Ngardmau waterfall was a nice break from snorkeling and kayaking. We visited it as a part of the whole day tour around Babeldaob island. To see its location on a map go to How to plan a trip to Palau.
To get there, you’ll need a car. You might rent it, or you might join a tour. If you travel with a bigger group (well, like two), it might be a good idea to find a local who could take you there with their car. It’s much cheaper than getting a taxi. Ask around (a reception of your hotel is always a good idea).
We’ve found our guide accidentally in the Belau National Museum (ask for Jeff).
Trekking to Ngardmau waterfall
You’ll have to leave a car at the parking lot, buy the entrance ticket and hit the track down. The trek itself is not very long (maximum 40 minutes), but extremely picturesque. First, the path follows the monorail (we’ll tell you about the train later) in the middle of the rain forest. Then you reach the place where the first zip-lining platform awaits adventurers (oh boy, it looked great, if we had had more time we would have tried it). From the platform you can spot the waterfall in the distance, looking tiny and modest (wrong impression!). Then you reach the river, turn left and keep to its bank until you find the wooden pedestrian platforms built upon the swamps. When you reach the hanging bridge, be prepared for the encounter with the waterfall.
It’s bigger than you expect. If you decide to cool down in the water (and why wouldn’t you), wear some shoes. The stones in the river are quite sharp.
Nearby you’ll find a wooden platform from where you can take the best pictures. All around are the benches and tables, so if you took some lunch, you might have it with a view.
We heard that Ngardmau waterfall is a popular tourist attraction, but we didn’t meet many visitors. Near the waterfall, we saw maybe six other people.
Monorail to Ngardmau waterfall
To go back, we used a monorail. It cost more, but it was a big fun to wade through the bush riding a microscopic train. Plus we didn’t have to climb (the road to the Ngardmau waterfall is down, so going back is unavoidably up). Just remember to pay for the tickets before you leave the parking lot, and establish a pickup time with a monorail driver (in our opinion one hour is enough). You cannot pay for the ride at the waterfall.
It is possible to ride the monorail down to the waterfall as well, but we recommend trekking.