Palau — Attractions
Palau is not renowned for its landmarks. However, there are a number of exciting places to explore that will get tourists away from diving and snorkeling for a few hours. Koror is where much of the action is found, but some of the areas around the busiest island city are also home to key attractions. The Rock Islands are extremely fascinating natural works of art, especially for visitors who experience the Jellyfish Lake phenomenon. Cultural aspects of Palau are located in the must-visit Belau National Museum.
Capitol Complex Palau
Found in the capital city, Melekeok, the Capital Complex is a relatively new structure that houses the parliament of Palau. The site is not without its controversy, as locals continue to ask why such a large capital was built even though the population of Palau is reasonably small. Regardless, tourists can still spend time discovering the landmark via organized tour.
Address: New Capitol Complex, Ngerulmud, Babeldaob Island, Palau
Palau National Museum
Known as the Belau National Museum, this site is one of the most important cultural attractions in the country. First built in 1955, the museum was once located in an old Japanese Administration Building. However, today it is housed inside a modern structure on the island of Koror. Everything from traditional Palauan art to exhibitions of relics left behind during the colonial era are found within the halls of the Belau National Museum. The museum contains both indoor and outdoor collections, so visitors are advised to spend a few hours exploring the entire complex.
Address: Ngerbeched Hamlet, Koror Island, Palau
The only penitentiary on the islands of Palau has become an attraction for tourists. Although it may not sound like an interesting place to explore, the jail is home to some of the world’s finest carved storyboards. The prisoners have been creating the large, intricate storyboards for many years now. Tourists flock to the jail to purchase these elaborate carvings, from which the money raised is given back to the families of the prisoners. Don’t expect to find cheap products here. The prisoners do an excellent storyboard, so it is difficult to find one that is for sale for less than US$100. Several thousand dollars can be spent on such storyboards. The jail is found in the center of Koror Island.
Address: Koror Jail, Koror Island, Palau
Palau International Coral Reef Center
Found on the island of Koror, the Palau International Coral Reef Center is the ideal spot to take the children and family for a day out. Within this center, an aquarium featuring educational exhibits about life in the coral reef, current species trends, and conservation practices for reef systems can be toured. The Palau Aquarium is part of the larger Palau International Coral Reef Center.
Address: Koror Island, Palau
Malakal Lookout Tower
Located on the island of Malakal, the Malakal Lookout Tower is a purpose-built edifice that provides spectacular views over the region. On a clear day, many of the southern islands can be seen from the lookout. It is one of the simplest and easiest ways to stay entertained.
Address: Malakal Lookout Tower, Malakal Island, Palau
The Rock Islands are an incredibly picturesque group of limestone islands. Visitors are able to rent tour boats to explore these remarkable pinnacles. The Rock Islands are famous for their beaches and cliff faces, which attract thousands of visitors each year. One of the most famous spots is Jellyfish Lake, which is a small, isolated lake that is filled with thousands of jellyfish. Private beaches within the Rock Islands are ever popular among travelers.
Address: Rock Islands, Palau
This is one of the most remarkable attractions in Palau. Dolphins Pacific is a dolphin research facility that opens its doors to the public on a daily basis. The facility aims to study dolphins and use them to help educate the local population about the need for marine conservation. Visitors can swim with or feed dolphins while exploring the conservation center.
Address: Main Street, Malakal Island, Koror, Palau
This magnificent island is found just to the south of the Rock Islands group. It has been a US National Historic Landmark since 1985, as it played a significant role in the outcome of the Pacific War. Even though the island is remarkably beautiful, it is its ‘leftover’ remnants of WWII that primarily intrigue travelers to this day. Visitors are able to explore tanks, helmets, ammunition casings, and plenty of other war material here. There are several places to stay on the island, so tourists can easily spend a few days here.
Address: Peleliu Island, Palau