Re: Safety of Hiking and snorkeling in Palau?
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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