Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, comprising thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean.
It has a shared cultural history with two other island regions, Polynesia to the east and Melanesia to the south.
There are four main archipelagos in Micronesia along with numerous outlying islands:
- the Caroline Islands (Federated States of Micronesia and Palau)
- the Gilbert Islands (Republic of Kiribati)
- the Mariana Islands (Northern Mariana Islands and Guam)
- the Marshall Islands
Micronesia is a popular tourist destination for many reasons. Here’s a few of those to get you travelling in the right direction.
Kosrae has recently been making headlines around the world, as Kosrae Nautilus resort is being raffled off as a prize. Kosrae’s tourism industry is mainly centred around scuba diving on the coral reef that rings the island, however Surfing, hiking and stand up paddle-boarding through the extensive mangrove system is growing in popularity. The annual 10-kilometre (6.2-mile) Rockhopper running race commenced in 2013 and attracts several dozen competitors from the nearby islands of Kwajalein and Pohnpei, and is a pretty nice destination to fit a race into.
While Guam is no doubt a great place to relax, de-stress and recouperate by doing absolutely nothing but enjoy the balmy breezes and sunshine, GUAM also stands for Get Up And Move!
Enjoy an array of beaches and water activities, sports, adventure, local attractions and nightlife. There are many things to do as a lone traveller, a couple or as a family. Visit one of dozens of cultural or historical sites, for Guam is replete with World War II memories responsible for moulding Guam into the island it is today.
You can Time your travel with one of Guam’s many annual events, such as a road race, the Guam Micronesia Island Fair, or any of the village festivals.
Indulge in shopping, where you can purchase anything from Made On Guam products to souvenirs and keepsakes; all the way to outlet products and luxury goods for the worldly traveller.
With its endless summer climate, man-made and natural sports facilities and myriad options to explore all, Guam is the perfect destination for sports and adventure.
There are plenty of hiking treks in Guam, where you can swim in a spring feed Cave or hike to an 80ft Waterfall. A lot of Guam’s hiking tours actually include snorkelling which is a great way to enjoy your time on different levels.
Not many tourists visit The Marshall Islands, maybe because they are hard to reach. Or maybe because some of the islands are no-go zones having been used for nuclear testing, the area is enormous, or because they are still a little bit unknown. So actually, they might be an opportunity for intrepid travellers wanting to avoid the regular pacific paradise tourist trap!
Spread over several hundred thousand square miles of the Pacific, the Marshall Islands are a diver’s paradise of coral reefs, exotic species of fish, and WWII wrecks. The narrow Majuro atoll is the country’s capital, with a major port and international airport. Before departing the city for snorkelling adventures, take the opportunity to learn about the history and people of the Marshall Islands at the Alele Museum, or shop for some traditional woven baskets and bags, a specialty of the islands.
Because it is spread across such a large area of ocean, the best way to get around the Marshall Islands is by boat, but if you’re going to sail around these islands, make sure you know which ones are off limits, as you can land yourself in a bit of trouble if you don’t.
Kiritimati – sometimes known as Christmas Island (Not to be confused with Australia’s Christmas Island)– is the largest coral atoll in the world. It’s about 7 hours on a plane directly south from Hawaii. With lagoons and white-sand beaches, many of its islands are uninhabited, offering the perfect remote setting for fishing, diving and bird-watching. The crowded capital, South Tarawa, made up of small islets, retains remnants of WWII battles fought on its shores, and is known for folk dancing and handicrafts, and there is a number of very impressive surf breaks.
Palau is probably the best place in Micronesia for tourists. They enjoy a pleasantly warm climate all year round with an annual mean temperature of 27° C. Their economy is solely based around tourism dollars, so there is plenty of options when you visit including Scuba Diving, Rock Island snorkelling, Kayak tours, Historic WWII Peleliu Tours, boat charter, trolling tours, fishing tours, Garatsumao of Waterfall, Babeldaob island, surfing tours, jetskiing, stand-up paddleboard tours, and Cessna sightseeing. These are just a few options available here. The community here are very focussed on tourism, and the local competition brings prices down to very affordable prices.
Fancy snorkelling off your balcony? Well Palau now has options for over water bungalows, but the prices start at around $1350USD per night.
There are hundreds of islands to choose from when thinking about Micronesia, and there is plenty to do, or plenty NOT to do, if you’d prefer to do zilch.