Experience the Natural History Paradise of the Rock Islands


Palau’s phenomenally scenic Rock Islands rise out of a vast serene lagoon like huge emeralds floating on a cerulean sea. Our unique snorkeling and kayaking expedition, a journey we pioneered—and still unmatched in the region—brings you to dramatic outer reef walls teeming with massive schools of fish (it’s been called an “underwater Serengeti”), to rare old-growth coral gardens and salt-water waterfalls, and to hidden marine lakes surrounded by high limestone walls, which were first discovered by our expert Trip Leaders. Our private camps, tucked away on isolated beaches (we have exclusive permission to camp here), offer special access to this captivating paradise, along with delightful barbecues, sunrises and sunsets beyond the imagination, and wonderful stargazing.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Koror / Nikko Bay / Risong Bay

In the Rock Islands, kayak and snorkel amid a glorious world of jewel-colored parrotfish and old-growth corals, including Blue Devil Gardens, where blue damselfish dart between the corals.

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Days 5-6
Milky Way / Long Lake

Snorkeling above the wreck of a Zero airplane from World War II, we look for colorful angelfish and butterflyfish, and paddle across a cove known as the Milky Way. A rushing current carries our kayaks through a mangrove forest alive with birdsong to a mile-long lake, a hidden oasis for nesting birds and baby fish.

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Days 7-10
Jellyfish Lake / Big Drop-Off / Peleliu

Jellyfish Lake is home to millions of non-stinging jellyfish, and you’ll snorkel amid them—a surreal experience! At the Big Drop-Off (Palau’s legendary Ngemelis Wall), a sheer rock face plunging nearly a thousand feet deep, we discover a vibrant world of tube sponges, sea fans, Moorish idols, pyramid butterflyfish, square anthias, sergeant majors, and yellowtail fusiliers. After visiting battle sites on Peleliu, the scene of fierce fighting during World War II, fly to Koror and depart on Day 10.

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Snorkel and kayak the Rock Islands, a dream realm of hidden lakes, coral gardens, marine tunnels, and thousand-foot-deep walls teeming with sea life
Experience Palau’s kaleidoscopic marine life, with 700 coral species and 1,500 species of reef fish
Visit a Palauan “men’s house,” snorkel in magical Jellyfish Lake, explore Peleliu Island with its World War II relics


Length: 10 days
Cost From: $5995  
Arrive: Koror, Palau
Depart: Koror, Palau
Lodging: 3 nights beach resorts, 6 nights full-service camping
Meals: All meals included except Day 1
Activity: Snorkeling, Wildlife & Natural History, Sea Kayaking
Trip Level:

Snorkeling, easy to moderate sea kayaking on sit-on-top kayaks, 3-5 hours a day