Figuring out how to get to Palau can be tricky and that is why we wrote this detailed article.
When you are making tentative plans to travel to Palau or you want to book your flights to Palau you will be pleased to hear that ‘Palau is open for travel.
After a complete lockdown that lasted for over a year, Palau is open again. But it’s not all good news.
Unfortunately at the time of writing (February 2022), you can travel to Palau from the US, due to the Covid -19 travel restrictions set by the Palau National Government.
So, until further notice when you want to come to Palau for that well-deserved vacation you can only travel to Palau from the US mainland, Hawaii or Guam.
Table of Contents
Your Palau vacation and covid-19 travel restrictions
The covid travel restrictions for Palau are set by the Palau national government. Below you will find an outline of the steps for entry to Palau effective January 16, 2022.
Read more about it on our liveblog: Coronavirus Information for Palau
Now, we have that out of the way, let’s dive into the fun stuff.
Where is Palau Located?
Before you can start planning your trip to Palau you need to know where Palau is located. Palau is an island state in the Western Pacific Ocean between Guam and the Philippines and is a part of a Micronesian region that contains over 250 islands.
Due to the remoteness of our pristine island, travelling to Palau was long known for the long haul, red-eye flights and long layovers.
Luckily this changed and travelling to and getting into Palau is much easier and more comfortable these days with more airlines offering flights into Palau from different countries in the world.
Before the pandemic, you would fly to Palau via the US, Seoul, or Taiwan on one of the following airlines:
- Asiana Airlines
- United Airlines
- China Airlines
But as you know by now, the only way to enter Palau (until further notice) is via the US with United airlines.
The trip to Palau from the US, isn’t a direct flight either, as you will see in the “How to get to Palau” infographic below.
You will start your Palau vacation when boarding a United Airlines flight in LAX and you will fly to Palau via Honolulu, Guam, into Palau. Flights to Palau from the US come in only twice a week on Monday and Friday.
How to get to Palau Infographic
Travel to Palau
If you are planning to travel to Palau to experience the incredible diving that Palau is renowned for, you should fly to one of the 3 international airports that offer (direct) flights into Palau.
Keep in mind that Palau is a remote island and with that, not too many people plan a trip to Palau.
To give you an idea, in 2019 only 94000 tourists travelled to Palau which is not enough to create a large market in the airline industry. Therefore there are no daily flights coming into Palau.
Flights to Palau from the Philipines Manila
- (MNL) – Palau (ROR)
- Flight Time: 2.5 hours
- Distance: 1.600 KM
Before the pandemic, direct flights to Palau from the Philipines departed from Manila. Flights were scheduled on Friday and Tuesday nights.
Manila is a bussy international airport with multiple nonstop daily flights to major destinations in Asia and Australia.
Many airlines offer daily direct flights to Manila from the United States and Europe.
It is, however, tough to schedule a same-day flight to Palau due to a conflict in the arrival and departure times and therefore it is best to make reservations for an overnight stay.
Also read: When is The Best Time to visit Palau?
Flights to Palau from Taiwan
- Taiwan (TPE) – Palau (ROR)
- Flight Time: 4 hours
- Distance 2.300 KM
The flight from Taiwan to Palau takes about four hours. Services are provided by China Airlines four times a week. China airlines offer direct flights from Europe to Taipe with pretty good connections to flights to Korror.
Flying from Seoul to Palau
- Seoul (ICN )- Palau (ROR)
- Flight Time: 4.5 hours
- Distance 3.400 KM
The flight from Seoul to Palau takes about four and a half hours. Services are provided four days a week with Asiana Airlines and Korean Airlines each flying two days a week.
The Incheon Airport that serves Seoul is becoming a more attractive long-haul destination from the Middle East and Europe.
Divers flying from Australia may find the longer flight to Seoul and then onto Palau as an alternative to Manila.
Flying from Guam to Palau
- Guam (GUM) – Palau (ROR)
- Flight Time: 1.5 hours
- Distance: 1.300 KM
The flight from Guam to Palau is only 2 hours or so. Under normal circumstances, there are almost daily flights from Guam to Palau.
Guam has daily flights to Honolulu, Hawaii, providing an excellent connection hub to New York. Guam also offers connections from London flights if you are travelling from Europe.
Also, Guam provides connections to multiple destinations such as Japan, Korea, Manila, as well as Micronesian destinations such as Chuuk (Truk), Yap and Kosrae.
Palau International Airport
Your Palau vacation will officially start when you arrive at Palau International Airport.
The official name of the airport is: The Roman Tmetuchl International and is Palau’s only (international) airport.
The airport code is: ROR. you can use the Palau airport code when searching for your flights to Palau online.
When planning your Palau vacation make sure to stay in the loop about the most recent updates from the Palau Airport by following follow them on:
Tips for planning your vacation Palau
Double-check departure times and dates of “connecting” flights.
Automatic booking systems often show the route you can take from your home airport to the Palau International Airport.
However, they can also cause trouble, in that they might not consider flights that have layovers, which in many cases is unavoidable.
Flight plans change, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions on how to get to Palau or need any help or advice when planning your Palau vacation.
- Have a Positive Mindset
Having a positive mindset is key. You are travelling to paradise. Try not to let the little things bother you too much. Remember, “You are on a Palau vacation!”
- Get to the airport early
We hear this over and over again, but who does do this? Three hours before flight departure is a perfect time to arrive at the airport.
When you get through check-in, customs, security and immigration quickly, you have enough time for a meal and to prepare yourself for the trip to Palau ahead.
Wear comfortable clothes
It seems like each time you get on a flight it is either too hot or too cold. You used to be able to count on the airlines having blankets on each flight, but this is no longer the case.
Wear long pants, dark clothes and bring a sweater along to make your trip much more comfortable.
Join Global Entry and TSA PreCheck
Airline employees can make use of “crew” lines for immigration. But, even they have a better option, that is available to all U.S. citizens or permanent residents, “Global Entry.”
All you have to do is run your passport through the kiosk, and you are on your way to customs.
TSA Pre-Check is similar and can help you get through airport security quicker, and you can even leave your shoes on! When you are standing in line waiting there is nothing more frustrating than seeing those who have done some planning whiz through these lines.
Buy Travel Insurance
It is always a good idea to buy travel insurance in case of unforeseen events. Travel insurance will vary from company to company.
We recommend coverage that includes:
- Weather delays
- Missing baggage and missed flights due to weather
While a Palau vacation takes a little extra planning, it is not that difficult.
If you need any advice of help planning your Palau vacation, please do not hesitate to contact our US reservations team directly via e-mail