The Republic consists of a collection of 16 individual states located throughout the island chain. There are a total of 340 islands in the entire chain, many of which are small rock islands. The states of Sonsorol and Hatohobei are approximately 180 miles south of the main archipelago. The northern most state is Kayangel, an island approximately 26 miles north from the tip of the big island of Babeldaob.
The arrangement of these islands and associated reef structures form a lagoon approximately 560 square miles in area. Koror is the capital of the Republic and is located on a separate island immediately south of Babeldaob connected by the Babeldaob/Japan bridge. With Kayangel and Hatohobei, the other states surrounded by water are Koror, Peleliu, Angaur and Sonsorol.
Babeldaob is by far the largest landmass comprising approximately 129 square miles of Palau’s total landmass of 188 square miles. Babeldaob is home to 10 of the 16 states in the Republic, namely Ngerchelong, Ngaraard, Ngiwal, Melekeok, Ngchesar, Airai, Aimeliik, Ngatpang, Ngaremlengui, and Ngardmau. Babeldaob is mostly under-developed however there is a National Road known as the Compact Road (asphalt) surrounding the island where one can drive around within three to four hours in a sight-seeing tour.
The four states of Aimeliik, Ngatpang, Ngardmau and Ngaraard, out of the ten states of Babeldaob, are members of the Babeldaob Community Eco-Tour (BCET).