Palau. Magic. I love this place. This is my second time to visit Palau. I’ve traveled quite a bit, but Palau kept calling me back. The pure physical beauty and biological diversity, both above water and below is pretty outrageous. Paddling a kayak through a mangrove forest to an interior salt water lake is just such a peaceful, beautiful experience. Slip over the side and snorkel over absolutely amazing coral and the myriad of colorful fish living there. Here I am exploring the Ngemelis Outer Reef in the Rock Islands.
Jellyfish lake is an “other worldly” experience. Then onto the big stuff: huge schools of fish forming rivers, turtles, sharks, mantas, dolphins, dugongs. The “manta parade” we got to experience was amazing. Those guys are BIG! The WW2 history we relived throughout the islands, but especially in Peleliu, was so moving. The entire island of Peleliu is a memorial to the battle that occurred there. And finally the Palauan people and their culture are so interesting. I appreciate so much what they are doing to preserve their beautiful islands and gaining the World Heritage designation was a huge factor in that effort. In short, Palau is a very special place.
-Text by 6 time WT adventurer Victoria O’Connor, photos by Victoria O’Connor and WT assistant Trip Leader Matthew Glaze, Palau Sea Kayaking and Snorkeling