to visit the most beautiful spots in /around Palau its best to go aroud with a tour agency
our tour agency was really reliable, punctual, trying to satisfy all tourists need and expectations..really worth the money
especially to recommend the Special Rock island tour
its under Japanese management and most tourists are Japanese but they have very well trained staff with perfect English knowledge
Renting a bicycle for a day or 2 to do sightseeing in Palau, especially on the island of Koror, is probably the best choice you'll make on your travels to Palau.
They have several taxi-cab sevices but it cost like around $20 per hour. To have a taxi take you to the north-tip of the Big Island (Babeldaob), the tag on the trip is anywhere between $75-85++!! (Yikes!).
Most of the tourist attractions and/or points of interest for tourists in the area of Koror are all do-able by a bike ride....literally minutes from one place to the next.
I rented from this place called Island Bike Rental. The bikes are in excellent condition, clean, smooth. The rental was only $20.00...although I was given rental for $15.00 instead! I had a great time, no taxi cab rushing me, etc. And the best part is that they delivered the bike to my hotel....and picked it up afterwards! Really a plus.
I think the website was palaubikerental.com
from manila the only option to get to palau is to take continental airlines and the flight schedule they offer don't really give a lot of options. you either stay 2 days or stay 5 days in palau depending on what day you leave manila. plus they only have 1 flight both ways and their flight leaves at Manila at night and gets into Palau in the early morning. for the return trip they only have 1 flight that leaves at 730pm and gets into manila at around 9pm. right now their schedule is such that the MNL-ROR flight leaves every wedneday and friday and the ROR-MNL flight leaves every wednesday and friday also. for our trip, since it was a pleasure/business trip we left manila wednesday night and we got there at a little past 1am thursday morning and returned to manila that friday night. if we didn't do that we'd be stuck in palau wednesday-wednesday and believe me, after a couple of days there you won't have anything else to do and be bored to death.
on the plus side continental does offer packages to palau that includes airfare and accommodations and depending on your lucky stars, you may find yourself booking a really package. we got ours for as low as $500 and stayed at the palau pacific resort to boot!
Downtown Koror is easy to navigate by foot. However, since Palau is located near the equator, the island has a humid and warmer climate all year. We found that taxi's were a great way to get to combat the heat and our ever increasing sunburns. Taxi's are especially helpful if you want to visit the outer resorts like the Palau Pacific Resort. Most everywhere will cost you $5USD for up to a group of four. We had to get used the taxi's coming in every shape, color, and condition. Most are nice - although I made the mistake of wearing my seatbelt in one and the belt left a grease mark across the bottom of my blouse. All of the taxi drivers we encountered we quite nice and willing to tell you about Koror's history (one of our taxi drivers was the chief of his village).
Two of our drivers gave us their business cards. Here is their information: Palau Cab - Driver: Lu #9 - cell 680-779-7226 AND Trans Quality Service - Driver: James Orak - phone 680-488-4900
Taking an air plane is the only mode of transportation to Palau. Since AsianSpirit cease flight operations to Palau at end Nov 2007, Continental Micronesia is the only airline that flies in to Koror International Airport.
Meanwhile, getting around downtown Koror is easily done by foot, motor vehicles or taxis. But bear in mind that, a short 5 min, one-way taxi ride cost roughly US3-4 per car.
To get around the various islands, charter a boat. This is one that we rode in to do the Rock Islands tour, to Jelly Fish Lake, Milky Way & our picnic lunch. If you are with a group, you can all the share the boat fee. If I remember quickly, with our group we each chipped in $15-20 & this included a good bento lunch & drinks.
When traveling outside of Koror to any ot the northern states you really get more of the feeling of roughing it. The country has 61 km (38 mi) of roads, of which nearly all 36 km (22 mi) of paved roads are in and near Koror. Any excursion outward will reveal poorer road conditions the further away from Koror you get. As far as air travel is concerned there are 3 airports in Palau: the main one in Koror and two others which are unpaved and only small planes are able to land at those.
When traveling anywhere in Palau be aware that the roads are not marked. No road signs means directions are confusing. Turn right after that big tree? might be the directions you get. With that in mind give yourself plenty of time to get around, you may get lost.
Outside of Koror, roads are being built into the middle of the island where a new capital city is being established. The roads are wide and not to bumpy but they are not paved so travel at your own risk.
If you get a chance to travel on one of these roads, be sure to look out for road construction signs like the one in the picture. They do not look like any other road construction sign that I have ever seen before.
If you're in Palau for a couple of diving days you'll most likely stay in Koror. As you will find out, Koror is not really nice to walk around - there's few pavements, there's rain almost daily, the town is stretched over few islands. And I don't recall any public transport... So ask around and rent some car, you'll get to bars, restaurants, snorkelling places, dive shops, vista points... much easier and you'll enjoy your stay much more.
Beware though - driving is on the right side while most cars are used japanese imports, so steering wheel is on the right as well. Quite strange in the beginning, believe me. You'd most likely need a 4WD to get around Babeldab, but for Koror any nissan or toyota will do.
I wouldn't rent a car personally, if you get in an accident I am sure it would be blamed on you. Don't get me wrong Palauns are awesome and very nice but like other small islands there is curruption. Theres a lot of cabs, and they are farely cheap, and by taking a cab you get more insight, we found the guys that took us out on their boat through our cab driver Gwyn, we went out for 5 hours for 200, and we weren't stuck with a bunch of people, the cabby charged more but he hung out with us and I was willing to kick him the extra, to avoid this the first day take a few different cabs, take all their cards and then pick one you like. When you call them personally they will be more apt to hook you up. (Help me so I can help you) Its universal:)
The tour boats were a really fun way to get around the Rock Islands. A plane would not have been as nice because we got the chance to stop off at more places, although the overhead view would have been spectacular. The boats were pretty fast and they were covered so the sun wouldn’t beat down on us too bad but I was trying to get as much sun as possible so I was on the deck most of the time.
Do you think I took a picture in airport? haha..yes..its international airport of Palau.
its BIGGER? hahahaha...
rent a car from airport/hotel (its not good idea),
not bad around biggest island by bicycle, but you have to bring your bike first. Around palau, just only by speed boat. to ask locate agent about rent a boat(price, lunch, how many island, include diving staff...) before go to palau, Tour agent TEL-- (sorry, I lost the name card)
AIR FARE-ROUND TRIP IS EXPENSIVE BUT SOMETIMES YOU GET SPECIAL FARE. YOU CAN EITHER FROM MAINLAND TO HAWAII TO GUAM BUT ONLY AIRLINE TO PALAU WHICH CONTINENTAL BETWEEN GUAM AND PALAU. OR YOU CAN ROUTE TO JAPAN AND THEN TO GUAM OR SAIPAN AND THEN PALAU. IT MAYBE A ROUTE BETWEEN PHILIPHINES AND PALAU.
PALAU IS VERY SMALL AND HAVE FOURTEEN OUSTSIDE STATES THAT YOU CAN GO BY CAR OR BOAT. THE BEST THING TO DO IS TO GO TO ROCK ISLAND
I think Continental Micronesia is the only choice. Travel to the Phillipines first for a stop over. It's cheaper than going there indirectly. I say indirectly because from Virginia it took about 35 hours to get there. You have to go to Newark, Cleveland, LA, Hawaii, Guam and then the Phillipines to get to Palau. Another option (If you know someone in Japan)is to fly direct to Japan and buy a ticket from there.
This is more of a joke but we got towed out of the muddy roads after gettin our car stuck by a tractor that was doing work on the roads.