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I just learned about the Rock Islands of Palau:


image source - wikipedia

The islands, between 250 to 300 in number according to different sources, with an aggregate area of 47 km² and a height up to 207 m, and are for the most part uninhabited, and are famous for their beaches, blue lagoons and the peculiar umbrella-like shapes of many of the islands themselves. The Rock Islands and the surrounding reefs make up Palau's popular tourist sites such as Blue Corner, Blue hole, German Chanel, Ngermeaus Island and the famed Jellyfish Lake

I'm not a scuba diver, but the uninhabited beaches and blue lagoons sound very interesting. The Wikipedia page is short and unreferenced. How could someone explore such a remote location? Helicopter? Boat rental? Local tours?

Note: The bounty will be awarded to the answer that has the most information on exploring the uninhabited islands themselves. I'd be especially interested in info about tours that actually take you on to explore the land of the best islands. Credit to Mark for at least a good start.

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As an aside, I now have Palau added to my list after reading more about it this evening. Thanks for that ;) –  Mark Mayo Jul 30 '11 at 18:02
    
@Mark Mayo My buddies who have dived there say there is nothing else like it. The shark sanctuary is, reportedly, quite amazing. –  Ginamin Aug 3 '11 at 14:17
    
I'm not allowed to dive, sadly, but I'll snorkel the heck out of it ;) –  Mark Mayo Aug 3 '11 at 23:14

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted
+50

6 - 9 people for 11 days kayaking around the islands for US$4795 http://www.wildernesstravel.com/trip/palau/micronesia-kayaking-snorkeling

It turns out the Visit Palau site actually looks useful, although it didn't show up in the first couple of searches that I did. Under the 'things to do' section there seems to a lot of providers offering dive, kayak, canoe and regular tours of the rock islands. However few give prices or any real detail. http://www.visit-palau.com/

This leads me to a couple of conclusions - because they're custom tours they're going to be expensive(as seen above - the only price I've found so far) and potentially the industry is still fairly new to the web and hence not a lot of info, quite a few of the operators are only listing email addresses.

I get the impression it could be a situation where you get a better deal when you book locally as there is likely to be more competition.

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I've just had a tweet from a travel blogger about Palau, which reminded me of this question. He linked to the Palau Visitors Authority website, which has a section solely on the Rock Islands of Palau.

Quite a few interesting links about Vendors, Tours, details about the companies and what they offer in terms of activities around the islands.

You can see the website here: Palau Visitors Authority

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Wikipedia may be sparse, but Wikitravel isn't :)

http://wikitravel.org/en/Palau

Looks like you certainly can hire a car (with both left and right drive so won't matter where you're from) or take a taxi - there are loads of local ones, however, to really see the reef, you'll need to Scuba Dive, or snorkel.

There's also a Palau International Coral Reef Center, an educational aquarium in Koror.

If you want to whet your appetite, you could also try watching http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor:_Palau - sure, it's reality TV, but as someone who has seen the series, the cinematography is amazing!

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Thanks for your answer - I've started a bounty just to see if I can dig up more specifics on exploration of the remote islands themselves. –  NickC Aug 2 '11 at 15:48

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