Isolated in the Pacific Ocean and part of the Micronesian group of islands, Palau is a tiny island nation of 250 islands with a population of just over 20,000. Famous the world over for some of the most spectacular diving on the planet, it is also blessed with around 70 marine lakes, isolated bodies of seawater connected to the sea only by channels through the surrounding limestone rock.
Several million years ago rock islands were formed as the land mass moved up creating craters. Then, around 12,000 years ago the sea levels rose high enough to start to fill these craters with sea water giving us these marine lakes. The most famous is Jellyfish Lake (Ongeim'l Tketau) on Eil Malk island. Thirty metres deep and meromicitc (meaning that it has several layers which don't mix, including hydrogen sulfide at 15-20m deep) it is known for its population of golden and moon jellies. The lake is their home essentially because they got trapped in there! As a result of being isolated, they have pretty much lost their sting for lack of predators and have a very particular migrating pattern which follows the sun's arc. They need the light to nourish the algae-like organisms which live in the jellies' tissue and from which they extract their energy. Although you can swim and snorkel in the lake, SCUBA diving is not allowed as the bubbles produced can hurt the jellyfish. You will need a pass to access the lake which can be bought on the main island. Other activities to keep you busy while in Palau include zip lining, kayaking, 4x4 driving, nature watching and of course relaxing on the heavenly beaches to be found nowhere else in the world