Sam's Tours Palau Dive Trip Reviews, Photos & Special Rates - Bluewater Dive Travel

Sam's Tours Palau

4.46875
(8 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 shuttle

 

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 & Snorkeling tours 2024

All rates are in USD and per person. Exclusive of the 10% Palau Goods and Services Tax (PGST).

Dive & Snorkeling PackagesMinimum Pax RequirementRates
Full Day Diving (2 tanks)None$215
Peleliu Diving* (2 tanks) - Advanced divers only6 pax$275
Peleliu Diving* (3 tanks) - Advanced divers only6 pax$325
Add On: Half Day Peleliu Land Tour (Can only be booked with Peleliu 2 tank dive)6 pax$125
Wreck Diving Day (3 tanks)Price available on request
Chandelier Cave DiveNone$50
3rd Tank DiveNone$55
Night Dive4 pax$115
Jellyfish Lake Snorkel Stop (after diving 2 tanks)None$50
Snorkeler on Dive Boat - Must be 15 yrs old or older & hire a private snorkeling guideNone$150
Private Dive Guide - DailyNone$140
Private Dive Guide - Weekly (5 days)None$560
Sam's Macro WallNoneFREE
Rock Island Jellyfish Lake Tours
A scenic cruise through the beauful Rock Islands with a wonderful selecon of snorkeling stops, beach me and photo opportunies.
Oponal: Visit world-renowned Jellyfish Lake*
5 pax$200
4 pax$225

*Requires Peleliu Government diving permit

 

inclusions

  • Hotel transfers within Koror
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Professional dive leader
  • Tanks and weights
  • Free Nitrox up tp 32%

 

exclusions

  • Mandatory government permits
  • Dive gear rental

 

dive courses 2024

All rates are in USD and per person.

Description Approx. No of Days/ Hours/ DiveRates
Dive Courses
Bubble maker (age range: 8 years old and above)- NELM1⁄2 day$250
Seal Team Course (age range: 8 years old and above)- NELM1 day$325
Discover Scuba Diving (1 tank) Pool/Sam’s Dock- NELM2-3 hrs$225
Discover Scuba Diving (2 tank) Boat Dive with Private Instructor*- NELM1 day$300
Scuba Diver Course ( age range: 10 years or above )2 days$500
Scuba Diver Upgrade to Open Water Diver1 day$250
Open Water Diver Course / Junior Open Water Course (age range: 10–14 years old)3 days$750
Open Water Course Upgrade from Discover Scuba2.5 days$675
Open Water Referral2 days$475
ReAcvate E-Learning (Online session + 1-tank dive)2-3 hrs$155
Adventure Diver Course ( 3 Adventures Dives )1-2 days$405
Adventure Diver Upgrade to Advanced Open Water1 day$275
Advanced Open Water Diver Course2 days$675
Rescue Diver Course3-4 days$725
Emergency First Responder Course (EFR)- NELM4-8 hrs$155
Dive Master- 30 days ( including DM crew pack)30 days$2,050
Instructor Development Course
Price available upon request
 
Specialty Courses - Must complete DSD 1 tank course to parcipate in the DSD 2 tank course **The prices for SPECIALTY COURSES do not include dives; dives must be booked separately
EANx (Nitrox) Course3 hrs$225
Sam’s Tours Blue Corner Specialty- NELO1 day$140
Digital Underwater Photographer1 day$175
Underwater Navigator, Peak Performance Buoyancy1 day$225
Deep Diver2 days$350
AWARE Shark- NELO, Dive against Debris, Fish ID, SMB Diver1 day$140
Dri Diver1 day$225
Wreck Diver2 days$350
Recreaonal Sidemount Diver2 days$550

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Sea kayak & snorkeling tours

All rates are in USD and per person.

Tour Details  Minimum Pax Requirement
Rates
Nikko Bay Tour
Excellent relaxed tour for all ages; shield from winds and swells, this tour offers perfect combinaon of paddling and snorkeling
4 pax$185
Risong Bay Tour
A scenic kayak and snorkeling tour including inner lagoons, ancient villages, cave, and excellent snorkeling spots
4 pax$185
Long Lake Tour*
Long Lake, SeaPlane, Secret Lake, Milky Way; get carried by the des on this naturalist- focused tour, only offered on specific condions; excellent for bird watching
5 pax$235
Tarzan Tour*
Lost Lake, Tarzan Lake and the Blue Room; fantasc scenery, including snorkeling and freediving into a limestone cave
5 pax$235

*Specialty Kayak Tours (only available at certain tides)

 

blackout dates 2024

  • January 1 - 8
  • February 17 - 18, 22, 24, 26 - 27
  • March 6, 7, 9, 10 - 11, 13 - 15, 17 - 18, 21 - 25, 27 - 28
  • April 4 - 8, 14 - 18
  • May 1 - 11, 15 - 19
  • September 1 - 2, 4 - 8
  • October 31
  • November 7, 10 - 14, 25 - 30
  • December 1 - 5

 

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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Palau underwater photo by Marc Stickler Palau underwater photo by Marc Stickler

© Sam's Tours/Marc Stickler

Palau underwater photo by Marc Stickler Palau underwater photo by Marc Stickler

© Sam's Tours/Marc Stickler

Palau underwater photo by Wendy Capili Wilkie Palau underwater photo by Wendy Capili Wilkie

© Sam's Tours/Wendy Capili Wilkie

Palau underwater photo by Christoph Hoppe Palau underwater photo by Christoph Hoppe

© Sam's Tours/Christoph Hoppe 

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Reviews (8)

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
5
5
5
5

Staff at Sam's Tours made sure I had a great time during the dives and on the boat. I really felt I got the best possible experience during my 6 days of diving. Sharon, Arnie, Neil and June were great dive masters and made sure everyone was attended to. I was super happy with my GoPro footage after every day of dives because Sam's took me to the best dive locations for the conditions. Thanks also to my driver Swel, who was very personable, and Jennifer for being there in case I needed anything. Staff at the front desk and gear rental were great as well as the knowledgeable boat captains. I would recommend Sam's Tours to anyone looking to go to Palau for a great dive experience.

Visited on 12/2022 - Submitted on 12/10/2022
5
5
5
5

Staff at Sam's Tours made sure I had a great time during the dives and on the boat. I really felt I got the best possible experience during my 6 days of diving. Sharon, Arnie, Neil and June were great dive masters and made sure everyone was attended to. I was super happy with my GoPro footage after every day of dives because Sam's took me to the best dive locations for the conditions. Thanks also to my driver Swel, who was very personable, and Jennifer for being there in case I needed anything. Staff at the front desk and gear rental were great as well as the knowledgeable boat captains. I would recommend Sam's Tours to anyone looking to go to Palau for a great dive experience.

Visited on 12/2022 - Submitted on 12/10/2022
4
4
3
4

Sam's Tours, located at their own boat dock on Malakal Island, offers a well-organized and spacious environment for both divers and snorkelers.
The dive boats at Sam's Tours are comfortable, covered, and provide side seating, ensuring a drier experience compared to other operators. Convenient walk-up ladders and a dry box under the driver's seat for personal items add to the convenience on board.
Gear handling is efficiently managed by the boat crew, although divers are reminded to retrieve their own wetsuits from the rack. Certified divers can enjoy complimentary Nitrox with 80cf/11l tanks filled with 32% Nitrox.
Camera handling is well organized, with a crate immediately provided for cameras. Refreshments such as water and punch are available on board, and lunch is served between dives. While boat towels and toilets are not provided, the overall comfort and functionality of the boats are acceptable.
Additionally, Sam's Tours facilitates access and transfers to/from hotels, ensuring convenience for their guests.
The diving experience with Sam's Tours relies heavily on the teamwork of the boat captain and the dive guides, who vary each day and ultimately decide on the dive site based on prevailing conditions. They also set the direction and pace of the dives.
During our two dive days, we noticed a significant difference in approach. The first day was characterized by a relaxed and non-prescriptive style from the guides. Dive times typically lasted around 60 minutes, including a safety stop. As photographers, we appreciated this unhurried pace, as it allowed us ample time to focus on interesting subjects without feeling rushed or losing sight of our group.
However, our experience on the second day was quite different. Our guide set a very fast pace for the first dive, which was unsatisfactory for photography. We expressed our desire for a slower pace during the surface interval, but unfortunately, the second dive followed a similar hurried pattern. We were even scolded for lagging behind the group, which was frustrating.
Overall, while the first day provided a positive experience with its relaxed approach, the second day's fast pace and lack of flexibility for photography detracted from our enjoyment.

Visited on 02/2024 - Submitted on 03/26/2024
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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