Aerial shot of Islands (Seventy Islands)

About

Join KSC and Discover the Eighth Wonder of the World!

Of the thousands of idyllic islands that dot the vast Pacific Ocean, Micronesia’s westernmost island chain known as the Palau archipelago, is perhaps a best kept secret. Rich in natural beauty, steeped in ancient culture, Palau is truly Mother Natures’ work of art!

Vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life; hidden lakes full of ancient creatures; white sandy beaches; thriving rainforests and spectacular waterfalls offer a splendid backdrop to Palau’s fascinating geological formations, significant archaeological sites and world renowned underwater wonders.

Calm protected waters, soft sand beaches, hidden marine lakes, Micronesia’s richest flora and fauna, remarkable birding, superb snorkeling and world class scuba diving make Palau the perfect place for adventure, exploration or just simple peaceful relaxation. We hope you join in the fun as KSC discovers this wonder of the world!

GEOLOGY, BIOLOGY AND BIO-DIVERSITY

Geology

The Palau Islands are an archipelago composed of about 350 islands and atolls having an area of approximately 160 square miles. Babeldaob is the largest island, having an area of 128.5 square miles. The highest altitude is Mt. Ngerekelechuus in its northwestern part, 794 feet above sea level. Palau can be classified into four types of island: volcanic; reef and atoll; low platform; and high limestone. Several of the islands are a combination of these four basic types. The volcanic islands of Babeldaob, Meyuns, Malakal and Koror make up most of the land area.

All the islands except two small atolls to the north and the islands of Angaur and Peleliu to the southwest are enclosed within the barrier or fringing reef.

Palau’s eastern shore drops off steeply to the Palau Trench which reaches a maximum depth of 27,000 feet about 30 miles offshore while the western shore slopes gradually to depths of 18,000 feet about 250 miles to the west.

Marine Bio-Diversity
Palau is located at a cross roads where the enormous Pacific Ocean meets the Philippine Sea, creating one of the worlds’ richest zones of tropical marine bio-diversity, making it a truly world-class scuba diving destination that few places on the globe can rival. Palau’s marine eco-systems include barrier reefs, fringing reefs, seagrass beds, marine lakes and mangrove forests.

Palau is internationally renowned for its’ marine bio-diversity which includes over 1,300 species of fish, an abundance of large pelagic animals, and over 700 species of corals. Palau was chosen by National Geographic Society as the first Underwater Wonder of the World and was featured on Discovery Channels “Living Eden’s” series as one of the world’s last living “Eden’s”. Palau is home to one of the highest number of species not found anywhere else in the world and its marine habitats support a greater density of coral, fish, and other invertebrates than any other place on Earth. Seven of the nine species of giant “Tridacna” clams are found in Palau along with the world’s most remote population of Dugongs.

Terrestrial Bio-Diversity

while best known for amazing marine bio-diversity and a reputation as an underwater wonderland for scuba divers and snorkelers, Palau’s terrestrial bio-diversity is equally diverse and stunning, making Palau an absolute treasure trove for avid birders and terrestrial naturalists of almost every interest.

Terrestrially, Palau is home to Micronesia’s largest resident populations of bird, animal and plant species. The main island of Babeldaob is the second largest landmass in Micronesia (after Guam) and is recognized as one of the largest undisturbed tropical rainforests in Micronesia. Babeldaob is home to Ngardok Lake and Ngermeduu Bay, the largest natural lake and largest estuary in Micronesia, respectively. Palau has over 1,260 species of plants including over 800 that are native. 

Climate & Weather

Kids Sea Camp guest will be treated to a warm Thanksgiving this year!  Palau is located approximately 7 degrees north of the equator and enjoys sunny tropical weather and pleasantly moderate temperatures year-round that average 82° F / 27° C.As a tropical island Palau is subject to rainfall throughout the year though more frequently between July and October. It’s not unusual to have brief but quite heavy daily showers early in the morning and late afternoon so all KSC guests should bring proper rain gear with them.  It is recommended to bring your rain gear with you on all excursions just in case.

Water Temperature

Water temperatures vary little throughout the year with the average temperatures being a pleasantly comfortable 82F / 27C year. For KSC guests a 3mm full or shorty wetsuit or dive-skin will work fine for most, while others may prefer the freedom of wearing swim suits / board shorts and a t-shirt or rash guard.

HELPFUL LOCAL INFORMATION

Banking & Currency
U.S. dollar is the official currency of Palau. Traveler’s checks and all major credit cards are accepted at most businesses, including Sam’s Tours.  There are several banks (Bank of Hawaii, Bank of Guam, and Bank Pacific) and plenty of automated teller machines around town.

Health & Medical Services
Palau National Hospital is a well-equipped and professionally staffed facility with an experienced Barotrauma Team. In addition there are excellent private clinics, out-patient surgeries and pharmacies on the island. Local supermarkets carry most common over-the-counter medications.

Dress Code
The dress code in Palau makes it great for Kids…casual is in!  Palau is a tropical island and a very casual place when it comes to attire. T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops (rubber slippers) are appropriate at all times with very few exceptions (thankfully, ties haven’t become a hit here)!  For those who want to dress up, a polo shirt, aloha shirt or blouse will usually suffice. Parents can leave the slacks and dresses at home if they want to!  Short shorts and swimsuits are okay at the beach, pool and around the dive shop but not appropriate around town. Please keep in mind that many restaurants and the resort are heavily air-conditioned so if you get cold easy you might want to bring something to keep you warm!

What to Bring
Pack lightly Kids Sea Camp! Palau is a warm tropical destination and casual attire (t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops) are perfect! Rain jacket, hiking sandal for Jelly Fish Lake, snacks and games for long trip, comfortable traveling clothes, medications, Certification cards, passport, Dr. Note if taking medication. One nice casual outfit for welcome ceremony.  Laundry service is available at hotel; pack anything you need for the first 48hrs in your carryon in case of luggage loss.

Things you should not leave home without:

Scuba Certification Card – (if diving) proof of certification is required from all divers, passport, e ticket, documents, and smile.

DAN Membership and Insurance Card – always good to have this when traveling

Sunglasses & Hat – sunglasses, hats and T-shirts are also available at Sam’s Tours if you forget.

Rain Jacket – Carry a waterproof rain jacket any time you’re on the water. Heavy downpours can happen with little notice and can make for a chilly boat ride, especially after you’ve been diving.

Prescriptions Medications & Eye Glasses – bring any special medications you require.

Book(s) – If you like to read, bring a book as there are no book stores in Palau!

Sport Sandals –   for walking on the rock islands (or any shoes you don’t mind getting wet). Dive booties work fine too! You can also rent hard-soled dive booties at Sam’s Tours.

Electricity
110 Volts 50/60Hz with U.S. type flat 2-pin plug or 3-pin (two flat pins and rounded ground pin). There is 220 VOLT service at the dive center for battery charging.

Language
English is spoken by almost everyone on the island. Palauan is the local language. Japanese is also widely spoken. Languages spoken by our multi-lingual staff include Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Swiss, and Taiwanese.

Medical Services
Palau National Hospital is a well-equipped medical center with excellent professional medical staff. There are several private outpatient clinics and pharmacies in town. Should something arise, Sam’s Tours staff will be able to help direct you in the right direction.

BELAU MEDICAL CLINIC: bmc@palaunet.com
Tel. No: + 680-488-2688
Fax No: + 680-488-1087

FAMILY SURGICAL CLINIC:
Tel. No: + 680-488-6920
Fax No: + 680-488-6922

Postal Service
Palau is served by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) so you will be able to send as many post cards back as you would like.  It generally takes only 6-9 days to get mail back to the U.S. mainland via first class or priority mail.

Telecommunications
Kids Sea Camp guests will be able to call home whenever necessary.  International direct dialing is readily available using Calling Cards from Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC). Cards are available at Sam’s Tours and many other business establishments.

Internet access is available at Sam’s Tours and Palau Royal Resort.

Mobile phone service (GSM 900) is available on the island however international roaming is not available and phones will not operate without a SIM card purchased (or rented) locally.

Time Zone
Palau is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 9 hours or the same as Japan. At present time we are 13 hours ahead of New York and 16 hours ahead of LA.  An hour is added with day light savings time.

Tipping
Tipping is not required but is a common practice for all service personnel, dive guides and boat captains.

Transportation
There is no public transportation system in Palau. Sam’s Tours will provide Kids Sea Camp guests with complimentary roundtrip hotel and downtown shuttle service for things outside KSC activities. Taxi service is also readily available up until 10:00pm and fares are very reasonable. Arrangements are easily made in advance for taxi service after 10:00pm.

For all Kids Sea Camp activities transportation is provided as needed.

Quarantine Restrictions
As Palau’s unique island eco-system is very susceptible to invasive specifies there are tight restrictions on fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, meats and other possible sources of contamination. Do not bring these items to Palau as they are subject to immediate confiscation.

Drugs
Anti-drug laws are strictly enforced. Prescriptions should be carried for any special medicines or drugs in your possession.

Departure Tax
Palau has a departure tax of 35.00 for each departing visitor and must be paid by cash. Please be sure to have enough cash on hand to pay this when you depart.

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