Island Hiking Tours

German Lighthouse Cannon

Traveling by boat to two fantastic hiking locations within the Rock Islands, our island hiking tours offer a unique opportunity to experience the exceptional historical and biological value of Palau, arwhile enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Rock Islands.

On both tours, you will learn about Palau's history and unique biodiversity, both terrestrial and marine. The German Lighthouse tour focuses on the unique biological environment of Palau, with a hike to the tallest point in the Rock Islands, where an old lighthouse and cannons are situated. This tour offers exceptional birding opportunities, as well as the chance to learn about the strategic role that the German Lighthouse played in Palau in WWII. The Ulong Island tour takes guests to visit one of islands that earned Palau the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour focuses on the natural history of the people of Palau, spanning over 4000 years!

Both tours include an optional snorkeling stop, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Rock Islands, as well as Palau's beautiful reefs. 

You should bring: hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, light rain jacket, camera, comfortable footwear and bugs spray. Snorkeling gear is included if you haven't got your own. Water, lunch and refreshments are provided on all Sam's Tours activities. 

German Lighthouse Nature Tour

German Lighthouse Bird

A fun experience for all ages, this tour focuses on the beautiful nature of the Rock Islands, as well as on WWII history. An easy hike up to an old German lighthouse, strewn here and there with old cannons, this tour walks you through botanical wonders while offering excellent birding opportunities of Palau's endemic species!

This century old lighthouse sits on top of the tallest peak in the Rock Islands. While most of the Rock Islands are composed of vertical cliffs and tumbling boulders, the Lighthouse trail was made accessible by Japanese engineers at the height of WWII. The now canopy-covered trail was once an access road that delivered cannons and ammunition to the Japanese defensive effort. The song of the bush warbler has now replaced gunfire, and the trail is now unquestionably the finest walk within the limestone Rock Islands. This is the best opportunity to explore Palau’s botanical and ornithological wonders in addition to the historical sites.

Soaring white-tailed tropic birds dance overhead while Cockatoos and Eclectus Parrots dive for cover in the rarely visited bays around. The grand finale of this tour is a magnificent drift snorkel. Dominated by sun-loving branching and table corals, this gentle swim is packed with hordes of schooling damselfish, delicate bicolor angels, and the curious long nosed filefish. 

Ulong Island Archaeology Tour

Ulong Island

Learn of the magnificent natural history that awarded Palau UNESCO World Heritage Site status. A monument to human endurance, this tour tells the epic story of human migration, visiting pictographs, Yapese stone money, an ancient village and more, in the beautiful scenery of Ulong Island. This tour includes a snorkeling stop in one of Palau's spectacular sites in the outer reef.  

As the greatest archaeological treasure of the Rock Islands, Ulong Island tells tales of a human history spanning over 4,000 years. The people of Palau’s Rock Islands had firmly established a presence on Ulong Island, where remnants of their defensive walls and a terraced village are still found below the rich tropical forest canopy. Scattered clay potshards and shell artifacts portray the idyllic existence of these early Micronesians. The ancient Palauans also left behind some evidence of their artistic prowess among the undercut cliffs. A vertical climb and hike lead to an impressive display of ancient pictographs that are still open to interpretation and debate. Ulong also hides a remnant of yet another Micronesian neighbor, the Yapese, sailors who braved the open oceans of the Pacific in search of Palau’s crystal calcite. Once found, the Yapese would eagerly carve these reflective stones into their giant stone money, which they would then transport back to Yap. Forgotten by time, one can still see intact stone money on Ulong Island along with the Yapese quarry site and tools. 

Ulong Island was also the site of the first recorded history between England and Palau, when Captain Henry Wilson’s ship, the Antelope, was shipwrecked on the western reef. With the cooperation of Chief Ibedul, Wilson and his men were able to rebuild their ship on Ulong Island and return to England. 

Ulong's world class tropical beaches, sheltered blue lagoons, and towering limestone peaks are added bonuses to this historical tour. An optional snorkel tour is offered in the mysterious Jurassic Lake in search of juvenile crocodiles and the Natural Arch where clown fish hide among their stinging hosts.


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