The famous Jellyfish Lake was the main reason we came to Palau. Chris visited the lake a couple of years ago, but for me, it was a new and long awaited adventure. Imagine my disappointment when we learned, the very first day of our arrival, that the lake was no longer open for visitors.
During the previous months, Palau had experienced some horrible drought that somehow afflicted the jellyfish, reducing their number almost to zero. In the hope of rebuilding the population, the environment authorities prohibited tourists from swimming in the lake.
Grieving, but having no choice, we planned other activities. One of them was a kayaking trip with IMPAC tour operator. Well, the kayaking was just a part of the whole package. Other attractions included snorkeling and bathing in Milky Way.
About the kayaking experience we write in the other article (Kayaking in Palau), but we have to mention this activity here as well, as it led to our biggest discovery – Palau has more jellyfish lakes! But first things first.
We were happy kayaking around when our guide told us to enter one of the gaps in the Rock Islands. The gap was very small, a fissure really, so we had to lay down in kayaks not to bang our heads. When we emerged on the other side of the gap, we discovered we were in a marine lake. It was beautiful, surrounded by the lush tropical vegetation. In addition, the trees were inhabited by flocks of birds, so besides the visual sensations, we were granted the heavenly avian music. At some point, Chris noticed a huge jellyfish approaching his kayak. And another. And five more. We realized we were surrounded by dozens of them, all curiously “touching” the kayaks. Our guide told us they were stingless, harmless jellyfish and that it was all right to swim with them. Chris jumped in and immediately all jellyfish, attracted by some invisible signals, started to swim toward him. I observed the show from the height of my kayak, fascinated with the curiosity the jellyfish clearly expressed when besieging him. With some strange birds singing in the background, the whole scene looked unreal; I’d say alien movie-like.
Finally, I jumped in as well, and immediately shared his fate - I got surrounded by the jellyfish; they were everywhere. It was a bit scary, as the jellyfish were big, the biggest I’ve ever seen. And although I knew they were stingless, the discomfort remained, and I avoided touching them. But so what, if they were touching me!
Later on, we learned that there are at least eight marine lakes with jellyfish in Palau. But some of them are accessible only with the diving tour operators. We don’t dive, so we were lucky we found ours when kayaking.
We also learned that although the species of jellyfish living in the lake are not powerful enough to cause harm to humans, it has been reported that it is possible to notice the stings on sensitive areas. Like the area around the mouth, so don't kiss them!
Our advice: if you decide to go for a kayaking tour with IMPAC, don't forget to take your snorkeling equipment from the boat. The lake is too far from the anchor base to go back for it.
To learn more about the places in Palau we liked the most, go to What to see and do in Palau.
And if you want to know how to see all these places in eight days, see our detailed itinerary here: How to plan a trip to Palau.
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