The arrival process for Palau was unremarkable. It was the standard immigration and customs checks. Our passports were quickly stamped, nothing intrusive was done with our baggage, and no fees were charged. As of this writing, United States citizens did not require visas for visits of one year or less.
The departure was more bureaucratic and costly. At the entrance to the airline check-in counter, a lady pulled our boarding passes from an index card box and put them in our passports. Then, at the counter, we were told to complete our baggage routing tags by hand (there were no computer-generated tags).
Check-in with the airline now complete, we dropped our checked luggage at a security scanning station, walked back to the main airport entrance area, and up a flight of stairs to a series of three processing stations. The first involved cash payment of the departure tax and “green fee”, where the payment receipt was stapled to our boarding passes. The second was passport control, where our passports were checked and stamped. The final was the standard pre-flight security screening of our persons and carry-on luggage.
Then we were in the boarding area, with its two gates.
There are numerous fees associated with a trip to Palau. Here are the fees we paid:
Arai State Land Tour Permit: US $25 each
Peleliu State Land Tour Permit: US $15 each
Rock Island Permit, Including Access to Jellyfish Lake: US $100 each
Fishing Permit: US $20
Commercial Photography Permit: US $100
Palau Government “Green Fee”: US $30
Departure Tax: US $20
You will notice that each state seems to have a tourism fee.
The Rock Island, Jellyfish Lake, fishing, and commercial photography permits were purchased at the Ranger office on Malakal Island, which is connected to Koror.