Location: Eastern reefs of Palau, north of Ngerchong Island.
Distance from Koror: 21 miles (34 kilometers) southeast of Koror. 35-50 minutes by speedboat.
Level of Diving Experience: Novice
Diving Depth Summary: Shallow reef with a variety of coral formations: 0 to 36 feet (0-12 m). Sloping sandy bottom: 36-100' (12 - 33 m).
Visibility: 60 to 90 feet (20 to 30 m): Incoming tide. Less than 30 feet (less than 10 m): Outgoing tide.
Currents: Usually none.
General Information: This dive site is very popular for a second dive. When the wind shifts to the west Ngerchong Gardens is well protected.
Reef Formation: Shaped like a horseshoe this shallow reef starts on the east side of Ngerchong Island and curves toward Denges channel to the northwest. A sandy bottom rises from 95 feet (31 m) to 40 feet (13 meter). The coral reef starts between 30 and 40 feet (10 and 13 m) and continues to rise until reaching the surface. During low tide the top of the reef is partially exposed. Different species of hard corals make up this magnificent Coral Garden.
Marine life: Ngerchong Coral Garden offers a variety of hard corals and colorful soft corals. Cuttlefish can be seen here year round! Ngerchong Coral Garden is the breeding and hatching area for Cuttlefish. The female will lay dozens of 2-inch (5 centimeter) long 'grapes-shaped' white eggs among branching hard corals. She will hover around her nest until the eggs hatch. To locate the cuttlefish swim along the edge of the reef where it meets the sandy bottom, stay 3-6 feet (1 to 2 meters) off the bottom. Cuttlefish are masters of disguise; it will take a sharp eye to find them. The garden teems with small marine life, such as, shrimp, crab, nudibranchs, feather worms, garden eels and many shells. Black Tip Sharks, Eagle Rays and Mantas also visit this dive site.
Diving: The dive boat will be tie off to one of two moorings. This is a shallow dive; the diver will have time to explore the entire Coral garden.
Fascinating Facts: The beautiful sandy island of Ngerchong was once a thriving Palauan community. The island is now deserted.