Dive Sites

ULONG ISLAND AREA

Experience level: Advanced
Typical depth: 20 meters / 70 feet

This dive starts with a gentle drift along a stunning wall covered in sea-fans and soft corals. Siaes Corner is similar to Blue Corner in that it offers the opportunity to hook-in when the current is strong enough and watch the sharks and large schools of snappers hang in the current.
The top of the reef is very healthy so after unhooking divers drift over the plateau and admire the pristine coral and abundant reef fish.

SIAES TUNNEL

Experience level: Intermediate
Typical depth: 30 meters / 100 feet – Advanced OW certification require, Nitrox highly advised

Although the name suggests it is a tunnel, this site is more like a wide cavern with three openings. The biggest starts around 28m/95ft and descends very quickly to well past recreational limits, so it’s very important to stick with your guide and monitor your depth.
Watch out below for schools of jacks below, sometimes being hunted by giant and bluefin trevallies. It’s worth bringing a flashlight to look at the roof and walls of this beautiful cavern but once inside you will soon notice the second opening on your left, framed with beautiful fan corals taking advantage of current moving in and out of the cavern.
Continuing into the cavern and the floor rises up to around 30m/100ft. Look closely to find beautifully marked shrimp gobies and dartfish. The third opening is bigger and slightly more shallow than the second but is similarly framed with picturesque fan corals. It’s not uncommon for grey reef sharks to be found outside any of the entrances.
On exiting the tunnel, the dive usually continues much shallower in order to save on No Deco Stop Time, along a gorgeous and expansive reef wall covered in hard and soft corals and many, many kinds of tropical fish.

ULONG CHANNEL

Experience level: Beginner – Intermediate (very strong current + drift)
Typical depth: 15 meters / 50 feet

Ulong Channel is a wonderful drift dive – trim your buoyancy to neutral and soak in the colors as you drift through this stunning natural channel. Hook in at the mouth of the channel with a strong incoming tide to watch the sharks hang in the current, then fly through the channel past beautiful coral and fish.
Watch out for one of the world’s largest patches of lettuce coral deeper inside the channel home to hundreds of bigeye soldier fish and towards the end of the dive look for rays, giant clams and leopard sharks in the sand.

Experience level: Beginner
Typical depth: 30 meters / 100 feet

A stone’s throw from Ulong Channel, this expansive coral garden boasts large hard corals of every variety. Panther Grouper, Spotted Sweet-Lips and a large school of big eye soldier fish shelter under broad table corals, while hefty schools of Yellowfin Barracuda patrol the reef, sometimes accompanied by Grey Reef Sharks. The reef ends at a sandy bottom around 30m / 100ft which slopes off into the blue and gives the site its name. Look closely in the sand for waving forests of Garden Eels and be manicured by bold Cleaner Wrasse, and discover the rare Urchintail Mantis shrimp. Pay careful attention to your guide if they are also able to spot beautifully camouflaged Scorpion Leaf Fish hiding just below swarming tiny Glassfish. Be warned though, this sandy bottom also serves as a popular breeding ground for highly protective Yellow Margin Triggerfish in the run up to the new moon. This is the first site ever recorded as a mass spawning site for thousands of Humphead parrotfish coming together before the new moon every month to spawn early in the morning.

Experience level: Beginner
Typical depth: 25 meters / 80 feet

Lying in the shadow of Ulong Island, this wall offers both a stunning plateau to explore as well as breathtaking walls and drop offs. Sharks, Trevallies, Napoleon wrasse and other predators love to gather at the small corners and cuts in this wall and we frequently find them harassing schools of Scad waiting for the right moment to strike. Large grouper will also be found blending in with the corals nearby. There is also a large resident school of Big Eye trevallies which roaming the edge of reef, swirling in a tight ball, flashing their silver sides. 

Lagoon Area / Inside the Reef

Chandelier Cave is a only short boat journey from the Neco dock.
It is actually a cavern (exit is always visible) extending back into a rock island and contains four air chambers, the size of these chambers varying with the tide.
The name is derived from the stalactites which hang like chandeliers from the ceiling inside these air chambers.
The dive is typically a very shallow dive, allowing divers to surface in several or all of the air chambers to observe the stalactites formations which differ from one chamber to the next up close.
A flashlight is mandatory on this dive, although light from the entrance is always visible.
This light allows us to exit the cave without the aid of flashlights for an eerie but beautiful experience on our way out.
Outside the cave we have opportunity to look for the elusive mandarinfish, a beautifully decorated but rather shy dragonet which hides in the coral at shallow depths.

Toggle Content
Toggle Content

Experience level: Intermediate
Typical depth: 20 meters / 70 feet

Lighthouse Channel is a drift dive known for its strong currents. The strong currents mean different kinds of coral thrive in this channel so you’ll see more fan and tube corals on the sloping wall. Look out for lobsters peering out of their grottos and turtles catching a bite to eat, with big schools of fusiliers feeding in the current. This site is also home to the Buoy 6 wreck, an old sunken fishing boat approximately 25m / 80 ft long and covered in beautiful hard and soft corals – a great place to find nudibranches or even a frogfish if you’re lucky.

Experience level: Intermediate
Typical depth: 30 meters / 100 feet – Advanced Open water + Nitrox certification highly advised

This beautifully preserved wreck sits upright with the bow at 16m / 50ft and the stern at 30m / 100ft. Most of the 143m / 470 ft long super structure is still intact and covered in hard corals.
Although this was a cargo ship in the war there are two large turret guns still in place at the bow and stern. A typical dive makes its way slowly along the deck of the wreck exploring the cargo holes, helm and other mast structures. Look out for the large school of bigeye trevallies swirling around the fore masts, curious batfish and occasionally a large solitary barracuda. Look even closer at the corals to find soft coral crabs, pipefish and well hidden shrimps. The dive ends by spiraling up three aft masts which have a large collection of anemones filled with anemonefish and two large clams at around 10m / 30ft. 

Note: We do not penetrate the wreck, as this is a form of technical diving requiring additional training, equipment and planning to be done safely.

Experience level: Intermediate

Typical depth: 30 meters / 100 feet

This Japanese ship wreck, situated very close to Koror harbor, has not been properly identified and so it has been named after the fused helmet stacks that can be found on the wreck. This wreck is also known as the Depth Charge Wreck with over 100 depth charges still visible in the hold. In  2013 and 2014, operations focused on the  safe removal of these depth charges. as they have been determined to be hazardous to the environment and to divers. The wreck itself is relatively small and starts rather shallow at the stern (around 10m / 40ft) but has plenty of interesting artifacts to see in addition to the helmet stacks. The open deck makes for easy exploration with several “swim-through” areas. Watch your Bottom Time and No Deco Stop Limit though as the bow sits in 30m / 100ft of water. A typical dive follows the starboard side of the wreck down to the bow and returns along the port side, back to the buoy line at the stern.

Ngemelis Island Area

Experience level: Advanced
Typical depth: 28 meters / 90 feet – Advanced OW & Nitrox certification highly advised

The Blue Holes are four large holes in the reef plateau just a few meters below the surface.
The holes are all connected to a single large cavern, well lit by the holes above and by the large cavern entrance leading to the ocean.
Make sure you catch the view looking back up holes as the rays of light shine down.
At the back of the cavern the bottom sits around 28m/90ft inside, but this drops off very steeply as you move towards the main ocean opening making it very important to monitor your depth as you descend into and move around inside.
There are several electric clams (disco clams) on the walls, interesting gobies and their shrimp partners and a cleaner shrimp grotto too. On leaving the Blue Holes, if the tide is right, most divers finish by turning left along a beautiful reef wall, which leads towards Blue Corner. 

Experience level: Advanced
Typical depth: 15 – 20 meters / 50 – 70 feet

Blue Corner is one of Palau’s most famous dive sites, allowing divers the chance to get very close to the local marine life. Situated off Ngemelis island, south of Koror, the big attractions here are numerous grey reef and white tip reef sharks, tuna, Spanish mackerel, giant trevallies, large schools of big-eyed Jacks, snappers and barracudas, turtles, and friendly Napoleon wrasses.
Hooking-in a couple of strategic areas,, divers hang effortlessly over the reef while staying close to the action.
A word of warning though, the currents are strong, don’t always follow the tides and can be unpredictable.
You have to dive Blue Corner several times to really get a feel for the place, since on different tides and moon phases it can be a totally different dive experience.

Experience level: Beginner
Typical depth: 18 meters / 60 feet

Dexter’s Wall offers a gentle current dive along a diverse reef wall covered in soft and hard corals, and teeming with green and hawksbill turtles. Set alongside the famous Blue Corner this is also a great place to see grey and white tip reef sharks moving to and from the corner.
The initially sloping topography changes during the dive, to more sheer drops in frequently crystal clear waters.

Experience level: Intermediate
Typical depth: 30 meters / 100 feet – Nitrox and Advanced OW certification highly advised

Virgin Hole is a vertical drop to 30m / 100ft down a wide chimney in the top of the reef, followed by a 30m / 100ft horizontal swim to the exit hole in the reef wall.
Light from either the entrance or exit is usually visible at all times but a flashlight is recommended for this dive.
The entrance, exit and tunnel are all wide enough to admit several divers alongside each other.
After exiting the hole, the dive continues along the beautiful reef wall known as Virgin Wall – a steep wall which leads, further along, to several large coral heads to explore as well as a short “swim through”.

Experience level: Beginner
Typical depth: 15 meters / 50 feet

Also known as Fairy Land, this magical garden offers stunning coral formations in a wide variety of colors.
The pristine corals here provide sanctuary for an wealth of tropical reef fish and also attract large schools of snappers, butterflyfish and fusiliers. Turtles love the calm clear waters and can be seen from far popping to the surface to breathe and gliding back down again.
Look out for white tip reef sharks napping in the sandy patches and keep an eye on the shallows to spot the more skittish black tip reef sharks.

Experience level: Intermediate
Typical depth: 15 – 20 meters / 50 – 70 feet

A slightly smaller version of Blue Corner, New Drop Off is a favorite at outgoing tide, which is rare in Palau, where most dive sites are best dived on an incoming tide.
Home to many turtles, sharks and large schools of tropical and pelagic fish. You can also see Napoleon wrasses and many more of Palau’s favorites.
The wall drops off to hundreds of meters / feet while the top of the plateau is relatively shallow at around 10 – 15m / 30 – 50 feet with a plethora of marine life to be found here.
Green turtles sleep on the reef, here, and hawksbill turtles munch on the corals.

Experience level: Beginner
Typical depth: 20 meters / 70 feet

Big drop off runs along the side of Ngemelis Island and abounds with soft, leather and fan corals and was made famous by Jacques-Yves Cousteau who loved this wall dive and studied the corals here.
Drift slowly along this wall through schools of yellow pyramid butterflyfish, Moorish idols and many types of angelfish.

Study the wall more closely to find nudibranchs, moray eels and lionfish, and perhaps even a well-camouflaged scorpionfish. white tip reef sharks often snooze on the sandy patches below and keep an eye on the blue for passing grey reef sharks or even an eagle ray.

Experience level: Intermediate
Typical depth: 20 meters / 70 feet

German Channel is the only man-made channel in Palau.
It is named after the Germans who, during their occupation of Palau prior to WWI, expanded a natural but incomplete channel, for more direct shipping route between Koror and Peleliu.

The resulting topography of the dive site means that the currents help accumulate large quantities of plankton in the mouth of the channel and it is this plankton that attracts Manta rays to the area.
German Channel is therefore an excellent location to see Manta Rays feeding in “trains” or being cleaned on one of the many “cleaning stations” dotted along the site.
Magical encounters are possible with experienced dive guides who place divers such that the mantas pass very close by or even just over-head.

www.mantaIDpalau.org website has put together an extensive database of over 275+ individual mantas with new mantas discovered every season.

Mantas are identified by the markings on their undersides. If you’re lucky enough to photograph a Manta’s belly and the markings cannot be matched to one in the database, www.MantaIDpalau.org offers you the opportunity to name your very own Manta ray.

Click here for detailed guidelines on how to interact with Manta rays at German Channell.

Even if there are no mantas to be seen, there are still plenty of other critters to find while exploring this site.
Large feather tail stingrays and white tip reef sharks can be found sleeping on the sandy bottom along with garden eels, blind gobies and mantis shrimp.
German Channel is also a favorite for beautiful leopard sharks.
Watch giant trevallies and grey reef sharks hunt large schools of scad, while unicornfish school with fusiliers in a large “feeding ball” at incoming tides above the reef.

Experience level: Beginner
Typical depth: 15 meters / 50 feet

This wall dive on the outside of Ngemelis Island beings very steep but the slope gets slowly more gradual as the dive continues.
This allows for easy exploration of large dazzling corals heads, teeming with life and later on a short labyrinth in amongst the coral heads ending in a short “swim-through”.
Feeding turtles are a common occurrence amongst other gems to be found in the corals and ensure you watch the blue for a glimpse of larger passing sharks and rays and the rarely seen tawny nurse shark.

Peleliu Island Area