Palau is a small archipelago located in Micronesia, approximately 800km North of Indonesia, 850km East of the Philippines, and 1250km Southwest of Guam. It is made up of 26 main islands and more than 300 smaller islets, rocks and sandbanks. With its scenic Rock Islands surrounded by turquoise waters, its marine lakes full of jellyfish, and its kaleidoscopic marine life (700 coral species and 1 500 reef fishes species), Palau is an unrevealed snorkeling paradise.

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The most popular snorkeling spots in Palau are located in the Rock Islands, and are only reachable by boat. These fantasy-shape limestone islets, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992, are covered by jungle and surrounded by shallow coral reefs. Several local tour operators offers day or half-day snorkeling tours in the Rock Islands, mainly from Koror. Among the best sites of the islands are Big Drop Off, Turtle Wall, Ulong Channel, as well as Nikko Bay.

Clam City, located 15 miles from Koror, is also a good option. On this snorkeling and diving site, you can spot huge giant clams. Some even say that some of the clams weigh more than 100kg! If you stay in Koror, you can explore the reef in front of the Palau Pacific Resort. This resort is located in Arakabesang Island, linked to Koror Island by a bridge (access to the beach of the resort can be restricted).

snorkeling palau
Reef and aerial view of the Rock Islands, and snorkeler in Jellyfish Lake

But Palau is also home to one of the most amazing and singular snorkeling spot in the world, the famed Jellyfish Lake. This salt-water lake, isolated from the marine environment, provides home to millions of stingless jellyfish. Swimming and be surrounded by hundreds of squishy jellies is an experience of a lifetime.
When to go to Palau?

The climate in Palau is purely tropical, hot and humid all year round, and rains can strike at any time. February and March are the driest months. In the wet season, from June to August, the weather is wetter and more changeable (intermittent tropical rains and sunny spells). The temperatures are constant, with an annual mean of 82°F/28°C. The water temperature in Palau is around 28/29°C most of the year, so the islands are suitable for snorkeling all year round.

snorkeling pulau jellyfish lake

Where to spot them?

Golden jellyfish

At Jellyfish Lake

Emperor angelfish

On all spots

Fire clownfish

On all spots

Clown surgeonfish

On all spots

Convict surgeonfish

On all spots

Teardrop butterflyfish

On all spots

Indo-Pacific sergeant

On all spots

Giant clam

On all reef spots, especially in Clam City