Aerial view of the German Channel, Rock Islands, Palau, by Jean-Bernard Carillet Lonely Planet

Given the right set of circumstances, a dive at German Channel can be an unforgettable experience. Manta rays regularly visit this channel, which was blasted by the Germans to ease boat passage during their 1899 to 1914 Palau occupation. The mouth of the channel features some nice sandy areas with small cleaning stations, where mantas (usually two to five individuals) come to have parasites removed by little cleaner wrasses in less than 20m of water.

Patience is the key to seeing mantas as they move up and down the channel. They habitually pass by the cleaning areas, so find a good spot and gently settle down. If they aren't chased or feeling threatened, mantas are curious and will approach divers quite closely. Schooling jacks and grey reef sharks are also common in these waters.