must!
There are certain events and phenomena that occur during certain times of the year in Palau :
A. December / January / February is the season for mantas, extra mantas than what we regularly see (for unknown reasons!)
B. February / March / April / May a large number of sharks come to mate from all over. These activities are dependent on water temperature and other unknown factors, so the choice of this event varies each year within this time frame.
C. August / September are often large schools of juvenile sharks after birth (of a size of 8 "-16"), may be about 100 in a school. Mostly outside Ngerchong, Turtle Wall, German Short Channel and drop off.
D. June / July is when there is better visibility into the lagoon. The conditions are ideal for diving in Palau (so this time prepare for the Week of the Wreck Wrexpedition).
This is the main factor that determines our ability to dive and snorkel trips in Rock Island or kayaking. When the wind picks up (often unrelated to rain or clouds) on ocean accumulates in a short time and the waves do not allow us to visit certain places. If it's an east wind, then dive sites are protected and west can be dove. When the strong wind shift to the west and the dive sites of this part can not be visited we dive on the reefs east of Palau. The center of the archipelago of Palau is a great lake that is well protected by Rock islands and permit activities, even in the worst weather conditions. The good news: Palau is rarely beaten by bad weather, usually lasts few days and the weather improves quickly!
We hope this brief summary will help to meet climate and patterns of marine life in Palau. Some of these explanations are based on scientific data (tides), the rest is accumulation of data from our own associated dive center Fish & Fins, that have been registered in more than 20 years of experience, observation and more than 400,000 dives Palau on our staff and guests.
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