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Safety of Hiking and snorkeling in Palau?

by Kyle-Taiwan Online Now Apr 22, 2009 at 1:14 PM

I am an experienced hiker and swimmer, my wife not so much. i am wondering a couple things.

what are the currents like while snorkeling?

What about animals such as sharks? safety wise, if we are not in a group, are these species that could potentially be threatening (i have much experience with land animals such as reptiles, but marine creatures i am completely at a loss with)

lastly, what is the legal aspect and safety aspect (mostly thinking of humans) of kayaking through various areas and hiking on the various islands? is this allowed? or will we be arrested for trespassing or.....?

We are hoping to cut costs and not do the tours. probably a couple of the must see spots like jellyfish lake, but others i hope me and my wife can search out solo in a relaxing yet thorough fashion.

Thanks for the info, i am SO excited about going there!

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  • DSwede's Profile Photo

    Re: Safety of Hiking and snorkeling in Palau?

    by DSwede Online Now Apr 23, 2009 at 5:14 AM

    The currents while I was in Palau were not that strong. With fins, it was manageable. But for the first few minutes you are in the water, keep an eye on the coast and get a gauge for current movements.

    The animals in Palau or the ocean in general are harmless. They are much more apprehensive of you than you would be of them. I did see a few sharks, but they kept their distance and ran off quickly. The fish were rather indifferent to us. Just watch out for the critters that do not offer forgiveness. The coral is sharp, the anemones sting and the urchins are not fun. These will only be an issue if you go in/out in shallow reef areas.

    I do not see that if you have your own kayak, that you would be restricted from any islands. Often when we were coming back from out dives, we would simply beach at the nearest island when the clock struck lunchtime.

    As for hiking, the islands are extremely thick with vegetation. Unless it is a designated path, you will be hard pressed to make comfortable progress through the bush. There are several WWII bunkers along the waterline that are hidden by the tree canopies. You can visit some of them, but I do not know what the likelihood is for you to come in contact with any left over ordinances if you go off the beaten path from there.

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