Sugiyama elilai

Elilai Sugiyama

Elilai grew up with adventure in her veins. With a father from Palau and mother from the Native American tribe of Shoshone-Bannock, she feels equally at home whether she’s free diving the sapphire-blue waters of Palau or fishing and horseback riding in the mountains of Idaho. Elilai has a keen eye for Palau’s elusive birds and has been known to be a dugong whisperer—she can hold her breath up to three minutes to swim alongside these gentle species. When she’s not guiding, you’ll find Elilai racing outrigger canoes for Palau’s national women's team, constructing traditional Micronesian sailing canoes using local materials, or adventuring in the wilds of Idaho.

Upcoming Trips: TBA

Past Trips

Client Testimonials


We have been avid travelers for many years now and hands down Elilai was one of our best guides ever! She is knowledgeable in terms of the fauna, flora, culture, and history of Palau. Eli was so very accommodating and anticipated all of our needs. Having her as our guide definitely made our travel experience in Palau thoroughly enjoyable!
— Vanessa K., Hillsborough, CA
Palau Private Journey