The Federated States of Micronesia is a beautiful island country in Oceania made up of more than 600 islands. This country is famous for its beaches, friendly people, unspoiled world-class diving spots, and fabulous ancient ruins. Although Micronesia has a lot to offer, it’s still relatively unknown among tourists.
If you’re a first-time traveler to Micronesia or interested to get familiar with tourism in Micronesia, read this ultimate travel guide to Micronesia for first-timers.
Recent history of Micronesia
European Powers in Micronesia
The first European power that found out about Micronesia was Portugal. Portuguese sailors crossed from Micronesia while they were on the way to reach ‘The Spice Islands’ (Indonesia), but they didn’t settle down in there.
However, Spain started its sovereignty in Micronesia in the 16th century but eventually sold the islands to Germany.
Micronesia under Japan’s Control
Germans were ruling in Micronesia until World War I that Japan took over and deployed more than 100,000 troops and Japanese civilians in Micronesia while the native Micronesian population was less than 40,000 at the time.
Micronesia under Trusteeship
During World War II, Americans defeated Japan in Micronesia, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Then United Nations unite them as the ‘Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands’ (TTPI) in 1947. The United States became their administer and was responsible for these islands’ security as well.
In May 1979, four of the Trust Territory districts ratified the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia and the newborn country was given independence on November 3rd, 1979 by signing a Compact of Free Association with America. But Micronesia’s security is still America’s responsibility.
People in Micronesia
Micronesian people are some of the most friendly ones you’ll ever meet in your life. They’re always smiling and willing to help you if needed.
Languages in Micronesia
All Micronesian people speak fluent American English which makes it very easy for international visitors. However, they still speak in one of the four main languages of Micronesia (Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean, and Yapese) when talking to each other.
Local Traditions in Micronesia
Although Micronesia’s population is just shy of 315,000 people, each of the four Micronesian states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae have their own unique dialects, culture, and traditions. So, visiting each Micronesian state has its own merit which we’ll discuss more below.
Things to do in Micronesia
Nan Madol, the Eighth Wonder of the World
Nan Madol is a magical archaeological site, just off the shore of the island of Pohnpei. Nan Madol is a national historical landmark, and those who have visited it believe that it should be recognized as the eighth wonder of the world.
Nan Madol was the capital of the Saudeleur Dynasty (the island’s first government that ruled for about 500 years. The ruins of this ancient city were constructed in a lagoon, consisting of a series of small artificial islands linked by a network of canals.
The details on each wall of Nan Madol is mind-blowing. the stones of all shapes and sizes are paired with each other inside the walls and the big shock is when you think about the way people could carry all of the stones to the island and the technology they used to create artificial islands. Some people believe that Nan Madol was built by aliens because even with all the advancement human had, building such a thing is still a hard task to accomplish.
Nan Madol is accessible by foot, car & boat.
Stone Money (Rai Stones)
Stone Money (Rai Stones) is a real thing in The Micronesian island of Yap. People on this island used these stones as their currency. They shaped the stones in a circle and put a hole in the middle to make it easier to move them around.
But since the stones were too heavy and could’ve got damaged during transportation, Yapese people agreed to keep them all where they were and only change the ownership.
Even now that Yapese people are using real money, they still believe in the Stone Money and the ownership of the rai stones is still considered an honor and Yapese people are still exchanging the rai stones in traditional ways between themselves.
Chuuk Lagoon (aka Truk Lagoon) is an attol in the state of Chuuk in Micronesia. Chuuk Lagoon has a wonderland of drowned the Imperial Japanese Navy’s battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, tankers, cargo ships, tugboats, gunboats, minesweepers, landing craft, and submarines from the World War II battles in Micronesia.
Diving in Chuuk Lagoon is a once in a lifetime experience. All the drowned objects are covered with coral, stone, and have become fishes’ home. With the clear crystal water and beautiful sea creatures, you’re in for a real treat when visiting Chuuk Lagoon.
Just a short walking distance from Nan Madol, you can see the beautiful Kepirohi Waterfall. The trail that gets you there is very peaceful and colorful because of the flora. There’s also enough room along the way and near the waterfall to have a picnic lunch.
The water in Kepirohi Waterfall is usually warm, so no need to wear warm clothes, but it is definitely recommended to wear non-slipping shoes as the pathway to the Kepirohi Waterfall can get slippery, especially if it has been raining before your visit.
If paradise is real, it would definitely look like Ant Atoll. This small atoll has the clearest crystal water in the world, making Ant Atoll one of the most desirable and easiest places for snorkeling and diving. There are a lot of different fish species and you may even find Nemo while snorkeling or diving in Ant atoll. The island is also a good place for bird watching and is famous for being home to black noddys birds.
Best Tours to Book in Micronesia
Pohnpei Surf Club
If you are traveling to the Pohnpei State, and want to explore everything that Pohnpei island and nearby places have to offer, the best way is to book a tour with Pohnpei Surf Club.
Pohnpei Surf Club is the most sought-after company in Micronesia for booking ocean tours to Nan Madol, Ant Atoll, snorkeling, waterfalls, and more. They also offer acceptable accommodation with a bar, restaurant, and marina located steps away from your room.
Pohnpei Surf club has won the Travelers’ Choice award on TripAdvisor in 2020 and constantly receives amazing reviews from travelers who had a good experience with them.
Where to Stay in Micronesia
No matter what type of traveling-style you have, Micronesia has a few good accommodations to offer you if you’re interested in booking a hotel in The Federated States of Micronesia before arriving there. Below is the list of our hand-picked best hotels to book in Micronesia for any type of accommodation you like to reserve for your Micronesia vacation.
Traveling to Micronesia doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. You can book more affordable hotels and still enjoy your Micronesia holiday. Village View Hotel is the highest-rated budget hotel in Micronesia.
Located in the Yap State, all of the rooms in the Village View Hotel are beach front and there’s an amazing simple small restaurant inside the hotel. You can relax, enjoy the beaches, the sound of the waves, delicious food, and not even spending as much on it.
If you choose the state of Kosrae as your base in Micronesia, the best mid-range hotel you can find is Pacific Treelodge Resort. The best thing about this hotel is that you can book it online (which is still not a given in Micronesia). This hotel offers a free airport shuttle which comes in handy and you can go kayaking, right from the hotel’s restaurant. The Pacific Treelodge Resort offers a few snorkeling and diving tours itself and if at times they don’t, they can help you arrange an amazing tour.
If you’re traveling as a family to Micronesia and happen to stay in the beautiful state of Kosrae, Kosrae Nautilus Resort is the best choice. This beautiful resort is clean, close to amazing sightseeing places such as the Blue hole and Lelu Island. The highlight of this hotel is its restaurant that attracts lots of customers, even from outside the hotel.
There’s also a clean pool that children can enjoy, as well as canoeing. Then if traveling as a family, consider Kosrae Nautilus Resort.
If you just got married and looking for a great honeymoon destination or just fell in love and like to spend some quality time with your other half, Manta Ray Bay Resort in Colonia Municipality of the Yap state. If you are into scuba diving, this hotel and the areas you can dive around the hotel would make you feel like you’re in heaven.
So, whether you’re looking for a honeymoon destination, a romantic vacation, or some quality time with a beloved person in your life, don’t hesitate in booking Manta Ray Bay Resort.
No matter where you’re traveling, you should always buy an insurance plan before leaving your country and Micronesia is not an exception. Although you’re going to have a lot of fun in Micronesia, don’t risk your joy with an unwanted medical bill. Plan ahead of time by purchasing insurance to protect yourself and your beloved ones from incidents that are not within your control. Click here to get a quote for your next vacation insurance plan.