Sam's Tours Palau

4.4
(5 REVIEWS)

 

Destination: Palau

Price Varies p.p.p.n

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Sam's Tours Palau Quick Pitch

Sam's Tours is one of Palau's best-known scuba diving and eco-adventure companies. They have a reputation for excellent customer care, personalized attention, and professional service standards.

 

Sam's Tours Palau Features

  • Complimentary coffee and tea all day
  • Safe-to-drink water from triple filtration system
  • Recently renovated training room, fully equipped with all amenities, where the PADI courses are conducted
  • Secure Guest Gear Locker and a Rental Gear Center
  • Three separate freshwater rinse tanks for cameras, gear and wetsuits
  • Restrooms with hot and cold shower facilities
  • Wireless internet access
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Compressor room with two Bauer air compressors, one Nitrox membrane
  • Covered parking area for loading and unloading our customer shuttles

 

How to Get There

Several airlines departing from the western United States make 1 stop and then continue on direct to Palau. Sam's Tours can provide guests with airport transfers. 

 

Dive Overview

This area offers epic diving along a breathtaking archipelago with underwater highlights including Jellyfish Lake, World War II wrecks, and stunning wildlife. Sam's Tours offers specialized service and caters to all levels of diver.

[Read More: Palau Dive Travel Guide]

 

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Accommodations

Types of Rooms, Amenities and Photos

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Palau Pacific Resort 

  • Sam's Tours Palau
  • Palau Pacific Resort is your dream getaway resort! With its own private beach, guests enjoy the incredible sunset views. The hotel offers spa, restaurant and shops, a poolside bar, seamless pool, and a great variety of activities. Relax and indulge at Palau Pacific Resort after your dive days or tours with Sam's for an unforgettable vacation! 

 

Palau Royal Resort 

  • Sam's Tours Palau
  • Located right across the street from Sam's Tours, Palau Royal Resort offers a private beach, swimming pool, tennis courts, pool table, kids corner and a gym. Our partner for our Kids Sea Camp activities, we offer dive and hotel packages at Palau Royal Resort!

 

Aliiibamou Resorts - Carolines 

  • Sam's Tours Palau
  • Situated on a cliff facing the incredible sunset view in Myunes, The Carolines Resort offers 8 handcrafted private bungalows, surrounded by beautiful island vegetation. Each bungalow is built from local materials such as bamboo, mahogany and mangrove, inspired by Palau's centuries-old architecture, with all room amenities for the modern traveler. Breakfast is served on the balcony, where you can begin your day with the view of the beautiful Rock Islands and end it with a stunning sunset.

 

Palasia Hotel 

  • Sam's Tours Palau
  • Right in Koror center, Palasia Hotel offers the proximity to numerous shops and restaurants. An excellent choice for our dive and hotel packages, the hotel features a large pool, open-air bar with excellent views and breeze, and great town or Rock Island bay views. On your diving days, our complimentary daily pickups will get you to Sam's Tours within 10 minutes drive!

 

Rose Garden Resort 

  • Sam's Tours Palau
  • Tucked away on a hillside with a spectacular view of Babeldaob Island, the Japan-Palau Friendship Bridge, Koror, Malakal Island, and its surrounding lagoons, Rose Garden offers 20 rooms, all wooden cabins, in a lush green garden.

 

Palau Plantation Resort 

  • Sam's Tours Palau
  • Tucked in one of the residential neighborhoods of Koror, Palau Plantation Resort offers traditional styled cabins, cottages and villas surrounded by the natural beauty of a tropical paradise. Palau Plantation Resort is a chic resort brimming with Palauan inspired flavors set against the relaxing natural environment. Each room is equipped with an in room safe, shower and tub, TV and a hairdryer. Ground level rooms have a veranda, while family rooms have an in-room laundry.

 

West Plaza Hotels 

  • Sam's Tours Palau
  • The West Plaza chain offers a great variety of rooms at five different locations in Koror. Whether you are looking to be close to Sam`s Tours, downtown or right by the sea, book a dive and hotel package with us at West Plaza Hotels.

 

Comfort Suites 

  • Sam's Tours Palau
  • Looking for great value? Comfort Suites offers both rooms and long-stay apartments with kitchen. A short walking distance from Sam's Tours, Comfort Suites is a wonderful place to stay for dive enthusiasts... and don't worry, we'll pick you with our complimentary pickup service if you don't like walking.

 

Lehns Motel 

  • Sam's Tours Palau
  • Lehns Motel, located close to Koror center and a short drive from Sam's Tours with our complimentary pickup service, offers short-stay rooms or long-stay apartments and studios at a monthly rate.

 

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Dive Information

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Daily Dive Tours 

Palau is considered one of the world's premier dive destinations, with dozens of dive sites in a rare variety: walls with fascinating coral formations, reef corners where the currents attract sharks, rays and schooling fish, channels and other sandy bottom sites, tunnels, holes, caves and caverns, and plenty of WWII freighter and plane wrecks! From macro to mantas, Palau has it all!

Although Palau is considered an advanced dive destination due to frequent currents and depths, there are plenty of easy dive sites for beginners, or for those who wish to become a diver!

A typical day of diving with Sam's Tours beings with an 8:30 a.m. (unless otherwise stated) complementary pickup from various hotels in Koror to our dive center in Malakal.

Most dive sites are located about 45 minutes from Sam's Tours, offering our guests picture-perfect scenic boat rides through the mushroom-like Rock Islands. Surface intervals and lunch breaks are normally spent on either a virgin white sand beach with wild green vegetation, equipped with cozy seating benches and toilet facilities, or on top of snorkeling sites with stunning shallow reef plateaus.

Depending on your daily schedule, most boats return to Sam's Tours around 3-4 p.m. You can hop right back into the water, with our offer of unlimited free dives at Sam's Macro Wall right off our dock, where mandarin fish are often spotted mating at twilight.

We dive a maximum of three tanks a day on our day tours, not counting Sam's Macro Wall and night dives.

The tanks are aluminum 80 cft (or 11.1 liter) tanks. We also have several 80 cft compact tanks, available upon request. We do not carry 100 cft (15L) tanks.

Sam's Tours Palau offers complimentary shuttle services back to your hotel, available whenever you choose to return. Many guests stick around to enjoy a deco-beer and snacks with friends and fellow divers at Bottom Time Bar and Grill while enjoying the beautiful sunset views.

 

Sam's Tours Palau

 

Unique Dive Expeditions

Sam’s Tours Unique Dive Expeditions are tailor-made, exclusive expeditions specializing in spawning events and animal behavior. This Unique Dive style based on the monthly lunar cycles offers an once-in-a-lifetime diving expedition.

Experience these expeditions and Palau’s premier dive sites in Sam's Tours Unique Dive style. Take advantage of diving in a small and flexible group that enables us to show you the full potential of these exceptional sites. The flexible dive itinerary is based around currents and lunar cycles to maximize your diving experience.

During certain lunar cycles (Full Moon and New Moon), different species of fish gather in huge aggregations to spawn. Numbers can vary from hundreds to thousands, depending on the species. These mind-blowing spawning events usually attract bigger predators as well. Through local knowledge, thousands of dives and documenting our experiences, we have been able to discover some of Palau’s best kept secrets.

  • FULL MOON EXPEDITION
  • For several days leading up to, and around the full moon, huge numbers of red snappers (Lutjanus bohar) aggregate, ready to spawn. Our expeditions will start on Palau’s premier dive sites where conditions can sometimes be challenging due to strong currents and early starts. However, the rewards are high! As the sun rises, we will begin our dive to watch the spectacle about to unfold. A huge aggregation rises from the deep to ensure a continuation of their species. You will witness what only can be described as an underwater display of 'fireworks' that also attracts the biggest predators in Palau.
  • NEW MOON EXPEDITION
  • A common favorite is the Bumphead Parrot Fish (Bolbometopon muricatum), often seen patrolling the reefs in smaller schools. These encounters are amongst favorites for divers, but imagine an aggregation of nearly a thousand individuals. This expedition takes us to a remote site where aggregations begin forming early morning. Hundreds of individuals from all around the area join for what is about to be an unforgettable site. Building up to a spectacular show-down, males begin their display of dominance, attempting to attract as many mating partners as possible. As females continue to gather the school spills out in the blue where tension erupts into a climatic mating dance.
  • SEABREAM EXPEDITION
  • Sam’s Tours Unique Dive Expeditions’ latest offering is the spawning aggregation of Bluelined Seabream, also known as the Sailfin Snapper (Symphorichthys spilurus). This phenomenon is arguably more special than the spawning of the Red Snapper and Bumphead Parrotfish as it only occurs in March and April for a select few days in each month. It is estimated that this aggregation could contain more than 50,000 fish and the predation on the aggregation by the Bull Sharks and Oceanic Blacktips is simply awesome. Adding to this the fact that the aggregation only occurs in Peleliu makes this the spawning aggregation that the guys from Sam’s Tours Unique Dive Expeditions relish the most!!!
  • BLACKWATER NIGHT DIVE
  • As divers, we know the adventure of night diving on the reefs –the thrill and anticipation of rolling off the boat into the inky waters below, seeing creatures rarely seen during the day. Now, imagine diving in the pitch black of night, relying solely on GPRS to lead us to the exact spot where meters of water lies below us. A lit hang-bar is lowered to 16 meters, attracting the ocean’s most bizarre creatures. Test your photography skills as creatures no bigger than a few centimeters drift pass and countless members of the jellyfish family pulsate in every color imaginable…
  • Note: Blackwater night dives cannot be offered on nights of the Full Moon and New Moon Expeditions.

 

 

Technical Diving 

Whilst the diving in Palau is world renowned, there is a side to diving in Palau not everyone is aware of, and very few have experienced: technical diving. Drop-offs and walls that plummet to hundreds of meters, caves and caverns, wrecks remaining from the Japanese occupation of Palau, offering opportunities for exploration for qualified and experienced tec divers.

Tec diving at Sam's Tours is conducted by the highly trained and experienced instructors from our Unique Dive Expeditions. With many years' experience as technical divers, the Unique Dive Expeditions guides have more technical diving hours in Palau than probably anyone.

From extended range air dives to 180 ft/55 m with twin sets, through decompression gases to deep rebreather wall dives to 490 ft/150 m and beyond, Unique Dive Expeditions specializes in taking experienced technical divers to the deeper side of Palau. Non-tec-qualified divers may also complete a number of TDI and PADI Tec courses, allowing them to experience a side of Palau very few people have been privileged to visit.

Tec diving is much more than just depth; at Sam's Tours, we also offer technical wreck diving, which allows for greater time on and inside the wrecks, exploring areas recreational divers cannot experience.

Sam's Tours' facilities cater to all levels of tec diving, including diving with twin sets, various sizes of decompression cylinders, and hang bars for your comfort during decompression stops, while oxygen, helium, booster pumps, and Sofnolime are available upon request.

 

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Packages & Rates

Sam's Tours Palau Packages, Details and Rates

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Dive Tours

Prices are per person in USD and subject to change. Tours include: Hotel transfers within Koror, lunch and refreshments, professional guide, tanks and weights. Not included: Mandatory government permits, dive gear rental. Proof of Scuba Certification is required.

Description

Minimum Pax Requirement

Rate

Full Day Diving (2 tanks)

None

$165

Peleliu Diving (2 tanks) (Advanced divers only)

6 pax

$200

Peleliu Diving (3 tanks)* (Advanced divers only)

6 pax

$235

Add On: Half Day Peleliu Land Tour

(Can only be booked with Peleliu 2-tank dive day)

6 pax

$105

Wreck Diving Day (3 tanks)

Price available upon request

Chandelier Cave Dive

None

$45

3rd tank dive

None

$45

Night Dive

4 pax

$90

Jellyfish Lake Snorkel Stop (booked with 2-tank dive day)

None

$35

Snorkeler on Dive Boat

Must be 15 yrs old or older & hire a private snorkeling guide

None

$115

Private Dive Guide - Daily

None

$125

Private Dive Guide - Weekly (5 days)

None

$450

Sam’s Macro Wall

None

FREE

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PADI Scuba Courses

Prices are per person and subject to change.

COURSE FEE INCLUDES: Hotel transfers within Koror, lunch and refreshments, course materials (unless otherwise stated), professional instructor, tanks and dive gear (except where dives are not inclued).

NOT INCLUDED: Mandatory government permits

Description

Minimum Pax Requirement

Rate

Discover Scuba Diving (1 tank) Pool/Sam’s Dock

None

$190

Discover Scuba Diving (2 tank) Boat Dive with Private Instructor

None

$260

Bubble maker (1/2 day course) (age range: 8 years old and above)

1 pax

$210

2 or more

$160

  

Seal Team Course (Full Day) (age range: 8 years old and above)

1 pax

$260

2 or more

$210

  

Open Water Diver Course Junior Open Water Course (age range: 10-14 years old)

1 pax

$725

2 or more

$625

  

Open Water Course Upgrade from Discover Scuba

1 pax

$675

2 or more

$550

  

Open Water Referral / Scuba Diver Upgrade

1 pax

$475

2 or more

$375

  

Scuba Tune-up / Refresher (Classroom+ 1-tank dive)

None

$155

Advanced Open Water Diver Course

1 pax

$615

2 or more

$515

  

Rescue Diver Course

1 pax

$700

2 or more

$600

  

Emergency First Responder Course (EFR)

None

$155

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Unique Dive Expeditions

Prices are per person in USD. Required State Permit is NOT included. For diving and water tours in Peleliu and Northern sites, the appropriate state permit is required at additional cost (subject to change). Blackwater Night Dives cannot be offered on nights of the Full Moon and New Moon Expeditions.

Description

No. of Dives

Minimum Pax Requirement

Rate

Full Moon Snapper Spawning

3

Min. 4 Pax /max. 7 Pax

$270

New Moon Bumphead Parrotfish Spawning

3

Min. 4 Pax /max. 7 Pax

$270

Seabream Spawning

3

Min. 4 Pax /max. 7 Pax

$300

Blackwater Night Dive

1

Min. 4 Pax /max. 7 Pax

$120

 

Full Moon 2019 (Red Snapper Spawning) Schedule

Full Moon 2019

Full Moon Red Snapper Spawning Schedule

January 21, 2019

Jan 17, 18, 19, 20

February 20, 2019

Feb 16, 17, 18, 19

March 21, 2019

Mar 17, 18, 19, 20

April 19, 2019

Apr 15, 16, 17, 18

May 19, 2019

May 15, 16, 17, 18

June 17, 2019

Jun 13, 14, 15, 16

July 17, 2019

Jul 13, 14, 15, 16

October 14, 2019

Oct 10, 11, 12, 13

November 12, 2019

Nov 8, 9, 10, 11

December 12, 2019

Dec 8, 9, 10, 11

 

New Moon 2019 (Bumphead Parrotfish Spawning) Schedule

New Moon 2019

New Moon Bumphead Parrotfish Spawning Schedule

January 6, 2019

Jan 2, 3, 4, 5

February 5, 2019

Feb 1, 2, 3, 4

March 7, 2019

Mar 3, 4, 5, 6

April 5, 2019

Apr 1, 2, 3, 4

May 5, 2019

May 1, 2, 3, 4

June 3, 2019

May 30, 31, Jun 1, 2

July 3, 2019

Jun 29, 30, Jul 1, 2

October 28, 2019

Oct 24, 25, 26, 27

November 27, 2019

Nov 23, 24, 25, 26

December 26, 2019

Dec 22, 23, 24, 25

 

Seabream Spawning Expedition Schedule

Month

Schedule

March 2019

Mar 26,27,28,29,30,31, Apr 1,2

April 2019

Apr 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, May 1, 2

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Hotel & Dive Packages

Other hotel options available. Contact us for more information.


Sam’s Tours and Palau Pacific Resort

Valid for travel between December 22, 2019 - December 20, 2019.

Nightly Rate

Includes Room Tax, Service Charges, and Breakfast for Two.

Low Season: Apr 1 – 26, 2019; May 7 – Jun 30, 2019; Oct 7 – Dec 20, 2019.

Shoulder Season: Jul 1 – 31, 2019; Sep 1 – 27, 2019.

High Season: Jan 7 – Feb 1, 2019; Feb 11 – Mar 31, 2019; Apr 27 –May 6, 2019; Aug 1 – 31, 2019; Sep 28 – Oct 6, 2019. Peak Season: Dec 22, 2018 – Jan 6, 2019; Feb 2– 10, 2019.

Room Type

Season

Rate

Garden View

Low

$468

Shoulder

$486

High

$495

Peak

$576

  

Ocean View

Low

$550

Shoulder

$545

High

$576

Peak

$660

  

Ocean Front

Low

$600

Shoulder

$710

High

$760

Peak

$875

 

Weekly Hotel & Dive Packages

Buffet breakfast included.

Room Type

Season

Double Occupancy (PP)

Single Occupancy

Garden View

Low

$2,550

$4,185

Shoulder

$2,610

$4,310

High

$2,645

$4,375

Peak

$2,925

$4,940

   

Ocean View

Low

$2,835

$4,760

Shoulder

$2,820

$4,725

High

$2,925

$4,940

Peak

$3,220

$5,530

   

Ocean Front

Low

$3,010

$5,110

Shoulder

$3,395

$5,880

High

$3,570

$6,230

Peak

$3,975

$7,035

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Sam’s Tours and Palau Royal Resort

Valid for travel between January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019.

Nightly Rate

Includes Room Tax, Service Charges, and Buffet Breakfast for Two.

Regular Season: Jan 4 – Dec 26, 2019.

High Season: Jan 1 – 3, 2019; Dec 27– 31, 2019.

Room Type

Season

Rate

Superior Garden

Regular

$290

High

$340

  

Superior Premium

Regular

$340

High

$380

  

Deluxe Harbor

Regular

$360

High

$430

  

Deluxe Ocean

Regular

$390

High

$480

 

Weekly Hotel & Dive Packages

Buffet breakfast included.

Room Type

Season

Double Occupancy (PP)

Single Occupancy

Superior Garden

Regular

$1,920

$2,935

High

$2,095

$3,285

   

Superior Premium

Regular

$2,095

$3,285

High

$2,235

$3,565

   

Deluxe Harbor

Regular

$2,165

$3,425

High

$2,410

$3,915

   

Deluxe Ocean

Regular

$2,270

$3,635

High

$2,585

$4,265

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Sam’s Tours and Palasia Hotel

Valid for travel between January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019.

Nightly Rate

Includes Room Tax, Service Charges, and Breakfast for Two.

Low Season: Jan 1 – Feb 1, 2019; Feb 11 – Dec 28, 2019.

High Season: Feb 2 – 10, 2019; Dec 29 – 31, 2019.

Room Type

Season

Rate

Deluxe Town View

Low

$195

High

$225

  

Bay View Deluxe

Low

$225

High

$260

 

Weekly Hotel & Dive Packages

Buffet breakfast included.

Room Type

Season

Double Occupancy (PP)

Single Occupancy

Deluxe Town View

Low

$1,465

$2,050

High

$1,555

$2,230

   

Deluxe Bay View

Low

$1,555

$2,230

High

$1,660

$2,440

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Sam’s Tours and Rose Garden Resort

Valid for travel between December 17, 2018 - January 5, 2020.

Nightly Rate

Includes Room Tax, Service Charges, and Breakfast for Two.

Low Season: Apr 1 – Apr 25, 2019; May 7 – Jun 30, 2019; Sep 1 – Sep 28, 2019; Oct 8 – Dec 16, 2019.

High Season: Jan 6 – Feb 1, 2019; Feb 9 – Mar 31, 2019; Apr 26 – May 6, 2019; Jul 1 – Aug 31, 2019.

Peak Season: Dec 17, 2018 – Jan 5, 2019; Feb 2 – Feb 8, 2019; Sep 29 – Oct 7, 2019; Dec 17, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020.

Room Type

Season

Rate

Standard Scenic View

Low

$129

High

$170

Peak

$220

 

Weekly Hotel & Dive Packages

Set breakfast included.

Room Type

Season

Double Occupancy (PP)

Single Occupancy

Standard Scenic View

Low

$1,340

$1,790

High

$1,480

$2,075

Peak

$1,655

$2,425

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Sam’s Tours and West Plaza Hotels

Valid for travel between January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019.

Nightly Rate

Includes Room Tax & Service Charges. Breakfast is $7.50 per person/day.

Room Type

Rate

Standard (All Locations)

$124

Deluxe (By the Sea, Desekel)

$146

One Bedroom Suite (Malakal)

$163

Two Bedroom Suite (Malakal)

$192

 

Weekly Hotel & Dive Packages

Breakfast not included.

Room Type

Double Occupancy (PP)

Single Occupancy

Standard (All Locations)

$1,315

$1,750

Deluxe (By the Sea, Desekel)

$1,390

$1,900

One Bedroom Suite (Malakal)

$1,450

$2,020

Two Bedroom Suite (Malakal)

$1,550

$2,225

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Weekly Hotel & Packages Inclusions

  • 7 nights’ accommodation, taxes & service charges included
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • Breakfast (except West Plaza Hotels)
  • 5 days of 2-tank boat diving
  • Complimentary 3rd tank dive at Chandelier Cave
  • Jellyfish Lake snorkeling after one of the 2-tank dive days
  • Unlimited diving at Sam’s Macro Wall
  • Professional guide, tanks and weights
  • Free Nitrox up to 32% (with proof of certification)
  • Hotel transfers on dive days
  • Lunch and refreshments each dive day
  • Complimentary Sam’s Tours water bottle and reef hook

 

 

Rates & Availability

For more information on rates, availability and to book, drop us an email at info@bluewaterdivetravel.com or call us today at 310-915-6677. We will gladly help you plan your dream vacation!

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Other Information

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Practical Information 

  • Local Currency: USD (US Dollar)
  • International Airport: Palau International Airport
  • Languages: Palauan, English, German, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, Italian, Dutch, Hebrew, & Irish
  • Time Zone: UTC+9
  • Electricity: 110 V
 

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Got Questions? Ready to Book?

Call us today at 310-915-6677 or email us info@bluewaterdivetravel.com

And let us book your dream vacation!

 

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Underwater Gallery 

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Reviews (5)

5
5
5
5

I did not give the boat any stars since I didn't actually use them - I spent some time on the house reef and met a lot of the staff in the rental department and the shop.

Sam's is fantastic. Free house diving on their reef? Borrow a tank - go dive. Right there. For free. The reef was fun, quiet, peaceful, and offered a lot of interesting animals! I saw the Razor fish or Shrimp fish dancing vertically right under their dock, beautiful corals everywhere! I looked for mandarin fish as I heard they are right in that area, but didn't see any. The dive is right in their little harbor - but there affords lots of unique creatures and topography! Next time I'm in Palau I will do some boat dives with them too!

Visited on 05/2014 - Submitted on 08/04/2014
4
4
4
3

I have dreamed of diving in Palau for many years, and finally I managed to squeeze in 6 days of diving after a work trip. WOW! For such a small country Palau has a bit of everything - macro, big fish, drop-offs, drift dives, cave dives and the list goes on.

I had heard some good things about Sam's Tours and this was also the dive operator recommended by Bluewater Travel. I wasn't disappointed. The operation is big and popular which I generally don't like, but I was also clear at the beginning that I preferred diving with experienced divers and doing dives which depart from the norm. I was told about the Unique Dive Experience which is offered by Sams Tours in collaboration with two local marine biologists. They have studied Red Snapper and Bumphead Parrot spawning for the last few years and are now able to predict fairly well when and where they will spawn. They require divers to be a minimum Advanced OpenWater and to be comfortable diving on their own - just what I like!! The two days I did Unique dives were amazing. They are a bit on the expensive side, but otherwise the chance to see spawning Red Snapper was brilliant. This was a great start to my trip. I then joined the normal Sams Tours' dives. They do a good job of trying to keep divers together with dive guides they are comfortable with, and also other divers who are diving for more than one day. This also enables the group to not dive the same sites too often.

Lunch is provided which is pretty good. Dive briefings were sometimes a little brief, and I had one boat without an auto bilge pump on a day with rough weather, but other than that the operation was great.

Sams Tours has a wall dive right next to the shop which is a great place to see Mandarin Fish and just across from the shop is Chandelier cave which was just wonderful. They also come and pick you up from your hotel every morning and always have a driver waiting to take you back.

There is a bar at Sams and always a few people hanging around to share dive tales. The atmosphere was great.

I am just looking for another excuse to go back...

Visited on 06/2014 - Submitted on 07/27/2014
  • Reviewer
, HI
United States
4
4
4
3

To do land based on Palau, my impression was that choices were limited. There're a few specially catered the Japanese speaking divers, and there's one who frequently by ones who don't adhere to rules of diving, such as no drinking and diving. So Sam's Tours was an obvious choice at that time.

I was impressed by the efficiency and friendliness of the staff at the office, the two Philippinos ladies knew me by my first name and dive preference. The dive operation was a lot busier than I's used to in Hawaii and Guam, and the mixture of divers on each dive boat was interesting, which added to the fun part of diving. My Palauan dive guides and boat captions were fun and extremely knowledgeable and helpful. On day 2 of diving, the divers on our boat splited up in 2 half after the first 2 dives, since 4 of us wanted to dive the German Channel again and the other four wanted to dive the Chandeliar cave. The staff really did a good job tried to cater our needs as best as they could.

We got a box lunch everyday, which included fish, some greens, and carb. It's fine, since you can't be too picky in the middle of the ocean, when the weather is about 80-90 degree. The scenery, dive sites, and people made up for everything that's lacking. At the end of the day, they brought all of your dive gears up to the washing area, and you were responsible to cleaning and storing everything in the dive lockers. There's never any problem with things getting stolen or missing at the dive lockers.

There's a photography section, although the knowledge and help there was very minimum. So Sam's tours was more like a causal diving place than doing or learning serious underwater photography.

One major drawback for me is the choice of dive sites, which is extremely limited. I traveled during the week of Thanksgiving, so they were pretty busy and full. I chose to dive 5 days 3-4 dives per day, since the dive sites were few, on my second to last day, I started diving the same site over again. I only wished they could go up further north for the divers who don't mind to pay extra gas fee. So maybe I need to do a liveaboard if I want to dive in Palau again.

Visited on 11/2012 - Submitted on 04/09/2014
5
5
4
4

Sam's Tours is a wonderful operation filled with very helpful and friendly staff. The site has everything you need if you left something at home and the on site restaurant has the locally brewed beer and quite a few items on the menu. Prices are reasonable for the island and they offer shuttle service to and from your hotel.

The guides are all very professional and attentive to the divers needs and requests. Some are more personable that others and I think add a lot of excitement to the days dives but all were very flexible in getting a boat full of people happy with the dive sites even though everyone has their own preference and has had a different length of stay so far. It seemed that they tried to keep groups and guides together as much as possible, which really helps with the dive site selection.

Palau is a beautiful location that shouldn't be missed by any diver and Sam's does a great job at making the trip a very worthwhile one.

Visited on 01/2014 - Submitted on 02/27/2014
5
5
5
5

My wife and I dove Palau once before and were disappointed with the operation that we went with.
On our next dive trip to Palau we decided to give Sam’s a try to see if they would fare any better. We were very, very pleased with our decision!

We were happy with every aspect of Sam's Tours. A boat came by to pick us up from our hotel every morning. When we arrived on the first day I was blown away with the size of the operation and staging area. Each boat was able to tie directly to the dock so there were not hordes of people trampling from one boat over to the next. On our past trip with another outfit, it was a nightmare having boats all rafted up and all sorts of people scrambling over your gear to get to their boat. There was tons of room to set up and move around. The rinsing area was large and easily accessible. The area where you get weights and other gear you might need is organized and easy to navigate. The storage locker where you store you gear for the night is HUGE, clean, organized and SAFE! The gals at the front desk whisked us in and out in a matter of a few minutes. The boat assignment list was on a eraser board right outside the check in desk, easy to read, in big bold lettering. The tanks were already there on the boat with the correct valves correct size and nitrox. The whole operation was a smooth as silk and we hadn’t even left the dock for the dive. Within 20 minutes we were checked in, got our weights, loaded on the boat, tested our Nitrox mix and heading to the dive site.

We had the same dive master and captain for all our dive days. Jay-C (aka Jay-Z) was a consummate professional. Cool, calm and confident. Diving was relaxed and fun. We were paired with divers of the same ability levels and actually got to choose where we wanted to dive. For the first time diving on Palau I felt like I was on vacation from the moment we arrived at Sam’s dock to the day we left. Everyone was very friendly, helpful, accommodating and relaxed. The whole thing turned out to be a true pleasure.

If I were to have any gripes it would be only that we chose to do three dives per day and the rest of the boat was only doing two. Unfortunately there were not enough three dive a day divers to make a whole boat till the last day of diving and consequently the boat went in to the dock to drop off the '2 dive a day' divers. Then we were taken out, just the four of us, me, my wife, the captain and Jay-C. We had to dive inside the reef for two days, on wrecks, in less than ideal visibility. Ideally, we would have preferred to dive outside the reef but we understood. The final day of diving we had a full boat of eight divers all doing three dives. The last dive of the day and the trip for that matter was probably the best of my life, maybe second only to diving with Great Whites in the Farallon Islands, no cage. The only other gripe is I wish we got a bit earlier of a start in the day but I can hardly whine about that though.

Half of me does not want to write this review as it might impact Sam’s with more divers and I just want to have all the other divers still go with the other operations on the island. The other half that convinced me to go ahead with the review rationalizing that Sam’s deserves the business and can easily handle any uptick in the number of divers this may create.

Go with Sam’s Tours and you won’t be disappointed, I strongly recommend giving Sam’s a try. If you are a repeat visitor to Palau, you might not ever go back to anyone else, I know that we never will.

Visited on 06/2013 - Submitted on 02/15/2014

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