Kosrae, called ‘The Sleeping Lady’, is covered with dense tropical jungles and high volcanic peaks, with lush river valleys and waterfalls. This remote island location is surrounded by fringing reefs teeming with tropical fish that feed off the spectacular corals. The coral reefs slope steeply into the clear blue depths and are one of the great attractions of Kosrae. The people of Kosrae are considered one of the most peaceful and gracious people on earth.
Although some cultural traditions have been lost, singing and chanting, weaving, woodcarving, canoe building, house building, farming, and fishing are still practised today. Missionaries have a significant influence on the island so modesty and other restrictions must be observed.
Kosrae is roughly triangular in shape and is the second-largest island and the most easterly state of the Federated States of Micronesia, covering an area of 110 km2. The island has three distinct geographic features – mountains, jungle and mangrove forests – ringed by miles of white sandy beaches. The mountains are steep and rugged and are covered by dense tropical vegetation. Several mountain peaks rise over 600 metres above sea level and account for about 70% of the land area. In the mountains you can experience cascading waterfalls, serene rivers and seldom visited hiking trails.
It is warm and humid in Kosrae throughout the year. The mean annual temperature is about 25º C and rarely exceeds 32º C. Expect short rainstorms daily in varying amounts depending on the season.
Dry Season: May to October
Wet Season: November to April
One of Kosrae’s most well-known attractions is the clear, clean ocean and its extraordinary living coral reefs that entirely surround it. Offshore, the coral reefs slope steeply into the clear blue depths. Both vertical drop-offs and undulating profiles of cascading corals appear before you, as underwater visibility averages 30 to 60 metres. The reefs comprise hundreds of densely packed hard coral species, attracting an abundance of marine life. A diver could easily observe 30 to 50 species of fish in a single dive. Large numbers of turtles and rays inhabit the waters of this island paradise.
Delight in the life filled walls, as hundreds of Pacific barracuda schools around you. Feel your eyes widen in amazement at the vast and remarkably colourful coral reef systems, or watch the resident spinner dolphins as they jump and twirl for your entertainment.
Over 50 dive sites have been identified along Kosrae’s coast, all of which have been marked with a mooring buoy to prevent anchor damage to the fragile coral reef system.
The water temperature is a reasonably constant 28º C.
Diving is conducted year-round. During the summer (June to October) the water is generally calmer and the currents lighter making for easy diving. In the winter (late November to May), diving may be limited to the south and west sides of the island. Some of the most spectacular dive sites are located in these areas. The wind can result in faster currents which can also bring the larger pelagics into the reef.
Buoy 15 - huge coral heads estimated to be more than 2,000 years old and large numbers of Christmas tree worms and invertebrates plus diverse marine life including eagle rays, schools of huge parrotfish, reef sharks, barracuda and squid can be seen. Feels like you are diving in a huge aquarium! Great for snorkelling also.
Buoys 28 and 29 - one of the most popular dive sites in Kosrae. Incredible sheer walls are home to schools of barracuda. All types of marine life have been seen here: small hammerhead and reef sharks, turtles, giant puffers, numerous small invertebrates. The current can be strong. Buoy 28 is located in shallow water and is a great snorkel spot; Buoy 29 is on the outer reef.
Buoys 39 and 40 - an excellent dive site with many species of fish and invertebrates. Schools of Eagle Rays and Barracuda are often seen, along with Dog Tooth Tuna, Black and White Tipped Reef Sharks. If there is no current, Shark Island is a great night dive. Visibility here can be incredible.
If you love to get out into nature and enjoy the peace and quiet then Kosrae has some fantastic natural signs. Trek through jungles and mountains, quietly canoe or kayak in mangrove channels, marvelling at Neolithic ruins, surf the reef breaks, or snorkel pristine reefs.
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