Exploring Palau

What to do on this South Pacific island gem

English is frequently and fluently spoken on Palau, making it a great South Pacific destination for American travelers.
Palau, a tiny island nation that is geographically part of Micronesia, is not necessarily the South Pacific’s most recognizable gem. However, with a fascinating island culture, top-quality hotels and amazing opportunities for water-based activities, there are few reasons not to visit the destination.

American travelers will have an easy time here, as English is frequently and fluently spoken (Palauan is the official language). As Palau is popular with Asian travelers, there are luxurious hotel offerings on the island for further travel ease. Here are just a few things to do on this amazing island.

The country is home to spectacular coral reefs that attract avid divers and snorkelers. In fact, the coral reefs are so important to Palau’s economy that the Palau International Coral Reef Center is dedicated to them. The facility is part aquarium and part educational center, and includes the Outer Reef exhibit, a 5,500-gallon tank with a miniature version of Palau’s Outer Reef.

To explore Palau’s culture, visit two museums for an inside look. The Etpison Museum focuses more on cultural aspects of Island life, while the Belau National Museum offers insight into the country’s history, society and politics. Palauans are gifted storytellers, and both museums are home to storyboard wood carvings that are frequently used to recount local legends.

Families won’t want to miss the Dolphins Pacific Adventure. The facility is focused on education as opposed to entertainment, so it’s not a Sea World experience. But visitors can don wetsuits and swim with the dolphins, and are sure to fall in love with their playful new friends.

Be sure to plan a meal at Elilai Restaurant in Koror, a glitzy dining venue with a 360-degree view from the dining patio and innovative pan-Asian cuisine.

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