MARSHALL ISLANDS TRAVEL GUIDE
The Marshall Islands are some of the most pristine islands in the Pacific -if you're willing to overlook the fact that the US military has conducted 23 nuclear tests on one of them. But the rest of the islands are as beautiful as ever and it is safe to go there. The Marshall Islands take up an enormous amount of space for a country of people numbering less than 60,000 and one which actually has very little land.
Full of gorgeous beaches, diving spots, WWII ruins, lagoons and underwater life the Marshall Islands are guaranteed to blow your mind away. Add to that extremely friendly people, and your perfect holiday is made.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO VISIT
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MARSHALL ISLANDS QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Majuro
- Currency: US dollar ($, USD)
- Area: 181.3 km²
- Population: 58 413 (2018)
- Language: English, two major Marshallese dialects from the Malayo-Polynesian family, Japanese
- Religion:Christian (mostly Protestant)
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MARSHALL ISLANDS PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 March, Nuclear Victims and Survivors Remembrance Day
- 1 May, Constitution Day
- 1st Friday in July, Fishermen’s Day
- 1st Friday in September, Labor Day
- Last Friday in September, Culture Day (Manit Day)
- 17 November, Presidents’ Day
- 1st Friday in December, Gospel Day
Also, Good Friday.
FESTIVALS IN MARSHALL ISLANDS
BEST TIME TO VISIT MARSHALL ISLANDS
The best time to visit the Marshall Islands depends on what you're looking to do and see.
- The dry season, which runs from December to April, is the best time to visit if you're interested in diving and snorkeling, as the waters are calm and visibility is good.
- The rainy season, which runs from May to November, is the best time to visit if you're interested in bird watching, as many migratory birds pass through the islands during this time.
In general, it should be noted that the climate of the Marshall Islands is tropical and is characterized by high humidity and temperatures that remain relatively constant throughout the year, averaging around 29–32 °C (84–90 °F)
MARSHALL ISLANDS WEATHER SYNOPSIS
The Republic of the Marshall Islands has a warm, tropical climate year-round, with average temperatures around 27°C and annual precipitation of approximately 3500 millimetres (mm). Two seasons are recognised: a wet season that occurs between May and November and a drier season between December and April. Climate in this part of the Pacific is governed by a number of factors, including the trade winds and the movement of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ), a zone of low-pressure rainfall that migrates across the Pacific south of the equator. Year to year variability in climate is also strongly influenced by the El Niño conditions in the southeast Pacific, which bring drought conditions to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
MARSHALL ISLANDS TOURIST SEASONS
Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists.
Off Peak Season
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
SNOW SPORT IN MARSHALL ISLANDS
HIKING & CYCLING IN MARSHALL ISLANDS
The best time for outdoor activities in the Marshall Islands is during the drier months of December to April as it can be very rainy from May to November.
BEACH OPTIONS IN MARSHALL ISLANDS
While the temperature is always good in the Marshall Islands, the best time for relaxing on the beaches is during the dry season. It can be very rainy from May to November.
SURFING IN MARSHALL ISLANDS
The surf in the Marshall Islands is predominantly right handers and is pretty good. Surf ranges from nice gentleman waves to smokin barrels with the North West to North East swells bring the best waves between mid-October to mid-April.
KITESURF IN MARSHALL ISLANDS
The Marshall Islands might be remote, but that means that once you're there, you won't have to share the perfect kiting conditions with many others! There are excellent wave riding and flat water conditions from November to April.
For more details on kite surfing in Marshall Islands expand this section!
HEALTH RISKS IN MARSHALL ISLANDS
Be aware of possible health risks in
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.
MARSHALL ISLANDS TRAVEL COSTS
The cost of traveling to the Marshall Islands can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the time of year you go, how you plan to get there, and your accommodation and transportation arrangements while you're there. Some general estimates for various expenses include:
- Airfare: Round-trip airfare from the United States to the Marshall Islands can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 or more, depending on your departure city and the time of year you travel.
- Accommodation: The cost of accommodation in the Marshall Islands can range from budget-friendly options such as guesthouses and homestays, which can cost around $50-100 per night, to more upscale resorts, which can cost several hundred dollars per night.
- Food: Eating out in the Marshall Islands can be relatively expensive, with the cost of a meal at a mid-range restaurant ranging from $20-30. If you want to save money, you can also find cheaper options like street food or local market.
- Transportation: The cost of transportation within the Marshall Islands can vary depending on the mode of transport you choose. Taxis, buses and car rental can be options to move around, prices could range from $10-50
Overall, it's hard to give an exact cost of a trip to Marshall Islands, as it will depend on your personal travel style, preferences and budget. It's recommended to set a budget and make a plan accordingly.
MARSHALL ISLANDS TRAVEL TIPS
Here are some tips for traveling to the Marshall Islands:
- Pack for the weather: The climate of the Marshall Islands is tropical, so pack light clothing and comfortable shoes. Don't forget to pack sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
- Bring cash: The Marshall Islands is a cash-based economy and not all places accept credit or debit cards. Make sure to bring enough cash to cover expenses during your trip.
- Bring a reusable water bottle: The tap water in the Marshall Islands is generally safe to drink, but you may prefer to bring a reusable water bottle to refill as you travel.
- Bring a power adapter: The power outlets in the Marshall Islands use the American two-pronged plug, so make sure to bring a power adapter if you're coming from a different country.
- Learn a few words of Marshallese: The official languages of the Marshall Islands are Marshallese and English, and it's always appreciated when tourists make an effort to speak the local language.
- Be respectful of local culture: The Marshall Islands has a rich culture and history, so be sure to be respectful of local customs and traditions while you're there.
- Be prepared for a different way of life: The Marshall Islands is a small island nation with a limited infrastructure, so be prepared for things to move at a slower pace than you might be used to.
- Bring a good sunscreen and insect repellent, as well as any necessary medication. Also some of the islands are remote and don't have facilities for medical assistance.
- Check for any travel warnings, as some islands may not be safe to visit due to recent natural disasters or other issues
By keeping these tips in mind, you can help ensure that your trip to the Marshall Islands is a safe and enjoyable one.
SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF MARSHALL ISLANDS
The Marshall Islands is an island nation made up of 29 atolls and 5 single islands, which are grouped into two main regions: the Ratak Chain and the Ralik Chain.
The Ratak Chain: This is the eastern region of the Marshall Islands and includes the atolls of Majuro, Kwajalein, Wotje, and Maloelap.
- Majuro is the capital of the Marshall Islands and the center of government and business. Visitors can explore the town's market, museums, and beaches.
- Kwajalein is a major military base for the United States, and it's not accessible to tourists.
- Wotje and Maloelap are more remote atolls and offer opportunities for fishing and bird-watching.
The Ralik Chain: This is the western region of the Marshall Islands and includes the atolls of Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap, Ailinginae, and Ailinglaplap.
- Bikini Atoll is famous for being the site of nuclear weapons testing by the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, and it's now a protected area.
- Enewetak Atoll is also protected and hosts a large American military base, but it's not accessible for visitors.
- Rongelap, Ailinginae and Ailinglaplap are less developed and more isolated, offering visitors a chance to experience the traditional Marshallese way of life.
Note that, visitors must have a special permit to enter some of the islands, and not all of them have accommodations or infrastructure for tourism. Some are not accessible as well. It is recommended to check in advance if you have specific islands in mind for your trip.
The Marshall Islands has many things to see and do, depending on your interests. Here are a few popular activities and attractions to consider:
- Diving and Snorkeling: The Marshall Islands is home to some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, with clear waters, abundant marine life, and World War II shipwrecks.
- Bird Watching: The Marshall Islands is a great destination for bird watching, with many migratory birds passing through the islands during the rainy season.
- Fishing: The waters around the Marshall Islands are rich in fish, and fishing is a popular activity among locals and visitors alike.
- Cultural Tours: The Marshall Islands has a rich culture and history, and visitors can take cultural tours to learn about traditional customs and practices.
- War and Peace history: Visit places such as Kwajalein and Bikini to learn about the War and Peace history on Marshall Islands, American military bases and Nuclear testing aftermath on the islands.
- Sun and Beach: Marshall Islands offers great spots for beach activities, swimming, and snorkeling. Relaxing on a sandy beach and taking in the sunsets are popular activities among visitors.
- Hiking: some islands and atolls have great hiking opportunities, visitors can explore the natural beauty of the islands, and enjoy the stunning views over the ocean and islands.
- Shop and eat local: Marshall Islands has a diverse and rich food and craft scene, visitors can enjoy the local flavors and buy some traditional souvenirs.
These are just a few of the many things to see and do in the Marshall Islands, and visitors can customize their trip based on their interests and budget. It's recommend to check in advance for tour operators, guides, and availability for some of the activities, as well as permits and fees if necessary.
WHAT TO EAT IN MARSHALL ISLANDS
When visiting the Marshall Islands, you'll have the opportunity to try a variety of local foods and flavors. Here are a few traditional Marshallese dishes that you might want to try:
1.Lap Lap: This is a traditional dish made from grated taro root mixed with coconut milk and fish, and then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in an underground oven.
- Chicken in taro leaves: Another traditional dish, it consists of chicken cooked in coconut milk, onions, and spices and then wrapped in taro leaves before being cooked.
- Coconut crab: As the name suggests, this dish is made from coconut crabs, which are considered a delicacy in the Marshall Islands. It is usually cooked in coconut milk and spices.
- Traditional Sashimi: Sashimi, or raw fish, is a popular dish in the Marshall Islands, and it's often made from tuna or other local fish.
- Roast pig: Roast pig is a staple dish at special occasions such as weddings and feasts.
- Poke: Poke is a popular dish in the Marshall islands and it's made from raw fish, usually tuna or bonito, diced and marinated in lime juice, coconut milk and spices.
- Local fruits and vegetables: you'll find a variety of fruits and vegetables grown in the islands such as pandanus fruit, coconut, breadfruit, taro and many more.
- You can find these dishes at local restaurants, at markets, and also sometimes in street food vendors. Local markets, such as the one in the capital city of Majuro, are also a great place to buy fresh seafood and other ingredients to make your own meals. Some hotels and resorts also offer a mix of local and international cuisine on their menu.
LGBTQ IN MARSHALL ISLANDS
WHERE TO STAY IN MARSHALL ISLANDS
When visiting the Marshall Islands for the first time, it can be a good idea to stay on the main island of Majuro, which is the capital and the center of government and business. Here, you'll have easy access to a variety of services and amenities, including supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, and banks.
On Majuro, you'll find a range of accommodation options available, from budget-friendly guesthouses and homestays to more upscale resorts. Hotels and resorts are a good option if you're looking for comfortable accommodation and amenities such as swimming pools and restaurants.
If you're looking for something more remote and authentic, you might consider a stay on one of the outer islands. Some of the most popular options include Kwajalein, Bikini and Eneuetak, however, these islands require special permits and are not easily accessible, it's recommended to check the availability and regulations before planning your trip.
It's important to note that some of the islands may have limited infrastructure and amenities, so it is important to plan accordingly and be prepared for a more basic level of facilities. Consider your comfort level and what you are looking for when you choose where to stay.
Overall, the choice of where to stay will depend on your personal preferences and budget. I recommend checking online reviews, pricing, and other information to find the best option for you.
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