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Holidays in Palmyra Atoll

Understanding Palmyra Atoll

Travellers are permitted to visit the refuge by private boat in certain circumstances Visits must have prior approval

The Kingdom of Hawaii claimed the atoll in 1862, and the US included it among the Hawaiian Islands when it annexed the archipelago in 1898 The Hawaii Statehood Act of 1959 did not include Palmyra Atoll, which is now primarily privately owned by the Nature Conservancy with the rest owned by the US government and managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service These organizations are managing the atoll as a wildlife refuge The lagoons and surrounding waters within the 12 nm US territorial seas were transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and designated as a National Wildlife Refuge in January 2001 A new international climatology research station began development in 2005

The high rainfall and resulting lush vegetation make the environment of this atoll unique among the US Pacific Island territories It supports one of the largest remaining undisturbed stands of Pisonia beach forest in the Pacific

The atoll is best known for an incident which took place in 1974, when a yachting couple who arrived at the atoll with supplies for a year's vacation, discovered another poorly-provisioned couple one fleeing a prison sentence, who took their ship and apparently murdered them both The crime was the subject of a book published in 1991


Palmyra is equatorial and hot It's located within the low pressure area of the Intertropical Convergence Zone ITCZ where the northeast and southeast trade winds meet, which has also contributed to its shores being littered with debris carried by Pacific currents It is extremely wet with between 4,000-5,000 mm 160-200 in of rainfall each year


Palmyra consists of several low and nearly level sandy coral islands with narrow fringing reef that has developed at the top of a submerged volcanic mountain, rising steeply from the ocean floor The islands are mostly connected depending on the tide

Talking in Palmyra Atoll

English and Palauan are the official languages, although some islands also give official status to their own languages

What to see in Palmyra Atoll

  • Palau International Coral Reef Center 6804886950 picrc@picrcorg http://wwwpicrcorg/ Very educational aquarium with a good souvenir shop Emphasis of displays is on education They include a topographical map of Palau; a recreation of a mangrove swamp, a seagrass aquarium; an inner reef aquarium; an exhibition of coral and another of the country's famed jellyfish; deep-water aquariums and a couple of salt-water crocodiles to end the tour Easy walk from downtown Koror in the direction of Malakal

What to do in Palmyra Atoll

Palau is most famous for scuba diving One of the most famous dive sites - Blue Corner, with constant sharks and a high current - is located less than 1 hour's boat ride from most resorts Many live aboards like Ocean Hunter operate out of Palau There are also tours to WWII battle fields on Palau

The Blue Corner, German Channel, Ulong Channel and Blue Holes are all amazing dive sites You can dive the same site again and again and have completely different experiences each time

Palau is also famous for its jellyfish lakes These lakes contain jellyfish which have evolved away their stingers in the absence of predators There are many tours which will go to the jellyfish lake to snorkel SCUBA diving is not permitted, nor is necessary, in the jellyfish lake Palau Jellyfish Lake 4 is included in the category of natural phenomena and scientific mysteries

Expedition Fleet5, is the largest privately owned live-aboard fleet in the Philippines Their ships operate all over the Philippine Island and Palau Expedition Fleet is known for experienced and professional Dive Masters as well as excellent service on board

Splash6, the dive shop attached to the Palau Pacific Resort is recommended The equipment available for rental is of high quality, and either new or well maintained The dive masters are also very experienced, responsible and know the dive sites very well Angelo at Splash is highly recommended as a dive master especially if you have not dived in stronger currents It should be noted that Splash runs a rather large, wide diveboat, containing 20+ divers

Fish 'n Fins 7 is the oldest dive center in Palau They currently have two live-aboard vessels, as well as seven smaller and faster! dive boats, operating from the base in Koror The guides are very professional and are more than willing to share their extensive knowledge of the ocean and the life in it Divers can use Nitrox EAN 32 for the same price as air Gas mixtures for technical divers are also available

Sam's Tours8 is another dive shop in Palau that offers diving, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing and land tours They have some great guides that provide educational and environmental information about the locales Sam's Tours uses small, fast narrow boats which carry 4~8 divers

  • Palau Dive & Scuba http://wwwpalaudivecom Small, personable service that brings together all the information on dive sites, conditions and dive centers for Palau

Buying stuff in Palmyra Atoll

There is currently no economic activity on Palmyra Atoll

Food and eating in Palmyra Atoll

  • Almost everything Palau has large communities from Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea, Japan and the USA and the local stores have evolved to supply their needs So Koror offers an amazing range of foodstuffs in its stores, at a price of course Japanese-inspired Bento lunch boxes are very popular
  • The Rock Island Cafe in Koror is a great place for a quick bit of American-style food It is located a little west of the Court House on Koror Island
  • Kramer's - on the wharf at Malakal A bit hard to find for the first time but food is good and the nightlife always interesting
  • Bem Ermii is in a small trailer near the courthouse in downtown Koror, and makes great burgers and milkshakes

Several other places of note in Koror are the Taj, an excellent Indian restaurant, Fuji, a reasonably-priced pseudo-Japanese restaurant or Dragon Tai on the way into Koror

Drinking in Palmyra Atoll

Red Rooster BeerDespite its size Palau has a small brewery, to be found next to the West Plaza by the Sea hotel see below It offers Amber and Stout and three other beers Abai Ice in Koror is a small hut that offers fresh fruit smoothies -- highly recommended

Many licensed establishments in Palau -- from quiet little bars to "Japanese"-style karaoke bars complete with bar girls For a decent affordable drink, try Sam's Dive Shop or High Tide behind Neco dive shop Alcohol is readily available at most stores Public drinking is not allowed, and the local police are more than happy to inconvenience you if you are caught

  • Q-ball club koror 4881832 you can play pool and chill out

Accommodation in Palmyra Atoll

There are no public accommodations on Palmyra Atoll; the limited facilities are for researchers' use only

Cities in Palmyra Atoll

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