Palau has been towards the top of my travel bucket list since I first got certified to scuba dive, almost 25 years ago. Even though I waited until I was married and had kids who were certified to scuba dive themselves, I’m happy to report I finally made it there, and it lived up to all the hype. The thriving colorful coral reefs, variety of species, and abundance of marine life was absolutely mind-blowing. It’s a diver’s dream!
The natural beauty of Palau, both above and below the water, was like something out of a movie or a painting. Cruising between the lush Rock Islands through the pristine turquoise sea, listening to the tropical bird calls, having a picnic lunch on the white sand beach where two seasons of “Survivor” was filmed, it was easy to let the stress of the world drift away.
Palau has done an impressive job of protecting their natural resources. Palau created the world’s first shark sanctuary. They set aside 445 islands along with their surrounding lagoons as a Unesco World Heritage Site, and they lead the Micronesia Challenge initiative to preserve coastal waters and forest land. Only Palauans can own land and businesses in Palau, which means foreign investors can’t come in and overbuild. One of our nature guides joked that back in the 1970’s when much of the rest of the world began talking about becoming “green,” Palau thought, that’s just how you live.