Palau’s Compact Road encompasses Babeldaob Island, opening up opportunities to visit sites of cultural/historic importance, such as the Badrulchau (Stone Monoliths), Japanese lighthouse, stone paths, stone faces and stone platforms. Just one hour south near Koror to Ngarchelong in the north, the highway runs through forest and savannah. One exciting feature of the highway is the experience of both the east and west coasts of Babeldaob with stops at markets for local food and refreshments. There are several rental car companies in Palau and many tour operators offer land tours in the various states.
On Peleliu Island, which is south of the stunning Rock Islands, are steep limestone cliffs that hide caves, as well as World War II planes, tank and war paraphernalia scattered about the island. The surrounding reef island measures 4.6 miles in length, and are somber reminders of the titanic battle that was fought on the island between American and Japanese forces in 1944. Derelict tanks, amphibious landing ramps, airplane propellers, bomb casings and steel helmets now dot the landscape and a War Museum has been set up for viewing smaller artillery and other items of interest.
Palau has an abundance of the most spectacular sportsfishing opportunities. One can troll for game fish such as mammoth 400-pounds blue marlin, sailfish, giant trevally, wahoo and tuna. As a matter of fact, sport-fishing is so popular in the islands that there are serious fishing derby competitions that are open to anyone. Generous cash prizes are awarded for the biggest catches in several categories including tuna, barracuda, wahoo and marlin, to name a few. Most recently, catch and release sports fishing has become a popular activity and is offered by tour companies.
What better way to view hundreds of islands at once is to take to the air. Through small domestic air flights, helicopter tours, or even sky diving, you can take in most of the beautiful archipelago of Palau in a bird’s eye view.
The famous mushroom-shaped gems of Palau’s Rock Islands Southern Lagoon were inscribed in 2012 as a mixed cultural and natural site into the UNESCO World Heritage List. Covering 100,200 hectares with 445 uninhabited limestone islands of volcanic origin, these unique island formations are surrounded by turquoise lagoons and coral reefs. There is also the highest concentration of marine lakes anywhere. These are isolated bodies of seawater that have been separated from the ocean by land barriers that sustain high endemism of populations which continue to yield new discoveries of species.