Millions of translucent white jellyfish dance and sway all around me, their short springy tentacles bobbing melodically in a synchronized rhythm, as if to welcome me into their world. This secret underworld must be one of the most magical places I’ve ever been — as there is no where else quite like this in the world. Unlike normal medusas, the golden jellyfish in this lake have evolved so much throughout the years that their stings no longer cause any harm to humans.
But Jellyfish Lake is just one of the many marvels of Palau. Located in the western corner of the Pacific Ocean, Palau is an archipelago nation in the Federated States of Micronesia, sprinkled with hundreds of world-class dive sites and patchworks of untouched forests. In the week that we spent exploring Palau, we kayaked the Rock Islands, plunged to the depth of its reefs and swam with sharks and turtles, before going back on land and exploring the historical side of Palau, and eventually getting down and dirty on a wild ATV ride. For a nature-lover like myself, Palau provided the perfect mix of adventure and outdoors fun.
Here’s a quick look at what we did in Palau over one week. I’ll be back with more stories from Palau, stay tuned!
A view of the outlying islands from Babeldaob
Ulong beach, where Survivor Palau was filmed
Jumping with joy at the gorgeous beach of Ulong
Translucent golden jellyfish bobbing in unison at the Jellyfish Lake
The skin of the jellyfish is smooth and silky, and like its name implies, soft like jelly.
An enormous Napolean fish (Humphead Wrasse) circles us at the Big Drop Off
Swimming with a turtle
At Blue Corner, we saw several white tip sharks and grey reef sharks swimming around us
A crocodile in the Ngerdoch River
Having a wild time driving ATVs through the rugged back country of Palau
Kayaking the Rock Islands
A World War II tank stands in the midst of the jungle on Babeldaob
The ancient monoliths that stand on the island of Babeldaob
*Photo credits: All the underwater photos above are provided by my friend, Michelle Jerson.
Disclosure: This trip was made possible by Palau Visitors Authority, but all opinions are our own.