Soft Coral Arch
Distance from Koror: 15 miles (24 km), 25-30 minutes by speedboat.
Level of Diving Experience: Snorkeling or novice diver.
Diving Depth Summary: 15 feet (5 m).
Visibility: 10-30 feet (3-10 m).
Current: Slight current on the tidal change.
Location: Soft Coral Arch is located among the Rock Islands on the southwest side of Urukthapel Island (northern Rock Islands of Mercherchar Island) near the much photographed “Arch” that is seen on many tourism posters and postcards of Palau.
General Formation: Soft Coral Arch is a short and shallow channel naturally carved into one of the Rock Islands. Along the sides of the channel soft corals abound in a myriad of colors. The currents flowing through the islands carry nutrients that feed this large and colorful population of soft corals.
Reef Formation: The sides of the channel are limestone with very little hard coral growth.
Marine Life: The area abounds with small reef fish such as Fusiliers, Anthias and Rainbow Runners.
Diving: The area is only accessible by boat. This is a very popular site for snorkelers as the corals are very close to the surface. Using a SCUBA tank is recommended for underwater photographers. The soft corals are very delicate and fragile. Divers and snorkelers need to be very careful as a misplaced fin kick can easily damage or kill the corals.