General Information


Location and Geographic Description

7° 30' North Latitude, 133° 30' East Longitude


Palau enjoys a pleasantly warm climate all year round. Average temperature of 82°F (27°C). Rainfall can occur throughout the year, and the annual average is 150 inches. The average relative humidity is 82%, and although rain falls more frequently between July and October, there is still much sunshine.


The two official languages of Palau are Palauan and English, which are spoken by almost everyone on the island. Japanese is also widely spoken. Languages spoken by our multilingual staff include Palauan, English, German, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, Italian, Dutch, Hebrew, and Irish. 

Time Zone

(UTC+09:00) Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo.


110 Volts 50/60 Hz with U.S. type flat 2-pin plug or 3-pin (two flat pins and a rounded ground pin).

Banking & Currency

U.S. dollar is the official currency of Palau. Traveler's checks and all major credit cards are accepted at most businesses, including Sam's Tours. There are several banks (Bank of Hawaii, Bank of Guam, Bank Pacific), with limited currency exchange (Euro coins are NOT accepted) and plenty of automated teller machines (ATM) around town.

Immigration Requirements

All visitors must have a passport valid not less than 6 months from the date of expiration and proof of return arrangements at entry into the country.

Entry visas are not required for most passports. A 30-day Tourist Visa will be issued upon arrival and may be extended within 7 days in advance with approval of the Chief of Immigration for a fee of US$50.00 before the expiration date of the visa, for a maximum of 90 days' stay (30 days + 2 extensions).

Citizens of United States of America, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Guam, and the Common Wealth of Northern Marianas Islands with valid passports are issued a 1-year visa upon arrival.

For more information about extended stay in Palau, please call the Bureau of Immigration at (680) 488-2498 or -2678, Mondays to Fridays at the hours 7:30 am – 4:30 pm or e-mail inquiries to


One bottle of liquor and up to 1 pack of cigarette containing up to twenty (20) cigarettes can be brought into Palau duty-free. Importation of controlled substances and weapons are strictly prohibited and any traveler in possession of any controlled substances will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law of the Republic of Palau.

Quarantine Restrictions

As Palau's unique island ecosystem is very susceptible to invasive species, there are tight restrictions on fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, meats and other possible sources of contamination. Do not bring these items to Palau as they will be subject to immediate confiscation.


Anti-drug laws are strictly enforced. Prescriptions should be carried for any special medicines or drugs in your possession.

Departure Tax

All visitors departing from Koror pay a Departure Tax, payable in US dollars only.


Cholera and Yellow Fever immunizations are required for those arriving from infected areas.

Medical Services

Palau has two private medical clinics and pharmacies on the island and a public hospital, Belau National Hospital, with a modern recompression chamber. Local supermarkets carry most common over-the-counter medications.

Postal Services

Palau is in Zone 8 of the U.S. Postal System, and U.S. domestic rates apply. International mail is slightly higher. The post office is located on the main road in Koror, across from the Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) office. Palau's stamps are favored by collectors worldwide. Palau's zip code is 96940, except for the Palau National Capitol in Ngerulmud, Melekeok, which is 96939. Palau's state postal code is PW. Address format is the same as for U.S., e.g.:

  • Addressee Name
  • Box Number XXX
  • Koror, Republic of Palau
  • PW 96940

Internet and Communications

Internet and E-mail access is available, but being satellite connection, it is slow compared to most countries. Palau National Communications Corporation offers Wi-Fi Hotspots, using a prepaid Internet Card or a regular PalauNet dial-up subscription. Sam's Tours has its own Wi-Fi, using a prepaid card which can be purchased at our Bottom Time Bar and Grill.

International direct dialing is readily available using Calling Cards from Palau National Communications Corporation. Cards are available at Sam's Tours and many other business establishments.

Mobile phone service (GSM 900) is available on the island; however, international roaming is not available and phones will not operate without a local SIM card.

Dress Code

Palau is a tropical island and a very casual place when it comes to attire. T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops (rubber slippers) are appropriate at all times with very few exceptions (thankfully, ties haven't become a hit here)! For those who want to dress up, a polo shirt, aloha shirt or blouse will usually suffice. Slacks and dresses are only required for more “formal” affairs. Short shorts and swimsuits are okay at the beach, pool and around the dive shop but not appropriate around town. Keep in mind that many restaurants are heavily air-conditioned.

What to Bring

Remember that Palau is a warm tropical destination, so casual attire--T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops--are perfect! If you're staying a little longer, laundry service is very cheap and low-cost T-shirts and shorts are available at almost every store.

Don't leave home without the following:

  • Scuba and Nitrox certification cards – proof of certification is required from all divers.

  • Sunglasses & hat – sunglasses, hats and T-shirts are also available at Sam's Tours.

  • Power adaptors for 110 Volts 50/60 Hz with U.S. type flat 2-pin plug or 3-pin.

  • Rain jacket – Carry a waterproof rain jacket any time you're on the water. Heavy downpours can happen with little notice and can make for a chilly boat ride, especially after you've been diving.

  • Prescriptions, medications & eye glasses – bring any special medications you require.

  • Books – If you like to read, bring a book as there are no book stores in Palau!

  • Sport sandals--or comfortable walking shoes if you don’t mind getting wet--for walking on the Rock Islands and the hike up to Jellyfish Lake (dive booties work fine too!).

  • Camera – don't forget your camera; it is hard to get parts in Palau, so pack a spare battery!

Dining & Food

Palau has a good choice of reasonably priced restaurants: American, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Palauan and more! Top favorites are Taj Indian Restaurant (a must), Kraemer's Café (a fun bar with great food), Elilai (offering contemporary Pacific Rim cuisine with amazing views) and our own Bottom Time Bar and Grill.


There is no public transportation system in Palau. Sam's Tours provides guests with complimentary round-trip hotel and downtown shuttle service, and some restaurants, like the Taj, provide free transfers. Taxi service is readily available until 10:00 pm and fares are very reasonable. Arrangements are easily made in advance for taxi services after 10:00 pm.

Car rental is available from a choice of several companies.

Getting to Palau

The following airlines offer regular services to Palau and have a local reservations office in Palau:

  • Asiana Airlines offers two flights each week originating from Incheon, South Korea.

  • China Airlines offers four scheduled flights a week via Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

  • Delta Airlines offers flights through Tokyo, Japan, with good connections for flights originating in West Coast U.S.

  • Japan Airlines mainly offers charter flights from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

  • Korean Airlines offers two flights a week from Incheon, South Korea, with excellent connections for flights from Europe.

  • United Airlines offers daily flights to Palau via Guam and Manila, with excellent connections from all US destinations.

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