Located just 450 miles north of the equator (at 7° 30' North Latitude, 133° 30' East Longitude) Palau was declared by National Geographic Society as the first Underwater Wonder of the World, and was featured on Discovery Channel's “Living Edens” series as one of the world's last living Edens. Palau enjoys a pleasantly warm climate all year round. Average temperature of 82°F (27°C). Rainfall can occur throughout the year, and the annual average is 150 inches. The average relative humidity is 82%, and although rain falls more frequently between July and October, there is still much sunshine.
Palau is located at a cross road between the enormous Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea, just outside a geographic region of the world known as the "Coral Triangle". Palau's remarkable biodiversity is mainly attributed to:
- Its geographic location, being the meeting point of large bodies of water.
- Its wide array of marine environments found in its warm, tropical waters.
- The large amounts of nutrients, brought in from the ocean by circulating currents, feeding marine creatures and keeping the reefs vibrant.
- The abundance of larvae of various fish, coral and invertebrates, brought in by currents from other locations in the Indo-Pacific.
Palau falls strategically in the path of transient pelagic creatures, such as whale sharks, whales and dolphins, and is home to the world's most remote and isolated population of dugong, an endangered marine mammal. Within the diving community, Palau is famous for its shark population, numbering over 130 species! In 2009, Palau became the world's first Shark Sanctuary, prohibiting commercial fishing operations from catching sharks.