Spot

Jellyfish Lake


Jellyfish Lake (Ongeim'l Tketau in Palauan) is one of about 70 marine lakes of Palau. These very specific environments are formed by depressions in limestone filled with salt water, originally connected to the nearby lagoon but now isolated from the sea. Most of the species confined in the lakes didn’t survived but some of them succeeded in adapting to the distinctive living conditions of the saltwater lakes. As a result, Jellyfish Lake is home to millions of stingless jellyfish from different species, only found in Palau. The feeling of swimming in the lake, surrounded by thousands of peaceful jellyfish, is one of the most magical underwater experience, which should be on the bucket list of every adventurous snorkeler.
How to get there?

The Jellyfish Lake is located on Eil Malk Island, one of the Rock Islands, 18 miles south of Koror. It is reachable in 30 to 45 minutes by speedboat. Many tour operators in Koror offers full day tours in the Rock Islands, including a snorkeling stop on Jellyfish Lake. Price for a day tour range from 90 to 120 USD per person, including lunch, drinks, but excluding the Jellyfish Lake conservation fee. You will access the lake by crossing the island ridge on a short trail in the jungle (15 minutes’ walk).

Water entrance

You will enter the water from a wooden platform installed on the lake shore. Even if jellyfish are harmful to most of people, it is recommended that persons with allergies to jellyfish wear a wetsuit to swim among these creatures.

Aerial view

Exploration

The area to explore covers the whole surface of the lake, measuring approximately 150m north-south by 400m east-west.

The observation of the jellyfish is the star attraction of Jellyfish Lake. Two main species of jellyfish live in the lake: the moon jellyfish and the golden jellyfish (mastigias papua etpisoni). These species are only found in this place: they have evolved to be substantially different from their relatives living in the nearby lagoons.

You will have no trouble encountering these fascinating invertebrates, but to observe the heaviest concentrations of jellyfish, reach the sunniest parts of the lake. Indeed, the golden jellyfish migrates across the lake during the day, following the rays of the sun.

snorkeling with jellyfish palau
Golden jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake, Palau

Swimming with thousands of jellyfish is a surreal experience, and the lake is a perfect sight for underwater pictures and selfies. Don’t forget your underwater camera.

Jellyfish are very delicate and can be easily damaged by fins kicks. It is recommended to wear water shoes, instead. Scuba diving is not allowed in the lake, since this activity can harm the jellyfish, but also because a layer of hydrogen sulfide (toxic to humans) begins at 12-14 m (40-45 feet). For this reason, do not freedive too deep. Follow the instructions of your guide, who will advise you on what to do according to the prevailing conditions.

Restaurants and accommodation

There are no restaurants near the lake, but most of day tours includes lunch, snacks and drinks.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    All levels
  • Maximum depth
    60ft. Do not dive below 10ft.
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a platform
  • Lifeguard
    Yes
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium
  • Access costs
    Tour price ($90-120pp.) + permit price
  • Restaurants nearby
    No
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Jellyfish Lake

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Golden jellyfish
Mastigias papua etpisoni
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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