Palau (Belau) - Profile
- The Republic of Palau, now known as Belau, is part of the Western Caroline Islands. Closely grouped together inside a barrier reef are the high islands of Babeldaob, the main island of Koror, Peleliu, and the many Rock Islands. Just outside the reef are Anguaur and the atoll Kayangel, while to the south are a group of five small volcanic islands, stretching down towards Indonesia.
- Conveniently situated on the route from the South Pacific to the Philippines, Palau lagoon and its many picturesque islands provide one of the most beautiful cruising grounds in the Pacific in one small area. This is slightly marred by the strict entry regulations, but this can be overcome by sorting out the necessary paperwork before one's arrival and, once there, by observing the rules. The effort is entirely justified as the scenery is rarely matched elsewhere in the Pacific. The richest flora and fauna in Micronesia are found here, both on land and underwater.
- The most fascinating place to visit are the Rock Islands, which are over two hundred limestone islets covered in jungle growth. Three major ocean currents meet in this area bringing food to nourish the rich marine life. The sea is teeming with turtles, manta rays, moray eels, fish of all descriptions, giant clams and even dugong. Occasionally one is brought back to earth by the sight of a wrecked ship from the bloody battles which were fought in and over these waters during the Second World War.
- Strict rules apply to visits to the outer islands and because of many abuses by cruising boats in the past, the authorities treat all visitors with suspicion, and, occasionally, with a certain degree of hostility. It is even rumoured that the authorities are considering closing the Rock Islands to cruising boats altogether.
- Due to the country's close association with the USA and the presence of the US military, many more American goods can be purchased here than can normally be found in most Pacific Islands.
International Dialing code for Palau is +680.
Palau lies on the edge of the typhoon belt and is only rarely affected by tropical storms. The typhoon season is from May to November. The wet season is June to September, which is the SW monsoon. The best weather is during the NE monsoon from December to March.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.