The Palau Visitors Authority has a very good website which should answer most of your questions, from the history of the islands and people to upcoming events and festivals. We have a few answers to some frequently asked questions below:
- Q: Is sunscreen allowed in Palau?
- A: Palau has indeed banned a large number of chemicals commonly found in sunscreen, deemed to be toxic to coral and other marine organisms. Non-compliant sunscreen (including certain types of sunscreen labeled reef-safe) can be confiscated on arrival.
The legislation, with its extensive list of banned chemicals can be found here: https://www.palaugov.pw/wp-
- Q: What currencies are accepted in Palau?
- A: US Dollar is the official currency and credit cards are widely accepted. The Bank of Hawaii and Bank of Guam have branches and ATMs in Koror, giving out US dollars.
Contrary to VISA and Mastercard, American Express cards (AMEX) are sometimes not accepted because of high fee incurred locally.
- Q: What is the electrical voltage and which type of plug sockets are available?
- A: The electricity is provided at 110 volts AC and the wall sockets found in Palau are identical to those found in the continental US or Japan (type A and B). Visitors from elsewhere should bring plug adapters.
- Q: What medical facilities are available?
- A: You are in good hands. Palau has a modern, well-equipped hospital and several private clinics. The hospital even has a two-man hyperbaric chamber for any unfortunate diving accidents. Remember that hyperbaric treatment sessions are expensive, and often not covered by standard insurance policies, which is why NECO strongly recommends DAN insurance for scuba divers.
- Q: Are there any health risks on Palau?
- A: Palau is malaria free. The country has little or no risk of any major disease, but there are occasional cases of Dengue fever. We recommend that during your stay, you drink only bottled water.
- Q: What languages are spoken?
- A: Palauan and English are the official languages. Koror in particular is a very cosmopolitan place, and you will hear many languages spoken. Between them, NECO’s own staff are fluent in Palauan, English, Japanese, French, Dutch, Filipino, along with variable proficiency in German, Italian, and Spanish
- Q: What is the best time of year to visit?
- A: December through March is the peak season for tourism in Palau. July and August usually have the heaviest rainfall, although short showers can be expected year round. Being close to the equator, the weather is very consistent, with the air temperature hovering round 29°C / 84°F and the humidity averages 82%. Diving is good year round, and for more details on what can be seen in which months, check out the diving page here.
- Q: Can I use my cellphone?
- A: More and more cell phones from different countries work in Palau, however you will more than likely have to purchase a local SIM card for your phone to work – check with PNCC to see the latest information.
- Q: Where can I find internet access?
- A: Most facilities, restaurants and hotels on island offer Wifi connections; Neco Marine has free wifi at the Drop Off, bar, and a connected PC is also available at the dive center.
- Q: What is the duty free allowance?
- A: One bottle of Liquor and 200 cigarettes can be brought into Palau duty-free.