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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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September 1999 Vol. 14, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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from the September, 1999 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The last El Niño wreaked havoc on the world’s reefs, and Palau was no exception. Subscribers like Marilyn Koukol who have made multiple trips to Palau are singing the blues about the amount of bleached coral on the reefs. Marilyn reports that the sharks are still plentiful at Blue Corner but have been outnumbered by divers — who were definitely ruder than the sharks. One strategy that may help beat the crowds is to dive off local live-aboards, which have a better chance of beating the day boats out to the popular sites.

If you’re the land-based type, the Palau Pacific is still a top-drawer hotel. Another less expensive option is the Carolines Resort just down the road. Guests at the Carolines have pool, beach, and restaurant privileges at Palau Pacific Resort. Subscribers Gar and Emily MacRae, who just returned from a Palau trip, describe the Carolines as a quiet, romantic jungle atmosphere with a staff that bends over backwards to lay Palau at their client’s feet. “We sat high on the hill overlooking the Rock Islands in our own private hardwood bungalow. (There are 7 bungalows. We recommend #7, but #5 and #6 are good alternatives if #7 is unavailable.)

“Travel tips for frequent fliers: It only cost us 20,000 frequent flier miles (Continental) to go to Palau from Japan vs. 65,000 from Los Angeles. Economy tickets to Japan from the west coast may be as little as $600, so you can spend less and save miles for future trips.”

When you consider that it costs almost as much to fly from Tokyo to Palau (about $1625) as it does to get to Palau from LA/San Francisco (about $1700), making the trip for $600 or so plus 20,000 frequent flier miles sounds like a helluva bargain.

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