The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or simply "Micronesia" to most is a truly exotic getaway with a culture that is as colorful and diverse as the kaleidoscope of coral reefs that surround each of its islands. Micronesia lies in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean, making it a quiet and isolated retreat for those looking to tune out the frenzy of their fast-paced lives. A top tourist destination, this island group is made up of 607 beautiful dots of land, each with its own unique draws. The entire region is a huge diving paradise with fascinating wrecks and snorkel sites that are among the best in the world.
The fascinating dive sites are Micronesia’s major draw, but the vibrant culture is what really makes people come back for more. The island of Yap exudes true island spirit, and the people here have retained much of their customs, not to mention fascinating architecture and their use of stone money for trade. If you are looking for stunning natural landscapes, head to Chuuk island, which can surely give you your fill of outdoor adventures.
Frequented by those who are looking to immerse themselves in unique traditions, Micronesia is a mix of mores and norms. The island of Kosrae is especially interesting and often regarded as the most beautiful island in the Federated States of Micronesia, and should be on every tourist’s itinerary. Its inhabitants—called Kosraeans—are firm believers of their aboriginal religion, and is staunch spirituality is very much evident in local observances, all-day singing, dancing, and celebrations (particularly on Sundays when everything is shutdown).
Like other island conglomerates in the Pacific, Micronesia shares the same history of occupation and oppression under big colonial powers. This gloomy past did not ruin its natural and historic attractions though and each island offers something new to travelers. One of the four main islands, Chuuk, is best known for its diving sites, and especially the underwater museum, where remnants of World War II lie undisturbed. Pohnpei, on the other hand, is home to amazing ancient ruins.
The island capitals offer all kinds of lodging options. Many of beach-laden areas (like Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk) are fairly developed resorts where you can enjoy the sound of the lapping waves while waiting to see the sunset. Staying in native cottages is particularly enjoyable as well as camping under the stars, if the outdoors is more your style.
The Micronesian islands are not as hard to reach as other earthly paradises and many airlines offer direct flights. You will also find many "island hopper" charters making it easy to travel between the states as well as from neighboring islands like Guam and Hawaii. Self-driving is a rewarding way to explore the islands, and is especially practical if you are traveling with your family. Taxis and buses are also on hand for those who wish to visit different villages and towns.
- Get immersed centuries-old traditions in Yap and Pohnpei
- Dive in Pohnpei’s Black Coral and Chuuk’s Truk Lagoon
- Explore the famed Pwodoi Sanctuary
- Snorkel around Kosrae's colorful coral reefs
- Mountain bike and hike up the scenic Sokehs Mountain
- Visit fascinating museums in Kosrae and Chuuk
- Hit the white sand beaches
- Admire historic landmarks like the Spanish Wall, Japanese Wartime Communication Center and the Nan Madol Ruins
- Sightsee around the glorious waterfalls of Pohnpei’s Sahwartik and Keiprohi
- Bathe in stunning natural pools such as Nanpil River, leading to the spectacular Liduduhniap Twin Waterfalls