Snorkel with whales, dolphins, dugongs, sharks & mantas

Palau’s Big Five Extension

Palau

4 Days

From $2,295

Level 3

Moderate

Overview

    Contact Us Download Itinerary

    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    Our post-trip extension provides ample opportunities to see Palau's “Big Five”—pilot whales, spinner dolphins, dugongs, sharks, mantas—that are not normally seen in the areas we explore on our regular itinerary. Join us for what promises to be an exciting “safari” discovering some of Palau's most fascinating creatures!

    Arrive: Koror, Palau

    Depart: Koror, Palau

    Highlights

    • Snorkel and kayak to spot Palau's “Big Five”: pilot whales, spinner dolphins, dugongs, sharks, and mantas

    Itinerary

    Download Itinerary Expand All Days
    We meet in the morning and depart Koror by boat in search of crocodiles within the labyrinth of islands of Nikko Bay (in a different area than the one we explored on the main trip). After lunch in a secluded cove, we'll slip into kayaks with the hopes of paddling with dugongs, the only remaining species of the serenia, or moon creatures, distant aquatic relatives of the elephant. These slow-moving marine mammals graze on sea grass in shallow waters along coastlines in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Their feeding style gives them their more common nickname: sea cow. We finish the day with a snorkel at Lolita's Coral Gardens. We return to the Palau Carolines Resort by speedboat. Dinner on your own and overnight at hotel...BL
    We're picked up by boat at 8:30 am and head out to the abyssal trenches on the east side of the archipelago where we hope to find spinner dolphins. We have excellent chances to spot these creatures as we cruise along: they frolic in the bow wake of the boat and often hang around for 30 minutes or more. In-water experiences with the spinners tend to be brief and our attempts will be based exclusively on their behavior. The primary goal of our day is to spot pilot whales, melon headed whales, false killer whales (all of these are known collectively as "Black Fish"), and potentially, sperm whales. All these cetaceans are highly social, ridiculously intelligent, and potentially curious. In-water experiences will be based on surface conditions and each guest's confidence in the open ocean environment. Additionally, we'll have hydrophones that help us pinpoint their locations. Return to Palau Carolines Resort for overnight...BL
    Today we head out through Ulong Channel and troll the open waters as we make our way to Ngemelis Island. Dolphin and whale encounters in this area are also quite common. We snorkel even more of the outer reef sites to include Shark City and New Drop Off, which are typically not included in our regular itinerary. As the afternoon incoming tide rolls in, we'll slip in the water at German Channel to witness the barrel rolling feeding behavior of giant mantas. During the mating season (highly variable, but typically covering about 3 months per year), the mantas collect in massive numbers (as many as 18 last year) and form what we call manta trains. All this feeding and courtship occurs just below the surface, so even snorkelers—and not just SCUBA divers—have good chances of witnessing this behavior. We return to the Palau Carolines Resort as the sun sets...BL
    Transfer to the airport for homeward-bound flights...B

    Pricing

    Trip Extensions can be added on to Small Group Adventures or Private Journeys, to lengthen and customize your trip. Prices are per person and not guaranteed until services are confirmed. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

    Included
    • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
    • Accommodations in hotel
    • Meals as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
    • All ground transportation and baggage handling from arrival until departure
    • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
    Not Included
    • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
    • Additional hotel nights outside the extension's scheduled dates
    • Optional gratuities to Trip Leader or staff
    • Optional travel insurance
    • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
    • Visa fees
    • Any activities and services described as an upgrade or optional

    Accommodations

    Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

    Palau Carolines Resort

    Koror, Palau

    Days 1-3 (3 nights)

    Eight private bungalows with views of the rock islands across the bay are situated in a quiet spot where you'll awake to the warble of birds and the ocean breeze. Built from mahogany, mangrove, and bamboo, each bungalow features air conditioning, a separate sitting area, and a private bathroom. Several...

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    Itinerary

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    Trip Levels

    With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

    Level 1 – Easiest

    Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

    Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

    Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

     

    Level 3 – Moderate

    Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

    Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

    Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

     

    Level 5 – Strenuous

    Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

    Level 6 – Very Strenuous

    Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-19T13:27:44 --><p><strong>COVID-19 TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:<\/strong> Please double-check COVID-19 entry requirements for any countries you may be traveling to or transiting through, on this website: <a href=\"apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions\">apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions<\/a><\/p>","System_Pre-Trip_Safety":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:37:06 --><p><strong>PRE-TRIP SAFETY:<\/strong> In the next weeks, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy. Please practice social distancing, steer clear of potential COVID-19 exposure, and take an at-home antigen or lab based PCR test before you depart.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.borrowlenses.com\/\">borrowlenses.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><p>$600 due at time of reservation <br \/>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p><\/body>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost<br>45 days or less: 100% of trip cost<br><\/p>"}}