18 Responses

  1. Heiko
    Heiko at |

    Free diving is much cheaper (MAML takes 60$ pP for a whole day boot trip). Next to the small islands of Ngeruktabel (at best reached by kayaking, check paddlingpalau.net) you will learn why this place is called the ‘Serengeti of the Sea’. But the big fishes at the famous spots like Blue Corner are out of reach even for those who can go below 20m because of very strong currents.

  2. Richman
    Richman at |

    Free diving isn’t for everyone. I have to say your suggestion is not very good, sorry. And like you said the best dive sites are thus not reachable so what is the point? Saving money on diving can be done by bring some of your own gear. Rentals become expensive over time. Gets annoying if you do a long trip if not much diving involved I suppose.

    Palau is expensive. All of those Islands are (Guam, Saipan, Micronesia), I also stayed at a cheap hotel for my last night because I was flying out late and didn’t want to pay the extra night at a resort.

    Food at the supermarket are really decent prices. The restaurants aren’t always expensive but after spending so much on activities and fees huh. $160 for departure tax?

    And I heard they want to limit the Chinese tourists from coming because they destroy the environment with wreckless scuba diving. I think $160 might just do that…and take other tourists along. “Hidden” fees like that are scum. We were shocked it is $50… most countries include it in the ticket but then the tickets would be even more expensive and nobody would come…pff

    1. Nikki @ OutofYourComfortZone
      Nikki @ OutofYourComfortZone at |

      Hi again Richman! Thanks for leaving us another comment.

      Well, to be honest, I don’t know how to dive so I really can’t say much about either diving or free diving 🙂 I guess it could be a thing of personal preference and what you are comfortable with.

      No, unfortunately Palau is never going to be as cheap as SE Asia or South America. We tried to visit it the cheapest we could (while not sacrificing too much on activities) but it still wasn’t one of the cheapest destinations we’ve visited. Not by a long shot. We still found the price to be completely worth the experience, though.

      We were also pleasantly surprised by the food prices. Like I said, our favorite were the bento boxes from the convenience stores. We did a bit of cooking at our Airbnb (eggs, pasta, etc.) although, honestly, the place was so disgusting we didn’t really want to have anything to do with the kitchen.

      Yes, the fees really are ridiculous. I guess the hope with that is to limit certain types of tourists (such as ones like us “backpackers”) and thus only attract the “elite” ones with the big bucks…. as well as prevent overcrowding (like you were saying). We’ll just have to see how that affects their tourism. I’ve heard other people say that this could be the future of tourism in small countries that can’t sustain large numbers of visitors and really only want ones who will spend a lot of money. I guess you could look at Bhutan’s $250 daily fee minimum as an example.

  3. przemkowski
    przemkowski at |

    Could you say something about camping on Palau, please? Is possible to pitch own tent, make an open fire, use any source to wash? Did you see any campings or tents on savage beaches or in a jungle. Is it save anyway? And last but not least, is possible to do it for free or I have to pay as for everything on Palau? ? I would be appreciate for any info. By the way, thank you for many worth information, great job!

    1. Nikki @ OutofYourComfortZone
      Nikki @ OutofYourComfortZone at |

      Hi there!

      Thanks for the comment; that was a good question. To be honest, we didn’t do any camping nor did we see anyone else camping. I’ve heard that many people camp somewhere in the Rock Islands (usually getting there via boat/kayak). I don’t believe you need to pay anything extra to camp there and I think you can basically choose any island you want, but you do need to pay $100 for a Rock Island Permit. This permit, however, also covers Jellyfish Lake (which I assume you would be going to) so it’s probably something you would be getting anyways.

      I’m not really sure about camping on the other islands/areas like Koror and Peleliu. There’s not that much control so you’d probably be fine setting up camp anywhere, but, as I didn’t try it myself, I’m not 100% sure. Saying that, Palau did actually feel very safe and the locals are very helpful/friendly so I doubt they would mind. I would imagine the only fees you would have to pay are the permits (such as the Rock Island one) for various islands. You would need to pay these fees anyways just to step foot on the islands, so I don’t think you would need extra to camp.

      In the case of Koror, if you would feel more comfortable having a designated place to camp, I think some of the Airbnb options (especially from MAML Divers like we mentioned in the article) have tent options.

      If you have more questions about camping in specific places, I’d really recommend you contact the Palau Visitor’s Center. We found them to be super helpful and gave us lots of good info. They have an office in downtown Koror that is worth stopping into. Otherwise, you can contact them beforehand via the phone number or email here:

      If you have any other Palau or travel-related questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us again! Otherwise, enjoy your trip to Palau…. it really is an incredible place 🙂


  4. simon hugfeld
    simon hugfeld at |

    Thanks for this great blogpost! I’ve also been to Palau in the last year and a it was amazing! We have seen must of the sights mentioned in your text an had a really great time! However, we were late booking a hotel, and i’ve to admit that the prices for hotels (and food, etc) are expensive. Now, to find a decent hotel for a good prices was kinda hard (https://palauvisitors.com would have helped me a lot). Plus, there are no public beaches in Koror except for a few hotels with exclusive beaches. Nevertheless, the nature and the people are great and it was an unique adventure to discover Palau!

  5. Bjorn
    Bjorn at |

    Fees as of Sept./Oct. 2017

    Departure tax: $50

    Rock Islands: $50
    (Not including Jellyfish Lake – but as there are no more jellyfish there you most likely don’t want to visit anyway.)

    Kayangel: $8 “sightseeing/tourist” fee – conservation area: $15 + $8 for snorkelling

    Babeldoab Island:
    Well, officially you are supposed to pay for everything and visit the relevant state office before you do any sightseeing – a rather costly (and time consuming) undertaking given that there are 10 states with lots of sights on Babeldoab.
    In practice, payment is enforced at these 5 sights, only:
    Airai: Japanese WWII communications centre + bai – a whopping $25! (Pay to the ranger on site.)
    If you think that outrageous (like I did): visit in the morning/evening time when there is nobody around to charge/fine you.
    Ngarchelong: Badrulchau monoliths $5 (Ticket booth.)
    (Another site in Ngarchelong where you are supposed to pay is the Japanese light house but the road is reportedly closed at the moment.)
    Ngardmau: Waterfall + Japanese loco $10 (Ticket booth.)
    Aimeliik: Bai (Visitor Centre). Didn’t stop as I’ve already seen the other 3 bais therefore don’t know the price.
    Furthermore, at the mediocre sights along the main road in Ngatpang state (WWII memorial, Japanese radio station, traditional village) there are signs saying that in order to visit you have to obtain a permit ($5) from the state office – inconveniently located at the end of a dirt road (though being upgraded right now) leading over to the west coast.
    In all the other states I didn’t notice any signs regarding sightseeing fees.

    A real nuisance – basically you have to pay for everything you do – although cycling is still free (at least for now):
    Land tour (WWII relics) $15
    Diving: $30
    Snorkelling: $10
    Kayaking: $10

    Nobody ever asked me for any payment nor did I see any signs up therefore I assume no fees are charged on Angaur (just like Koror).

    1. Nikki @ OutofYourComfortZone
      Nikki @ OutofYourComfortZone at |

      Once again, thank you so much for all this great info, Bjorn! Things like this can change pretty quickly, so it’s also really helpful to have someone on the ground to get some updated info.

      When I get some time later this week, I’ll be sure to add in some of your new info to the article above 🙂

      Also, you made it to Angaur? Oh, we tried so hard to get there! How’d you manage to get there? What was it like/ did you think it was it worth going to?

      Thanks again, Bjorn!

      1. Bjorn
        Bjorn at |

        Yes, I made it to Angaur. Will post all the relevant “how-to”-information (also for the other islands) soon so that you can work them into the main articles.

        1. Nikki @ OutofYourComfortZone
          Nikki @ OutofYourComfortZone at |

          Seriously, Bjorn, thank you so much…..Rodrigo and I are really appreciating all the info you’ve given us! Especially since Palau can be a difficult place to get info about. You may just be one of our favorite readers because of how much you’ve helped us 😉

          Hope you had a great new years’ and looking forward to reading your “how to”!

  6. Bjorn
    Bjorn at |

    I totally agree that getting information about travelling around Palau is ridiculously difficult given how important tourism is for the country. On the other hand it is certainly laudable that they want to prevent themselves from making the same mistakes that have ruined other places taken over by mass tourism.

  7. Mira
    Mira at |

    Hi there, I am also trying to organisme our trip to Palau this August. So hard to find any information so thanks a lot for your info. One question: what does government payday week means? We want to spend two nights in Kayangel… finding really hard to get any info. Thanks in advance,

    1. Nikki @ OutofYourComfortZone
      Nikki @ OutofYourComfortZone at |

      Hey Mira,

      Glad we could help! I know we had a really hard time finding info before we went as well.

      To answer your first question, it looks like government payday weeks are every other week (here’s the 2018 pay schedule so you can see what days/weeks those are: https://palaugov.pw/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Pay-Period-schedule-2018.pdf). The ferries to Kayangel and Angaur only run during government payday weeks, so they only run every other week. There’s also an extra ferry to Peleliu on Wednesdays during government payday weeks.

      Honestly, the ferry schedules vary so much that the best thing you can do is contact the either the tourism board by email or phone (get the contact info here: https://www.pristineparadisepalau.com/contact-us) or the state offices (+680 488-1817 or +680 345-2967)) to confirm when the boats are running.

      We usually make international calls with Skype since it’s pretty cheap (read more about it here if you don’t already use it: https://outofyourcomfortzone.net/how-to-call-home/), so that’d probably be the best way to call any of those phone #s.

      If you’re looking for more info about visiting Kayangel, I highly recommend you check out Bjorn’s comment at the bottom of our article here: https://outofyourcomfortzone.net/8-reasons-to-visit-palau/

      We didn’t personally visit Kayangel, but Bjorn did and was nice enough to write us a big comment about his experience. Hopefully, it’ll give you some more info.

      Sorry, that ended up being kind of a long message….so, let me know if you have any questions or if anything wasn’t clear!

    2. Bjorn
      Bjorn at |

      Hello Mira,
      let me know if you have any questions on Kayangel and I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

  8. Palau Micronesia
    Palau Micronesia at |

    thanks for sharing this info.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Real Time Web Analytics 8LvG4w56H8xI6oS3MDSK2mZ1enEH_ABlpTx5jAsYdFQ