1. Where is Palau?
The archipelago of Palau Islands is located in Micronesia area, east of the Philippines and north of the Indonesian part of the island of Papua. Palau is one of the top 5 dive destinations in the world, especially famous for its pelagic fauna consists of manta rays and sharks, with its ancient coral reefs.
2. How can I come to Palau?
There are two flights a week with United Airlines, Tuesday and Friday from Manila to Koror, and vice versa, It takes two and a quarter hours approximately.
a. Manila-Koror at 21: 45-01: 40 h / 22: 20-02: 15 h
b. Koror-Manila at 21: 30-23: 10 am
There are other flights from Asia and Micronesia:
c. Daily flights with United Airlines, Tuesday and Friday from Guam to Koror, and vice versa.
d. Other direct flights from Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong.
The duration of the final transfer depends on the distance from the Koror Airport to the chosen resort.
3. Do I need a visa to go to Palau?
No, you don’t need a visa to enter to Palau, just a passport with more than six months validity. The tourist visa is valid for a maximum of 30 days. If you wish to extend your stay, it can be processed within 7 days in advance and always with the approval of the Chief Immigration, for a price of US $ 50 per extension and before the expiration date of the visa.
4. What is the best time to visit Palau?
In Palau you can dive all year. December to April is the peak season for tourism. Short rains can occur throughout the year, with the ambient temperature around 29 ° C and humidity averages around 82%. The water temperature throughout the year is above 28 ° C.
5. Do you provide transportation to and from your dive center?
Yes, our dive center associated Fish & Fins handles every day to pick up travelers at their resort and take them to the dive center. At the end of the dives, they are responsible for return them back into their respective resorts.
6. What experience diving do i need in Palau? Is it safe for a beginner?
Palau is a destination with more than 70 dive sites offering dives for all levels. According to your dive level, the staff will offer to you one or another kind of dive, adapting these dives to your level, to make a relaxing and enjoyable activity. Your only concern should be to enjoy diving.
7. Do you offer services for people with disabilities?
Yes, there is currently a member of the specialist diving blind staff. (Every year visited by a group of blind divers from Taiwan)
8. There is wifi in the dive center and the resorts?
Yes, both at the dive center as most resorts on the island, pay wifi service is offered.
9. Can i use a foreign phone in Palau?
Yes, in Palau most of mobile phones work but you will need to buy a SIM card from a local operators to speak. With conventional operators mobile phone does not work.
10. How is the dive center?
The dive center is spacious and you can find:
-Dive Shop, where you can buy or rent any materials associated with diving and you might need.
-Photo Shop where you can buy wifi, print documents or photos in high quality. Services relating to the editing, downloading photo/video files or the possibility to rent any underwater photo/video device are also available.
-Workshop-repair. If something of your equipment suffers a malfunction, there they offer a repair service.
-Drying room, where you can leave your equipment every day at the end of the dives and so you use it dry the next day..
-Bathrooms and showers for use by divers. There are showers with hot water.
-The Dive Center has fiber tanks where you can rinse your dive equipment or photo/video devices with fresh water.
11. Is there a Bar or Restaurante in the Dive Center?
Yes, the dive center Fish & Fins has a restaurant called Barracuda, where you can have a breakfast, lunch or dinner. It has also a small menu selection of Mediterranean dishes.
12. How are your dive boats?
The long distances to be traveled in Palau between dive sites are navigated in modern fiber boats, with comfortable seating and with measures ranging from 8.5m up to 12m long, covered by a tarp to protect from the sun and with two powerful engines 225HP. The dive center Fish & Fins has about 9 vessels of this type with different lengths and capacities and 2 cruise ships life aboard.
13. What capacity have the boats?
The boats are equipped to carry up to 20 divers, but rarely carry more than 16.
14. And how many divers per Dive Master?
Normally 6 divers per DM.
15. Which type is the tank valve, DIN / INT?
Typically, is used INT connection, but the [PB1] [PB2] center offers both types, so it is not necessary to bring an adapter if you have a DIN regulator output.
16. What is included in dives?
All dives include boat, bottles, weight belt and guide. In the case of dives resort, free Nitrox is also included.
17. How are scheduled the dives?
The diving center has a dive planner. It indicates how many boats depart each day, the name of each boat, the name of the boatman, the name of the divemaster and assistant and the name of all divers who go on that boat. All divers know upon arrival, where can they prepare the equipment and where to accommodate their personal belongings in the dive boat. Once on the boat you choose the dive sites is going to go.
18. What are the usual schedule of the dives?
Boats leave the dive center at 8:30 am and depending on the number of dives, are back at 15:30 or 17:30. Typically performed up to 3 dives a day. Between the second and the third dive a free Lunch is provided. If no more dives are planned you return to port (15:30). If on the contrary there is a third dive, the return is usually around 17:00.
19. What dive sites are included in the standard rate?
In Palau there are over 70 dive sites. And most of them are included in the standard rate. To view not including, read paragraph 20.
20. What other dives are not included in the standard rate?
Diving at Peleliu: This island is located south of the island of Koror (where the dive center is located) and to access the dives around this island is necessary a minimum of divers who want to go. It has an extra cost of 45 US $ per diver.
Candelier cave: this dive has an extra cost of 35 US $ per diver.
Dive with Nautilus: be able to diving with this millennial animal has an extra cost of $ 80US per diver.
Jelly fish lake: Although is not a dive because is done by snorkeling, the payment of US $ 35 is required.
Night dives: have an extra cost of 60 US $.
21. Are the same dive points from resort and from life aboard cruise?
Yes, although I must say that diving in Palau from a life aboard has some advantage that does not offer diving from resort. Life aboard offers some exclusive dives. You are sure not to meet in the water with lots of divers. In a life aboard is very well planned, to find the best time to make a dive. And is less likely to meet people from other resort or boats nearby. Moreover diving from a life aboard also gives the possibility to visit the farthest dives and dive in less frequented sites. This detail gives a touch of exclusivity to dive from life aboard. Finally, from a life aboard can be done nightdives where very rarely can you do them from a resort.
22. What are the main differences between hiring a resort package or a life aboard cruise?
Mainly since cruise you can do up to 5 dives a day. dinners are include and nitrox is not included, while from resort can be made up to 3 dives a day, dinners are not included and the nitrox will be included.
23. Do you organize trips to Peleliu?
Yes, although a minimum number of divers is required and these trips have an additional cost. At Peleliu there is also the option to make an overland tour and visit the remains and relics of the Second World War.
24. How many dives are recommended per day?
Normally from resort just 3 dives a day are made. The dive sites require long distances and although the boats are extremely fast, displacements need time. You can do a night dive if you want.
If you choose life aboard, the most frequent are between 4 and 5 dives per day.
25. There is some kind of fee diving in Palau?
To dive in Palau you must pay an amount of money as diving rate. These rates vary depending on the diving area and what includes:
Rate dive in Koror (valid for 10 days) ------------------------------- 50 US $
Rate dive in Koror + Jellyfish Lake (valid for 10 days) ---------- 100 US$
Rate dive Peleliu (valid for 14 days) -------------------------------- 20 US $
(The price is per person and will be paid directly to the dive center)
26. It’s required a diving insurance?
Fish & Fins usually requires a diving insurance. We strongly recommend that you never travel without it. If you do not have insurance, you can hire it on the same dive center.
27. Where is the nearest hyperbaric or decompression chamber?
Koror has a good hospital and several private clinics. It is in this hospital, the Belau National Hospital, where you can find the nearest hyperbaric chamber. BELAU MEDICAL CLINIC: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. No: + 680-488-2688 / Fax No: + 680-488-1087
28. What kind of wetsuit should I wear?
We recommend a 3mm (some guests use a 5mm and others simply a lycra 0.5-2 mm, inner thermal vest, or rash guard.
29. You can rent diving equipment?
Yes, the dive center has a dive shop where you can buy and rent all types of diving equipment.
30. If my equipment breaks can i redress there?
Yes, there is a workshop and certified technicians in the dive center who are part of the staff. There they can repair broken equipment or malfunctioning ..
31. Is there a Camera Room for underwater photographers?
The center currently has no Camera Room. You have dedicated tanks with fresh water only for photo / video, but there is no room only dedicated for video/photo.
32. What kind of tanks do you use?
All tanks are standard 12L / 80 cu.ft. There are also some of 15L / 100 cu.ft, and also some smaller, but we recommend you book in advance.
33. Are Nitrox available?
Yes, the center has compressors for air and Nitrox. There is possibility to load Nitrox 32%, 36% and 40% for certified divers. 32% Nitrox is free for all Fish & Fins’ divers who want to use from the center (from life aboard there is an extra charge).
34. What king of plugs and electricity do you use in Palau?
Electricity voltage is 110 volts and plugs are identical to those found in the US. Visitors should bring plug adapters.
35. What is the environmental temperature?
The temperature in Palau usually constant throughout the year and is around 29ºC/84º F.
36. And the water temperature?
Water temperature, like environmental temperature, is also very constant being between 28º C/82º F and 30º C/86º F
37. What type of clothing is advisable to wear?
Bring very casual and lightweight clothing. Cotton garments are perfect as the ambient temperature allows quick drying. Any shirt or long sleeve sweater for cool evenings is encouraged. We also recommend a waterproof jacket or windbreaker. On the beaches, comfortable clothing, beachwear is recommended, although the city is not appropriate. We recommend wearing hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
38. Must i consider any precautions for security?
The same as in your hometown. Koror is a safe city, where you can walk safely at night to go their quiet bars (although few), restaurants and local shops.
39. Should I be vaccinated before traveling to Palau?
No, it is not necessary vaccinations to travel to Palau, because Palayis a country free of malaria and important diseases, but there have been cases of dengue fever, so it is recommended to drink bottled water.
40. What about mosquitoes?
There are some mosquito like in any other tropical area, but usually only visible at sunset… If you are sensitive to mosquito, you may consider bringing your own repellant.
41. What can I do if I don’t dive someday?
Palau offers alternatives for the days you can not or you don’t want to dive. From making a small but spectacular helicopter tour through the Rocky Islands, trekking, hiking and visit Peleliu remains of WWII, routes to small waterfalls, islands tours to observe flora and fauna, tours to simply enjoy the beaches or snorkeling, can rent kayaks, tours on the waters of Palau for sportfishing or even renting quads and do trails into the jungle. The options are numerous.
42. How can I book land tours with you?
For hiring or tour booking is advised to do so directly there, with the dive center. They will know advise and offer the best options, or through our agency.
43. Is there a market in town?
Yes, the city has small shops to buy what you need and two large stores called Surangel and Ben Franklin. The shops are usually open until 9 pm.
44. Where can I go to dinner in Koror?
Palau has plenty of good restaurants with reasonable prices to choose, including American, Indian, Japanese, Mediterranean food and typical food of Palau.
TAJ (Indian restaurant)
Coffee Kraemer (a fun bar with good food)
Suriyothai (Thai restaurant)
Rock Island Coffe (American style food and pizza)
Dragon Tei (Japanese food)
45. How can I pay the additional costs of the dive center?
You can pay at the Diving Center either in cash or by credit card at the end of the activities with them and check-out. The cash payment can be made in US Dollar.
46. What currency should I bring and where I can make change if I need it?
Palau's official currency is the US Dollar, although most sites you accept payment by credit card, included in the dive center Fish & Fins, but at an additional cost. In the center of the city you will find several banks operating in business hours in which you can access ATM services and currency exchange. (Bank of Hawaii, Bank of Guam, Pacific Bank ....).
47. What is the usual amount for tipping in Palau?
Payment of tipping is not required, but it is a very common practice. There is no standard, you can leave which it considers just tip based on your satisfaction.
48. What are the rates of leaving the country?
To leave the country, you need to pay a departure tax of US $ 50.
49. What are your booking procedures and cancellation policy?
30% deposit upon reservation.
The full amount must be paid 45 days before arrival.
45-31 days before arrival 25% of the invoice
30-15 days before arrival 50% of the invoice
14-0 days before arrival 100% of the invoice
50. How can I combine my holidays in Anilao with other dive destinations?
You may approach our company, Buceo Travel & Tour Services (www.BuceoFilipinas.com), they will be happy to arrange a personalized extension dive tour for you (including domestic flight tickets, transfers, accommodation, diving, etc.) to many other destinations in the Philippines (like Alona, Apo, Cabilao,Coron, Donsol, Dumaguete, El Nido, Malapascua, Moalboal, Tubbataha, etc) with our associated / partner resorts and live aboards.
Please, contact with us for any question or further information, you may need.