Palau is an archipelago of over 200 islands in the Philippine Sea, of which only 8 permanently inhabited. Most of the islands are low-lying coral islands, surrounded by reef, except for Balbultuap which has volcanic origins.
The capital city is Melekeok, but is often mistaken to be Koror, the biggest city. The archipelago only gained total independence in 1994. Their history being largely connected to that of the US and to Japan during the WWII period. The main languages are in fact English, Palauan and Japanese, whereas the official currency is the US dollar. The main religion on the islands is Christianity.
The weather is pretty consistent all year round. The year can be loosely split into two seasons: the rainy and dry seasons, from June to November and December to May respectively, but don't let this fool you. It rains all year round, and it's usually quite unpredictable. The driest months are February and March and the wettest are July and August. The average high temperature is around 30C (86F) and the lows are at around 24C (75F) with humidity usually around 80%. Typhoons and floods may occur in the rainy season.
PASSPORT & VISA
Getting a visa for Palau is painless for OECD country nationals. A visa is given free on arrival for a period of 30 days. The only requirement is a passport valid for at least 6 months after the trip.
Keep in mind that there is a departure tax of US$50 that can only be paid in US dollars.
MONEY & SHOPPING
The local currency is the US dollar. Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are easily available in the main areas. Make sure to have cash with you if you venture away from the main areas.
Tips are not expected.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Tap water is chlorinated in main cities and is safe to drink, but stick to bottled water when venturing out of main areas. Food is generally safe, but stick to cooked meat and seafood just to be safe.
Palau is a safe place. Just don't be careless.