A Culture-Packed Palau Vacation
Explore Our HIstory & Culture
On your Palau vacation, explore history and culture while staying at COVE Resort Palau, a waterfront oasis of adventure and relaxation in Koror. Situated on the pristine island of Malakal in Micronesia, this vibrant South Pacific gem has a rich story to tell. Be part of it and book your stay today. Learn about our history and culture below.
Although it is unclear why, how or when people arrived on the islands, carbon dating of artifacts from the oldest known village sites on the Rock Islands and the spectacular terraces on Babeldaob place civilization as early as 1,000 BC. The first notable foreign contact wasn't until 1783 when the vessel Antelope, under the command of English Captain Henry Wilson, was shipwrecked on a reef near Ulong, a Rock Island located between Koror and Peleliu, leaving the islands open to European influence. History moving forward included Spanish governance, Japanese governance, a role in WWII and finally a declaration of independence upon the signing of the Compact of Free Association with the United States. Despite these influences from external nations and economies, Palau has sustained a lively culture of customs.
Although we call the islands "Palau," locals proudly use the term "Belau." When Henry Wilson shipwrecked his Antelope in 1783, he found an ancient culture steeped in tradition and living in perfect harmony with nature. Remnants of this ancient culture can still be found in stone foundations, a natural amphitheater and pillars all over, including a network of old stone paths.
Learn more by visiting two museums on Koror, which house a national treasury of historical and cultural artifacts. Over 1,000 objects contained in these museums include antique glass paste beads, shell money, costumes, domestic utensils, weapons, tools, and ornaments. These offer a fascinating glimpse into Palau's past.