Territory

Wonders of Palau

Diving in Blue Holes, Palau
Diving in Blue Holes / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

Although Palau is small in size, it offers a surprising diversity of interesting monuments. Several of these monuments are true wonders and there are several unresolved mysteries related to Palau.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Palau

Geological wonders

Rock Islands (Palau)

Koror and Rock Islands

More than 200 amazing small limestone islands, often mushroom-shaped and covered with lush tropical vegetation. Unique landscape element, especially when looking from the air.

Yikrel a Bub (Blue Holes, The Temple of Doom)

Koror and Rock Islands

These unusual monuments of nature were created in times when the sea level was considerably lower. Four deep holes in 1 – 2 meters deep seabed that unite in an enormous underground hollow 40 meters below. Cave has two more openings to the side – through the submerged ancient sea cliff. Impressive blue light rays enter through the holes in the cave.

Chandelier Cave (Iiel Temekai)

Koror and Rock Islands

Limestone cave with dripstone formations, entrance and part of cave is located below sea level, below water. Four chambers.

Milky Way (Palau)

Koror and Rock Islands

Cove with bright turquoise-colored water. The bottom consists of bright white limestone mud believed to have curative powers although this has not been proven.

Milky Way cove in Rock Islands, Palau
Siaes Tunnel

Koror and Rock Islands

Impressive tunnel under the sea water, entrance 4 – 20 meters deep, bottom – up to 60 meters deep. Tunnel is lighted through 3 larger side openings and numerous smaller openings. Created by erosion processes in times when seawater level was lower than now.

The Arch (Palau)

Koror and Rock Islands

Weathering has created an natural arch that can be easily passed in a boat. Arch is 15 meters wide and 9 meters high.

Taki Falls

Ngardmau

A beautiful, 30 meters high and 37 meters wide waterfall, the largest in Palau.

Tabecheding Falls

Ngatpang

Some 6 meters high waterfall floating down a steep slope, located in beautiful setting.

Biological wonders

Jellyfish Lake (Ongeim’l Tketau)

Koror and Rock Islands

A unique marine lake with an area of 5.0 ha, has an underground connection to the sea. Stratified in two layers that do not mix. Isolated from the sea 12,000 years and contains a distinct population of two species of jellyfish – endemic Mastigias cf. papua etpisoni and most likely endemic Aurelia sp. Millions of these jellyfishes make strict daily migration around the lake. Four more marine lakes with jellyfish on the nearby islands but Jellyfish Lake is the only one open to tourists. The number of jellyfish has reached up to 31 million (January 2005), currently some 5 million.

Jellyfish Lake from air with swarms of jellyfish visible, Palau
Uet era Ngermeuangel

Koror and Rock Islands

Marine lake (4.3 ha) with its own subspecies of jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua remeliiki and Moon Jellyfish Aurelia sp.

Forest at the foot of Mt. Ngerchelchuus

Ngardmau

Ancient, largest forest in Palau with enormous trees, important habitat for endemic Palauan birds.

Goby Lake

Koror and Rock Islands

Round marine lake (2.1 ha) with its own subspecies of jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua nakamurai.

Uet era Ongael

Koror and Rock Islands

Small marine lake (0.9 ha) with its own subspecies of jellyfish Mastigias cf. papua remengesaui.

Lake Ngardok

Melekeok

The only notable freshwater lake in Palau and whole Micronesia. Contains a population of saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), important habitat for several endemic Palauan birds.

Archaeological wonders

Quarry of Yap stone money in Airai

Airai

A huge piece of the unique Yap stone money, unfinished pieces of stone money nearby as well as the metal toys for production.

Yap Stone Money, Airai in Palau
Sculpted hills of Ngchemiangel

Aimeliik

Relief of island has been sculpted and there have been created extensive terraces. Created in the 5th – 16th century AD.

Ucheliungs Cave (Ucheliuns Cave)

Koror and Rock Islands

Cave with entrance in shallow sea water. 2,900 – 1,400 years old burial site of the early inhabitants of islands. Burials belong to extinct dwarf people, possibly weighing just 28 – 47 kg.

Omedokel Cave

Koror and Rock Islands

2,300 – 1,400 years old burial site of the early inhabitants of islands and some 1000 years old burials of newer inhabitants. Older burials belong to extinct dwarf people, possibly weighing just 28 – 47 kg.

Badrulchau

Ngarchelong

Originally here were 52 mysterious stone monoliths (now 37), rough faces have been hewn in 6 of these stones. Location of former bai – men’s clubhouse, built around 161 AD.

Taberrakl petroglyphs

Koror and Rock Islands

The most abundant petroglyph site in Palau, includes many handprints.

Odalmelech

Melekeok

Six enormous, megalythic stone carvings – faces, roughly 1,100 years old.

Nbusala

Sonsorol

Ruins of monolithic structures, most likely dating before the arrival of present day inhabitants of Sonsorol in the 17th century (pre-Moro time).

Olechukl Iars (Ulong, Oolong petroglyphs)

Koror and Rock Islands

Intricate red painted petroglyphs left by ancient Palauans on the walls of shallow grottoes.

Architecture wonders

Ngerulmud

Melekeok

One of the most iconic parliament buildings in the region, a group of impressive Neo-Classicism-style buildings, was built in 2006.

Ngerulmud - Palauan Capitol
Bai ra Airai

Melekeok

The oldest men’s meeting house in Palau, some 200 years old.

WorldYellow Recommended books

The Palau Guide: A guide to yachting and tourism in Palau


This book provides an in-depth look at Palau for visitors by land and sea. The first half of the book delves into the culture and history of Palau with suggestions for tours, hikes, diving, and cultural activities. The second half of the book provides a comprehensive set of information for the visiting yachtsman, from weather, parts, and services, to charts, routes, and anchorages.

Micronesia and Palau (Other Places Travel Guide)


Micronesia and Palau have long been known to diving enthusiasts for some of the most intriguing and spectacular dive spots on earth. Yet as the reputation of these islands spread, more travelers are looking to escape the modern Western world and become transported to a calmer, slower pace of life. The writers of this guide all lived, worked, and played on the islands which they write about. First-hand knowledge, cultural insight, and personal recommendations allow visitors to feel like locals while enjoying the indisputable beauty of these islands and people.


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