When we studied Palau before our trip, we often encountered the name Peleliu. Peleliu is a state of Palaus and is located about 50 kilometers southwest of the city of Koror. The island had interested us for two reasons: On the one hand, some of the most beautiful dive sites of Palaus are to be found here and on the other hand you can see some relics from the Second World War.
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Day tours to the island of Peleliu
Fish ‘n Fins offers a day trip to Peleliu, consisting of two dives off Peleliu and a land tour on the island itself. The perfect combination, then. On our first dive days, unfortunately, there was no one who was interested in this tour. This was certainly due to the increased costs associated with the tour: you need an additional diving permit for Peleliu of $30,you have to pay a surcharge for the increased gasoline consumption and still has the cost of the land tour. But since you are probably only once in your life on this spot of earth, it was definitely worth it to us. On our last day of diving, however, we had approached some more dive guests at Fish ‘n Fins and convinced them to be part of the tour 🙂
The trip to Peleliu takes about 60 to 70 minutesby boat from Koror. In the early morning we arrived at our first dive site Peleliu Cut, which is located at the southern tip of the island. Many of the instructors had already told us that diving off Peleliu would be much different. Due to the strong currents, the chance to see big fishshould be very high. So maybe mantas or hammerhead sharks? Our last chance!
Fierce current during the first dive in Peleliu
With the roll backwards we went into the water and already we were in the deep blue. Already after a few minutes we noticed how strong the current is. Our instructor gave us signs again and again that we should keep some distance from the reef wall – to the side and also upwards to the reef edge – so that the current does not pull us away. Unfortunately, not all divers of our group adhered to it and were pulled over the edge of the reef by the current. You couldn’t react that quickly. In order to stay together, we too had to go into this current and – instead of next to the reef – drifted over the reef. Here one felt like in an express train: In a hurry we were pulled with the current over the reef to the other side of the island, until our diving instructor had decided after only 35 minutes dive time to cancel the dive. This was of course a great pity, on the other hand we couldn’t admire much of the underwater world in the end, because everything went so fast. We have had to deal with currents several times in our more than 100 dives, but this one was already exceptionally strong and is not to be underestimated.
So this dive then unfortunately passed relatively quickly without having seen really much. Only at the beginning we saw some reef sharks and turtles pass us leisurely at the reef wall.
Our second dive at the Coral Garden
For the second dive, our instructors have chosen a quieter place, the Peleliu Coral Garden, which is only a few minutes from the first dive site. The dive site starts already in the low water, only a few meters below the water surface. The “Coral Garden” is located right in front of Pelelius Orange Beach, which has had a tragic career. Here at Orange Beach, the Americans landed in September 1944 to attack Peleliu. For this reason, the reef is still stocked with artifacts that are from the Second World War and which can actually be found underwater as a diver.
The dive was very relaxed. There was only a slight current, so that you could observe and marvel at the underwater world in peace. Among other things, we could see some turtles, anemone-fish, buffalo-headed parrotfish and giant push-pusher-fish, which defend their nests in the breeding season without regard for losses and sometimes bite into the diving fins. Especially with giant pusher fish we usually always keep a few meters away…
During the dive we also saw a giant mussel, which is considered the largest shell in the world. Even if it’s hard to get over in the photo – the shell was really riiiiiiiiesig! We’ve seen a lot of mussels during our dives, but they were mini against it. What we didn’t know before: Palau is home to 8 out of 10 species of giant mussel. The giant mussels are often called killer mussels, so it is best not to get close to them by hand or foot. There is indeed a documented incident from the 1930s in the Philippines. There, a pearl diver was found dead, whose hand was pinched by a 160 kg giant shell. In his hand was still found the pearl that he had tried to get out…
Our videos of diving in Peleliu
After a good hour we went back to the boat. And the sober realization: Again, there was no manta to see far and wide. Really a pity! Here is a short video with a few impressions of our two dives on Peleliu:
All travelogues from PalauThe islands of Palau, together with Blue Corner and the German Channel, are among the most beautiful and interesting dive sites in the world. And the fantastic pictures of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Rock Islands have certainly been seen by many on the Internet or in reports on TV. We spent a total of 12 days on Palau and got to know the island paradise both above and under water.
Palau – Travel Guide, Diving & Things to Do
Palau – Entry & Exit (Visa) at Koror Airport
Koror – The Palau Royal Resort on Malakal Island
Diving with the diving school Fish ‘n Fins
The Rock Islands in Palau & Infos about Jellyfish Lake
The Blue Corner – Diving with Sharks & Napoleon Lip Fish
The German Channel – Diving at the Manta Hotspot
Jake Seaplane – Diving at the Plane Wreck
Palau – Diving in the island paradise of Micronesia
Peleliu – Diving on Palau Island
Peleliu – Historical tour of the old battlefields in World War II
Palau – Our Self-Guided Day Tour of Babeldaob Island
Palau – Scenic Flight over the Rock Islands & Seventy Islands