The Vacation Gals: Palau: Royal Treatment Under and Above Water


vacation galsThank you to the Vacation Gals for publishing my story: Palau: Royal Treatment Under and Above Water

After recently snorkeling with whale sharks in the Philippines and scuba diving among a tornado of barracuda off Sipadan, Borneo, I wondered if Palau scuba diving would live up to the hype. Scuba dive sites in Palau are famously wonderful and teeming with marine life; I had been informed that some of the best dive sites in the world were situated at the edge of paradise in Palau’s Rock Islands. Our day out withNeco Marine Dive shop did not disappoint. From the moment of our arrival in the shop, the entire dive team — especially Dive Instructor Dale — went above and beyond the call of duty.


WATCH: Diving Palau by Terry Gardner

Scuba Dive Sites in Palau (Neco Dive Shop)


Whether snorkeling or diving, each person was given attention to make sure they were prepared for an excellent day of adventure. We were all primed with our green Rock Islands cards that are required for entering the water in this UNESCO protected area.

Our first scuba dive site in Palau was Coral Garden. In Coral Garden, I immediately felt like I was in a magical place. During our hour underwater reaching depths of 47 feet, my dive buddy, Terry, and I saw green turtles, anemones, clams, purple and green damselfish, angelfish as well as mackerel. We slowly meandered through the reef garden, enjoying every second of our Nitrox dive.

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shark bluecorner dale and jenni
Photo by Dale Goosen and Jenni Wilbourn, Neco Marine Dive Shop

Palau Visitor’s Authority  Thank you to the for inviting us to explore the magic of Palau!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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