Big Drop Off Palau: Big Views, Big Drifts and Big Pelagics

Big Drop Off  in Palau is a popular snorkel spot during lunchtime because it is nestled up against Ngemelis Island and is as gorgeous topside as it is below.

• Minimum/ Maximum Depth at Big Drop Off: 3- 100 feet, dependent on tides; ocean floor extends to nearly 900 feet
• Suitable for: All Levels
• Location: 24 miles from Koror
• Time/Distance from PDA to Big Drop Off: 45-50 minutes via speedboat

The reef extending from the island offers protection for various fish, offering ample opportunity to play with and snorkel with the fish in between dives.

Also read: Siaes tunnel in Palau where divers are enlightened

Already peeking your fascination during the surface interval, it is no wonder divers are compelled to drop in on the sheer wall at Big Drop Off and fulfill their curiosity for what lies beyond the reef’s surface. Divers do just that, dropping in right after lunch directly on the reef and quickly making their way to the depths below.

Diver’s drop in right on the dive spot, dependent upon the current at either one of two buoys marking Big Drop Off. Immediately, after dropping in divers can descend to their max depth along the wall, witnessing an array of soft corals and tropical fish.

What can you see at Big Drop Off in Palau?

The Pyramid Butterlfyfish along with Square Anthias, Moorish Idols, Yellowtail Fusiliers and the ever-present Sargent Major are abundant along the top edge of the reef. Blue-Stripped Clownfish and Clarkis can be seen playing amongst the anemones spotting the reef’s edge as well. Keep your eye out for the popular Hawksbill Turtle feeding and resting near the top of the reef and the White Tips and Nurse Sharks moving into the shallows for a rest.

All the action is punctuated by the backdrop of violet to pink soft corals leather corals and an abundance of cruising Grey Reef Sharks and schools of Pyramid Butterflyfish and Square Anthias feeding on the plankton. Keep a close eye out for the elusive, but present Leaf fish, Stonefish and the pretty but venomous Lionfish camouflaged amongst the rocks.

big drop off dive briefing palau

Photo Credit Big Drop Off briefing: Photo by Keith Hebert

Dive deep into History at Big Drop Off Palau

Also, keep your eye out for the historical ball and chain used during WWII to keep the Japanese from entering German Channel. The ball is a large 6 foot steel sphere resting at about 35 feet deep near the most eastern mooring buoy and tied to it is a large chain that was strewn across the passageway to German Channel not allowing other ships to pass when deployed.

A few words of caution: drift along in the current, amidst the action along the wall, and if the current switches simply turn around and view the action from the other angle. Luckily, it’s an easy drift dive and boats can spot their divers bubbles along the wall readily from the surface.

But caution is advised since this side of Ngemelis Island is the main thoroughfare to the outside dive sites and a hotspot for surface interval activities. Using safety sausages and surfacing with your dive group is also highly advised.

Would you like to scuba dive Big Drop Off here in Palau with us?

Click here to contact us directly if you would have any questions or would like to book a scuba dive package with us. If you would like to share any comments or thoughts about this, please join in on the conversation, we love to hear from you!