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Micronesia

MICRONESIA TRAVEL GUIDE

The Federated States of Micronesia is a country spread across the western Pacific Ocean comprising more than 600 islands. Micronesia is made up of 4 island states: Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap. The country is known for palm-shaded beaches, wreck-filled dives and ancient ruins, including Nan Madol, sunken basalt temples and burial vaults that extend out of a lagoon on Pohnpei.

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  • Capital: Palikir
  • Currency: US dollar ($, USD)
  • Area: 702km² (includes Pohnpei (Ponape), Chuuk (Truk) Islands, Yap Islands, and Kosrae)
  • Population: 112 640 (2018)
  • Language: English (official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi
  • Religion:Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 47%
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BEST TIME TO VISIT MICRONESIA

Micronesia is located in the tropical region of the Pacific Ocean, and as such, it has a warm, tropical climate throughout the year. The weather in Micronesia is characterized by two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

  • The dry season, which is also referred to as the "cooler" season, typically runs from December to April. During this time, the weather is drier and less humid, with cooler temperatures and less rainfall. This season is considered the best time to visit for outdoor activities, as the weather is more comfortable.
  • The rainy season, also known as the "hotter" season, typically runs from May to November. During this time, the weather is more humid, with higher temperatures and more frequent rainfall. While the weather can be less comfortable during this season, it can also be a good time to visit for deals on travel and accommodations, as it is considered the off-season.

It's worth noting that the above mentioned information is general, and specific islands may have different weather patterns and microclimates. Some islands may be prone to typhoons and hurricanes, so check in advance for any potential weather warnings during your planned trip.

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MICRONESIA WEATHER SYNOPSIS

With less than 1.5°C between its hottest and coldest months, FSM experiences very little seasonal variation in mean air temperatures. Mean annual temperature (1901-2016) is 27.1°C. Mean annual precipitation (1901-2016) stands at 3,810.4mm. The wet season takes place between May and September, with the West Pacific Monsoon affecting rainfall in the western islands by contributing additional rain. The extreme weather events that occur in FSM include typhoons, storm waves, droughts and flooding.

Micronesia

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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SNOW SPORT IN MICRONESIA

HIKING & CYCLING IN MICRONESIA

The dry season in Micronesia runs from December to April. The rainy season from May to November can sometimes include typhoons. Pohnpei is reputedly one of the wettest places on earth!

BEACH OPTIONS IN MICRONESIA

The dry season in Micronesia runs from December to April. The rainy season from May to November can sometimes include typhoons.

SURFING IN MICRONESIA

Micronesia has some of the best waves in the world and Pohnpei has by far the best surf, but the only way to get to the waves is by boat! Western Pacific typhoons produce swells in Micronesia from September to May, which is the main surf season.

KITESURF IN MICRONESIA

Kitesurfing in Micronesia is becoming more popular. Pohnpei’s position in relation to the annual northeasterly trade winds results in exciting conditions off and on throughout the year, but the primary times for kiting around the island happen from October through May (for northern reef breaks) and September through December (for eastern breaks). The western and southern reefs are sheltered by the island and don’t get much in the way of wind.

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN MICRONESIA

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Travel Safety

HEALTH RISKS IN MICRONESIA

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Micronesia

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

MICRONESIA TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Micronesia can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the time of year, the specific islands you plan to visit, and your travel style.

  • Airfare to Micronesia can be relatively expensive, as the islands are spread out over a large area and are not well-connected by ground transportation. Round-trip airfare from the United States or Asia can cost anywhere from $800 to $2000 or more, depending on your departure city and the airline you choose.
  • Once you arrive in Micronesia, accommodations can also vary widely in price. Budget options such as guesthouses and hostels can cost around $40 to $70 per night, while mid-range options like hotels and resorts can cost $100 to $200 per night. Luxury accommodations can cost $300 or more per night.
  • Food and transportation costs can also add up. Eating at local restaurants and street food vendors is relatively inexpensive and can cost around $5 to $15 per meal. Transportation such as bus and ferry can be cheaper than car rental, while renting a car may cost around $50 to $100 per day.

It's worth noting that some of the islands in Micronesia are more developed and tourist-friendly than others, and prices will be lower on more rural or remote islands. You can plan your budget accordingly by looking for the best deals and accommodations for your trip.

 

Overall, a budget of $100 to $150 per day is a good estimate for the cost of traveling to Micronesia, not including airfare. However, this can vary significantly depending on your preferences, so it is a good idea to do some research and plan your budget accordingly.

Cost & Spending

MICRONESIA TRAVEL TIPS

Micronesia is a group of islands located in the Pacific Ocean, and it offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and adventure. Here are a few travel tips to help you plan your trip to Micronesia:

  • Pack for the weather: Micronesia has a warm, tropical climate, so be sure to pack light, breathable clothing, as well as sunscreen and insect repellent. Bring a rain jacket or umbrella during rainy seasons.
  • Research your destination: Not all islands in Micronesia are the same, each of them have different culture, landscapes and activities. Research your specific destination(s) in order to know what to expect and plan your itinerary accordingly.
  • Arrange your transportation: Some islands are well-connected by ground transportation, while others are more remote and require air travel or boat rides. Make sure you know how you'll get around once you arrive and book transportation in advance.
  • Get a local SIM card: Telecommunications network may be limited on some islands, it is advisable to purchase a local SIM card or get a global roaming plan to stay connected with the outside world.
  • Respect local customs: Micronesia is home to many distinct cultures, so be sure to research and respect local customs and traditions. Be mindful of customs around dress, language, and other cultural practices.
  • Be prepared for off-grid areas: Some islands may not have the same infrastructure and resources as more developed areas, so make sure you're prepared for off-grid travel. Pack extra batteries, flashlights, and portable chargers.
  • Learn about marine conservation: Many of the islands in Micronesia are known for their marine biodiversity and coral reefs. Educate yourself about sustainable diving and snorkeling practices, and make sure to support conservation efforts in the area.
  • Learn some phrases in the local languages: Majority of the islanders speaks English but it would be helpful if you know some of the local languages. Knowing a few words and phrases can help you connect with local people and make your trip more enjoyable.

By following these tips, you'll be able to have a great time exploring the unique culture and natural beauty of Micronesia while respecting the local customs, environment and communities.

Travel Tips

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF MICRONESIA

Micronesia is a group of islands located in the Pacific Ocean, and it is divided into four main regions: the Caroline Islands, the Gilbert Islands, the Mariana Islands, and the Marshall Islands. Each region has its own distinct culture, history, and attractions.

  • The Caroline Islands: This region is made up of more than 500 islands and is known for its coral reefs, white-sand beaches, and traditional villages. Some of the most popular destinations in the Caroline Islands include Palau, Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei. Palau, famous for its diving, snorkeling, and swimming opportunities in its blue lagoons and limestone cliffs. Yap is known for its traditional stone money, while Chuuk (formerly known as Truk) is known for its WWII shipwrecks. Pohnpei is known for its unique ancient ruins and natural beauty such as the Nan Madol, a complex of 92 artificial islets built on a coral reef.
  • The Gilbert Islands: This region is made up of 16 atolls and is known for its history as a British protectorate and its traditional culture. The most popular destinations in the Gilbert Islands include Tarawa and Kiribati. Tarawa is the capital of Kiribati and is known for its WWII battlefields and traditional villages.
  • The Mariana Islands: This region is made up of 15 islands and is known for its diverse cultural heritage, including Chamorro, Carolinian, and American influences. The most popular destinations in the Mariana Islands include Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Guam, the largest island in the Marianas, is a major destination for American tourists and is known for its WWII history, beaches and variety of outdoor activities. The Northern Mariana Islands, on the other hand, are known for their pristine beaches, diving, and birdwatching.
  • The Marshall Islands: This region is made up of 29 atolls and is known for its WWII history and traditional culture. The most popular destinations in the Marshall Islands include Majuro, Kwajalein and Bikini Atoll. Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, is known for its bustling markets, cafes and restaurants. Kwajalein is a small coral atoll and one of the world's largest lagoon and known for its diving and snorkeling. Bikini Atoll, is a site of US nuclear testing and is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

These are the main regions of Micronesia, each with its own highlights, culture and history, while they offer tropical paradise experiences they also represent important milestones of WWII history, ancient ruins and unique traditional cultures. Visitors can choose which islands to visit depending on their interests, but many of them will try to visit as many islands as they can to experience the diversity of Micronesia.

Highlights
What To See & Do
Travel Map

Micronesia offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors, from natural beauty to cultural heritage. Here are a few of the best things to see and do when visiting Micronesia:

  • Snorkeling and Diving: Micronesia is renowned for its coral reefs, crystal clear waters and diverse marine life. Some of the best places for snorkeling and diving include Palau, Chuuk, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • World War II history: The Micronesia region was a major theater of WWII, and many islands have preserved historical sites and relics. Visitors can visit WWII sites such as the Pacific War Memorial in Palau, or the Bikini Atoll, a UNESCO world heritage site where US conducted nuclear testing.
  • Traditional villages: Many of the islands in Micronesia have traditional villages where visitors can learn about the local culture and customs. Some popular destinations for traditional village experiences include Yap and the Marshall Islands.
  • Nan Madol: on Pohnpei island, is a complex of 92 artificial islets built on a coral reef. It is a unique archaeological site that consist of ancient ruins of a city built with large stone blocks, which is a remains of a powerful chiefdom that existed in the past.
  • Beach activities: Micronesia's beaches are renowned for their clear waters, white sands and beautiful sunsets. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, and windsurfing. Some of the best beaches can be found on Palau, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Hiking and Trekking: Some of the islands have lush rainforests and rugged mountains, offering great hiking and trekking opportunities. Popular destinations for hiking and trekking include Pohnpei and Kosrae.
  • Birdwatching: Micronesia is home to a wide variety of bird species, some of which can only be found in the region. Visitors can go birdwatching in various locations such as Pohnpei, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Fishing and boating: Many islands have fishing and boating opportunities such as big game fishing, bone fishing, and island hopping. Some of the most popular islands for fishing and boating include Pohnpei, Yap, and Chuuk.

These are just a few of the many things to see and do in Micronesia. Whether you're interested in adventure, history, culture, or natural beauty, Micronesia has something to offer for everyone.

Micronesia
What To Eat

WHAT TO EAT IN MICRONESIA

WHAT TO EAT IN MICRONESIA

Micronesia offers a diverse range of cuisines, influenced by its Pacific Islander, Asian, and Western heritage. Here are a few traditional dishes and local specialties that you should try when visiting Micronesia:

  • Red Rice: is a popular dish in Micronesia and is often served with meat, fish, or vegetables. It is a mix of red and white rice and is flavored with coconut milk, pandan leaves and spices.
  • Kelaguen: is a traditional dish from the Mariana Islands made from grated coconut mixed with chili peppers, onions, and lime juice. It is typically served with grilled meats such as chicken, beef, or fish.
  • Palauan-style sashimi: is a local delicacy in Palau and is often made from raw tuna or other fish. It is typically served with a spicy sauce made from chili peppers, ginger, and lime juice.
  • Fish Soup: is a common dish in Micronesia, made from fish, coconut milk, and vegetables. it may vary by island, but usually it will be seasoned with local spices, ginger and lemongrass.
  • Barbecue: is a popular way of cooking in Micronesia, and you can find a variety of grilled meats and seafood, such as chicken, pork, fish, and squid. They are often marinated in a blend of local spices and grilled over an open flame.
  • Taro: is a root vegetable that is widely grown and consumed throughout Micronesia. It is often used to make a traditional dish called "kasaa" which is made of taro leaves, meat, and coconut milk.
  • Fresh fruits: Micronesia has a wide variety of tropical fruits, such as papaya, pineapples, guava, and tropical citrus. Most of the islands have fruit stands or markets where you can find these fruits in season.
  • Local Drinks: There are a variety of local drinks in Micronesia such as coconut water, sakau ( kava) and local beers. It's worth trying some of these drinks to get a taste of Micronesia's unique culture.

These are just a few examples of the traditional dishes and local specialties you can find in Micronesia. In general, the cuisine is centered around seafood and local fruits, coconut milk, and a mix of Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander spices. Be sure to try a variety of dishes to get a taste of the diverse culinary traditions of Micronesia.

LGBTQ IN MICRONESIA

Micronesia

WHERE TO STAY IN MICRONESIA

For a first-time visit to Micronesia, it's important to understand that it's an archipelago comprising many islands, each with its own unique charm. Here are some suggestions for areas to consider:


Where To Stay In Palikir, Pohnpei:

Palikir serves as the capital of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and is located on the island of Pohnpei, known for its lush rainforests and ancient ruins. Choose Palikir for its central location and access to key government institutions and cultural sites.


Palikir offers limited options for accommodations, and there might not be a wide range of choices across different budget categories. However, here are some options:

  • Budget: Cliff Rainbow Hotel offers affordable accommodations with basic amenities, located close to Palikir's downtown area. While not located directly in Palikir, the Pohnpei Surf Club is a budget-friendly option offering simple accommodations. It's situated on the southern tip of Pohnpei and provides basic facilities for travelers looking for an affordable stay.


  • Mid-range: Sealand Hotel is one of the more established hotels on Pohnpei, offering mid-range accommodations. While it may not have the luxury amenities of larger hotels, it provides comfortable rooms and essential services for travelers.

  • Luxury: The Cliff Club offers luxurious villas with panoramic views of the ocean, upscale dining options, and exclusive access to private beaches and amenities.

Tip: Consider visiting during the dry season (December to April) for better weather and outdoor activities.


Where To Stay In Koror, Palau:

Koror is the commercial and tourist hub of Palau, renowned for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and world-class diving sites. Stay in Koror for its vibrant nightlife, shopping opportunities, and proximity to Palau's natural wonders.

  • Budget: DW Motel offers budget-friendly accommodations with clean rooms and a central location, perfect for travelers exploring Koror on a budget.

  • Mid-range: Palau Pacific Resort provides comfortable rooms, a private beach, and amenities such as a swimming pool and spa, offering a relaxing stay with easy access to Koror's attractions.

  • Luxury: The InterContinental Palau Resort offers luxurious accommodations, upscale dining options, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, providing a lavish retreat for discerning travelers.

Tip: Plan your visit to Palau well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, and consider booking accommodations that include dive packages for the best value.


Where To Stay In Yap:

Yap is known for its traditional culture, stone money, and excellent diving opportunities, offering visitors a unique glimpse into Micronesia's heritage.

Choose Yap for its serene ambiance, cultural experiences, and pristine natural beauty.

  • Budget: O'Keefe's Waterfront Inn offers affordable accommodations with a waterfront location and easy access to Yap's main attractions.

  • Mid-range: Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers provides comfortable rooms, diving excursions, and cultural tours, ensuring a memorable stay on the island.


Tip: Consider visiting Yap during the dry season (November to April) for optimal diving conditions and cultural festivals.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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