Nestled in the middle of the Pacific Ocean some 4000 km (2500 miles) southwest of Hawaii, and invisible on most world globes, there is a grouping of more than 600 islands known as Micronesia.
Shortcut to more details on Palau, Yap and Truk Lagoon.
Despite being scattered over millions of miles of ocean, these once volcanic islands make up only a very small proportion of landmass that’s punctuated by soaring mountain peaks, lush mangrove forests, deep river valleys, and secluded beaches. As one of the most remote places on earth, scuba diving in Micronesia is a true adventure, with endless coral reefs and some of the cleanest and clearest waters to be found anywhere. Situated where currents from the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Philippine Sea converge, the friendly, English-speaking islands of Micronesia offer an aquatic biodiversity that’s hard to beat.
Adventure by Land and by Sea
To get the most from your diving vacation in Micronesia, it’s best to include several islands in your itinerary, since each of the region’s major dive locations has something unique to offer. From magnificent hard and soft coral gardens, to World War II wrecks, and from mesmerizing walls, to the thrill of drift diving, you’ll find these little tropical islands pack a powerful punch. Divers can expect to regularly encounter schools of tuna and barracuda, as well as local dolphins, turtles, grouper, manta rays, reef sharks, and dozens of species of vibrantly coloured fish and anemones. Thanks to an abundance of speedy boats that visit many of the major sites, both resort-based diving and liveaboards are viable options for your water-based exploits. Meanwhile, topside offerings include a wealth of ancient ruins, dramatic waterfalls, and indigenous art villages to explore, as well as opportunities for hiking, fishing, snorkeling, and surfing, canoeing, and kayaking.
Micronesia’s Greatest Hits
Micronesia is divided into four unique states, each separated by large expanses of water and displaying a distinct blend of local folklore, traditions and indigenous languages. Riddled with hundreds of islands, lagoons, and atolls, the three most significant dive locations in the region are in the states of Yap, Chuuk (formerly Truk), and Palau. The richly diverse waters surrounding the hundreds of islands that make up Palau boast some 1500 species of fish, in settings that range from wrecks, to coral gardens, to current-swept drop-offs. The 50 by 80 km (30 by 50 mile) lagoon comprising the bulk of Chuuk State offers one of the most concentrated wreck diving sites in the world, with close to 70 diveable WWII shipwrecks. Last, but certainly not least, the most traditional Micronesian culture is to be found in Yap, where it provides a sensational backdrop for big manta action and outstanding reef and wall dives.
Visit Any Time
Most divers reach these off-the-beaten-path destinations by flying through Honolulu and Guam, and then on to the various islands. Divers will enjoy Micronesia at any time of the year, as the weather is relatively unchanging. Although a wetter climate that typically sees 10-15 days of rain per month, and with its driest season extending from December through April, temperatures in Micronesia average a balmy 27oC (80oF), year round. In terms of water clarity, many dive locations offer incredible visibility in excess of 30 meters (100 feet), due to Micronesia’s remote location and relatively low water traffic.
Click here for more information on scuba diving in Palau.
Click here for more information on scuba diving in Yap.
Click here for more information on scuba diving in Truk Lagoon.