Micronesia consists of thousands of small islands covering thousands of miles, scattered across the Pacific, a few hours’ flight west of Hawaii. The independent nations are Palau and its neighbors Yap, Chuuk (formerly Truk), Kosrae and Pohnpei.
Prepare to slow down once you arrive. Not all these islands have daily flights from far-flung destinations arriving at its airports. With the distinctive and myriad diving attractions on each island, it’s best to combine visits to a few of them, rather than travel halfway across the Pacific to visit just one.
This is your entry point to the region… But you may really want to stay a while, as you can meander through wrecks, dive a blue hole and enjoy the unique culture and food of the Chamorros, the island’s original inhabitants.
This intricate island maze of lush limestone sits west of Guam, and for the diversity of dives, this country easily matches with any other on the planet. If you want wrecks to explore, take your pick of heaps of sunken World War II Japanese planes and ships, which can be dived and snorkeled. If you’re into pelagics, you’ll find plenty here, from sharks to eagle rays. Drift dives? No problem. Head to Peleliu Express, attach a reef hook on a piece of dead coral and then watch the big fish traffic push on past. How about a blue hole with incredible drop-offs? Palau has that, too, with the magnificent Blue Corner. For something totally different, try a cave dive at Chandelier Cave.
Here on this tiny pebble of an island east of Palau, if you don’t see manta rays here, you’re diving with your eyes closed. Life has few guarantees, but you’re as sure to see manta rays – perhaps on every dive – as the sun rising each morning. In fact, there are so many mantas here, at least one resort’s dive shop has catalogued and named them based on the distinctive markings on their underbellies. Sharks also populate the waters and there are channels and reefs to explore.
World War II wreck capital, which until recently was known as “Truk.” You won’t find a greater number of sunken Japanese World War II vessels anywhere else on Earth, especially in and around Chuuk Lagoon. The U.S. Armed Forces turned the tide in its war against the Japanese by laying waste to vessels here, during Operation Hailstone and today, you can dive into this history. With repetitive dives at depths beyond conventional recreational limits, it’s a good idea to take specialty courses to earn the necessary certifications and learn which operators here may supply mixed gases and rebreathers.
Scuba Travel Ventures offers packages at great resorts and berths on live-aboards throughout Micronesia. Inquire with us about diving and resorts on two other less-visited Micronesian islands, Kosrae and Pohnpei.
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