Advanced Diving in Palau

As the birthplace of the reef hook, Palau is a favourite destination for those who enjoy being whipped along the reef. But Palau’s diving accolades extend far beyond its thrilling drift dives. An archipelago of some 340 islands flung in the remote Pacific Ocean, Palau is home to the world’s first shark sanctuary (which is roughly the size of France), 1,500 species of fish, 700 species of coral, a jellyfish lake and WWII wrecks. While you can also enjoy some gentler dives, it’s the more advanced diving in Palau that grabs headlines, with Blue Corner often touted as one of the best dives on the planet...

Blue Corner

Thanks to adrenaline-fuelled currents and plenty of shark action, Blue Corner is one of the world's best-known dive sites. Located on the western edge of Ngemelis Island, the site features a triangular reef plateau jutting out from a deep wall. As the currents hit the reef wall, they whip over the plateau, delivering nutrient-rich water to blizzards of fish life, which in turn attracts big predators...

Divers can get a front row seat to all this action while hooked into the plateau. On a bad day, you might only see 20 sharks, but on a good day, you can see up to 50 grey reef and whitetip sharks patrolling the current.

To get the most from the king of the advanced diving in Palau, aim to dive Blue Corner at least three times: once on an incoming tide, once on an outgoing tide, and once on a slack tide. Incoming and outgoing tides allow you to dive different sides of the plateau, and slack tides allow you to explore the top of the plateau without being blown off the sides...

Peleliu Express

While many of Palau's signature dives precede careful consideration of tide tables, Peleliu Express is a different beast. There's a big clue in the name as to why this dive site is among the more advanced diving in Palau, but when the currents are pumping, the sharks come out to play.

After descending into the blue, you truly get a feel for the speed of the current as a swift drift towards the wall's end usually ensues. As you near the end of the wall, you can hook in and watch big grey reef sharks cruising effortlessly, and there's always the chance of a silky or a silvertip showing up too...

The Iro Maru Wreck

Iru Maru, a WWII Japanese navy oiler ship, met her watery demise in 1944, during the US 'Operation Discrete One' offensive. Today, she rests halfway between Blue Corner and Koror harbour. The wreck is largely protected from the currents, but its 40-metre depth makes it more suitable for those looking for more advanced diving in Palau. The structure is festooned with colourful corals, and among the highlights is the coral-encrusted gun perched at the bow. Peering over the starboard side of the bow reveals the anchor chain, which takes you down to the area where the fatal torpedo struck almost 80 years ago.

The former tanker's loading towers reach upwards from the deck and allow you to shallow up as the dive nears its end, and a glance down reveals the full scale of the hulking 470-foot-long wreck...

Our team of dive travel specialists can help you put together a dream itinerary to enjoy its advanced diving. In Palau, home of some of the world's most iconic drift dives, you can also explore WWII wrecks and the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Rock Islands, as you move from one epic drift dive to the next. A glance at a map may make it seem like it's half the world away, but the diving in Palau is on an entirely different planet altogether!

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Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our 'Advanced Diving in Palau' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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