Highlights of Micronesia: Palau and Yap
Adventure awaits below the surface in Palau and Yap. Indulge in a three-week adventure, swimming with sharks, manta rays and thousands of jellyfish, while gliding over pristine coral reefs as you dive from Bohol Island, Koror and Yap. Stay in luxurious, laid-back hotels surrounded by luscious jungles; feast on nourishing family-recipe meals; and lounge on a private beach in between dives.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Dive among the world's richest marine biodiversity in the Coral Triangle with 33 dive sites including Paradise Garden and Dap Dap.
- Swim with 13 species of sharks at Blue Corner.
- Snorkel in the world-famous Jellyfish Lake.
- Explore WWII wrecks and train your camera on macro critters within Koros's clear waters.
- Marvel at manta rays in the German Channel before being served lunch during your interval breaks.
- Swim with over 100 manta rays and watch them being cleaned in the early hours at the reefs 'cleaning station'.
- Dive with reef sharks in Yap alongside more than 200 species of hard and soft coral.
- Unwind with traditional spa treatments and sunbathing sessions on private beaches.
- Explore Manila's famous food scene while soaking in the local atmosphere.
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When To Travel
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Day 1: International flight
Your adventure begins today with a long-haul flight to Cebu Island via Singapore. Speed through security with fast-track check in and head to the lounge before you settle in with a good movie for your 13-hour flight to Singapore.
Day 2: Cebu Island to Bohol
Allow the pre-holiday excitement to kick in on the four-hour flight from Singapore to Cebu Island. On arrival, you'll be greeted and driven one-and-a-half hours to the pier to catch the one-and-a-half-hour ferry to Getafe pier. From here, relax and gaze out of the car window as you're driven two hours to a resort hidden among lush jungles overlooking crystal-clear waters. Unwind with a massage or hilot (a traditional treatment), lounge on the private beach with your book, or indulge in a delicious meal cooked to a family recipe as you bask in the gardens under the warm setting sun.
Days 3-4: Dive in the waters of the Coral Triangle
Over the next two days, enjoy unlimited diving in the heart of the Coral Triangle. Divers will be in their element here with serene white sand beaches, 33 dive sites and waters that boast 76% of the world's coral species, six (of seven) marine turtle species, and over 2,000 reef fish species. The on-site dive centre facilitates day and night dives to explore the vibrant reefs, and the entire area is ideal for snorkellers and underwater photographers with shallow depths and ample sunlight. Your hotel is the perfect base for your underwater adventures, surrounded by a nine-mile coral reef and with easy access to some of Bohol's best dive sites, from the house reef to Paradise Garden and Dap Dap. If you're feeling adventurous, check out the steep walls and panoramic views at sites like Panorama and maybe even meet Bruno, the resident octopus at the Caverns dive site.
Day 5: Journey to Koror
It's back on the road for your journey to Koror. You'll be transferred back via the car-ferry-car route from your hotel to Cebu Island, enjoying some final views of the lush jungle as you go. From here, jump onto a one-and-a-half-hour flight from Cebu Island to Manila before a three-hour flight onwards to Koror.
Day 6: Touch down in Koror, Palau
As your feet touch the ground, you'll be whisked away for a 20-minute car ride from the airport to your overwater luxury bungalow for seven nights of adventure and rest among tropical gardens, including an orchid farm. After settling into your room, slip in the clear blue water for a cooling dip and relax on a lounger as the warm sea breeze drifts past before your first meal in either of the two onsite restaurants. End the day with a stroll down to the resort's private beach.
Day 7-12: Underwater adventures aplenty
Over the next five days, enjoy twice-daily dives and sun-soaked intervals while munching lunch. Dive into Koror's world-class waters to discover WWII wrecks; vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish and captivating macro life; and big fish encounters including various shark species, barracuda whirlpools, king mackerel and bluefin trevally. Make sure to check out renowned dive sites, such as the pulse-pounding Blue Corner, where you can watch up to 13 shark species circle a coral-encrusted reef wall. And don't miss the captivating manta action at the German Channel.
Day 13: Snorkelling at Jellyfish Lake
This morning, tuck into a delightful breakfast before venturing to Jellyfish Lake for a unique experience - the chance to swim with thousands of these orb-like creatures. The lake's ample food supply and absence of predators have enabled the jellyfish to flourish in huge numbers, but fear not - they don't sting.
Day 14: Onwards to Yap
After a relaxed morning, bid a fond farewell to Bohol Island and begin your journey to Yap. You'll be privately transferred to the airport for your two-hour flight to Guam, where you'll spend a night at a nearby hotel located along Tumon Bay. Nab one of the cabanas on the private white sand beach and enjoy some R&R before a delicious dinner and bed.
Day 15: Travel from Guam to Yap
A brief one-hour-and-20-minute flight takes you to Yap, where a friendly driver will welcome you. A quick ten-minute drive brings you to the family-owned luxury hotel on the pristine island of Yap in the western Pacific Ocean. Unwind by the bay side infinity pool as you gear up for three full days of exhilarating diving to fill your logbook.
Day 16-18: Dive, dive, dive
Gear yourself up for nine dives over three days, with the option to explore Nitrox diving. Yap's renowned dive sites are home to a thriving population of resident manta rays, with over 100 of these majestic creatures gracing the waters. Make sure to catch the morning spectacle of manta rays being cleaned by reef fish at the 'cleaning station.' Find a good spot and watch as these graceful creatures glide just inches away from you. If you can tear yourself away from the manta dances, the outer reefs beckon with thrilling wall dives, caverns and slopes which are adorned with more than 200 species of soft and hard corals, and home to an amazing array of marine life. For an adrenaline rush, head on a shark dive and find yourself surrounded by ten or more reef sharks.
Day 19: Yap to Manila
Sadly, it's time to bid farewell to the mesmerising manta rays. Savor a leisurely morning and lavish breakfast in the sunshine before being chauffeured back to Yap airport, commencing the multi-leg journey homeward. Fly from Yap to Manila via Guam where you'll spend your penultimate night in the Philippines. Upon arrival, you'll be transferred 20 minutes to your centrally located hotel which is in the ideal spot for a last night of cultural exploration. Stroll past the Avellana Art Gallery on your way to a laid-back bar for a final drink. And make sure to check out Ugbo Street, Manila's famous street food spot.
Day 20-21: Homebound
Settle in for a long-haul flight home, the perfect opportunity to fill in extra details to your now brimming dive logbook. Read the final chapters of your book before dozing off and waking up back home, ready to tell everyone the stories of your epic adventure.
Emily C and Rachel are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.