||Palau is a string of 343 islands
in six groups, and forms the westernmost
archipelago in the Caroline chain,
southeast of the Philippines.
Thrust from the ocean more than
20 million years ago, ancient
living reefs now form limestone
islands, pockmarked with myriad
fresh and saltwater lakes. Its
surrounding waters contain coral
reefs, blue holes, hidden caves
and tunnels, and over 60 vertical
Plantation Resort, Palau 
Palau's most populous
islands are Angaur, Babeldaob, Koror,
and Peleliu. The latter three lie
together within the same barrier reef,
while Angaur is an oceanic island
several miles to the south. About
two-thirds of the population live
on Koror. The coral atoll of Kayangel
is situated north of these islands,
while the uninhabited Rock Islands
(about 200) are situated to the west
of the main island group. A remote
group of six islands, known as the
Southwest Islands, some 375 miles
(600 km) from the main islands, are
also part of the country and make
up the states of Hatohobei and Sonsorol
Palau enjoys a tropical climate all
year round with an annual mean temperature
of 82 °F (28 °C). Rainfall
can occur throughout the year, averaging
a total of 150 inches (3,800 mm).
The average humidity over the course
of the year is 82%, and although rain
falls more frequently between July
and October, there is still much sunshine.
Typhoons are rare, as Palau is outside
the main typhoon zone.
Rock Islands in Palau.While much of
Palau's natural environment remains
free of environmental degradation,
there are several areas of concern,
including illegal fishing with the
use of dynamite, inadequate facilities
for disposal of solid waste in Koror,
and extensive sand and coral dredging
in the Palau lagoon. Like the other
Pacific island nations, a potential
major environmental threat is global
warming and the related rising of
sea level. Water coverage of low-lying
areas is a threat to coastal vegetation,
agriculture, and the purity of the
nation's water supply. Palau also
has a problem with inadequate water
supply and limited agricultural areas
to support the size of the population.
The nation is also vulnerable to earthquakes,
volcanic activity, and tropical storms.
Sewage treatment is a problem, along
with the handling of toxic waste from
fertilizers and biocides.
Early Palauans may have come from
Australia, Polynesia and Asia. Depending
on the thread of the family, Palauans
may represent many parts of Melanesia,
Micronesia and Polynesia. However,
they are traditionally not considered
to be Micronesian. According to geneticists,
there are two distinctive strains
of Melanesian bloodlines: one is associated
with indigenous Australians/Papua
New Guineans and the other is known
to have originated in Asia. There
has not been any link established
between the two.
In the European and
Australian world Belau/Pelew is better
known by the name of "The Black
Islands". Vintage maps and village
drawings can be found at the Australian
library online, as well as photos
of the tattooed and pierced Ibedul
of Koror and Ludee.
Carbon dating and recent
archaeological discoveries have brought
new attention to the archipelago.
Cemeteries uncovered on the islands
have shown Palau has the oldest burial
ceremony known to Oceania. Prior to
this there was dispute as to whether
Palau was established around 2500
BC or 1000 BC. New studies seem to
dispute both of these theories. Moreover,
Palau's ancient trading partner, Java,
has also come under close scrutiny
since Homo floresiensis was found.
Like Flores, remains of small-bodied
humans have been found in Palau.
For thousands of years,
Palauans have had a well established
matrilineal society, believed to have
descended from Javanese precedents.
Traditionally land, money, and titles
passed through the female line. Clan
lands continue to be passed through
titled women and first daughters but
there is also a modern patrilineal
sentiment introduced by imperial Japan.
The Japanese government attempted
to confiscate and redistribute tribal
land into personal ownership during
World War II, and there has been little
attempt to restore the old order.
Legal entanglements continue amongst
the various clans.
Visit enchanting islands
and coral reefs as part of Palau's best
eco-tourism experience: Dolphin Bay
Resort and Peleliu Divers. Explore stunning
coral kingdoms with Peleliu Divers,
then relax back at Dolphin Bay, watching
magnificent sunsets across the calm
waters of the lagoon.