Introducing Rock Islands
Comprising over 200 rounded knobs of limestone, the Rock Islands (known locally as Chalbacheb) are the crown jewels of Micronesia - a wormhole into another world, a vista of serene and surreal beauty. Totally covered with green jungle, they dot the waters for a 32km stretch southwest of Koror and are the reason why most travellers come to Palau. But while divers and snorkellers may get all gooey over the Rock Islands, they're a treat no matter how wet you like to get.
The bases of the islands have been undercut by water erosion, grazing fish and the tiny chitons that scrape at the rock, fashioning them into utterly unique mushroom shapes. The islands are home to crocodiles and fruit bats and are rich with bird life: kingfishers, reef herons, black noddies, white-tailed tropicbirds, black-napped terns, and introduced cockatoos and parrots. The surrounding waters contain some of the most abundant and varied marine life on the planet, supporting over 1500 varieties of reef and pelagic fish.
What's more, there are four times the number of coral species in Palau than in the Caribbean, including immense tabletop corals, interlocking thickets of staghorn coral and soft corals of all types and colours.