|Still current at: 09 December 2011
Updated: 21 June 2011
|No restrictions in this travel advice||Avoid all but essential travel to part(s) of country||Avoid all but essential travel to whole country||Avoid all travel to part(s) of country||Avoid all travel to whole country|
Only a handful of British tourists visit Palau each year. Most visits to Palau are trouble-free.
There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public places including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
Palau is vulnerable to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, cyclones, and floods. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) carefully and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities. See Natural Disasters.
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. See General - Insurance.
Safety and Security - Terrorism
There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public places, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. See our Terrorism Abroad page.
Safety and Security - Crime
There is a relatively low incidence of crime in Palau. However, you are advised to take the necessary precautions to protect your belongings.
Safety and Security - Local Travel - Water Sports
You should wear appropriate safety equipment before engaging in water sports. There are over 60 vertical drop-offs in the diving areas and some are for experienced divers only. Please take local advice on safety at all times when engaging in adventure sports. See our River and Sea Safety page.
Safety and Security - Political Situation
Palau Country Profile
There are heavy penalties for all drug offences.
Homosexuality is technically illegal in many Pacific countries and the law is occasionally enforced. Open displays of affection between same-sex partners may offend local inhabitants.
The legal drinking age in Palau is 21 years. It is illegal to drink alcohol in public (apart from licensed premises).
Please be aware that a mandatory departure tax of US$35 is applicable to all travellers.
See our Your Trip page.
Entry Requirements - Visas
Visas are not required for British nationals visiting for periods up to 30 days. Extensions of stay are not automatically granted and cost $50; on arrival ask for entry to be granted for all the time you believe you will need. You should consult the Bureau of Immigration in advance of travel if you are likely to seek an extension of stay. Contact details are (+680) 488 – 2498 or 2678 (available Mondays to Fridays at 07:30 – 16:30); E-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entry Requirements - Passport validity
Your passport should be valid for one year on arrival in Palau.
Entry Requirements - Travelling with children
Palau has no additional requirements for adults travelling with children.
Health facilities in Palau are adequate for routine medical care, but limited in availability and quality. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalisation or evacuation may be very expensive.
The only national hospital is 'Belau National Hospital', in Koror, which can generally be reached in less than two hours from most locations. The hospital has an operating suite, dialysis machines and an outpatient clinic. The hospital also houses a pharmacy that dispenses basic medicines.
Dengue fever occurs in Palau, with an increase in cases reported in 2008; dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against dengue, but there are preventative measures that you can take, as advised on the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) website.
You should exercise precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. See our HIV and AIDS page.
You should seek medical advice before travelling to Palau and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the National Travel Heath Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) or NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
See our Travel Health and Eat and Drink Safely pages.
Palau is vulnerable to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, cyclones, and floods. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) carefully and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities. You can also access National Hurricane Centre for updates. See our Tropical Cyclones page.
General - Insurance
You should take out comprehensive medical and travel insurance covering all eventualities, including cover for medical evacuation by air ambulance, before you travel, particularly if you plan to engage in adventure sports. You should check any exclusions, and that your travel policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See our Travel Insurance page.
If things do go wrong when you are overseas then see our When Things Go Wrong page.
General - Consular representation
There is no British consular representation in Palau. Consular matters are covered by the British Embassy in Manila, the Philippines. If you intend to stay in Palau for an extended period, you should register with the British Embassy in Manila upon arrival.
General - Replacing your passport
If you require a new passport, application forms can be downloaded from the Internet. You should send your completed passport application form by courier to the British Consulate in Hong Kong. For more information, visit their website. Where possible, you should apply at least two months before your passport is due to expire. You will be allowed to retain your old passport whilst waiting for the replacement to be issued and returned.
You should keep a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport, to avoid any complications.
General - Emergency assistance
In an emergency, please contact the British Embassy in Manila.
General Consular Section British Embassy, Manila:
Consular section public hours and contact details
Submissions: Monday - Friday, 08.30 - 10.30
Includes: First time passport applications, Certificates of Non-Impediment (CNI), birth registrations and general consular assistance
Collections: Monday - Friday, 14.30 - 15.30
Includes: Certificates of Non-Impediment (CNI) and birth registrations
Emergency Consular Assistance: 08.30 - 16.00
Note: Passports application forms are available with the guards at the gate but completed forms should not be deposited with the guards.