The tiny island of Palau packs a big punch for scuba divers – Signature Luxury Travel & Style

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Diving at Peleliu Point

Plunging into the blue just before dawn, I descend and swim madly to the reef below me. The current is strong – so strong I can barely turn my head. I find a handhold to steady myself and look out beyond the reef. The largest group of fish I’ve ever seen is ahead of me, swirling in a mating frenzy. A few opportunistic sharks circle this tornado of snapper, darting through it periodically to grab a snack or two. The spectacle I’m witnessing is a spawning event.

In the early mornings leading up to each full moon, thousands of red-spot snapper gather here at Palau’s Peleliu Point, migrating from surrounding areas to aggregate over this one particular reef. At the climax, as the tide turns, they rush up toward the surface releasing sperm and eggs in an explosive display. This is one of several incredible underwater events you can experience in Palau throughout the year. And one of the reasons scuba divers all over the world seek out this remote destination.

In the lead-up to both full and new moon periods, different species of fish gather in huge numbers to spawn on Palau’s reefs. Moorish idols aggregate and spawn through the months of December to late January, and bumphead parrot fish – the buffalo of the underwater world – spawn in spectacular fashion in the days leading up to each new moon. But these events are just the icing on the cake when it comes to marine encounters and underwater adventures in Palau – the reefs here are some of the healthiest in the world, thanks to many years of protection.

Sustainability in Palau

The people of Palau care about their marine environment because their culture and livelihood are closely linked to the sea. And they mean business. When you arrive in Palau, you are asked to sign a passport pledge to behave in an ecologically and culturally responsible way, for the sake of Palau’s children and future generations of Palauans. It’s all part of the country’s larger strategy to become the world’s first carbon-neutral tourist destination. Thanks to these conservation efforts, throughout the year divers can expect to see an abundance of marine life at sites such as Blue Holes and Blue Corner. These two sites are among the most celebrated in Palau, for good reason.

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