Diving the Rock Islands

The Rock Islands are Palau’s most beautiful and visited islands. Divers consider these islands “the holy grail for diving,” and they offer some of the world’s most unique landscapes. Thousands of avid divers come to Palau every year, making Palau one of the world’s top diving destinations. Head to Palau’s southern lagoon, between Koror and Peleliu, to see over 200 limestone rocks straight up out of the deep blue sea, which create unique mushroom-shaped islands topped with dense, green jungle. The bottom of each island continues down into the ocean, creating an astounding habitat for the immense diversity of life that thrives in these waters. The awe-inspiring topography of the Rock Islands, make them home to Palau’s most sought after dive sites. One of the most famous dive sites in this region is Blue Corner, where a reef hook (invented in Palau) is a must to keep you stationary in the ripping current. Make sure to also include in your trip a visit to the massive caverns of Blue Holes, and to the German Channel, which is a great place to see manta rays. The islands are also home to 52 marine lakes; one of those marine lakes is the world-famous snorkeling site, Jellyfish Lake, where you can snorkel amongst thousands of non-stinging jellyfish. The Rock Islands were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. They are a must-visit place with a unique beauty that will continue to astound divers from all over the world.

Dive Sites in Rock Islands

Featured places to go in Rock Islands

Koror is a small group of islands, where you will find the most accessible diving from shore in all Palau.

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Peleliu puts divers close to all of Palau’s most famous dive sites.

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Ngemelis Island is where you will find Palau’s most visited dives sites.

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Mecharchar is home to spectacular dive sites located right off its shores, including Lignite, Beluowar, and Ngerchong North and South Coral Gardens.

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Aquatic Life in Rock Islands

Visibility in Palau can be astounding, reaching sometimes 200 feet (61 meters) and allowing divers to see more underwater life than they ever thought possible in a single dive. Every dive site in these islands is bustling with activity. Dive into the waters of The Rock Islands to see over 1,300 different reef fish species including red snapper, green humphead parrotfish, mandarinfish, scorpionfish, pipefish, lionfish, and the large but friendly Napoleon wrasse. Pay attention to spot all the predatory fish that Palau is famous for, including bigeye trevally, fusilier, tuna, manta rays, eagle rays, and sharks. Some other species like whitetip, grey, and blacktip reef sharks are abundant and will seem to be everywhere.