Palau is an archipelago nation in the Oceania region of the Pacific, more specifically in the western part of the Caroline Islands, 500 miles east of the Philippines, 2,000 miles south of Japan and 6,900 miles southwest of Los Angeles. The country is a former member of the Federated States of Micronesia (and thus part of Micronesia and of the United States). In 1978, Palau sought independence, officially becoming the Republic of Palau in 1993. Locally Palau is often referred to as Belau.
Palau is one of the world class scuba diving spots. In 1989 CEDAM voted Palau as one of the Seven Wonders of the Underwater World and is continually named by dive magazines on their top lists.
The dive and snorkeling trips are known for their amazing amount of marine life available on every excursion. The warm, clear water offers three times amount of fish and corals as Hawaii. Palau is the only place in the world with stingless jellyfish. It is also known as one of the best places for pelagics diving and face-to-face experiences with rays and reef sharks. Palau clearly lives up to its reputation, enough so that Jacques Cousteau named the Big Drop-off, or Ngemelis Wall, to be the best wall dive in the world.