Palau is one of the best scuba diving destinations out there and like I said in my previous post, it tied with my #1 diving destination.
I knew I had to go diving at the Rock Islands, which is not hard to do. The Rock Islands are where most of the dive centers take their boats too. There are dive sites up north as well, outside the Rock Islands area.
Finding spots on a diving boat was easy, but choosing with who to go with was another story. There are so many dive shops! How does one choose?
I knew the main thing I was looking for – I wanted (needed) to go on a two tank dive and snorkel at the Jellyfish Lake on the same day. Jellyfish Lake is famous for its jellyfish that do not sting! You can swim with them safely. Apparently, they lost their sting due to no predators for many years.
Back to booking my trip – I wanted to do those three things in one boat trip. As I looked, I found my answer to who offers it and how easy it was to navigate their website to find it – Fish ‘n Fins!
Fish ‘n Fins is a dive shop located on the main island of Koror, on a side road off the main road. You can walk right into the downtown area after your dive and as their courtesy, you get picked up and dropped off if you dive with them. This was very helpful as I stayed up by the shore at the West Plaza by the Sea hotel which was about a 10 minute drive.
They have a pretty big size dive shop (I have seen some that are tiny). You can purchase gear there as well as souvenirs and of course, rent all you need for your excursion. The back of the shop leads to their dock, a waterfront bar and restaurant named Barracudda, and an ocean view of this:
Well, my two tank dive and Jellyfish Lake day went great! I happened to come a few days after many groups of people traveling together left. Supposedly, the dive shop had to get extra boats to accommodate them and they did make it all happen.
I dove with one other person that day which led me to have plenty of space on the boat. Boating past the Rock Islands is like being in a dream. There are so many of them and you cannot stop staring. They are just beautiful and you wish you could kept shipwrecked on one (or not, but I’d love to camp overnight which you could do with the dive shop too!). Many birds flock to some of the more isolated Rock Islands, and I can still vividly remember them in my mind.
I did not know the dive sites ahead of time, and was pleasantly surprised. We dove at two sites – German Channel and Blue Corner.
Our second dive was at Blue Corner – one of the best dive sites and highly recommended! At this site, all I can say is – Sharks! Plenty of sharks roam around. Once you descend, you head to a spot where you hook into a rock and inflate your BC. As you “fly like a kite”, you look out over the corner and see sharks swarming. Sometimes, groups of fish would swim away so fast because I think a shark got one…
I had never seen so many fish and sharks before off a cliff, not even in Maldives.
After our dives, we had a delicious lunch box. You get to pick what you’d like to eat prior to the dive. How nice right? There were different meats, burgers, and salads to choose from on the menu. I went with the bbq pork and it was more like a dinner to me. I needed all that food anyway after good diving.
Jellyfish Lake is the last stop. You actually get off on a Rock Island named Eil Malk. There is a steep hike included to the lake, which only makes it more adventurous. It is completely safe but do wear appropriate shoes (ones with straps on your ankles) and do be careful as some steps are slippery.
You reach the lake in less than 10 minutes and then you go for it! Strap on those flippers and swim towards the middle where most of the jellyfish are. I want to write so much more about this because it’s an experience that deserves more attention, so look back for a post just on the Jellyfish Lake experience! For now, here are some awesome shots I got and look how close the jellyfish come to you. It is at times hard to avoid them but no worries, they don’t sting! This is a one of a kind place in the world.
Move gently in the water around them, do not kick them with your fins! Float as much as you can.
It was the experience of a lifetime that I would happily repeat!
*Major thanks for Fish ‘n Fins for offering me a 20% discount on my excursions. As always, all opinions are my own. It was a great day with them and ending the night with a few local beers at their Barracuda bar on site – right next to the dock! Permits for diving and Jellyfish Lake need to be purchased separately but are available through the dive shop – they make it so easy. Prices are located here.