Babeldaob is Palau’s largest island — about three-quarters the size of Guam and Fish ‘n Fins (fishnfins.com) offers the only off-road eco tour of the island. Rise early for a wild ride off-road in a military-usage Polaris, which is a great way to see the island.
Slather on the sunscreen for a full throttle ride in an open-air four-wheeler. The more adventurous types will want to drive it, which is optional. Just ask your guide to play navigator. Bring your water shoes and don’t be afraid to get wet as you first trek through a rainforest, then across the top of a waterfall. Don’t be surprised when your guide pulls out a machete and makes an impassable road passable on your way to an abandoned Palauan village. The effort is worth the stunning vista of miles of lush green hills and vibrant blue waters. Is this paradise?
After you’ve scrubbed the mud from your, well, everything, head to the city center of Koror for dinner at the locally-acclaimed Penthouse Hotel (penthousepalau.com). The restaurant, Uab’s Table, may look like a conference room, but what it lacks in charm it makes up for in taste. Enjoy inexpensive, sweet Palauan mangrove crab — a steal at $6. The local spinach is perfectly sautéed in garlic and oil, and taro leaves soup is creamy and unique. Your server may surprise you with a complimentary fruit smoothie — 100% fresh and natural.
There’s much more to do on Palau, so savor the rest of your vacation and save up for another fantastic adventure at rainbow’s end.